Finally made it to the Alamo. We walked over on Wednesday night and toured the Texas shrine. I hadn’t been in, heck, I don’t know, 10-12 years. And it’s better than I remember it.
The Alamo is actually a Texas history lesson, of Texas independence from Mexico and the U.S.-Mexico tangos and Texas settlement and Santa Anna, the Mexican general/president who lived a most extraordinary life. You learn a ton about much more than just Jim Bowie and Davey Crockett and William Travis.
Of course, you learn about those heroes, too, who have been memorialized by the Alamo in a manner reserved for few.
The state of Texas reacquired the Alamo in 1905 and set about the business of making it a shrine. Mission accomplished. Walking through the small mission, where the last group of defenders holed up and where some women and children actually survived, is a sobering experience. The Long Barracks is a cool museum with artifacts. The grounds are serene, sporting some exhibits that further explain the battle and the aftermath.
The original Alamo fort is much bigger than what we have to do. The city of San Antonio was built up around the Alamo. For awhile in the 19th century, the Long Barracks were storefronts of private commerce. But the Daughters of the Texas Revolution worked to return the Alamo to state control and eventually succeeded.
Now millions tour the Alamo every year. It’s always a good experience.
HELLO, COUNTY LINE, MY OLD FRIEND
For lunch Wednesday, RFD, Jackie O. and I stopped off at County Line, the barbeque joint that was in Oklahoma City for 29 years, 1981-2010. The County Line in OKC was on northeast 63rd, just west of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. Great location, on old Persimmon Hill, with quaint private rooms and a big dining room in back overlooking the city.
County Line was known for its beef ribs, which are about three times as big as pork ribs. Tougher to beat, but massive. Plus mayo-based potato salad. We used to take job candidates to County Line all the time. Loved the place.
There are at least two locations in San Antonio; one on the Riverwalk and another in the northwest part of town, not far from Texas Military Institute, where the Thunder held shootaround Wednesday.
We went to the northwest location. Cool décor, with wagon-wheel light fixtures and the like. Big, lots of tables, but not all that crowded.
Jackie O. ordered brisket, RFD got a turkey sandwich and I went with the big rib platter. Then our waitress said that for $3 more, I could get three extra ribs. Sold. But I said Jackie O. and RFD would have to help me finish them off. I got potato salad and macaroni-and-cheese as my sides. And we ate a bunch of bread while we waited.
The server brought our plates, and wow. Biggest barbeque plate I’ve ever seen. Our server said she could extend the table if necessary, and darned if she didn’t. The mac-and-cheese and potato salad, in their own plates, took a bunch of room. And the rib platter was massive.
Seven Flintstone-caliber ribs. Literally. After I finished off the first, and the rib was just bone, I promise, I could have hammered nails with it. Jackie O. ate one and RFD another. They mistakenly brought Jackie O. cole slaw, so I ate most of her cole slaw and she ate half my macaroni-and-cheese.
Then I ordered peach cobbler with ice cream, and it was the best thing of all. And everything was good.
I can handle a meal like that at noon. Didn’t eat the rest of the day. Eat that way at 6 p.m., and I would have been more sluggish than the Thunder.
CHATTING WITH HUBIE
It apparently was the last day of school at Texas Military Institute, an Episcopalian high school. Lots of farewells and such.
We went into the gym to interview various Thunders, but I don’t know. The acoustics in the gym are so bad, especially with everyone bouncing basketballs, it was hard to hear anything. The Spurs didn’t have a game-day shootaround, so most of the series media was on hand.
I took the opportunity to chat with Hubie Brown, who back in the day was a heck of a coach and now is an even better broadcaster. Brown long has raved about the Thunder and did so again. You can read my blog about Brown here. He had a great description of the injury to Ibaka. “Rolling snake eyes,” two years in a row.
One of the fun things about the NBA beat is meeting guys like Brown, and the late Jack Ramsay. Giants of the game. Great minds.
I learned more basketball from five minutes with Hubie Brown than I get from a season’s worth of talking to Scotty Brooks. And that’s not because Brooks doesn’t know hoops. He’s just careful with what he says.