There isn’t a whole lot to say about San Antonio as far as busking goes as I was not allowed to do it there. There were two things I did there though that were pretty good though. I went and got myself a haircut, an early Christmas present from my Mom. The barber shop I went to, I found by accident on my way to Supercuts. This was right there, so I went in. There was only one man working there, an older Hispanic gentleman. As he was finishing up his customer and starting on the next, I was next in line. I looked around this shop and it was the most badass barber shop I have ever been in. There were four other stations in there and each one of them had a framed and matted poster of Al Pacino as Scarface above them. One of which, had a shadow box of the the gun from the movie. Whether or not it was THE prop, I don’t know, I didn’t ask- it looked cool though. Also, at these stations, they all had a pair of nun-chucks. It was pretty wild, the only station that didn’t have these, was the older gent. Across from his station, was Marilyn Monroe. After I got in the chair, he asked what I wanted and I told him. We talk a little bit, you know, the usual small talk. A few minutes later, the other barbers showed up for their shifts. I don’t know if they were all related or not, but my guess is, it doesn’t matter. They were certainly a family and my barber was definitely the Patriarch. There was an air of love and respect in this shop. The conversations some of these guys were having were about fighting and that sort of thing. One of the other customers, a regular, perhaps- was talking to these other guys about how he was messing around with his room mate and got beat. Apparently he held his own but the other guy was too fast and hit harder. It turns out, the whole thing was over a soap opera! He was messing with his room mate’s routine when he went to change the channel. I guess one doesn’t do that.
I really didn’t want to cut my hair, but it was all split ends and not doing anything I wanted it to. It was constantly sticking out of my hat and it was quite long enough to pull back. As it all started coming off, I actually started to feel a little bit of relief. I had long hair twice before and it just didn’t look good on me. I really don’t know what I was thinking. Anyway, my guy asked me if I wanted to keep the beard, I said no. I looked at the cost of what a shave was and I thought I was in trouble, I would have been $10 short. He took the time and buzzed my hair, gave me a shave, and then touched everything up with the straight edge. When I was done, I said to him “I came in looking like a bum, you made me look human again. Thank you!” He looked up at me with pride and respect in his eyes and with a little smile and a nod of his head, he said “Fifteen dollars” I couldn’t believe it, he was so sweet! When I walked in, I gave him the full $20. Thank you Ma, for my Christmas present and helping me to maybe, make that man’s day too! There was so much machismo in that shop, and this one man is able to balance it with love and tenderness! At least, this is how I see saw it.
The second thing I did was stumble onto The Alamo. I say stumbled, because I was looking for a place to play and saw that. I had no idea the city was built around it. It is kind of unfortunate though, across the street, there are a lot of shops that almost remind me of Gatlinburg. Anyway, when you go in the first room is the Shrine. There are no pictures allowed inside, in fact you really don’t even want to have your cell in your hands. There are some awesome artifacts in the Shrine as well as in the other parts. In the other section, there are some rifles, sabres handwritten documents with the translation next to it. There was even the snuff box Santa Anna presented to Sam Houston. My friend Scott had a great- (great?) grandfather who actually made Crockett’s rifle. The rifles were from that time period, I asked if it was in fact Crockett’s rifle, and that is what the man told me- from that time period. Either way, the craftsmanship was superb! I saw a model of the battle The Alamo inside the gift shop and it is hard to imagine it with skyscrapers and souvenir shops taking up most of that space now. As usual, I tried to imagine what it must have been like during those two weeks. Especially at the end of it all, when the fighting started and the Alamo was taken. As I mentioned, it was hard to do with tall buildings and such, but it was cool be in the same place as Crockett, Bowie and the others who fought and died there.
When I finally found a spot to play, I saw a police officer right there so I asked him the usual questions. He was a nice officer, but unlike some past experiences, I could not charm this one. He showed me the ordinance in print. I had no idea playing a saxophone was covered under goods and services. I searched for over an hour the night before, and found nothing saying I couldn’t busk. I did find a few that said one could busk, but they were a couple of years old. So, I had to go. I didn’t see much else, except parts of the River Walk and yes, it is as cool as I heard was. In fact San Antonio is a beautiful city. Howeverif you are a busker coming through Texas, do not go through San Antonio, save yourself some time and money.
*As a silly side note, when inside, I whispered “Remember the Alamo” and thought of the Happy Days episode when they were talking about whispering that in a girl’s ear before kissing her. It was a brief second, if that. I don’t know what I am thinking sometimes, please tell me I am not the only one that remembers that episode!