Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Everything You've Ever Wanted to Know About San Antonio's Ghost Crossing


UPDATE:  In October of 2018. Union Pacific Railroad upgraded the tracks and eliminated the grading that allowed your car to roll over the tracks.  The Ghost Crossing Phenomena was eliminated.  The following post was first published in 2013 and frequently updated.



For years, San Antonio teenagers have headed to the south side to experience the "Ghost Crossing." Local legend states that a school bus stalled on the tracks and was hit by a train at this crossing. Today if you leave your car in neutral, the ghost of those school children will push you across the tracks to safely.

Where: The crossing is on Shane Road where it intersects with the Southern Pacific Rail Line. Take Presa south off SE Military Drive. Turn right on Southton Road, travel under Loop 410 and right again on Shane Road. Continue to the train tracks.




What to do next: Turn off your engine. Put your car in neutral. Your car will mysteriously start to roll from a dead stop over the tracks.

Scary Scooby Doo Stuff:  After your car is pushed over the tracks, take some baby powder and dust the back of your car. You will find finger prints of the ghosts that pushed your car across the tracks.

Reality Check: Chances are pretty high that those fingerprints are yours, from the last time you got into your car's truck, unless of course, you wipe your trunk of fingerprints every time you access your hatchback.

More Scary Stuff: The subdivision nearby has streets named after the children who died at the tracks.

Reality Check: The streets are named after children. However, Bobbie Allen, Cindy Sue, Laura Lee, Nancy Carroll and Richey Otis are actually the names of the developer's grandchildren.

Even More Scary Stuff: If you listen closely, you can hear the cries of the ghost children in the distance.

Reality Check: There is a nearby farm, which has peacocks. The haunting noise you hear is actually the cries of the peacocks.

History of the Ghost Crossing: There is no record of a bus accident at the rail crossing. The story of the Ghost Crossing goes back many years. At one time, there was a version that a horse drawn cart was caught on the tracks.
There was a school bus that was caught on tracks in Salt Lake City in 1938. Twenty six children lost their lives in the accident, and the story was front page news across the nation.  Today it is law that school buses must stop at rail crossings and look for trains before crossing the tracks.

Reality Check: The Ghost Crossing - A Scientific Explanation: The Ghost Crossing is an optical illusion. The road is actually at a slight decline which causes your car to roll over the track. However, the horizon gives the impression that the car is actually being pushed uphill.

Similar Legends: Gravity Road in New Jersey is quite similar to the Ghost Crossing. Notice how close that legend parallels the San Antonio tale

The Ghost Crossing has received interest from a number of Television shows. Here is an excellent clip from one national broadcast which debunks the local legend.


                            


Enjoy My Blog? You might also enjoy my book, The Travis Club


Intrigue + Mystery + Romance + San Antonio

"What a surprise! . . .a page-turner . . . extremely well-written and well researched. . . I highly recommend this book to all mystery lovers . . . a great read. . . couldn't wait to find out what would happen next . . . I love a book you can't put down, and this certainly fit the bill . . . very engaging . . .  I really couldn't stop reading it . . . a fantastic and completely believable story"

                                                       Reviews From Amazon.com Readers






       

11 Scary San Antonio Ghost Stories

Every town has tales of spirits that inhabit the area, and San Antonio, Texas is no exception. Here are eleven of the city’s most popular poltergeists.
ONE: The Ghost Crossing
Perhaps the most popular tale, the ghost crossing has enticed thousands of San Antonians to trek out to an obscure southeast railroad crossing to participate in an eerie phenomenon. The ghost crossing is on Shane Road, where it intersects with the Southern Pacific rail line. According to the legend, a school bus full of kids stalled on the tracks and was hit by a train. Today if a motorist stops before the tracks and places the car in neutral, the ghosts of those children will push the vehicle over the tracks. To visit the crossing, take Presa south off SE Military Drive. Turn right on Southton Road, then right again on Shane. Turn off your engine and give it a try. If you’re brave, visit the crossing at night. You will be amazed when your car mysteriously moves across the tracks. Is it an optical illusion? Are you really moving downhill? Or is your car being pushed across by ghosts? Part of this ghostly tale is that the nearby subdivision has streets named for the children who perished in the supposed accident. Actually they are simply the names of the neighborhood developer’s grandchildren.
TWO: The Ghostly Nuns
The basement of Santa Rosa Hospital is said to be the haunting grounds for these spectral beings. The ghosts are believed to be the spirits of five nuns who died on October 30, 1912, after trying to rescue children from a burning orphanage. The
wooden building of the St. John’s Orphan Asylum, which went up in flames that night, was located across from the hospital at the corner of Houston and San Saba Streets.
THREE: The Menger Ghost
Said to haunt the old portion of the Menger Hotel, Sallie White was a hotel chambermaid who was murdered by her husband. This poltergeist is rather stubborn, appearing only when she pleases.
FOUR: The Alamo Ghosts
Many guests who have stayed at the Menger Hotel in rooms that overlook the Alamo have said that they have spotted the ghosts of the Alamo defenders. Legend states that General Andrade of the Mexican army planned to destroy the Alamo after the Battle of San Jacinto. But when he ordered his troops to do so, the ghosts of Travis, Bowie, and the others appeared with flaming swords, screaming, “Do not touch these walls!” On Nacogdoches near Loop 1604 sits a stone tower atop a hill. It is said that this tower is also haunted by ghosts from the Alamo days. Lights are often seen at the tower at night, and many believe that the tower was a lookout post for the Alamo and that the lights belong to the spirits of the sentry.
FIVE: The Dancing Diablo
The site for this terrible tale is the El Camaroncito Nite Club, located at 411 W. Old Highway 90. It’s said that in the 1970s a debonair patron was dancing with many different women one evening, and at some point, one lady looked down and noticed that the dapper dancer had the feet of a chicken. This is of course the sign of the devil, so the woman screamed, and El Diablo ran from the club. El Camaroncito Nite Club is now closed, but the chicken-footed dancer has been reported at other establishments throughout the years.
SIX: The Ghosts of Milam Square
Few people realize that the public park between Santa Rosa Hospital and El Mercado was once a cemetery for the Canary Islanders. It is said that if you pass through the square with evil thoughts, you will be visited by spirits.
SEVEN: The Converse Wolfman
Set many years ago in the area of Skull Creek near FM 1518, the legend tells of a thirteen-year-old boy, who spent most of his time reading. The father thought the boy was too much of a bookworm, so he bought him a rifle, thinking that by forcing
the child to go hunting, he could reform him. After his first day out with the gun, the boy came home and told his parents of a wolfman-type creature in the woods. The father, not believing the boy, told him to go out and not to return until he had killed something. When the young hunter did not come home, a search party was organized. At the creek, the boy was found dead, and the wolfman was feasting on his body. The wolfman supposedly returns to the creek during full moons, and when he does, the water in the creek turns blood red.
EIGHT: The Donkey Lady
Also called La Llorona, the donkey lady was a beautiful poor girl who fell in love with a rich aristocrat. Because they were of different classes, they were forbidden to marry. The young lady thus became the man’s mistress and bore him several children. Some versions say she drowned the children because she was poor and could not afford to keep them. Others say she drowned them because she was evil.
Regardless, because of her awful actions, she was condemned for eternity to be a ghost with a donkey’s head on her beautiful body. La Llorona has been reported on Applewhite Road near Zarzamora and at the intersection of Blanco and Lockhill-
Selma. She also has been spotted by teenagers who go to Espada Park to neck. The legend is often told by superstitious parents to warn their children of the ghost that haunts youngsters who play near forbidden waters.
NINE: The Navarro House Ghost
This downtown landmark is the former home of José Antonio Navarro, signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence. Believers in the paranormal have heard footsteps and spotted furniture that has been moved under mysterious circumstances. Some say the ghost is the home’s namesake; others say it is a slain prostitute, a murdered bartender, or a Confederate deserter.
TEN: The Seven-foot Chinese Woman
This large Asian ghost haunts an old cemetery near Stinson Field. One version of the tale claims the seven-foot-tall local woman killed herself because her Chinese contemporaries ridiculed her for being so tall. Some say she died in a fire. The
same area is said to be haunted by a bearded lady as well.
ELEVEN: Midget Mansion
This legend was fueled by the overactive imaginations of teenagers who attended Marshall and Clark high schools. For years, students went after dark to an old abandoned home situated between Datapoint Drive and Medical Drive near the Medical Center to tell the story of a mansion run by evil midgets.


Enjoy My Blog?  Check out my books,

San Antonio Uncovered - The Book



Available on Amazon.comBarnesAndNoble.com, Apple iBooks


"This detailed book is at once a tourist's friend and a native's reference. Rybczyk says it was written for the curious native (whatever that is) and secondly for the newly arrived who may wonder "What's so special about San Antonio?" Notice who it was written for first.
Every landmark, legend and myth of San Antonio is here - from the ugliest statue to the histories of the railroad stations. It's a smorgasbord of overlooked and under-appreciated jewels from all over the city. The obligatory shrines and sites are here too - every one of them. Throughout the book's pages Mark employs the rarest type of humor - humor with genuine affection.
Mark corrects the old saw that said San Antonio is "a small town wanting to be a big city." It is, as he says, "A big town that desperately wants to be a small town." With this book as your guide, it's almost as though San Antonio gets its wish."

John  Troessler   Texas Escape






The Travis Club

Intrigue + Mystery + Romance + San Antonio


"What a surprise! . . .a page-turner . . . extremely well-written and well researched. . . I highly recommend this book to all mystery lovers . . . a great read. . . couldn't wait to find out what would happen next . . . I love a book you can't put down, and this certainly fit the bill . . . very engaging . . .  I really couldn't stop reading it . . . a fantastic and completely believable story"


                                                       Reviews From Amazon.com Readers



Monday, July 9, 2018

Was Ozzy Osbourne Arrested For Peeing on the Alamo?

   This is one of the top questions asked of the curators of the Alamo: Was Rock Star Ozzy Osbourne arrested for peeing on the Alamo?  Like any story, there are some facts that are mixed with myth and hype to create a wonderful tale.

   The facts:  On February 19, 1982, prior to a concert in San Antonio, Ozzy Osbourne stopped to urinate on his way back to his hotel room after some extensive partying. Unfortunately, for Ozzy, he stopped to pee in Alamo Plaza on the Cenotaph. The Cenotaph is a monument erected in 1939 to honor those who died in the Battle of the Alamo.

 
Where Ozzy Osbourne Actually Peed. The Alamo Cenotaph

    Not that urinating on a War Memorial is much better than the Alamo itself.  It just makes for a different headline. Even his son Jack admits as much in this podcast interview on the subject




   The Rock Star was arrested for Public Intoxication and released on a $40 bond in time to play his show. However, he was banned from ever performing in San Antonio again. The incident unleashed the incorrect story that Ozzy had been arrested for peeing on the actually Alamo, the shrine of Texas Liberty.

   Over the years, the legend has grown despite the fact that 10 years after the event, Ozzy made a $10,000 donation to the caretakers of the Alamo (the Daughter of the Texas Republic) and made an official apology.  The ban was lifted after the apology and he was allowed to play two show at the Freeman Coliseum


"We all have done things in our lives that we regret. I am deeply honored that the people of San Antonio have found it in their hearts to have me back. I hope that this donation will show that I have grown up.”     Ozzy Osbourne  1992


   In 2015,  Ozzy revisited the Alamo for a show on the History Channel and apologized once again for his transgression.

      

Friday, May 25, 2018

Gutzon Borglum and Mount Rushmore - The San Antonio Connection





One of the most intriguing artists to pass through San Antonio was noted sculptor Gutzon Borglum. Borglum came to the city in 1925 to create a memorial for the Trail Drivers Museum. He immediately won the respect of the people of Texas, who treated him as the ultimate celebrity when he toured the state with a model of his creation. Borglum stayed in the city for many years, working out of a studio in Brackenridge Park. The studio, a former water works facility, was modified by the artist and was the site of some of his most famous creations. It was here that Borglum created his famous statue of Woodrow Wilson for the Polish government.
Borglum was a man of many contradictions. He was an avowed anti-Semite, and often spoke about the "Jewish Problem." Often he preached against the so-called Jewish Establishment and their control of the banking industry. However, many of his patrons, financial backers, and close friends were Jewish. Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, like many of his contemporaries, accepted the self-proclaimed anti-Semite as a valued friend who was uncompromising in his beliefs. When Hitler began carrying out a plan to exterminate Jewish citizens, Borglum, the man of many contradictions, became an outspoken opponent of the Führer. When Hitler invaded Poland, one of his first acts was to destroy Borglum's statue of Woodrow Wilson.
The artist took an active role in the politics of the day. He allowed Czechoslovakian rebels to train on his Connecticut estate during World War I. He investigated the aircraft industry for corruption during the First World War. He was an advisor to presidents and chiefs of state. He became a powerful member of the Ku Klux Klan in a time when the racist organization was trying to mainstream their cause.


When Borglum arrived in San Antonio, he had just been fired by the group who had commissioned him to create a monument in Stone Mountain, Georgia, honoring Confederate heroes. He left Georgia a fugitive for destroying a vital model of the uncompleted sculpture. In San Antonio, he quickly set up shop at Brackenridge Park in his Mill Race Studio. After the creation of the Trail Drivers monument, he left for South Dakota to create his most famous work, a giant carving of four ex-presidents on Mount Rushmore. It was in his Brackenridge Park studio that Borglum designed his greatest work of art. 
Borglum left a large legacy. His art is displayed in the White House, the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, in Los Angeles, Detroit, Newark, Chicago, and San Antonio. He designed the flame in the Statue of Liberty's torch. He was the head of the Texas Beautification Plan and proposed ideas, such as a Corpus Christi waterfront, that were years ahead of their time.    As for San Antonio, his contributions to the city are mostly forgotten. Throughout the carving of Mount Rushmore, he wintered in San Antonio while working on his other commissions. He left for California in the 1930s after losing out on the Alamo Cenotaph commission.

His studio was turned over to the San Antonio Art League, who used it for young artists for many years. Some of his greatest pieces were created there. After many years, the building was abandoned. It sat in quiet ruins for many years, adjacent to the Brackenridge Golf Course parking lot.  It was renovated a few years ago and is now available for for events. 


Sunday, April 8, 2018

Seven Ways HemisFair Changed San Antonio Forever


“Until Hemisfair, we were a good city, a quiet city, with not much vision or thrust for the future”
 William Sinkin   First President of HemisFair ’68


    50 years ago, in 1968, San Antonio hosted the World’s Fair, dubbed HemisFair 68. The site of the fair is now HemisFair Park in downtown on the corner of Alamo St, Market St and Cesar Chavez Blvd, marked by the Convention Center and the Tower of the Americas, both constructed for the event.
   While the city has discussed numerous proposals for the site over the past 50 years, one thing cannot be denied, HemisFair forever changed the path of the city. 


Post Card from Opening day of the Fair

1. It moved San Antonio into the ranks of America’s top cities.

   In 1920, San Antonio was the largest city in Texas. But after the depression, the city hit a prolonged period of stagnant growth. In the 1950s, while the rest of the nation was basking in the glow of post war growth, San Antonio slowly settled behind Dallas and Houston in population. Worse yet, a walk thru downtown San Antonio in the early 1960s, looked much like 1930s San Antonio. 
   The idea behind HemisFair was to kick start the city’s growth and propel the city out of its economic slumber. 
   Perhaps the most telling story of the city’s malaise is told by Red McCombs, who served on the fair’s executive committee. He was in charge of getting major companies to sponsor and build pavilions for the fair. They needed twenty to have the fair certified but could only sign 3. According to McCombs, the biggest problem was that “major corporations in 1966 thought of San Antonio as being something maybe like Laredo or maybe like Abilene.”
   With personal appeals from President Lyndon Johnson, HemisFair was able to secure enough corporate partners to have the fair certified.
   Today, San Antonio has over a 1.4 million people and is the 7th largest city in the US and the second largest in Texas.  


Post Card showing the RiverWalk extension into HemisFair and the then named HemisFair Theatre.  Renamed the Lila Cockerel Theatre, it still stands today as part of the Convention Center 

2. It saved the River Walk.

    In 1960, the River Walk was quite different that it is today. The beautiful Venice like attraction that architect Robert Hugman envisioned during the 1930s was built by the WPA, but it became anything but an attraction. Most buildings used the River Walk as an alley, storing trash. Casa Rio was the only restaurant on the river and most thought the owner was crazy to open there. The River Walk was so rough that the military had made it off limits to military personal.
Part of the HemisFair plan was to extend the River Walk into the fairground, stopping in front of the Lila Cockrell theatre and what is now Convention Center. That extension along with over 6 million Hemisfair visitors helped remake the image of the River Walk.
Today, the River Walk is the second most popular tourist destination in Texas.


Post Card from the Fair



3. It made San Antonio into a tourist destination.

   From the start of the Depression until the mid-1960s not a single new hotel was built in San Antonio. When San Antonio was awarded the fair, it set off a slew of hotel construction, including the Hilton Palacio Del Rio and the conversion of St. Mary’s College old downtown campus into La Mansion.  Millions streamed into the city to experience that fair and discovered San Antonio for the first time, making into a tourist destination for the first time. 
   Today, San Antonio host 7 million visitors annually and has the state’s top tourist attraction, the Alamo. 

Post Card depicting the The USA Pavilion for HemisFair. Today it is the Judge John Wood Courthouse 

4. It gave the city a convention center.

   When designing the fair, Congressman Henry B. Gonzales made sure that federal urban renewal funds used for the fair included permanent buildings that could be used after HemisFair closed. The HemisFair Exhibit Hall became San Antonio’s first Convention Center. Attached to the Exhibit Hall was the HemisFair Arena, which later attracted San Antonio’s first major league team, the Spurs. 
   The Convention Center has been expanded many times and the Arena has been replaced by more meeting space, but the HemisFair Theatre remains, now named the Lila Cockrell Theatre, after the city’s first female mayor. If you look above the west facade of the theatre, you can see on original HemisFair mural, “Confluence of Civilizations in the Americas by Mexican artist Juan O’Gourman.
   Today, the Convention Center is one of the 15 largest in the US, hosting 300 events a year with over 750,000 annual delegates. 


Post Card depicting the Tower of the Americas


5. It transformed our skyline.

   By far, the most recognizable structure in the city’s skyline is the Tower of the Americas. Designed by O’Neil Ford, the tower was the centerpiece of the fair. The tophouse was actually built on the ground and raised on the shaft.  The raising of the top house to its final resting stop became a bit of a civic event.
    The observation deck and the revolving restaurant are still popular San Antonio attractions. Sadly, after the tower was opened and became the city’s tallest structure, the observation deck atop the 1929 Tower Life Building closed to the public. 
 Today, at 750 Feet, the Tower of the Americas is still the largest structure in San Antonio. It is 145 feet taller than Seattle’s Space Needle and 187 Feet taller than Dallas’ Reunion Tower.  


Post Card depicting the nation of Mexico's Pavilion for Hemisfair. The pavilion is used today as  Universidad Nacional Autonoma De Mexico - San Antonio Campus and the Mexican Cultural Institute

6. It changed the political landscape.

  The city’s political landscape in the 1960’s was mainly run by white businessmen. But the undertaking of a World’s Fair took efforts from the entire community and opened the doors of political opportunity.
   1968 was a tumultuous year in the US for race relations. In San Antonio, city leaders knew it would be disastrous to invite people from all over the world, of a myriad of ethnicities, to the city only to have them denied entrance to restaurants and hotels. They made sure San Antonio became an open city. It was one of the few places in the US to escape the violence of 1968.
    
   “Until HemisFair came along, Jessica and I didn’t know a single Latino in San Antonio. HemisFair changed all that”

Henry E. Catto Jr.   San Antonian and Former Ambassador to Great Britain




Post Card depicting one of the original buildings in the neighborhood where HemisFair was built. Originally it was the Schultze Store. For the Fair it was used as the Humble Oil Pavilion. The building still stands today on the West Entrance to the park

7. It wiped a Polish neighborhood off the map.

   HemisFair ’68 was built on a 92 acre site that was home to one of San Antonio’s oldest neighborhoods. The demolition over 100 buildings including St. Michaels Church, the United State’s third oldest Polish Catholic church, was not without controversy. The San Antonio Conservation Society submitted a proposal to save 129 historic structures, some dating back to the 1800s, and have them incorporated into the fair. In the end, only 24 structures were saved, many which are still in the park.


    Today, there is a proposal to once again redevelop the HemisFair site to include apartments and town homes, recreating the downtown neighborhood. 

    Visit the old neighborhood here in this photo montage 


St. Michaels Catholic Church - one of just many buildings torn down for Hemisfair






Enjoy My Blog?  Check out my book,

The Travis Club

Intrigue + Mystery + Romance + San Antonio





"What a surprise! . . .a page-turner . . . extremely well-written and well researched. . . I highly recommend this book to all mystery lovers . . . a great read. . . couldn't wait to find out what would happen next . . . I love a book you can't put down, and this certainly fit the bill . . . very engaging . . .  I really couldn't stop reading it . . . a fantastic and completely believable story"

                                                       Reviews From Amazon.com Readers




Friday, March 23, 2018

Yes, Santa Anna Did Invent Chewing Gum


   Yes, that Santa Anna. Battle of the Alamo Santa Anna.  His time in San Antonio is well documented. What is lesser known is his role in the invention of chewing gum. 
After his surrender in San Jacinto, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna lived in a variety of place including Cuba and Staten Island, New York.
According to the well-researched book, Chicle, The Chewing Gum of the Americas, From the Ancient Maya to William Wrigley by Jennifer P. Mathews, Santa Anna was trying to find a way to fund a return to the presidency of Mexico while living in New York.  Santa Anna had a supply of chicle from Vera Cruz that he chewed for pleasure.  Chicle is produced by the sapodilla tree and used for decades by indians as a chewable snack. With the assistance of amateur inventor Thomas Adams, Santa Anna tried to create a valuable substitute for rubber using chicle. 

   When their attempt at fortune failed, Santa Anna returned to Mexico, penniless. Adams, left with a large supply of chicle, cut it into bight size pieces and sold it as candy. Adams called his treat, Chicklets and eventually made his fortune. The rest is history.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

The First Movie to Win the Oscar is . . . from San Antonio




The first movie to win the Oscar for Best Picture has its roots in the Alamo City. The silent World War I epic Wings was filmed in San Antonio, using its many military facilities as backdrops. Kelly and Brooks Fields were used as cadet training sites. The Ft. Sam Houston gate near the Quadrangle was used in the opening shot, and Camp Stanley acted as St. Mihiel, France, where the 2nd Infantry fought.
The film premiered in San Antonio on May 19, 1927, at the Texas Theatre. Proceeds from the event ($5,500) were given to a memorial fund for the 2nd Infantry Division, which lost 25,000 troops in World War I. Actors Buddy Rogers, Clara Bow, Richard Arlen, and Jobyna Ralston attended the premier of their film, as did many actors from the movie Rough Riders, which was filming in San Antonio at the time.

The Texas Theatre, in it's former glory before it was partially torn down. Only the facade exists today on Houston Street. 

The movie also features the screen debut of Gary Cooper who was on screen for a total of 102 seconds. Cooper received such a reaction from fans who wrote the studio asking about the tall actor that his fate as a star was born.


Gary Cooper (right) making his acting debut

The premiere ended on a spectacular note, when moviegoers left the theatre and were greeted by newsboys who were selling papers announcing that former Brooks Field Cadet Charles Lindbergh was preparing to leave for Paris on his solo transatlantic flight.


View The Trailer

         

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Teddy Roosevelt and the Roughriders in San Antonio






  Teddy Roosevelt was the assistant secretary of the navy when he first thought to form a cavalry regiment of Wild West types to fight the Spaniards in Cuba. The "Rough Riders" ended up being a mix of westerners and East Coast Ivy Leaguers. Some of the frontiersman included "Rocky Mountain Bill," "Rattlesnake Pete," "Lariat Ned," and "Bronco George," a man who had already downed five men. The westerners drew less attention than the nattily dressed, refined East Coast college educated men, who stood out in roughshod San Antonio.


Contrary to popular belief, Roosevelt was not the commanding officer of the Rough Riders. Feeling that he lacked enough military experience, the assistant secretary chose Colonel Leonard Wood, who had seen action in the Indian campaigns, as the head man. Roosevelt became a lieutenant colonel under Wood. Roosevelt arrived on May 15, 1898, and recruited members for his crew from the lobby of the Menger Hotel. The bar at the hotel was the site of many impassioned speeches by the future president. The Menger Bar is still intact and has been renamed the Roosevelt Bar.

Plaque outside the Mender Hotel Bar where Teddy Roosevelt recruited Rough Riders.  The Bar was later renamed the Roosevelt Bar and looks the same today as it did when Roosevelt visited. 



The First United States Volunteer Cavalry trained on the site of Riverside Golf Course, near the water hazard on the sixteenth hole. On May 30, 1898, the volunteer cavalry left by train for Florida, then they went on to Cuba. The Rough Riders suffered many casualties, due to both war and disease. After three months, the Rough Riders were disbanded. Lt. Colonel Roosevelt went on to bigger and better endeavors.





Enjoy My Blog? You might also enjoy my books, 



The Book that Inspired the Blog, now in its 3rd Edition

I LOVE this book . . . Has a lot of great stories from the best city in the world!! . . . Wonderful and surprising facts . . . Thought you knew this city? Better read this . .  . 
Great for natives and transplants like me.



The Travis Club


Intrigue + Mystery + Romance + San Antonio

"What a surprise! . . .a page-turner . . . extremely well-written and well researched. . . I highly recommend this book to all mystery lovers . . . a great read. . . couldn't wait to find out what would happen next . . . I love a book you can't put down, and this certainly fit the bill . . . very engaging . . .  I really couldn't stop reading it . . . a fantastic and completely believable story"

                                                       Reviews From Amazon.com Readers




Wednesday, July 12, 2017

How San Antonio Got The Spurs



In 1967, the Dallas Chaparrals where one of the founding teams on the upstart American Basketball Association. The team had never drawn well, averaging less than 3,000 fans a night. By 1973, the owners were desperately looking for a buyer.
Without a single offer, the Chaparrals turned to San Antonians Red McCombs and Angelo Drossos. They offered them one of the most unique deals in all of sports. The leased the team to San Antonio for two years. At the end on two years, they could own the team outright for two payments of $800,000.
   The team, renamed the Spurs, had its own attendance woes. It didn’t improve in San Antonio until the Spurs bought the contract of a skinny young player named George Gervin. With Gervin, the team quickly improved and attendance rocketed by the middle of the first season. 



   Drossos then contacted the Dallas owners with a bit of a bluff. He told them he had run out of capital and they could have the team back. The last thing they want was the team back because they’d have to find a new buyer. They struck a new deal. San Antonio could have the entire team immediately for one payment of $800,000.
        In 1976, the Spurs along with 3 other ABA teams were absorbed by the NBA. 


   In 2014 the Spurs won their 5th Championship. The average value of a NBA franchise is now at $630 Million. 



The original inside of Hemisfair Arena, before the roof was literally raised to add an upper deck

The roof being raised on Hemisfair Arena to add an upper deck


The NBA's Spurs 'Bruise Brother's' Poster from 1980


Enjoy My Blog?  Check out my books,

San Antonio Uncovered - The Book






Click on Cover to Order


"This detailed book is at once a tourist's friend and a native's reference. Rybczyk says it was written for the curious native (whatever that is) and secondly for the newly arrived who may wonder "What's so special about San Antonio?" Notice who it was written for first.
Every landmark, legend and myth of San Antonio is here - from the ugliest statue to the histories of the railroad stations. It's a smorgasbord of overlooked and under-appreciated jewels from all over the city. The obligatory shrines and sites are here too - every one of them. Throughout the book's pages Mark employs the rarest type of humor - humor with genuine affection.
Mark corrects the old saw that said San Antonio is "a small town wanting to be a big city." It is, as he says, "A big town that desperately wants to be a small town." With this book as your guide, it's almost as though San Antonio gets its wish."

John  Troessler   Texas Escape






The Travis Club

Intrigue + Mystery + Romance + San Antonio


"What a surprise! . . .a page-turner . . . extremely well-written and well researched. . . I highly recommend this book to all mystery lovers . . . a great read. . . couldn't wait to find out what would happen next . . . I love a book you can't put down, and this certainly fit the bill . . . very engaging . . .  I really couldn't stop reading it . . . a fantastic and completely believable story"


                                                       Reviews From Amazon Reader    



Click on Cover to Order