My favorite city in Texas is San Antonio, and I’m going there early Friday (July 30) morning for the Dallas Cowboys training camp.
Shawn Arnell, the radio host of Shawn and Wally, came up with the idea and it will also give me a chance to get at least a couple of columns on the Cowboys.
My second visit to San Antonio was when the Arkansas Razorbacks played in the Southwest Conference basketball tournament. In fact, the picture that is on the homepage of this blog, in front of the Alamo, was taken on that trip.
In the picture, from left to right, is me, Freddie (can’t remember his last name but he was a photographer for KTHV), Gary Hogan, Clay Carson and Barry Arthur.
Clay and Barry were photographers back then. Both are some sort of computer whizzes now with the Democrat-Gazette, although Barry still is over the photo department.
It was on that trip Clay and me discovered Mi Tierra, a Mexican restaurant in the Mexican Mercado, about 10 minutes from our hotel. The Razorbacks had lost to Texas earlier in the evening and we were out wandering around.
We ate, ordered more, ate that and then we discovered that between us we didn’t have enough to pay for the food and neither of us had a credit card (it was 1981 and I applied for my first card when we got back).
We seriously thought we were going to be washing dishes or would be arrested when in walked Gary and Freddie.
Gary said if we stayed he’d pick up the check, that he had a company credit card. Needless to say, we stayed and even made room for more guacamole nachos.
Clay found a pay phone (yes, there was a time before cell phones) and called Barry, who hopped a cab and met us at the restaurant.
Turned out Gary also had a rental car and after dinner, which he paid for, offered to drive us back to the hotel. By then it was past midnight. Mi Tierra is a 24-7 restaurant and bakery that was founded in 1941.
It is decorated 365 days a year with Christmas lights, and the food is absolutely incredible.
Anyways, we got turned around a couple of times and then saw the Alamo. Clay and Barry had cameras and tripods, they set them up and thus a picture of us in front of the Alamo at 1 a.m.
Since then San Antonio has become a huge tourist city. Home to a NBA team and a now popular area with restaurants and bars called the River Walk.
As I said, I discovered all of that on my second trip. The first was the day after I graduated from basic training at Lackland Air Force Base. They bused us down town, dropped us off in front of the USO with a list of places that were off limits, including the River Walk, which was dangerous back then.
By 1981 all the honky tonk bars and tattoo parlors were gone and San Antonio has continued to grow and prosper, but one thing has remained constant for the 40 years since my first visit, Mi Tierra and I’ll eat there every day if I can.You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.