Already over! It is jarring to see all the ads and banners for back to school shopping. Summer vacation is shorter that what we knew. As a kid, it seems like the summer was endless, long days spent playing outside and drinking out of the hydrant when we were thirsty. Then it was the sudden realization that the “summer project” had not been started, and the last week before going back to grade school was spent spatter painting, or pressing leaves, or whatever our mother’s dreamed up for our project.
Trivia you don’t need: In 1915, the mile was run by a male in 4:12 ¾ minutes. In our year of 1954, Roger Bannister of Australia broke the 4 minute mark. Today the world record for running the mile is 3:43:13 minutes, held by a Morrocan. The world’s record for women is held by a Russian at 4:12:56 minutes.
Sad news: It is never a happy moment to pass along sad news. Those of you at the reunion may recall Beth Wilcox, having a grand time. Or you may be one of the people she called several times about the reunion. Beth has had a severe health reversal in the weeks following the reunion. I learned last night that Beth was diagnosed with leukemia (terminal) a few weeks back and has since had a massive stroke. She has been moved to Methodist City Hospital Patient Hospice in Houston.
You all may or may not know that Beth earned her livelihood as an artist. She signed her work Lizabeth, and her oils were quite good. She also was successful hand-painting tee shirts. She painted the one she is wearing in the photo above.
The cost of gas—I filled my gas tank this morning and the cost per gallon was down from $3.39 per gallon to $3.17! Wow, what a great price! Then I remembered that a gallon in 1954 cost 22 cents. My senior year at Texas I took the old family Oldsmobile 98 (1949 model) that called for premium gasoline, which was 26 or 27 cents per gallon. To pinch pennies, I filled the tank with part premium and part regular. I probably saved 35 cents per fill-up, now that I look back. But then it was a significant amount, at least in my brain.
More on theaters. Jeanine Kliefoth Price posed the question about the Texas theater and what happened to it. If you recall, the Texas was located on Houston Street just west of the Hertzburg Jewelry Store at Houston and St Marys. (By the way, the old clock on the corner there is still in place, and I think it even works.) At any rate, when that block of land was coveted by some developer, the San Antonio Conservation Society attempted to save the theater. After lengthy negotiations, they only succeeded in saving the façade, which was incorporated into the high rise building. The entrance is there, compete with the ticket booth. Does anyone remember what type movies played there? I suspect they were A grade movies but maybe on a second run.
Last time, I posted some photos of the Aztec theater interior. Here are two from the Empire. If you recall, the Empire was where our parents told us not to go, because they showed B grade movies. So of course, that is where we went. I recall the Empire being totally white inside. It was refurbished 12-15 years ago and was taken back to the original finish, which had a lot of gilt. The floor has a flat floor and removable chairs for banquets and other functions. These are the only two pictures that were taken inside the Empire.
Your comments are always welcome. More next time.