Those San Antonio days
Watching the San Antonio Spurs give Team Lebron its lumps took me back in time. It was 27 years ago right now that I was moving from the Alamo City, having taken a new job in Denver. I remember some nice things about living down in Texas, which in recent times has seen its overall image taking a real beating with the help of lunkheads like Dubya, Rick Perry and the always lovely Louie Gohmert. Here are some of the things that come to mind about SA, as locals call it.
First, don't think of the place as some dry, dusty, cowboy town. Yeah, it's got its share of ranches and cowboys for sure, but the area itself is quite green and quite wet. In fact, it's pretty goddang handsome. It's one of the few places I've lived where people don't sweat the water supply, since it sits atop a gigantic aquifer. Situated just below the wondrous zone of Texas known as the Hill Country, SA gets a whole bunch of rain on an annual basis, often in the form of thunderstorms. And man, when you're talking about t-storms down there, you're talking about showtime. You get thunderstorms that make you pull off the road and wait it out. You get t-storms that make you crawl into a corner of your house and curl up in a fetal position. You get t-storms that will very likely force you to put your dog on Xanax. Those storms down there are capable of going on some serious rampages. They call 'em gully washers, sure. Also frog stranglers.
The wildflower action was nothing short of stupendous. In the spring, you got these displays of bluebonnets, which are huge, gorgeous lupine-like blossoms, that go on for acres and acres. It really is quite something. In a good, wet spring, driving around the back roads searching for eyeball-blasting floral displays was a terrific way to blow an afternoon. Another great way to blow an afternoon in the summer there was to float the rivers that flow out of the Hill Country down to the Gulf of Mexico. Rivers like the Guadalupe, the Frio, and yes, the Colorado. The other Colorado. I remember these rivers fondly; beautiful streams lined with impressive Texas live oaks and flowing through these limestone plateaus. When it's Texas hot, there's really no better place to be than on an inner tube with a cooler trailing behind, lazing down the river in simple, pleasant style. No rapids, no white water. Just aqua cruisin'.
The city is now the seventh largest city in the U.S. The racial makeup remains the same as '86, with San Antonio still being what we used to call Browntown. The Hispanic population is about 62 percent, with whites at 26 percent. One thing I thought I noticed: when whites are outnumbered, they tend to be much better behaved.
One thing I loved about SA was all the dang Taco Cabanas in town. This is a chain of Mexican fast food joints that also served Coronas. What a concept. Think of a Taco Bell with beer. And much better food. I loved Taco Cabana, and dined there frequently, like about eight times a week. The Alamo? Yahoo. A little fort in the middle of town where the Mexicans killed Davy Crockett. Or was it Daniel Boone? David Bowie? Anyway, get over it, already.