Richard Daybell – Novels, stories and short humor
I’ll Always Remember the Alamo (not if you don’t write it down, you won’t)
Looking out over the stone walls of the Alamo, we see the barren Texas landscape stretching as far as the eye can see, nothing but the aforementioned scrub oak, prairie dogs and armadillos in sight. But wait, what’s this? I think I’ve spotted a couple of thousand illegal immigrants screaming across the porous Mexican border. This is not profiling; they’re all wearing Mexican army uniforms – a dead giveaway.
Standing in defiance of General Santa Anna and his Mexican hordes, Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, Colonel William Travis and a handful of brave Texians, as they were called. Actually, Santa Anna and his army did not cross the porous border. It’s March 6, 1836, and this is still Mexico. It won’t really be Texas until the Houstons (Sam, Walter and Angelica) defeat Santa Anna at the Battle of San Jacinto and the Republic of Texas becomes a sovereign nation, and nine years later, a part of the United States.
But the seige of the Alamo was a pivotal point in the Texas Revolution. And even though the wart-free Disneyish version of events sweeps a few nasty little details like slavery under a sagebrush, it was an amazing show of bravery and determination. Fewer than 200 men repulsed Santa Anna’s well-armed 2,000-man army for 13 days before being overwhelmed.
We arrived in San Antonio the weekend of the 175th anniversary of the fall of the Alamo. Many easterners think the Alamo rents cars, but we knew better and were ready to join the festivities. And what festivities they were. Hundreds of Alamo fans from throughout the world were here in costumes ranging from Davy Crockett’s buckskins and coonskin cap to Santa Anna’s full dress uniform. They were here to reenact the final days of the siege of the Alamo.
Stirring speeches, music, cannons and rifles, all on the street in front of what remains of the Alamo. It could have been 1836 – except for where the Mexican encampments should have been, there’s a Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum, a theater, souvenir shops and hundreds of spectators. The reenactment lasted nearly an hour until the Mexican army scaled the imaginary walls, and the Texians fell. Then silence, finally broken by the roar of the crowd: “Remember the Alamo.”