An independent Texas was born, 176 years tomorrow

Known as Mission San Antonio de Valero when it was built nearly 300 years ago, the Alamo is none worse for the wear in 2012.

Tomorrow is Texas Independence Day. For those who were not born Texans or were naturalized as ones either, the idea of a state having its own independence day sounds like something those crazy, egotistical Texans would just dream up. You know, kind of like the jackalope?

Texas independence is not all Davy Crockett in coonskin caps or Jim Bowie and his big ol’ Bowie knife. Neither is it all just the Alamo. There is, of course, the victory at San Jacinto that made the Texians the victors of their revolution. Previous skirmishes and all-out deadly battles also happened in places such as Goliad and Anahuac and Nacogdoches. The explanation for the Texas Revolution is also not as simple as it has for years appeared as it was taught in history to hundreds of thousands of Texas kids. Who knows just how involved were their eastern neighbors in the United States in defeating Mexico, which led to the U.S. eventually becoming a transcontinental republic and many will argue an empire?

Still, the Alamo is the real shrine of Texas Independence. The scene of the great battle that took place there more than 175 years ago. Many who are from other states and other lands think of the Alamo when they think of Texas.

It just so happens that I was across the street from the Alamo on business yesterday and two days before Texas Independence Day. I can attest that the Alamo remains a beautiful old structure with its wonderful shaded landscape.

I don’t fully remember the first time I saw the Alamo. I remember I was with my two Navy friends Buffalo Bob and Bob Fro. This was in our nation’s bi-centennial year, 1976. We were on the Alamo Plaza watching some older Latino fellow making some kind of craft we were interested in, or at least Buffalo Bob or Bob Fro were interested in it. It’s all kind of a fog these days and might just have been back then. But my head almost took a spin that cool winter afternoon when from the portable radio Sr. Artesano had sitting nearby blared “Deep within my heart lies a melody, a song of old San Antone … ” Yes, it was the “San Antonio Rose,” the signature song of Western Swing king Bob Wills. Talk about your feeling you were in separate reality.

It doesn’t mean anything, or in the parlance of the late 60s or early 70s of the 20th century, “It don’t mean nothing.” Well, yes, it does mean a double negative. ‘Scuse my smart-ass remark.

Why I mentioned this all I don’t know. The picture of the beautiful old Spanish mission, none worse for the wear almost 300 years after it was built, that I was fortunate to take yesterday kind of says it all for me.

For the rest of you, here is wishing you a happy Texas Independence Day, March 2, 2012!

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