I should check with my erstwhile editors, but I think this is my last column as President. In September there will be new Board members and a new President. Early indications are that they will all be strong candidates who have already demonstrated a love for King William and devoted ample time volunteering for various tasks here.
Because of the lead-time necessary to meet press deadlines, I’m writing this column on July 6. Like everyone, I’ve returned to work after the midweek holiday a little more sun-burned and a little more fatigued, but much happier. I had a wonderful fourth on our stretch of the River in the annual King William Regatta, the all-for-fun canoe race that seems always to be a summer idyll. Spectators lining the banks and a picnic afterward. Thanks to Marita Emmet, the muse and steward of this wonderful occasion, the lucky participants can always count on the completely ad-hoc event coming off every year. Marita suffers from the curse of success: the event is so beloved by its participants that she can’t retire from organizing it. I don’t know how she feels about the labor, but I’m glad she does it. I know my holiday would be much poorer without it.
Since I moved here six years ago, I’ve never ceased to marvel at the regard and affection King William residents have for each other. Of course we have our disagreements and controversies, what village doesn’t? There is a sustaining sense of courtesy and decency that abides here, however. I hope it always will. Everyone seems willing to pitch in to help a neighbor in real need or distress, and people leading very busy lives quite sel essly devote many hours to volunteering for the benefit of the entire neighborhood. There are a few really special places in the U.S. that are like this, but they are, alas, far and few between.
I’ve been very glad to volunteer this year. It has been an extraordinary education for me (Running a Non-Profit 101) with very little time to work out a learning curve. I think next year will be an extraordinary one for King William. We are, like the canoes, on a completely even keel. We have an enviable record of financial stability, a stronger and better managed organization, and a future as the most desirable place in San Antonio to live a complete and fulfilling urban life. There will always be more to do, but what we have done as a group this year should be a matter of pride for everyone who has worked together to improve the Fair, finish the King William Park, bury utilities, revive the homes tour, create the new cultural arts district, and revamp our means of communication including the newly re-designed website.
I want to offer my most special thanks to Johnny Heidelberg, who was absolutely indispensable in making the year a success. Johnny spent far more hours at the King William office than I’m sure she thought she’d signed up for. Her determined and skillful application of her formidable organizational skills has made the organization function smoothly and dependably. We are lucky we have this kind of talent among us, and very fortunate that it is applied for our mutual benefit. Thank you all for the opportunity to serve. It has been a very fulfilling experience.