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In the Public Interest

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I first met Texas Public Radio (TPR) President and CEO Joyce Slocum in 2016, when she was a speaker at the TEDxSanAntonio annual conference. She was the final ...

The Pearl, San Antonio’ ...

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One of my casual comments to Pearl Chief Marketing Officer Elizabeth Fauerso went something like this: “If the Pearl keeps adding high-quality restaurants, ...

Ending in Need of a Poem

Hey, I think that was our turn back there.   This line has languished in the unseen recesses of my poetry working folder for over a decade. It does not want for company in that literary hospice. Yet I cannot but feel the cold resentment of a fragment of potential as it wastes away, unfulfilled, unloved. I keep it around because of a promise I made through the simple act of noting the line in the first place, writing it down, giving it its own document, with a name and a date. I take it out every few months to stare at the words, and they back at me, neither of us certain how this will all end. Only then, it’s back into the folder, perhaps to couple inadvertently with another unused phrase or idea, but probably doomed to just linger ...

Cody Davenport – The Sho ...

San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo 2021   Let’s get the bad news out of the way right from the get-go, shall we? Contrary to what you may have heard from friends, colleagues, or certain political figures running for office, 2021 is not magically going to see the end of the pandemic, at least not for a few more months. There will still be masks and Zoom calls and daily case counts on the news. But it’s not all doom and gloom. It looks like there are vaccines right around the corner (and who doesn’t enjoy a good shot in the arm?) and, with luck, many of the annual events we had learned to take for granted before 2020 will begin making comebacks, albeit cautiously. One such event will be the 2021 San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, ...

Perception

While it is not truly me, it is the way you like to think of me.  Ernest Hemingway   Perception, consciousness, awareness, the stuff of life to hear philosophers tell it. Descartes believed his thoughts made him real, gave him existence. But he would say that, wouldn’t he? Because we are all certain that we think. And we all aspire to be real. Yet sometimes, when I’m alone, I can’t help but wonder. Could I prove that I’m real if called upon to do so? Real in a strict mathematical sense. So real that no objective observer could deny it. I can be seen, but sight Is nothing but electrical signals. I can be heard, but sound is just waves wiggling about. I can be felt, but can you really trust your fingertips?   As we approach ...

Jose Amador – The Music ...

There is no disputing that 2020 has been a challenging year for all of us. Start with the virus, with its masks and social distancing and closures of, well, basically everything. Add in murder hornets; dust storms from the Sahara; wildfires in Australia, California, and loads of other places; more hurricanes than there are letters in the alphabet; and, of course, politics, and we’d all pretty much like to just skip ahead now to 2021. But there are several groups of individuals and businesses that have been hit particularly hard by the Covid-related events of this year, and these include restaurants, entertainment venues, and the musicians and performers who depend on these events and venues for their living. Into this latter category ...

Was It Me?

I lunched at the feet of Robert E. Lee in New Orleans, his bronze likeness proudly perched astride Traveler. Not a thought crossed my mind, even as those he fought so ardently to enslave walked before me through the courtyard.   In Biloxi I leaned comfortably back against Beauregard’s polished boot, sipping a Coke in the midday sun. Finishing it off with an insouciant sigh and a friendly wave to the old black man on a nearby bench.   In Charleston I arranged to meet a friend at the park in which Jeff Davis stands proudly gazing out across the harbor where slave ships came and went. We chatted amiably, in no way inconvenienced by history’s embrace.   And it was Richmond, I think, where I sought coolness from the noon ...

E. Loren Meeker – Living ...

Spare a thought, if you will, for your humble magazine feature writer as he navigates the treacherous shoals of our Covid-infested world in the endless search for the most insightful and entertaining personalities here in the Dominion and across San Antonio. It means conducting interviews while wearing a mask, searching from one interview venue to the next for an open lobby or restaurant dining room (FYI: Hotel Emma bar and lobby are closed to all but paying guests), and, for the past several months, beginning every interview with the same question: “So, how has the virus changed your life?” In recent months, we’ve replayed some version of this conversation with an Olympic track coach, a prominent restaurateur, a symphony conductor, ...

Church Watkins – The Mea ...

November is a generally thankful month. Its arrival in Texas brings a full measure of relief, seasoned with a dash of hope, if not of the political or epidemiological variety this time around, then at least the meteorological kind. As temperatures dip into the comfortable range for the first time in months, we watch with glee as electric bills no longer require second mortgages and we get to once again make lighthearted fun of our friends and relatives up north. But it’s also at this time of year that we pause to reflect on, and give thanks for, the contributions and sacrifices of our neighbors who have served in one (or in occasional cases, more than one) branch of the U.S. military. Veteran’s Day is officially November 11th, but here ...

Perekladin’s Nightmare

The grammar gods begrudge us only the tiniest quiver of punctuation marks to assert our meaning. To stop, or pause, to set off one word against another.   But of all the weapons in this thinnest of armories, there is just one that admits of emotion, allows the writer to enthuse, to leap up, cry out, exclaim with a loud voice.   And though this humble mark pervades the speech of everyday— the shout of each playing child, and each hovering parent— it is this same modest mark that, appearing upon the page, evokes only contempt and derision, condemns the aspiring scribe to the ranks of amateur, mocked by copy editor and reader alike.   And yet, from time to time, despite the risk of cajole and mockery, I let one sneak in, if ...

The Web

The natural world goes about its business in ways that humankind, with its boundless lack of wisdom, struggles to even label, much less comprehend.   Through the centuries we have used words like organismic, systemic, holistic, even vitalistic. All attempts to capture the very simple idea, that everything exists in an endlessly interconnected web of life. Every tree, flower, blade of grass animal, human being, and the very water and air itself, all joined in one rapturous orgy of interdependency.   So that when one strand of the web fails, we all feel the blow, suffer the injury. And yet we still cut and burn and drill and consume, as though the future is the concern of others. Which of course it is. Others who aren’t here ...

To the Son I Never Had

You first of all will doubtless want to know why you were never brought into this life.   There is no explanation I can offer, save that it never seemed the proper time.   But then too late one day I came to see the proper time would really never come.   Which is of course not fair to you at all, what with all of your unrealized potential.   I think of all the things you might have done, the man you would have soon enough become.   But for my lack of courage and resolve, you might have made this world a better place.   So though it does you now no good at all, please know I think of you from time to ...