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Eliot’s Ghost

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November 7, 1933—The following account was reconstructed by the author, principally utilizing diary entries included in the estate of Mister Charles ...

Heron and Then Wren

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Once upon an estuary herons flew in graceful arcs that drew great threads of sunlight through a sky so blue it almost hurt the eyes. I used to go there long ...

Boys to Men: Jeff Traylor, Hea ...

When UTSA football head coach Jeff Traylor first showed up for work on December 9, 2019, the team was just coming off a combined record of 7 and 17 for the preceding two seasons. The task at hand was clearly a challenging one. Still, if you’d asked Coach Traylor at that time what he felt were the odds of the team finishing the season two years later at 12 and 2 and winning the Conference USA championship trophy, even he might have been a bit doubtful about that enormous of a turnaround, and Coach Traylor is a pretty optimistic guy. Still, it can’t have come as a complete surprise, given the already remarkable results of the previous season. “I was grateful as can be for the seven wins we got in my first full season with the team,” ...

A Life in Harmony: Dr. John Si ...

Sometime late last summer I was listening to a radio interview and they happened to mention an organization here in the Alamo City known as the San Antonio Mastersingers. I had never heard of such a thing, but I decided to check it out. I had done a bit of choral singing way back in my high school days and in more recent years spent time occasionally playing my guitar and singing for my dogs. As luck would have it, auditions for the fall season were just getting going around the time I heard the radio piece and so I gave it a shot. A few weeks later I was the newest member of the baritone section, one of the 120 or so singers who make up the group. During the audition, and in the weeks of rehearsal that followed, I had the distinct ...

A Place for Renewal: Dr. Judit ...

We’ve written about many nonprofits in these pages—everything from home renovators to military working dogs to golf tournaments for cancer research funding. But one thing we have most decidedly never done is present a charity that was started by a brothel owner. But, because we’re all about breaking barriers, that is precisely where we are headed this month. Specifically, our story is about a San Antonio organization called Providence Place, led by Dr. Judith Bell; and yes, the organization was started way back in 1895 by none other than brothel owner Madame Mary Volino, a woman who, after several years of what one imagines was a successful commercial venture, happened to overhear the words of a street preacher and decided on the ...

Leading by Example: Brig. Gen. ...

USAF Brigadier General Caroline Miller Commander, Joint Base San Antonio/502nd Air Base Wing In past articles, I’ve mentioned that my very first trip from my Maine home was to Lackland Air Force Base for USAF basic training way back in . . . well, a long time ago. And now, after decades of traveling the globe for work and leisure, I’ve found myself right back here, calling San Antonio my home. Turns out, though, that I’m not the only person with that sort of circular life story. USAF Brigadier General Caroline Miller tells a similar story, except that in her case it was her parents who got married back in the mid-sixties at the Lackland AFB chapel. Now, all these years later, she is back in the Alamo City in command of the 502nd Air ...

In the Public Interest: Joyce ...

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 speaker of the daylong event, and quipped that the slot was a challenging one, as she was the only thing standing between the 800-plus audience members and “adult beverages.” With this admission, Joyce proceeded to spell out the philosophy that has allowed her to be successful in her professional and personal life, a philosophy she summed up with the two simple words “be nice.” In the brief but compelling remarks that followed, she provided numerous examples of how her life had taken unexpected but advantageous turns through a combination of personal civility and seizing on ...

The Pearl, San Antonio’s Gem ...

One of my casual comments to Pearl Chief Marketing Officer Elizabeth Fauerso went something like this: “If the Pearl keeps adding high-quality restaurants, shops, and other facilities at the rate that it has in its first twenty years, it’s only a matter of time before out-of-towners start associating San Antonio with not only the Alamo and the Riverwalk, but the Pearl as well.” Upon reflection, it was clear that I underestimated the impact that this twenty-two acre development has had on the city, its residents/visitors, and on local economics, as Elizabeth observed by responding that the Pearl was already very much a part of what visitors associate with the city. Point conceded. However, in order to fully appreciate the ...

The Messenger

An olive green car with a white star on the door pulls up to the curb, and right away she knows. Everyone on her street knows. It is a time of war and it is his job to tell her that the man she loves is gone. He will walk up to her door, each measured step more painful than the one before. He has done this ninety seven times so far. He feels the weight of each one as though it was his own father or husband or son. He will read the letter. He will take her hand. He will convey the sadness and gratitude of a nation. Then he will walk away from the house, smiling wanly at the young boys in the yard as they chase one another with their cap guns and argue over who is dead and who is not. July 4, 2021 Brian Kenneth ...

In Defense of Learning: Bruce ...

An important question every professional athlete must wrestle with at some point in their career is ‘what comes next?’ once their time in the big leagues is over. This is true whether your sports career lasts only a short time (4.5 years is the average for the NBA, 2.5 for the NFL), or whether you’re fortunate enough to play on for a decade or more. Some aspire to coaching, others to broadcasting. But with supporting sports opportunities far less numerous than actual playing roles, the majority of former pro athletes eventually find themselves doing something that has little or nothing to do with their athletic experience. And so naturally this was one of the first things I asked about when I sat down to speak with former San Antonio ...