I have a favorite country and western song that goes by the title of “How can I miss you (if you won’t go away?).”
Well, here I am again after my supposed farewell column in the August newsletter. Our loyal newsletter staff informs me that owing to the editorial calendar, which requires me to submit the text for the September newsletter no later than August 15, I still have plenty of time to contribute one more column. At the end of this column you will see the number -30-. The explanation for that, in case you missed out on the era of green eye-shade journalism, is that it is traditional for columnists to exit the scene with this number as a sign-off at the end of their final opus. Journalists are divided on the origin of this practice, since most articles in the days of letterpress journalism were ended with this number. The origin is thought to have been from the first telegraphed dispatches which always ended with -30-, which is Morse code for “the end” or “finished.”
While the 2011-2012 KWA Presidency is definitely at an end, we are far from “finished” with a number of initiatives. We are going to see a great deal of construction in our midst very soon, as South Alamo undergoes a major make-over, complete with drainage and sewer improvements. This may have the ironic by-product of displacing First Friday for a time, trading one King William existential challenge for another. The City of San Antonio is initiating a broadly scaled planning scheme for the Lone Star Neighborhood, roughly surrounding us on the near west and south sides. The impetus for this effort is part of the City’s current policy to bring more housing and mixed use projects close to downtown. The South Alamo project will prove problematic for many of us, including our neighbors in the Cevallos Lofts and other Southtown dwellings who will find the commute very uncongenial. We all know the longterm benefits will outweigh the short-term aggravation, but still, one has to live with it.
Longer-term developments around us demand more continuity in our dealing with them. This is the principal reason we have finally created a position for an Executive Director, so that things don’t slip between the fissures of change as our KWA officers rotate in and out of the organization. Institutional memory is a fine thing, but only if the individuals who remember are constantly available for consultation, rather a lot to ask of even the most dedicated volunteers. I feel humbled by the dedication and labor supplied by our Board, our Fair volunteers, our newsletter staff, the King William office staff, and all the other volunteers who help to make this neighborhood an urban oasis. Now that I’ve lived here for six years, I really can’t imagine wanting to be anyplace else. -30-