| When San
Antonio native Mark Louis Rybczyk included a forlorn little building
in his excellent San
Antonio Uncovered, we doubt if he knew what he was starting.
After reading about the building, we interviewed Mr. Rybczyk who graciously
allowed us to use his text.
On our next visit to San
Antonio we looked the building up (Address: 1091 S. Laredo) and
found it hiding in plain sight beneath a gargantuan billboard.
After publishing photos of
the place we received several requests for directions from photographers
and even an inquiry from the U. S. Department of the Interior.
(1:10 a.m.) on November 3rd, 2009, San
Antonio native Sarah
Reveley wrote to inform us that the station was a finalist in
the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s “This Place Matters”
contest. A second email arrived shortly thereafter informing us that
the station had won.
The cracked and fissured utilitarian building
was up against some stiff competition. Other entries included an intersection
in Birmingham made famous in music (Tuxedo Junction), a hiking path
in Hawaii, an Alaskan monument, a cemetery in Georgia and eight other
places that mattered to someone.
When the dust settled, the station
had secured 26% of the vote, edging out the Georgia Cemetery and a
1939 Coast Guard boathouse in Door County, Wisconsin.
(Second and Third Place, respectively.)
thanks to Mr. Rybczyk for writing about the building, Sarah
Reveley for notifying us of its winning and (San
Antonio native) Terry
Jeanson who photographed the building specifically for this update.
If any residents love their town more than the people of San
Antonio love their town, we’re unaware.
- Editor, November 4, 2009
Station Related Stories:
Sketchbook by Mike Cox ("Texas Tales" Column)
Humble, a Texas oil company created in 1911 which in the 1970s became
Exxon... published thousands of copies of the “Texas Sketchbook” and
distributed them for free to anyone who wanted one, including school
Station, San Antonio Texas, 1938
Vintage photos courtesy Mel Brown
photos courtesy Mel Brown
Years of Humble Service by Mel Brown
At age five, I went to live with my grandparents in San Antonio. My
grandfather, C. K. Brown was nearing the end of a 35 year long career
with The Humble Oil & Refining Co. as a truck driver and was then
marking time daily by running errands for the regional depot. For
most of the previous three decades he had delivered Humble petroleum
products throughout South Texas and all over San Antonio first by
mule team, below, then motor transport. But for that first year before
entering grade school, I became his pint sized partner running around
S A with him to the various Humble stations in a '49 Chevy pickup
- Mel Brown