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Thursday, March 31, 2005

The Alamo - 1917 vs. 2003

I have been here in Texas for going on 10 years and a lot of the state I really dig, and other parts of the state seem to be as much folklore and puton as some of the things we have going on in Georgia.

Case in point is the Alamo. Texans put so much stock into the battle at the little mission that you get a feeling that it is a bit of a put on. When you go to San Antonio there are a lot of references to the Alamo and the other missions in the area. The Alamo is downtown, but the mission itself and the surrounding grounds seem well tended and, while the entire area that was the battle ground is now taken over by the river walk and other buildings, you can get a bit of a feel for what the area was like.

But, as it turns out, all of this is a put on. I came across this archive of old Texas pictures, including this one of the Alamo in 1917:

I especially like the touch of the "Cafeteria" sign right behind the Alamo mission. To see how things are considerably different today, compare to this picture of myself with Art Snow in front of the Alamo in November 2003:

Perhaps the Texans just remembered their/our history a little late. Perhaps historical preservation is a normal good, one that is only feasible after sufficient economic growth has occurred and we have enough dough to throw towards remembering history. It is a good thing that the Alamo wasn't torn down long ago, although it is much smaller than you might imagine (if you haven't been there).

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