Sunday, November 20, 2005

The Alamo

Saturday morning at the Alamo: Being new to San Antonio, and not knowing where exactly to go, I pulled into the nearest parking space and paid $10. There were likely better, cheaper parking places a few blocks away, which I will locate on my next visit downtown.

But I needed to switch gears, coming from quiet, traffic-free Floresville and driving into the big city. I needed to pick up the tempo. I needed to watch carefully while I drove, instead of gazing at cows and trees -- the way I drive in the country. Evidence of a failure to switch gears in San Antonio -- I was looking at a building and I drove through a red light.

I begin my comments on the Alamo with two paragraphs about parking and traffic, simply because that is the first thing one must do when entering a new city -- learn the driving and the parking.

The Alamo is still there. I last saw it in 1986 with Susan, my wife of ten years, and our two children, Eugene and Eva. The Alamo is still there. Never once, in the intervening 19 years did I ever think it would not be there. This is re-assuring.

My feelings would have been stirred by this passage of time, this re-visit to a beautiful and meaningful landmark, except I was too busy taking photographs of dignitaries and dancers -- the event that the newspaper assigned me to cover. But I will conclude -- the Alamo is still there.

Later I visited the San Antonio Botanical Gardens -- a complete disappointment, scraggly flowers and unswept paths. In order to re-assure myself that Texans can indeed maintain a good garden, I drove to the affluent Alamo Heights neighborhood and saw some very fine gardens.

Today, Sunday, I am back in Floresville, having a good rest.

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