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It was a hot and steamy time in old San Antonio. With the day-time temps reaching into the high 90's and the humidity only a few numbers behind, the heat and stupidity were sure to increase when Bone picked up Mike in the early afternoon with a full agenda for tomfoolery and hijinks.
First stop, checking in to the marvelous Menger Hotel right next door the Texas holy of holies, the Alamo !!!
The Magnificent Menger Hotel
Wanting to duck the high-heat of early afternoon, the Boys checked in, parked the car, and dropped their gear ASAP so they could head to the Menger Bar for lunch and an afternoon "toddy."
The Menger Hotel has been considered one of the highest profile hotels for over 100 years. Founded in 1859 (a scant 23 years after the Alamo Battle), the Menger is world renown for the famous people who have visited, and the famous events that have occurred there. It has been visited by presidents, kings, sinners, saints, and now the ultimate in sinners and saints, Mike and Bone ! !
Mike and Bone: Rough Riders !?!
Among the famous people and events that have occurred at the Menger, the Menger's Bar is where Teddy Roosevelt recruited many of his Rough Riders, those famous and infamous volunteers for the first American volunteer cavalry that fought in Cuba during the Spanish-American War. Many of whom were among the very elite of New York, noted men of their time such as Hamilton Fish and Cornelius Vanderbilt. There is a legend that Teddy's ghost has been seen in the bar still trying to recruit more Rough Riders.
Mike Bone, and Menger Barkeep, the poor schmuck who is exhausted by trying to meet the Boy's drink orders
The Menger Hotel proper as well as the Bar is well-known for its supposed hauntings. Apparently there was a ghost (in addition to Teddy Roosevelt's), that only haunts the Bar and causes things such as glasses and towels to disappear. However on that afternoon, the only haunting was Mike and Bone haunting the Bar for lunch, and only things disappearing was the Bar's rapidly diminishing supply of margarita's and Shiner Bock beers !!
Mauling the Mall
Since the 35mm camera broke that the Boys bought in Santa Clara in 88, broke in the early 90's, Mike and Bone have traditionally used, cheap disposable cameras. But with the new millennium, comes new technology. In an effort to help build the Mike and Bone Web Site faster, Bone decided he HAD to have a 5 Mega-pixel, digital camera. So in a typical Mike and Bone Assault, they got into the face of a poor local clerk who gave the boys a great deal on a camera just to get them out of the store.
Even in San Antonio, you can "Go Blue" !!!!
Before leaving the Mall, Bone noticed the glory of the big maize, Block-M on a hat and had to snap a picture for posterity !!
Now, properly fed, pre-liquored up, and with camera, the Boys were ready to face the heat and the Alamo !!!
"This ain't no Historical Site you Swine !!,
This is a Semi-Religious Shrine !!!"
Daughters of the Texas Revolution, (Owners of the Alamo Site)
The Boys had been to dozens of National Historic Sites, all run by the National Park Service, but the Alamo is a different story. Abandoned by the US Military in the 1870's, the Alamo had been used as a storehouse, until the early 1900's it was in such bad shape that the City of San Antonio wanted to tear it down. Purchased by a San Antonio Woman with family ties to the Alamo, the State of Texas was embarrassed into repaying the woman, and made her and her friends the conservators of the Alamo. These women formed the "Daughters of the Texas Revolution", whose mission was to maintain and restore the Alamo.
However unlike most historical sites, the Alamo is a "Shrine" to its fallen "heroes". It is this group that has interpreted the already interesting Alamo battle and its participants into near mythical heroes.
The Alamo: Travis's Folly
And in regards to what really happened at the Alamo, picture this: You are the co-commander of under 190 cock-sure, independent, disorganized, supposed soldiers, when over 2,000 well-organized, disciplined Mexican Army regulars march into town under the flag of the brutal dictator General Antonio de la Santa Ana. When the news is reported to the hot-headed, egotistical leader of the motley band William Travis Barrett (who recently abandoned his wife, child, and law practice in New Orleans due to bad business decisions in order to illegally immigrate to Texas) of no quarter will be given to the Texians (as the Anglo residents of Texas were known as), Travis responses with a cannon shot into the Mexican troops, thoroughly pissing off Santa Ana.
Meanwhile, Travis, equally egotistical co-leader of the local militia and a scoundrel that would literally stab you in the back Jim Bowie, is lying in his bed in a near delirium, dying they think of tuberculosis. Meanwhile in the courtyard a disgraced and bankrupt ex-US Congressman from Tennessee, named Davy Crockett is giving impassioned speeches about the value of liberty. Serving as a private as a Texas Regular, Crockett has been formenting the troops with delusions of grandeur.
What is interesting about the standoff and defeat is that it didn't need to occur. There was no strategic reason for the Texians to hold on to the Alamo. In fact Travis was being insubordinate. The Republic of Texas President and Commander-In-Chief Sam Houston had repeatedly ordered the abandonment of the Alamo and order the men back to his army. The bulk of Texas's Anglo population was in East Texas (near the site of current day Houston), and strategically hanging on to the Alamo would serve no purpose.
So despite repeatedly ordered to abandon the Alamo, Travis sent letters to Houston, the public, and Colonel James Fannin, Commander of the Goliad, demanding reinforcements. It was interesting to learn that Travis expected Fannin to help. Houston (rightly) knew that the Goliad was more important to defending East Texas rather than the Alamo. In addition, Fannin only had 300 men, with the Alamo's 189 the combined forces were still out-numbered three to one. Finally within two weeks of the siege, around 5:00 AM, Santa Ana sent his troops against the Alamo's defenses, despite the advice of his generals who thought that there would be significant casualties. Within an hour the Mexican Troops had killed Travis with a single shot to the head, killed Bowie as he lay in bed with fever, and captured, then executed Davy Crockett in front of Santa Ana. Despite heavy casualties Santa Ana considered it an insignificant affair and set his troops out for Goliad after instructing his troops to gather the bodies of all the Alamo defenders into a big pile, then burn the bodies.
Little did Santa Ana know at the time in six weeks he and his troops would be defeated by General Sam Houston with shouts of, "Remember the Alamo !!, Remember Goliad !!!" echoing around him.
So the moral of the story is: Being insubordinate and egotistical may get you killed quickly, but you'll serve as a darn fine rallying cry !!!!
The plaque inside the Alamo Church where Unknown Remains are Buried
Take off your Hat !!! Now Take Off your Glasses !! Please take off your Hat again! Please keep off your Glasses! Don't Take any pictures!! AND for GODS SAKES ,,,, GET OFF OF THAT DAMNED CELL PHONE !!!!! - Alamo Shrine Lackey to Bone. Walking into the Alamo Chapel, the staff makes you feel that you are entering an actual holy site, except for Bone who is an Agnostic ! ! ! After all the hubbub, the Alamo Chapel doesn't really have that much to see. In fact the 1870's the US Government used the building primarily for storage. The most interesting thing in the Chapel is a plaque on the floor (pictured above), where charred bones found have been interred into the ground. According to the Alamo Staff, they are not sure if the bones are of the defenders, but suspect so. Learning this, Bone risked eternal damnation from the Daughters of Texas Revolution by snapping a picture inside the chapel.
Alamo Bunk Rooms
Another interesting fact about the Alamo Site is that there are only two buildings left of the Alamo Compound as it appeared on that fateful day in 1836, The Alamo Chapel and the Bunk Rooms next to the Chapel. Even though there is nothing in the Chapel, the Bunk Rooms have a cheesy Museum in it with displays of swords, uniforms from the Battle.
Travis, Bowie, Crockett, Mike and Bone
The review of the Alamo IMAX Movie, "At least the Popcorn was OK !!"
Mike and Bone went out to wait for the 35 minute presentation in the Alamo courtyard, but it was too darn hot !! Wishing to escape the blistering heat, Mike and Bone decided to check out the Alamo Story on the IMAX Theatre, right next to the Alamo, the very lovely, AIR conditioned, theatre !!!
For the 35 belabored minutes of the movie, a glowing portrayal of the "Defenders" of the Alamo was presented. Bowie was heroic, Crockett was sage and wily, Travis was courageous, and Mike and Bone were nauseous. This 35 minute "suck-up" was both tedious and boring, however it did keep the boys out of the stifling heat !
Mike and Bone to William Barrett Travis "Don't Give Me that Line !!"
One of the myths of the Alamo is that near the end of the siege William Barrett Travis challenged the men to fight to the death. According to the legend, he drew a line in the sand in front of the Alamo Chapel and asked those who would fight to the death to cross the line with him, and all except a Frenchman (gee, is that a surprise !!!) crossed. Only thing is there is significant doubt in the historian community if it really occurred and besides, how would the Daughters of the Texas Revolution know exactly where the line was drawn ninety years after the battle ? To the boys it sounded more like Alamo "legend" rather than fact.
Now pushing 6:00 it was still sweltering in the high 90's, and the boys were absolutely wilting. The Menger Pool sounded like just the "cure" for the heat !
Hanging out with Sharks at the Menger Pool
Oxymoron: Ethical Attorney. Trying to cool off before planning to "heat" up the evening in a night of foolin' around, the boys jumped into the Menger Pool. After an hour of swimming around they moved on to the Jacuzzi to dicker with the fellow Menger Guests. The only thing worst that taking a bloodbath with group of vampires is sitting in a Jacuzzi with a group of liberal attorneys from MinneSOTa (as they pronounce it.) Lipping off to liberal losers is thirsty work. After thoroughly disgusting the attorneys for an hour by being cold-hearted conservatives, the boys decided to head to the Riverwalk for dinner and drinks, or as it turned out massive drinks.
The Famous (or infamous) San Antonio Riverwalk
The Riverwalk is a section of the City that is full floor below street-level where the San Antonio River is skirted on both sides by restaurants, bars, and shopping, while gondolas shuffle partiers back and forth. Bone had taken advantage of the charms of the Riverwalk before when he worked for Oracle and looked forward to bring his Bro' down to learn all about this very cool scene !
Mike and Bone, ready to take on the Riverwalk
Mike and Bone started at a local Mexicano restaurant, just sharing a Nacho and a few Shiner Bocks, while talking to a lovely African-American couple, about what else? Football !!!!! After the second round of beers, Bone thought (incorrectly as it would later turn out) that a couple of shots of Tequila (pronounced, "to kill you" !) would be just the ticket to start the fun, and would have no long term effects on the evening.
Having laid the bare minimum base with a Nacho, and a few shots of Tequila on top of the beers, the boys were ready to move on and roam around the Riverwalk in search of adventure and alcohol. Wandering about, Bone remembered his favorite party place from his earlier Oracle days, and guided Mike to a very fine establishment.
Dicks Last Resort. Dicks Last Resort is neither owned by Dick, nor a resort, however it is a place where waiters intentionally treat you badly, screaming "Hey !!! Whatadya Want !?!" The perfect place for a couple of "cultured" gentlemen such as Mike and Bone.
Giving better than they were getting to the waiters immediately endeared the boys to their fellow patrons. Soon they were joined by fellow revelers from the Lone Star State as Mike and Bone continued on their strict regiment of Dos Equis'es and Tequila shots.
"Yep !!! the Dos Equis definitely make the Tequila shots go down easier"
The Bone, having had: way, way, way, one too many !!!
Mike and Bone carried on at Dicks Last Resort until 1:30 AM, it seems the more they drank, the more friends they were making with fellow patrons. Finally as Dicks closed up at 2:00, the boys moved on (with entourage) to an all night dance club a couple of buildings down on the Riverwalk.
Boogieing Until the Wee Hours
Mike and Bone danced and drank until 3:30 in the morning. Having finally depleted enough beer and tequila from the City, they decided to head back to the Menger. Even though they were only two blocks from the Hotel, the boys got lost in the streets of old San Antone. Stumbling through the streets of San Antonio in the 95 degree heat at night, under a full moon was simply surreal, especially when Mike decided to relieve himself in a planter next the street, in - full - view of two Alamo Park Police who were chatting directly across the street. For both Mike and Bone's sake they did not have another St. Louis Golden Arches Incident, and made it into the Menger Hotel without further excitement. Wandering through the eerie halls of the Menger, the boys weren't scared of ghosts, but scared of vomiting on the staircases. By the time the boys went to bed it was pushing 4:00 AM with their head spinning from the day and the drinks.