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17 May 2005

Remember the Alamo!!


T

hose were the exact words that Sam Houston used to rally his troops just prior to defeating the Mexican army at San Jacinto... a battle that took exactly 18 minutes. I could never understand why Sam Houston allowed Santa Ana to live. But then found out he gave the Mexican general a choice: die or give Texas its' freedom. Texas as we know became it's own country... prior to becoming a State.

Watching Fess Parker as Davy Crockett, swinging the butt of his rifle around his head always sent chills up my back when I was a kid and yes... I DID have a coonskin hat like every other kid in Philly. Then John Wayne produced for the big screen his version of The Alamo... An excellent retelling of that fateful period. Last night I finally got to see the new Alamo movie, directed by John Lee Hancock... and starring Dennis Quaid as Sam Houston and Billy Bob Thornton as Davy Crockett.

I couldn't help comparing it to the original John Wayne version. I remember when it first came out and people compared, and they weren't too kind to the new version. However, the new, 2004, version seemed more in tune with the history of what happened those 13 days from February 23, 1836 to March 6, 1836.

The Mission San Antonio de Valero, then the Alamo, as it was originally known was the cornerstone of the Republic of Texas. Kids in grade school here in Texas learn about the Alamo before they learn about United States history, literally. 183 men held off the Mexican Army of nearly 2,000 soldiers under the leadership of Santa Ana. (His name is actually spelt with one "n", but history has given him 2 n's.

Every year I take a 3 hour car ride out to San Antonio to visit the Alamo. I've been there 14 times I think. It's never the same... I always find something new, learn something I've never known before. It's an awe inspiring place. In a few weeks I'll be making my 15th trip to the cradle of Texas liberty. I'm not going to retell the story... everyone already knows it... or should, because:

Without the Alamo there could have been no Battle of San Jacinto.

Without the Battle of San Jacinto, Texas could not have existed. (and I'd be living in Mexico right now)

Without Texas, the westward expansion of the U.S. would have been thwarted.

Without the West, the U.S. would have remained an Atlantic power, and not risen to become a world power.

Without the U.S. as a world power, the world as we see it today would not exist.

Burning Questions and Random Thoughts

Have you ever been to the real Alamo? What local landmark where you live has captured your interest and imagination?

Happy Birthday To You

Today's Birthday wish goes out to A P "Tich" Freeman cricket leg-spinner (legend for Kent & England) born 1888. What exactly is a leg-spinner?

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