….the house that is now the King William Manor [formerly the Columns B&B] on S. Alamo, until sometime in the late 1990’s was a used book store. The house next door, now nicely restored, had a concrete block addition on the front which housed an auto parts store. A fledgling theatre group eventually took over the space in the late 90’s calling themselves Jump Start Theatre. Now, of course, they are a well established and respected performance company located at Blue Star.
.…Joan and I have lived in King William since 1976 and we’ve never felt threatened or bothered in the least by problems that seem to face many inner city neighborhoods. But then, we were not here in the bad old days when this was essentially a red light district and crime was more of a problem.
John Larcade and I did take a walk through the Madison Apts. in the late 1970’s and actually saw residents shooting up in the hallway and in one of the rooms where the door had been left open. We reported this to the police and learned shortly thereafter that the chief of police actually owned the apartments at that time.
Thanks to the vigilance and hard work of fellow residents and Walter Mathis’ leadership, the police agreed to patrol regularly. Soon thereafter, the ownership of the Madison Apts. changed hands and things began to get better.
Our biggest problem today is the spin-off from first Friday and the trash left over from the Fair. No big deal compared to what this neighborhood was like thirty-five years ago.
….when China Latina on S. Alamo was Rosario’s or even earlier when it was a car repair shop. I took Maggie Egan to lunch there one day soon after Rosario’s opened and she laughed when she saw that our table was sitting right where the old car lift used to be. When it was a garage, she said it was a constant irritant to the neighbors because, with no off-street parking, they parked cars two deep out front making it impossible to walk on the sidewalk.
.…when looking up at the second floor of an adjoining house was an adventure. Madeline Guyer saw a woman pour out the evening’s cooking grease and Margaret Larcade saw a man answer the call of nature.