Downtown Mag Spring 2024 PROOF 2

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Published by Media Advantage, LLC for Downtown San Angelo Spring 2024

Monica Ramos began working with Downtown San Angelo, Inc, as O ce Manager in 2019. She quickly ascended into a promotion as Assistant Director in 2021. She was a San Angelo Chamber of Commerce 20 Under 40 honoree in 2021. Ramos is involved in the San Angelo Hispanic Heritage Museum and Cultural Center and Concho Cadre steering committee. She served on the boards of directors of the Railway

One of Ramos’s most impactful contributions to Downtown San Angelo, Inc. was leading the rebranding of the Downtown Stroll and initiating the “Downtown Strong” campaign. This campaign played a crucial role in reviving downtown businesses following the COVID-19 pandemic, showcasing her ability to lead through challenging times.

Dear our esteemed readers,

We’re thrilled to present a double-sided feature of the Historic Downtown Magazine. Media Advantage, our gracious partner, has been instrumental in curating engaging articles for your enjoyment.

In this magazine you will gain a deeper appreciation for the multifaceted contributions of the national sheep and wool industry. You’ll be awed by Downtown San Angelo’s past director, Del Velasquez’s illustrious career and his time working at the White House. See that Historic Downtown San Angelo is home to a diverse range of small businesses. From boutique stores to charming cafes, there is something for everyone. And remember, by frequenting these small businesses, you are directly supporting the local economy. This helps create a vibrant and thriving community. These businesses often reflect the history and culture of the area, adding to the charm of the neighborhood. This creates a sense of connection and nostalgia for residents and visitors alike.

Thank you for being a part of the Historic Magazine community. We look forward to sharing the magic of downtown San Angelo with you in every issue.

Warm Regards,

Downtown San Angelo, Inc. 24 W. Concho Avenue San Angelo, TX 76903 O ce: 325.655.2345 Fax: 325.655.1234 Email: Follow us to stay updated.
Photo Courtesy of the National Register of Historical Places Downtown San Angelo, Inc. Museum of San Angelo and Young Professionals of San Angelo.


The Downtown Association


The City of San Angelo Development Corporation (COSADC) serves as the economic development arm of the City of San Angelo. The vision/mission statement of COSADC is to serve the community as an organization comprising highly trained professionals who leverage resources to diversify the economy, expand the tax base, foster business growth and increase job opportunities.

Working with economic development partners, COSADC will retain, strengthen and diversify the job base of the community to ensure a vibrant business climate for San Angelo and the region.

Since its inception in 1999, the COSADC has been diligent in its allocation of half-cent sales tax funds to promote economic growth and sustainability for San Angelo and the region. Through job creation and retention, recruitment and expansion, special project funding and various other activities, the development corporation has concentrated its efforts toward improving opportunities and enhancing the lives of the citizens to grow a better San Angelo.

Business Resource Center

69 N. Chadbourne, Downtown San Angelo

A program designed to assist entrepreneurs in may areas of business development to facilitate their business success. Also known as an incubator. The Business Factory is not just a rental space, it is a program designed to assist you in growing your business. Contact us today to schedule a tour or complete an online application at the website below. 325-942-2098 | 3

Andi Markee Media Director

Chrys Forbes Creative Director

Lyndi Marschall Marketing Specialist

Nich Hermosillo Graphic Designer

Sarah Anderson Social Media Manager

Jewel Schoppe Content Manager

For Advertising Information


Downtown Magazine is published twice a year, Spring & Fall by Media Advantage, LLC


Connecting philanthropic visions with community needs while ensuring charitable legacies provide for the future. Contact us to learn more about creating your own legacy of giving WWW.SAAFOUND.ORG | 325-947-7071
Issue: Spring 2024 | Published by: Media Advantage
Published by Media Advantage, LLC for Downtown San Angelo Spring 2024

The legend of Miss Hattie’s goes beyond its history. Voted as one of the Best Burgers in Texas by Texas Monthly, and reputed as one of the best 21-days aged mesquite smoked rib eye steaks by our customers. Others have tried to copy Miss Hattie’s bacon-wrapped Jalapeños and crab cakes, no one has succeeded.

FEATURED ON TEXAS BUCKET LIST AND ONE OF TEXAS MONTHLY’S BEST BURGERS 26 East Concho Ave. A Steakhouse in Historic Downtown Monday -
Lunch 11am to 5pm, Dinner
5pm to Close Cathouse Bar & Lounge Open from 11am until Close Live Music in the Bar and Lounge on Friday and Saturday Nights 325-653-0570
Miss Hattie’s Restaurant o ers private and semi private rooms for your Wedding Reception, Wedding Rehearsal Dinner, Company Party, Business Meetings or Family Events including reunions, bridal and baby showers. | 5

Historic Downtown San Angelo for the Family!

Eats & Treats

• Fuentes Cafe Downtown

• The Latest Scoop

• Carter’s Sugar Shop

• Froyo & Sweets Downtown

• Old Central Firehouse Pizzeria & Taproom

• Helen’s Bistro & Bakery

• Cowboy-Up Chocolates

• Twisted Root Burger Co.

Fun In e Sun

Art Galleries

• Paintbrush Alley

• Electri ed Murals Experience

• Historic Murals

Concho River Walk

• Fire ghters Memorial Park

• Bosque on The Concho

• Kids Kingdom


Fort Concho National Historical Landmark Tom Green County Library

Railway Museum Concho Clay Studio

Performing Arts Center

Museum of Fine Arts

Tours Tuesday-Thursday: 2 PM & 4 PM Friday-Saturday: 2 PM, 3 PM, & 4 PM Prices General Public: $6 Students, Senior & Military: $5 Come and take a step back in time with us! (325) 653 - 0112 | 7 Wide variety of literary genres Young adult and children’s books Adult and children’s gift boxes Audio books, t-shirts, puzzles, and more Shop online at Monday-Friday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. 1953 2024
On the South Orient Rail Line Serving West Texas for Over 70 Years 106 South Chadbourne Street San Angelo, Texas 76903

Downtown San Angelo Inc is excited to announce the Mini Miss Wool Pageant, a tribute to the original Miss Wool Pageant in San Angelo, Texas. The Miss Wool Pageant not only showcased stunning wool fashions but also played a pivotal role in promoting the wool and mohair industry.

An opening reception will be held on Friday, November 8th at the San Angelo Performing Arts Center. Guests can enjoy a mix of food and drinks while exploring educational art and exhibit displays that showcase San Angelo's rich wool history. On Saturday, November 9th, the Pageant Show begins at 4PM at the Brooks & Bates Theatre. This event promises to showcase a variety of talents and performances for the audience to enjoy. Tickets for public seating will be limited and will go on sale in August.

The overall goal for the Mini Miss Wool Pageant is to bring culture, education, and family-friendly activities downtown so that we can create a vibrant and inclusive community space.

Follow Downtown San Angelo, Inc. on Facebook and visit our website to stay up to date with events happening in Historic Downtown San Angelo.

Request our free monthly:TEXANA CATALOG! Your history merchant specializing in fine First Edition Texana. NEW, USED, AND RARE Featured on Texas Country Reporter! Find us on Youtube! Search “Cactus Book Shop” Also, over 60 CHILDREN’S CLASSICS enjoyed for generations--most under $20.00! Plus, over 30 Dr. Seuss titles, new in hardback! We also offer the largest collection of titles by ELMER KELTON found anywhere! Check our website - Serving West Texans Since 1995! Awarded True West Magazine’s ‘Best Western History Book Store’ 2021. 2022, 2023, 2024 VINTAGE 119 S CHADBOURNE TUE - SAT 11AM - 6:30PM INSTAGRAM / FACEBOOK: @MADSTYLEVINTAGE MAD SINCE 2013 MID-CENTURY MODERN RECORDS... GENERALLY RAD GOODS ...ANTIQUES & Serving Tom Green County for 85 Years We’re small enough to know your name, but... we’re big on Low Interest Loans • Investment Promotions Contact us for all your nancial needs!

The Trouble with Sheep and Goats

Courtesy, West Texas Collection, Angelo State University | 11

In the Concho country, we at least live somewhat adjacent to farming and ranching. Many of our neighbors’ incomes depend upon agriculture and livestock; in fact, one of our city’s biggest economic events is the yearly stock show and rodeo, now in its 92 before Rodeo, there was Carnival, an annual event held in San Angelo in the fall, and it featured the same kinds of excitement that we still enjoy today bronco busting, steer-roping, and even horse racing, events that drew some 5000 visitors to San Angelo in October 1901.

the concho Valley

But for those whose interests are more united with the land in particular, our local sheep and goat ranchers, wool merchants, stockmen, and breeders events like stock shows, rodeos or carnivals are opportunities to connect, to trade, to sell, to learn about innovations that might improve their profitability. Because make no mistake, despite the bucolic view from the highway, farming and ranching are businesses, with the bottom line drawn as emphatically for the folks in boots and jeans as it is for those in power suits. No one can afford to pursue a losing proposition forever, even if it is their passion, and our local ranchers are passionate about their ranching heritage, their commitments to the land, their animals, and the legacy they leave to future generations.

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Jeremy Clarkson, famous for television shows like Top Gear and The Grand Tour (and infamous for remarks about Meghan Markle), thought farming might be an enjoyable retirement hobby. He had lots of money to throw at it, and a television deal to record his new venture at Diddly Squat Farm, or Clarkson’s Farm as it is called on Amazon Prime. He inevitably discovers that farming is a daily, hard-fought battle against a host of obstacles flood, drought, drainage, equipment failure, and lots of operator error and then he decides to introduce sheep.

Ahh, sheep . . . so white, so fluffy, nature’s solution to keeping fields mowed. How could he have anticipated the coming troubles? Sheep, especially those raised for their wool, require a whole new level of management they are more susceptible to parasites and predators than cattle, and they are genius-level escape artists, which means better fencing to keep them in and predators out. There’s lambing, docking, marking, drenching, vaccinating, and castrating to be done. And that’s just in the field; there’s also the plague of paperwork state and federal regulations and restrictions, conservation and environmental considerations, certifications . . . and then you’ve got to shear the damn things. No wonder Jesus is likened to a shepherd. Still, for all the trouble that it may take to get from lamb to loom, wool has been a valued commodity for centuries. In the fourteenth century, wool was certainly the most important commodity in England. Wool merchants formed staples or markets, where wool was bought from the farmer, sorted, graded and then sold on to markets around Europe, such as Genoa and Flanders. The wool trade was instrumental in the rise of a merchant middle class, and the wool staples, such as the one in Calais, yielded considerable power, providing tax and import/export revenues for the Crown and winning certain concessions in return. The first industrial revolution

in the 1830’s and 40’s was due in large part for the need for faster and better methods of spinning and weaving wool, with innovations like the spinning jenny, power loom, water frame and flying shuttle, powered by iron ore and steam engines before the advent of electricity.

Historic Downtown San Angelo| 13

We still have a similar system of marketing wool today, with ranchers bringing wool to merchants such as Anodyne Wool, operated locally by the Martin family, who sort, grade, blend and sell the wool. In fact, Anodyne is the sole supplier of wool used to make U.S. and they market apparel-grade blends. Anodyne obtains lab analyses and certificates via another local resource, the Bill Sims Wool and Mohair Research Laboratory at Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service facility just north of town. Today, the Sims Laboratory is the only domestic facility that offers certification; otherwise, merchants are forced to use overseas labs.

Additionally, depending on their client’s need, the wool can be “scoured” or washed locally as well, at Bollman Industries, one of only 2 wool scouring facilities in the U.S.

According to their website, Bollman has 13 employees working 12-hour shifts five days a week. The wool is washed without harsh chemicals, only soap, in a six-bowl process 3 washes and 3 rinses, then dried, dusted, baled and weighed. The “grease” is also captured, what we know as lanolin, and used in a variety of products such as cosmetics and lotions.

According to 2021 figures from the Observatory of Economic Complexity at MIT, wool sits almost squarely in the middle of traded commodities the 615th most traded among 1200. Wool is still big business $3.65 billion-dollar big worldwide. The three largest exporters of wool are Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, while the three largest importers are China, India and Italy. The US exported $15.8 million dollars’ worth of wool in 2021 and imported million. Texas leads the nation, supplying around % of the wool and 90% of the mohair.

Paul H. Carson, writing for the Texas State Historical Association, tells of the beginnings of sheep ranching in Texas, with Domingo Teránde los Ríos bringing some 1700 head of sheep and goats to a mission in “New Spain” in 1691. Sheep ranching spread around the San Antonio area, growing from around 9,000 to around 17,000 by 1767. These were mostly , a “gaunt breed” weighing between 60-80 pounds 5 pounds of coarse, open wool and thus primarily raised for meat. At that time, wool markets and mills were too distant to make the wool venture profitable for West Texas ranchers remember, this was before the railroad, so getting goods to shipping ports was much more arduous.

In those days, sheep ranching followed two different systems: the partido style or the hacienda. With partido ranching, the owner would contract herders who cared for about 1,500 sheep, staying with them 24 hours a day, moving them from range to range to graze, overseeing lambing, shearing, marking and any other duties required. The hacienda style of ranching was more hierarchical, with the haciendero owner or overseer in charge, followed by corporales, vaqueros and pastores (shepherds) who were paid salaries and were regular employees of the ranch.

Despite the adaptability of sheep and goats to our rough country and capricious weather, ranchers were slow to adopt them. By the 1830’s, however, new markets for wool opened in New England, and breeds such as the Merino and Rambouillet were introduced into West Texas. With the railroad connecting San Angelo to the wider world in 1888, the wool market saw a peak it would not see again until 1943, when more than 80 million pounds of wool were sheared from about 11 million sheep.

Courtesy, West Texas Collection, Angelo State University Ranchers with Sheep in Corral
Historic Downtown San Angelo | 15
Courtesy, West Texas Collection, Angelo State University Sheep Herder
Thank you to our Patron Level members Member Spotlight Learn more about the Downtown San Angelo, Inc. membership program at

Angora goats were not introduced into the Concho Country until after the Civil War, with William L. Black of Fort McKavett a leading promoter and Charles Schreiner in Kerrville offering the same prices for mohair as wool. San Angelo eventually replaced Kerrville as the leading wool and mohair market, and in 1913, the Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers Association established its headquarters in the city, as did the Mohair Council of America. Mohair production peaked in 1965, with more than 31 million pounds of mohair was produced from 4.6 million Angora goats.

Wool and mohair production in Texas has significantly and steadily declined from those numbers, pounds of mohair, according to USDA figures. However, meat and milk sheep and goats, if not increasing in number on the range, are holding steadier. Several factors account for this, with one of the most important being that they are easier to raise, with some breeds more resistant to parasites, unassisted lambing, adaptable to our terrain and climate, and suitable for today’s smaller ranches.

Logo of the Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers Association Courtesy, West Texas Collection, Angelo State University Courtesy,
| 17
San Angelo Press, November 26th, 1902
Downtown San Angelo

Hair sheep, as they are colloquially known, are sheep that do not need shearing and are raised for their meat “lamb” if the animal is under a year, “mutton” if older. Lamb is considered to have a milder flavor than mutton. Unfortunately, mutton almost disappeared from dinner tables in the U.S. following World War II, as returning soldiers who had been forced to eat tinned mutton several times a week refused to have it in the house. But properly processed and well-prepared, mutton is a good dish, and celebrity butcher, writer and educator Adam Danforth and the members of the Good Meat Project are trying to get chefs and at-home cooks to reconsider lamb and mutton.

As one local rancher put it, “When herd management is focused on sustainability, sheep and goats bring much to the table of ecological health. Besides economically using the vegetation naturally produced in regional pastures, they can enhance the biology of the range by their measured consumption of forages, recycling organic matter in the form of manure, and producing a profit that enables the most ecologically sensitive folks (those whose livelihoods depend directly on the land’s health) to stay on the land as stewards through many generations.”

Courtesy, West Texas Collection, Angelo State University Shearing Sheep at Stilson & Case Ranch (El Dorado, TX)
18 | Historic Downtown San Angelo
Courtesy, West Texas Collection, Angelo State University

So, consumers who consider the implications of their diet could do worse than choosing lamb, mutton or goat, especially when it can be locally sourced. There are some local options, including Angelo State University’s Meat Market, where lamb chops, leg of mutton, rack of lamb and variety of other cuts can be purchased. Indeed, Chef Tim Condon of Angry Cactus restaurant the only downtown restaurant that continuously offers lamb on their menu buys there when he can, but as yet the Meat Market cannot keep up with the restaurant’s demand for rack of lamb. Lamb, says Chef Condon, is among his top five sellers, even while being a more expensive offering.

Martin Amis wrote in London Fields that “Death gives us something to do. Because it’s a full-time job looking the other way.” While this may be true of our own mortal existence, ranchers must look death clearly in the eye. They see the full cycle of life played out year after year, being first midwife, then shepherd, then a kind of Charon, ferrying on their charges to feed our ever-expanding human population. If such a life sounds grim for both animal and man, there is no grimness in the ranchers who commented for this article. Year in and year out, whatever the weather, they have ridden the range, tended to cattle, to sheep, to goats, and carry a deep appreciation and sense of wonder and respect for life. Instead, they are encouraged by the biggest change in the industry the consumer. We do care about what we put on our plate, where it comes from, how it was raised, and what the costs are, not only in terms of our own wallets, but to the planet and the future. And for West Texas ranchers, this attitude reflects their own long-held sense of honor and gratitude toward life all life, human and animal alike and it is welcomed.

With thanks to: Portal to Texas History/UNT;; Marion Turner, author of Chaucer: A European Life; Joanna Cannon, author of The Trouble with Goats and Sheep that inspired the title and whose work I recommend; and to all the hard-working farmers and ranchers who keep America fed.

Photo: The Angry Cactus West Texas Lamb Chop | 19
Courtesy, West Texas Collection, Angelo State University
Handmade Boots • Family Owned Since 1922 Estate Sales Collectibles Antiques • Antiques & Collectibles • Gifts & More • Custom Embroidery • Estate Sales (325) 655-3962 42 E. Concho Ave. San Angelo, Tx 76903

The 8th Annual Brews, Ewes & BBQ cooko had an amazing turnout with both vendors and cook teams alike. We would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who attended, supported and participated! The event would be nothing without each of you. This year, we did things a little di erent with the way we had the event layout itself. We had our vendors across the river next to the Museum of Fine Arts and kept the cook teams at Bart Dewitt Park. The cooko this year was a state qualifying event. Those who participated and ranked in the top are one step closer to the IBCA’s Cook of The Year title!

What stood out the most was the World Championship Lamb cooko itself…

Imagine a picturesque setting, with tables adorned in rustic decor, twinkling lights strung overhead, and the sound of laughter and chatter lling the air. Not only is that the highlight of our event each year, but we also had some amaz ing entries. Grilling lamb is not just about cooking – it's an art form. From selecting the nest meat to mastering the perfect marinade, every step in the BBQ process requires skill, patience, and a touch of creativity. Whether you're a seasoned grill master or a novice looking to hone your skills, our World Championship Lamb BBQ event is the perfect opportunity to showcase your culinary prowess and impress your guests with mouthwatering creations. If you do not already know, lamb is an extremely di cult type of meat to even attempt, let alone master. When trying to cook lamb it is imperative you begin the journey at least one day in advance to start the marinating process. Typically, when cooking lamb you want to marinade to try and tame the gamey avor that lamb naturally has, you can do this by using a milk based marinade. At this year’s event, our teams got really creative with their marinades like using coconut milk, milk, olive oil with seasoning, and even trying their hands at no marinade at all- very bold. The sta , volunteers, and board members heard nothing but high praises regarding this year’s Lamb cooko . In fact, even some of DTSA’s very own were judges. While they might not have been fans prior to the event, they de nitely were after the work our cook teams put in to deliver such amazing dishes.

This year’s rst place $1,000 cash prize was awarded to Salomon Hernandez with HD BBQ! Salomon ticked all o the boxes for all the judges and came out on top. Our cooko event would not have been made possible if not for our lamb sponsor Double J Lamb, thank you for gifting us the special treat of taking part in the lamb cooko !

Brews, Ewes & BBQ benefits the revitalization of our downtown and is always an enjoyable event. Downtown San Angelo cannot wait until next year!


325.227.6710 200 S Magdalen St, San Angelo, TX 76903

Constructed in 1929, the Old Central Firehouse remained an active re ghting hub until 1976. Fast forward to December 2017, when Jody & Michele Babiash assumed ownership of this historical establishment. With the unwavering support of their family and numerous friends, they embarked on a journey to refurbish the premises into its present-day allure: an inviting Bed & Breakfast on the upper oor and a vibrant Pizzeria & Taproom downstairs.

e Bed & Breakfast provides a serene escape tailored for adults. Stepping into this haven, guests encounter a blend of contemporary amenities alongside glimpses of the rehouse's storied past, depicted vividly through canvas photographs adorning the walls. Each room boasts a king-sized bed, a Keurig co ee maker, a private bath stocked with toiletries, and luxurious linens. Whether you're exploring San Angelo or seeking a memorable staycation, this establishment promises an unforgettable experience.

Meanwhile, the Pizzeria & Taproom downstairs o ers hand-tossed, brick-oven pizza that is made to order with Texas' rst self-serve beer wall featuring 24 taps. You'll nd an inviting dining area lled with remen memorabilia and two patio areas where customers can enjoy the relaxing outdoors. e back patio overlooks the Fireman's Memorial Park providing a scenic backdrop for families to unwind. e Pizzeria has unique o erings such as: street taco pizza, jalapeño popper pizza, and pickle pizza along with timeless classics like cheese and pepperoni. While visiting the Firehouse you will most likely run into one of the owners or their daughters but even if they are not there, you’re sure to be helped by one of their friendly sta members. We highly encourage you to stop by Old Central Firehouse for a bite or to stay!

Surety Title Company 136 W Twohig Ave SAN ANGELO,TX 76903 (325)658-7588 W E P R O U D L Y S E R V E T O M G R E E N , I R I O N , G L A S S C O C K , K E N D A L L , S U T T O N , K I M B L E , E D W A R D S , S T E R L I N G , C O K E , R U N N E L S , C O N C H O , M E N A R D , H O W A R D , S C U R R Y , A N D M I T C H E L L C O U N T I E S LOCATED AT TALK TO US W I T H M O R E T H A N 1 0 0 + Y E A R S O F C O M B I N E D E X P E R I E N C E WE ARE HOMETOWN PROUD @suretytitleco Historic Downtown San Angelo | 23
Historic Downtown San Angelo | 25

Accomplishments of Downtown San

Angelo Since Inception

• “Main Street City” designation in 2005

• From 120 vacant or underused buildings to 39

• Only 3 businesses open after 5PM when Del took over DSA

• TIRZ (Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone) to help owners with renovations

• Chadbourne “Streetscape Project” historic lamps and signal boxes with historic photos

• Painted Sheep Project

From COSA Financial Report, September, 2022

• Revenue from property tax: $40 million

• Revenue from sales tax: $22.5 million

• Expended on public safety: $45 million, with about $20 million spent each year for police/ re

• Expended on public works: $15 million

• Water and sewage services cost $33 million (o set by charges for $7.5)

Top 5 Employers in San Angelo

• Goodfellow Air Force Base

• Shannon Hospital System


• Angelo State University

• City of San Angelo

“Del”ving into Downtown San Angelo

Spanish philosopher and author Fernando Fernández-Savater Martín says that a hero needs two things: a loyal friend and a tireless enemy. While Del Velasquez would probably shake his head at the description “hero,” still, as he moves into retirement, one could re ect that his life has paralleled the conventional archetype of the hero’s journey, albeit in a more modern, less mythic sense: the adventures far from home, struggles and defeats and conquests, and nally, the return home, sometimes triumphal, sometimes not, but always changed.

Velasquez didn’t return home to cheering crowds, but certainly anyone would consider his journey a success. Along the way, he would have many loyal friends and mentors, but enemies? Not really, because his super-power is his a able manner and charm. If Del did encounter an enemy, it might only be that enemy of all mortals, Time itself.

And Time was taking its toll on his aging parents, L.D. and Hortencia Velez Whittle, here in San Angelo. Del, living and working in Washington, D.C. as a lobbyist, increasingly felt the need to come home, help care for them and be with them in their last years. His mother had been a dynamic in uence on Del Hortencia was a trailblazer, one of only four Hispanic graduates from San Angelo High School in 1946. She followed that with a bold step for women of that era by enrolling in college at Incarnate Word in San Antonio in 1947.

Historic Downtown San Angelo | 27

Growing up, Del split his time between neighborhoods. He lived in Santa Rita, with the Sunken Garden Park right outside his front door. ere, “probably the only Hispanic in the neighborhood,” he played games of cowboys and Indians, hide-and-seek, football, and baseball with his friends, all White, friends who, at eight, nine or ten, didn’t factor in any conditions on friendship than whether you were fun and played fair. Del’s other neighborhood was “the barrio,” his family’s world, where he spent time with Spanish-speaking grandparents, aunts and uncles, and lots of cousins 10 brothers and sisters–an entrepreneurial family that would later let him apprentice in a variety of trades, instilling in Del a vigorous work ethic and the critical importance of customer service. Del, then, straddled two worlds, a feat that might again inspire comparisons to heroic gures but in his own experience was simply “adapting.” Indeed, he would nd advantages in balancing between two cultures, two languages, and later in Washington, between two political parties. But as a child, he found that the constant between both his worlds was the shared Christian faith and its emphasis on God, family, love and respect, precepts practiced at home and in the Catholic school Del attended. Trusting this foundation to guide him, Del’s parents allowed him to be independent, not putting a lot of restrictions on him. But he had to prove that he would stick to things and not just itter about . . . there would be resources, but there had better be results. Del would deliver the results.

Hortencia, the rst Hispanic president of the Texas Professional Women’s Chapter in San Angelo, was also active in her community, especially her church, where she loved putting on talent shows as fundraisers. Her passions, Del remembers, were faith and helping people, values she practiced herself and worked to pass on to her son. She received con rmation that she had achieved her most important goal raising her son, Del, to be a man of character, of generosity, of service to others from none other than the 41st President of the United States, George H. W. Bush. “Best wishes, in appreciation for all that Del does for me,” Bush wrote, a testament to the mother whose life had served as the exemplar for a child who went, as all mothers hope, further than she herself had dreamed. She sent him out into the world with his faith as a shield, and he had traveled, not on a steed like Gawain’s Gringolet, but Air Force One itself, as a member of Bush’s personal sta

After Bush left the White House, Del was approached by his former employer, AT&T, to work as a lobbyist in D.C. Del, so comfortable with his dual cultures, hadn’t realized that the Junior Executive Training (JET) that AT&T o ered him years before as a young Angelo State graduate was part of an a rmative action strategy until he re ected on the experience later. While considered controversial today, “at that time,” Del believes, such programs did help some individuals develop in the corporate world, focusing on individual potential and growth. Still, Del’s own take on prejudice has always been to stay true to his values and work hard by sticking to these principles, Del believed he could overcome any obstacle.

28 | Historic Downtown San Angelo

One thing the JET program did con rm for Del was that his best asset was his relationship-building skills; in fact, Del laughs, it was the only area he excelled in, according to his supervisor. But it’s the kind of skill that can’t be taught, and it was just that skill that helped him in D.C., putting his connections together and being able to work either side of the political aisle to get things done. At that time, the breakup of the Bell System was reverberating not just down phone lines, but the entire communications and broadcasting industries. Del’s role was also an instructional one, educating members of Congress about the potential e ects of legislation and its impact on the future. One of the exciting things that Del worked with, then in its infancy for potential uses in the military, was the atscreen technology that is ubiquitous today.

When Del did return to San Angelo, he found that Time had ravaged San Angelo’s downtown area. Buildings that had been constructed as beacons of modernity and progress were dilapidated, disused and sometimes dangerous. But there was an organization working with the city and state to revitalize downtown, getting San Angelo designated as a Main Street City in 2005. With his deep roots in and passion for San Angelo, his experience in government and that super-power charm, Del was a natural t to helm Downtown San Angelo, Inc. as Executive Director, a position he held twice until his retirement last December.

During Del’s tenure, Downtown San Angelo has matured into an experienced organization, familiar with navigating the corridors of local, state, and federal institutions to nd funding. It is a Crusade of sorts, and it requires people with heart and courage to see it through.

Del credits our local people the property- and business-owners for their commitment to downtown, the Mayor and City Council, and the citizens who work, live and shop here for the success in revitalizing downtown. “ e one thing I’d like to say about San Angelo is we’re survivors . . . we’ve got challenges in West Texas that other communities don’t have to face because of our location and the attributes of our community. But we work hard, and we make things happen.”

Del would be the rst to tell you he has lived an enviable life, but he does wish he’d spent more time with his family. Early on, there were things he worked too hard at, he realizes now, that didn’t merit such strenuous attention. Still, he would have liked to realize his vision of true downtown living before retiring from DSA . . . lofts with families, an urban community that could nd its needs met after 5 pm within walking distance.

Stepping away from Downtown San Angelo, he leaves the organization in the very capable hands of Monica Ramos. Del has mentored and worked with Monica for ve years, con dent that with her talent and skillset, the organization “is gonna be in great hands.” His advice to Monica going forward? “Stay steady. Stay focused on the mission: Preserve and revitalize downtown.”

Yes, time can ravage, but time and a lot of hard work can also heal. Many of the wounds that neglect in icted on the heart of our city have been repaired; it now beats again with its own unique rhythm, with commerce, with music, with art. For Del, San Angelo is world enough now, and Time . . . well, it doesn’t stand still, and neither will Del. He’ll make the most of it.

To purchase Ad Space in the next issue contact: WE BRING IDEAS TO LIGHT 325-653-4488 4272 S. Jackson St., San Angelo, Texas Heavenly Shoes Boutique 43 W. Twohig | Downtown San Angelo | Corner of Twohig & Irving | 325-227-4630 Men's and Women's shoes available We sell shoes in 4A & Double Wide H Cow Patties - Thrift Shop 31A&B W. Towhig, San Angelo, TX 76903 325-315-7148 Hours- Thursday & Friday: 8 AM- 5 PM & Saturday: 9 AM- 3 PM “Congratulations on your retirement, Del! Thank you for all you’ve done for our community, and your mentorship to us both.” - Andi & Chrys

Del, Congratulations on your retirement. Most important thank you for believing in the Main Street program and the importance of preservation. Your energy, spirit and endless hours of hard work produced great Results. Your friendly approach as well as you knowing everyone in town helped drive the support. Thank you. Monica has done a terrific job of giving Downtown San Angelo and Del the creative juices and new ideas to continue to move Downtown San Angelo forward. We know you have big shoes to fill. We also know you have the ability to fill Del’s shoes and keep the revitalization efforts moving forward. You will add new ideas and energy to the efforts. Thank you for believing and working hard to make Downtown successful.

-Mayor Gunter

Del, It has been a pleasure working and serving with you in Downtown San Angelo for the past 12 years. I enjoyed working with you to face the challenges presented and watching as you moved San Angelo forward. It was never easy and each step came with opposition, conflict, and hard conversations but, at the end of the day, our community is better because of your leadership. Thank you for your hard work, dedication, and most of all your friendship. Enjoy this next phase of your life and know that you can always count on me to help.

Monica, We know that DTSA is poised for this next chapter under your leadership. Know that you can always count on me and all of us here at Texas Bank as you work to continue to build San Angelo’s legacy. I have enjoyed working with you these last few years, and I look forward to watch Downtown thrive in the coming years. Thanks for stepping up, Monica.

-Casey Barrett

Del, your enthusiasm and knowledge of downtown has been such a great asset to our community. Although you will be greatly missed, we have every confidence that your example has given Monica everything she needs to lead us forward. We are excited for what the future holds for our beloved downtown. Thank you both for putting your heart and soul into Downtown San Angelo.


& Michelle Babiash

Congratulations on your well-deserved retirement, Del! Your hard work, dedication, and determination to revitalize Downtown San Angelo is felt and seen in so many ways. The lives that you have touched, and the legacy that you have left for the future success is something to be proud of! Although you probably don’t know how to slow down, I hope will find time to stop and smell the flowers. Wishing you health & happiness, and I hope you enjoy all your new adventures that this next chapter in life, called retirement hold for you!

Monica, congratulations on your promotion for Downtown San Angelo! You had the opportunity to work with a great mentor, and have shown the same heart and passion for our community that Del did. You will do great things! Thank you for your leadership,

Del, Welcome to endless leisure time. Congratulations on your retirement. For Monica, Congratulations, and good luck with your exciting new challenge.

-Lee P uger

Congratulations to Del on an incredible career and to Monica for your well deserved promotion. The passion and hard work from both of you have truly inspired us all. Wishing you nothing but the best in these new chapters of life.

Historic Downtown San Angelo | 31
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Located in the ASU Mayer Museum, the West Texas Collection (WTC) is the Special Collections Department of the ASU Library. e WTC collects, preserves and makes accessible historical manuscripts, records, books, photographs and other materials related to the history of the region, as well as the growth and development of Angelo State University. e WTC is open free to the public 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

2118 S. Bryant San Angelo, TX | 325-387-8378 3 2 5 - 4 8 1 - 8 3 2 2 • 3 5 0 1 N U S H W Y 6 7 Proud to be San Angelo‘s Community College since 1973
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