I was born in Texas, in San Antonio. We moved to Memphis when I was six. This trip we went back to San Antonio, saw the house where we lived and went downtown to the Alamo and the River Walk. I thought I would remember it, have that emotional kick of memory. Nothing. We saw Joske’s, the department store whose jingle I remember perfectly. Nothing. It was like I had never seen it before. Same with the Alamo. I only remembered it as if I’d seen it in pictures. We went through the Villetta, the old city where my brother tells me I always begged to go to the old glassblowers shop. ??? Really? The glassblowers shop just closed last year. It had opened a few years after I was born. Strange, strange. The River Walk was lovely though.
And in Austin, I couldn’t get a sense of the city at all either. The coolness doesn’t hang in the air. I think I missed trees. I’ve lived so long in the East that the absence of big trees is oppressive.
But the part of the University of Texas we saw was wonderful. We went to see the dormitory our mother lived in when she was at Texas for one year in the 1930s. Littlefield Hall. Totally enchanting.