…when we’d walk from our house on Mission Street to St. Mary’s to catch the street car. That was the Hot Wells line which crossed over to Presa Street then ran south out to the Hot Wells Hotel. That was a very popular place years ago, up to the 20’s and 30’s – maybe even later. Many famous people went there to take the hot sulfur baths. Back then, St. Mary’s was called Garden Street. We’d also ride the streetcar on Mill Street which is now South Alamo.
…the ruckus that was caused in the neighborhood when the Father Hidalgo mural suddenly appeared in the early 1980’s without benefit of proper approval. It depicted Father Hidalgo leading the Diez y Seis de Septiembre revolt and was prominently displayed on the south wall of the old A&E Food market (now Tito’s) at the corner of South Alamo and Beauregard.
Originally painted as a backdrop for a Budweiser advertising poster, it showed, in vivid color, the Father literally ripping apart the chains of oppression. Some say that Walter Mathis, arbiter of neighborhood decorum, turned the color of plum jelly when he saw it.
It remained a controversial subject among several of the neighborhood folks for a long time but eventually the opposition either got used to it or lost the will to fight. It was still on the wall until about five or six years ago when new tenants decided to whitewash over it. By then, it had become such a neighborhood icon that many of us were bitterly disappointed to see it gone.
…when Bonham Elementary had only one large pecan tree and three bushes out front –the rest of the campus was asphalt and gravel.