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Texas | Columns | "They Shoe Horses, Don't they?"

I REMEMBER A FADED LOVE

by Ken Rudine
Just looking at a San Antonio map, I want to say it was probably on Taylor Street, near the intersection with 4th Street – but of course, I could be wrong. It was called “Hips Bubble Room”. Less than 1/2 mile north of the Alamo and only about 40 by 40 feet square in size, Hips offered tasty hamburgers and colder beer. The beer on tap was called “GimmeDraw” served in a cold mug.

Walking in the door, the register was immediately on your left and the bar and stools ran to the rear occupying the left half of the room. Overhead at the bar, a toy electric train ran on its track, sometimes. The hamburgers were cooked behind the bar. The only illumination inside was the Christmas lights that bubbled, and they bubbled all year long.

The right half of Hips Bubble Room had booths along the wall and a few tables in the middle. Each booth had a selection box to choose music remotely from the jukebox in the rear. It was well air-conditioned and restrooms in the back. It was a good place to spend a hot Saturday afternoon in San Antonio.

I first walked in Hips in 1951 while I was stationed at Brooks Air Force Base on Loop 13. Later I was overseas for a couple of years but spent the rest of my 4-year enlistment in San Antonio and occasionally at Hips. All my other years, I have lived in Houston.

Just passing through at some point after 1996 I stopped in Hips for a "GimmeDraw" and found out they were going to close. A parking lot was to be built there. Since then I've driven past the area and saw parking lots but recognized no landmarks.

Hips was there for 50 years dispensing its brand of ambience and endorphins, and now it is gone. It was a miracle that I was there the year it began and the year it ended and some of the years between. But that is a "faded love" and memory now, just like the song. If your footprints ever crossed the threshold of Hips Bubble Room, I would be interested in your memories.


© Ken Rudine 11-22-05 Guest Column
See San Antonio, Texas | Texas

Forum
Subject: Re: Hipps Bubble Room

I am about 8 years late from seeing your article on Hipps as I was at Brooks AFB 62-64 and shared so many of those memories. I also went to the community college at night which also was along the way to Hipps. I have never known such a unique and wonderful experience in all of my years and I have had many! I hope you health is still good. Take care!! - Larry von Klein, 2/28/2015

Larry - Thanks for your note. Hipps was a special treat. Thanks to you I have just revisited that story of mine. People have told me that my story - the way I told it - makes them see it in their mind, as if they had been there. My health is good now at 83 and I expect another 10 years. A few years ago in Rockport TX I used to be a member of a breakfast club where I knew Frank Henderson a retired 2 Star General who had also visited Hipps like you and I. - Ken Rudine, 2/28/2015
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