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A Place for Renewal . . . ...

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We’ve written about many nonprofits in these pages—everything from home renovators to military working dogs to golf tournaments for cancer research ...

Leading by Example . . . ...

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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 ...

Back in the Saddle Again

In a time of cars and planes, cell phones and internet, how to explain to someone under fifty the wonder of the singing cowboy?   But sing they did, Gene and Roy sitting tall in the saddle resplendent in suits of white, strumming their guitars, as they sauntered off into the sunset.   My dad had all Gene’s 78’s, with their pops and crackles, the hiss of the needle dragging heavy over old vinyl. I found an old Victrola— the kind you wind up— to play his records on.   And though dad rode off long ago in his own blaze of glory, his records live on, Gene’s voice ringing through the hiss and static of years, reminder of a time when the good guy won every gunfight, always got the girl, and never missed a ...

Shek Vega and Nik Soupe – ...

“It went from running away from the police to shaking their hands and saying, ‘Thanks for watching our wall while we’re not here.’ Back in the day, we would see a building or a wall and call someone asking for permission to paint there. Now they’re calling us and asking us to do it. Hell, and commissioning us to do it!” Funny how life turns around sometimes, particularly when you’re a street artist who grew up doing something many people regarded as little more than vandalism. David (Shek) Vega, one of San Antonio’s best known urban artists, fondly recalls the marked differences between the San Antonio of his teenage years and today. “These days, Nik (artistic collaborator Nik Soupé) and I are free to create as much art ...

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 ...