Looking back at past
I would like to share some thoughts regarding the recent controversy on the Commissioners Court.
What comes to my mind is an incident which happened to me in the mid-1950s. My family has had various businesses – one being a grocery store with the name of San Marcos Grocery.
All segments of the community bought groceries there. My father would drive to the San Antonio Produce at least twice a week to purchase fruit and vegetables. During the summer after my 3rd grade, I accompanied him to the produce market. To make the trip enjoyable for me he stopped at a cafe to buy me a doughnut and chocolate milk.
One trip made me realize the real world. At a small diner was in the Alamo Heights area of San Antonio, the waitress and cook/manager were standing next to the kitchen door. After waiting for several minutes for service my father called out to the waitress for service. The man proceeded to where we were seated and said, “We don’t serve Meskins here!” Hearing those words, I felt ice cold water run down my spine. I had never heard that word used to describe us. My father stood up and told me to stay sitting down as he stood up – turned and went to a table where a Mexican man and woman along with two children were sitting and told them what occurred and suggested they leave. When my dad returned, he told the manager, “If you ever come to San Marcos to the Arredondo Café, I will personally grab your collar and kick you out!” (Our family also owned a café and a truck stop). I have never forgotten that experience.
The recent actions by two members of the commissioners court remind me that much as things have changed, they are still the same. The public display of shaming an absent county employee who is Hispanic was uncalled for and the discussion should have taken place in executive session. The fact that the highest elected officer in the county is now a Hispanic is telling on the action by those same commissioners. This office which has been occupied for 176 years by an Anglo Saxon is now being attacked because a Hispanic occupies that seat of power. Shame on them! If the current court majority does not respect the voice of the Hispanic, they will receive a rude awaking when the majority changes!
Elected officials who are not professional will find an electorate that is fed up with their antics of racism.
America was founded by immigrants which built this country and this diversity has made us all stronger.
Careful of generalizations
The San Marcos Daily Record recently highlighted what our city has become — a “swamp” of suppressive politics that thwart beneficial progress for its citizens.
Mr. Arredondo’s “Voice of the ‘Hispanic’” has to realize his ethnic heritage as well as my own are NOT MONOLITHIC ENTITIES. Be careful with your generalizations.
As a young boy my family would travel from Elgin to San Antonio to visit relatives. I remember stopping at the Arredondo Cafe. The cafe was segregated. Our ambience was exceptionally poor and, most of all, the service was resoundingly perfunctory. The adults in our party endured those indignities because we children were hungry. It was after church, so we were in suits, Stacy Adams shoes, et cetera, appropriately dressed. There was no reason for us to be treated poorly.
Contrast this incident when my late father and his employer, a bank president and others, on their annual hunting trip to Uvalde, stopped to eat at a diner. Upon entering the establishment and sitting down, the proprietor stated, “We do not serve ‘niggers’ here.” My father without hesitation got up to leave. The bank president loudly exclaimed, “Sit down!” He left and went out to the Jeep, unpacked his 45, returned to the diner and shot it up. The members of the party then left, not hurriedly, and returned to their vehicles journeying to the deer lease. I remember my father recounting this incident to my mother when I was five years old. My parents never knew that I overheard them. Members of this hunting party, individually, years later told me of this incident. This occurrence was never talked about in a public forum because the bank president was a taciturn individual.
The next year, the bank president returned to the same diner with a party to eat. My father in trepidation explained “Mr. Brown (not his real name) I will wait out here,” electing to stay in the vehicle. Mr Brown in no uncertain terms said, “Get Out!”
They sat down at a table to eat. The same proprietor walked over and asked, addressing my father first, “Mr. Bryant, what will you have?” The meal proceeded without incident.
The “Hispanic Voice” in San Marcos, tolerated inequality for many years especially in its school district. Because of disparities, I ran and was elected to the school board.
Upon my election, a Hispanic husband and wife came to my home at 8:07 a.m. to INSTRUCT me on how to vote. “You just vote like he tells you. You will be alright.” This was my introduction to San Marcos politics.
If only the general public could hear what is said in “executive session.”
James Bryant Jr.
Loose cats and dogs
Sometimes letters get disjointed all by themselves.
Do the catch, neuter and release people know that cats are an invasive species?
Could be the reason for so many less birds and baby rabbits. They do a lot of damage to the environment.
Loose dogs do even more. Loose dogs ran my horse High Dollar into the water and drowned it.
They killed about 30 of my friend Alvin’s sheep one night. He went to his neighbor and told him ‘I think your dogs killed my sheep.’ Neighbor said, ‘they stay around my house all the time.’
The next night Alvin got his chair and shotgun and slept by the sheep pen. Near morning he awoke to a commotion, shot one of the dogs maybe coming out from under the fence. The next morning he took it to the neighbors. Later, neighbor brought him a $3,000 check. Loose dogs can get expensive.