...Mission Street, when it was just a dusty dirt road with horses hitched to wagons passing up and down. That’s the way I remember it when I was growing up.
When our father bought our house at 422 Mission Street in 1908, it only had four rooms, two on either side of the hall. My sister and I were both born in this house; Mildred in 1911 then me in 1916. Our father eventually enlarged the house by adding a kitchen, bath and another bedroom but we still had the outhouse out back for many years. The only heat in the winter was from a big iron stove in the kitchen. I remember always having electricity but we kept the kerosene lamps out on the tables for years because electric service wasn’t very dependable.
Eddie and Elfreida Basse lived across the street. Eddie and his brother had a hardware store on Military Plaza across from City Hall.
…how O’Neil Ford loved his old vintage cars. One Sunday afternoon on our way home from church, we passed by O’Neil’s office on King William Street and there he was, polishing his 1923 Bentley. I’m nuts about vintage cars so I stopped to admire it. O’Neil held up the keys to the car and said, “Here, take it for a spin.” I was so taken aback that I declined and I’ve kicked myself ever since for not taking that Bentley around the block.
…in the 1980’s when the old Reilly House that was at 230 Madison Street burned to the ground, taking with it six elderly tenants. In the late 80’s, the house directly behind on South Alamo was turned around and moved to the vacant site on Madison to become the Brackenridge House B&B. When the house faced South Alamo, it could best be described as a flop house with residents sleeping on the porch and the front yard strewn with beer and whisky bottles.
…when Walter Mathis would drive around the neighborhood checking out the condition of the lawns. If your grass was getting a bit overgrown, he’d stop and tell you to take care of it.
…when Don Lee checked your tires, washed your windshield and filled your car with gas at the Gulf Station at the corner of King William and South St. Mary’s Street.