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Friday, Aug. 28, 2015

Off to San Antonio

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Business called last week to San Antonio and so never having been there before my wife and I went a couple days early to see the sights. Right away we found a, sorta, Kennett connection. Leaving the lot at Hertz with our rental car the fellow checking us out made a comment about Kennett.

"Kennett," he said, "I haven't heard that in a long time. When I was in college I dated a girl from Kennett."

We asked her name, but he said it was only a few dates and he couldn't remember. I decided he was just pulling our leg because everyone knows the women from around here are quite unforgettable.

The conference was held at the Marriott Hill Country resort some 35 miles from downtown. Folks who had been to San Antonio said the thing to do was to head for the Riverwalk area. I also wanted to see The Alamo. Since both of those venues are in the downtown area we spent Saturday night there.

The Riverwalk is an interesting place; lots of restaurants, shops, mariachi bands, boat tours and interesting people.

The Alamo was worth the entire trip. Our visit coincided with the siege of The Alamo which took place from Feb. 23 -- Mar. 6, 1836.

Most of us have seen one of the movies made about the last stand at The Alamo with the church sitting out in the middle of the prairie surrounded by General Santa Ana. The prairie is gone; replaced by concrete. The Alamo is literally right in the center of downtown.

The tour was a moving experience as well. Sitting in what was described as the "Long Barrack" where several soldiers made their last stand. I remember him saying something like, "This was the third day of the siege. Here's what took place on this day..." describing how a messenger was dispatched on that day and telling us what the Mexican army was doing as well as fortifications taking place inside.

Of course it's commercialized now and while that may take away from part of the serenity and sanctity of the mission, I chalked that up to a necessary evil to keep a very important part of our history alive.

One afternoon of the conference myself and another Rust associate slipped out to visit the local newspaper office. As it turned out the San Antonio News-Express is one block from The Alamo. We came in the side entrance and had to wait for an escort upstairs. We walked into the lobby and the first thing I saw was a fellow that looked like he stood all the way to the top of the domed foyer.

I spoke, said "Hi." He did the same and asked something like "How are you doing?" It was one of those situations where two or three steps later it dawns on you who you just saw. We stepped on the elevator and I turned to the head of the newspaper's design team who was escorting us upstairs and said, "That looks like David Robinson."

"It is," she replied. "He's probably our most famous celebrity and is just a great guy. You're liable to see him anywhere around town."

Robinson retired after an all-star career (ten years) with the San Antonio Spurs during which time the team won two NBA championships, was recognized as league MVP and the list of honors just goes on. Robinson was the first pick in the 1987 draft out of the U.S. Naval Academy and at 7'1" earned the nickname "The Admiral."

If not for the fact I probably would have embarrassed my associate I would have gone back out of the elevator and had my picture taken with him. The guy looks like he could take the court today and he retired in 2003.

We were both surprised at how big San Antonio is, but it was still pretty easy to get around. It was a fun trip but a busy two days during the conference as well. I did manage to get in a round of golf with a group that included Ron Kemp from Rector. We played The Canyons course at the resort where the AT&T Champions Tour tournament is held. The other TPC course at the resort, The Oaks course is where the regular PGA event, the Valero Open will be played next month.

* * *

Missed her treat

I stopped in at Green Oil one afternoon last week to get some gas. At about the same time someone else stopped in for a little something else.

When I walked into the office Jules Mercier was standing in there and just outside the office sticking her head out of his car was Zoe Mercier who was looking for a treat. Seems Jody Green has adopted the pup to the point where regular visits have become the norm for Zoe's treat.

Unfortunately, on this day Jody had just cut out to run an errand or something and Zoe got no treat. Actually, it wasn't the first time the pup didn't get her treat because Jody was gone so it wasn't necessarily a big deal, although Zoe might disagree.

Then there was the time Zoe showed up and Jody was gone when Brad was eating a hamburger. Zoe was hanging her head out of the car looking intently at Brad eating his hamburger. Bad day for Zoe. No treat and she didn't get a bite of Brad's hamburger, either.

Bud Hunt is regional vice

president, publisher of the

Daily Dunklin Democrat, Daily Statesman, Delta News-Citizen, Missourian-News and

North Stoddard Countian.