SAN ANTONIO MAN
HOME BUILDERS SEE GROWTH IN SA SAN ANTONIO WELCOMES
THE AMERICAN BASKETBALL LEAGUE HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE THE SILENT KILLER
SURVIVE AN OBSTACLE RACE FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013
Doyle Beneby The Powerhouse at CPS
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SAN ANTONIO MAN
Table of Contents
FEATURE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 COVER STORY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 MONEY & INVESTMENTS . . . . . . . . . . . 24 SA CULTURE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 SELF-MADE MAN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 FAST TRACK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 HEALTH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 EXERCISE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 WHAT WOMEN WANT . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 SPORTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 HAPPY HOUR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 TOP TEN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 QUICK BITES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 RIDES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 HUNTING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 THE DAYTRIPPER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 ANOTHER VIEW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
Doyle Beneby p.20 HUNTING
VENISON SAUSAGE Hunters Gather To Make Their Own p.57
OBSTACLE RACES p.38
MEN ON THE MOVE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 THE LAST WORD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 BACK IN TIME . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
SAN ANTONIO MAN
In our first issue of SAN ANTONIO MAN for 2013 we follow the recovery of the new home market in San Antonio, specifically targeting four local homebuilders who have weathered the downturn in the market and tell us where they see improvement in the coming year. Housing starts are up for the second year in a row, and there is more optimism in the market now than in the previous several years.
ms ©Oscar Willia Photography
We got to visit with Doyle Beneby, the CEO of CPS Energy, San Antonio's municipal utility, and learn more about the powerhouse behind our power company. In addition, we feature some timely topics such as creating a new exercise plan in the new year and surviving the newest exercise trend — the obstacle course. Our etiquette expert, Diane Gottsman, offers advice on office organization and must-haves for every well-appointed office space. As deer hunting season comes to a close, we have a great story on making venison sausage. Chet Garner takes us to Goliad, site of a historic battle following the Alamo, and has some great suggestions for eating out in the area along with other attractions to make your trip worthwhile. Be sure to check out our article on the new American Basketball League in San Antonio and, as always, Quick Bites will whet your appetite with more of our favorite places to catch a bite. As we enter 2013, we look forward to the new year with optimism and much enthusiasm. We appreciate your feedback and are working on continuing to meet and surpass your expectations of our publication. Find us on Facebook and let us know how we're doing, what or who you would like to see featured, and tell us what's important to the San Antonio man.
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SAN ANTONIO MAN
TERRY NEGLEY Terry “The Car Guy” Negley has been reviewing new car models for SAN ANTONIO MAN since the first edition. Last year he won a craft competition with the Texas Auto Writers Association. Through the years he has built and raced everything from hot rods to high-powered sports cars, even racing with Team Lotus while living in California. In the early ‘90s he became a new car consultant, helping people with the purchase of new or used cars, something he still enjoys. In 2003 he was approached by the Auto Appraisal Group to be their rep in Central Texas. Tying consulting, appraisal and journalism together was a natural fit. He only wishes he were still racing. Terry says the only thing he loves more than cars is his wife, Judy, and their 10 grandchildren.
GREG HARRISON An internationally published and degreed photojournalist with 40 years on the beat, behind the lens and in the classroom, Greg Harrison shares people’s joys and successes through photography. Hired as a biweekly newspaper photographer, he worked his way through college, then spent a decade photographing the oil industry. He gained new skills directing commercials and producing print advertising in Texas and abroad. Harrison taught photojournalism at Reagan High School before becoming a contributor to SAN ANTONIO MAN. Assignments for dozens of nonprofits and corporate clients over the years define his San Antonio persona. When there’s a premier event, he will quite likely be the photographer. He elaborates, “There’s nothing quite like capturing portraits of San Antonio in all our prosperity, our community and our generosity.” 10
by ERNIE ALTGELT
SAN ANTONIO MAN
Photography GREG HARRISON
“Homing in” on San Antonio’s residential construction Veteran builders offer insights into SA’s burgeoning new home market For many San Antonians, achieving the American dream isn’t just home ownership, it’s new home ownership. And for a variety of reasons, the local market for the freshly finished, often custom home construction is seeing a resurgence as buyers, young and old, flush and frugal, flock to newly created neighborhoods or entice builders to privately owned lots with the intent of acquiring an abode that’s never been occupied before.
It can be a challenging and exciting un-
Today, the landscape seemingly ex-
dertaking, and to capture a little of the
plodes with development reaching far and
essence of this creative and indispensable
wide sprouting top-caliber housing at
industry, SAN ANTONIO MAN has invited
mind-boggling rates. But for the builders,
five area veteran builders to share a few in-
new home construction can be like riding
sights on what’s going up and what’s going
a roller coaster. Like all cities in the United
down in the always active, never dull new
States, San Antonio (ranked nationally as
the seventh-largest in population and boasting the fourth-largest new home mar-
The home turf
ket) and its residential building industry
Since its inception and naming in
haven’t been immune from the inherent, fi-
1691, San Antonio has been erecting
nancially driven boom-and-bust cycles
housing to shelter its ever-growing popu-
that have always affected areas within the
lace. In the days of yesteryear construc-
tion was entrusted to laymen who
As evidence, after a record high of more
generally relied on established tech-
than 19,000 housing starts in San Antonio
niques, trial and error and maybe even the
during the heady times of 2006, new lows
proper recipe for mixing adobe. Homes
were soon to follow in the leaner years of
were erected as needed, and quality was
2008 through 2011, when the same fell by
never assured. Remarkably, it wasn’t until
two-thirds. Fortunately, Texas and espe-
the middle of the 19th century that the city
cially San Antonio, thanks to military ex-
got its first planned suburban neighbor-
pansion, the Eagle Ford Shale play and
hood, the King William District.
other factors, were somewhat sheltered
SAN ANTONIO MAN
from the nationwide downturn and, as a result, have rebounded more quickly than other parts of the country. In 2012 the city reported an acceptable 8,077 housing starts. This year, more than 9,000 are eagerly anticipated (source: Metrostudy). The market appears to be on the rebound. But thanks to a top-notch building industry driven by a cadre of professionals who meticulously oversee every detail essential to the inception and completion of highly prized, value-sustaining, expertly fabricated new housing, the consumer has many options available when seeking a newly constructed or custom home. The following individuals, all well-established and experienced players within the local residential building trade and representing some of the city’s finest firms, offer expert testimony covering various aspects of San Antonio’s special, and, in many respects, unique new housing market.
The “crash” After 40 years as a builder, Art Burdick, founder and president of Burdick Custom Homes, has seen it all regarding the ups and downs of new home construction. SAN ANTONIO MAN wanted to know what he thinks
Art Burdick of Burdick Custom Homes has built more than 2,000 homes locally. He was named Builder of the Year in 2011.
about the latest downturn, which struck the nation, Texas and San Antonio in 2007/2008. He offers, “Our city was fairly unique in that we didn’t have a huge price run-up prior to the downturn; therefore prices didn’t retreat much. The equity owners had accrued didn’t evaporate. This allowed our new home market to remain somewhat stable during these turbulent years. However, others factors, such as the loss of AT&T (including many of its suppliers), did negatively impact home building. Fortunately, San Antonio remains a fairly strong market, thanks to our lower housing costs and high standard of living. For example, many re-
tirees are attracted to the area since they
Homes in 1989 and over his career has built
can sell a ‘mid-range’ home in another city
more than 2,000 local homes.
and upgrade to a luxury home here for the same price. All in all, we’ve been better off than many other areas.” Burdick has been heavily involved in the San Antonio building industry since 1972. In 1982 he was recognized nationally as one of the Outstanding Young Builders. In 1981, he was elected president of the Greater San Antonio Builders Association, and in 2011, was named by that association the Builder
“San Antonio remains a fairly strong market, thanks to our lower housing costs and high standard of living.”
of the Year. He established Burdick Custom
SAN ANTONIO MAN
“New homes today are far more energy-efficient than those built just a few years ago.”
Jim Leonard, president and founder of Greenboro Homes, was president of the Greater San Antonio Builders Association in 2012.
Why buy new? ergy by 2030. So the emphasis is on better
homebuilding since 1982. Currently he
building, resulting in a lower operating cost
serves on the executive committee of the
founder of Greenboro Homes, was asked
for the homeowner. Generally, new con-
Greater San Antonio Builders Association
by SAN ANTONIO MAN if there were ad-
struction homes (reflecting their quality) will
and was its president in 2012. He is also a
vantages to buying new rather than pur-
come with a warranty. The buyer usually
member of the board of directors of the
chasing an existing structure. He responds,
has the ability to select all the features and
Texas Association of Builders and is a di-
“New homes today are far more energy-ef-
colors that go into the home. Many builders
rector for the National Association of Home
ficient than those built just a few years ago.
such as Greenboro Homes also offer addi-
Builders. Leonard has been recognized
Building science has improved, and even
tional personalized options, resulting in a
several times as an award recipient from
more efficient products are coming to the
high level of customer satisfaction because
both the local and state associations. He
market. The city will soon adopt newer,
the new homeowner will ultimately get ex-
began Greenboro Homes in 2004, and his
more stringent codes and is currently work-
actly what he or she desires.”
company has since completed more than
As an area leader within the new home market,
ing toward all homes being ‘net zero’ en-
Leonard has been engaged in residential
SAN ANTONIO MAN
Planned neighborhoods or building on a pre-owned lot? With so much experience building in a variety of communities across San Antonio and Central Texas, Frank Sitterle Jr. and Jeff Buell, the owners of Sitterle Homes, have a pretty good perspective when it comes to reading market trends. SAN ANTONIO MAN asked where the new homes are going up — in planned communities or on pre-owned lots? According to Buell and Sitterle, the answer is mixed. As they volunteer, “Both locations expe-
Frank Sitterle, Jr. (left) and Jeff Buell, owners of Sitterle Homes, build homes in more than 20 communities in San Antonio and Austin.
rience growth as the market heats up; however, planned neighborhoods will continue to build the lion’s share of the new homes
Frank Sitterle Sr. In 2005, Sitterle turned
purchased. Generally, first-time buyers
over the company to his son, Frank Jr., and
start in the more affordable planned neigh-
Jeff Buell, both partners in the business. In
borhoods that may have an existing ‘new’
2010, the company received the presti-
inventory already in place; then, as the
gious AVID award for being No. 1 in Cus-
family and its income grow, many become
tomer Experience in the United States.
desirous of acquiring a fully custom home
Today, the company builds in more than 20
or perhaps a slightly lower-priced semi-
communities in the San Antonio and Austin
custom home where building changes are
areas. A new Houston operation located
welcomed. We’ve built many of these
near Sugarland is scheduled to open for
‘step-up’ homes in our planned subdivi-
sales in the spring of 2013. Over its pro-
sions and on the owner’s lot.” Sitterle Homes was founded in 1964 by
“Planned neighborhoods will continue to build the lion’s share of the new homes purchased.”
ductive history, Sitterle Homes has completed more than 4,000 homes.
SAN ANTONIO MAN
“Be sure to ask how many years a builder has been in business. Longevity is a definite positive.”
Raul Correa, president and founder of Prodigy Custom Homes, has 25 years of experience in the industry.
The financing challenge builders and buyers may face
time and growth to ease the situation for
Like every quality custom homebuilder,
$450,000 price range. This can make it dif-
buyers and builders alike. But people still
Raul Correa, with 25 years of experience,
ficult for a potential buyer to qualify be-
need and want homes, so, thankfully, I’m
has faced his share of the challenges that all
cause of the sheer size of the loan.
in his industry periodically encounter, includ-
Because of the recent economic downturn
Correa is the president and founder of
ing labor shortages, rising material costs,
— much of it fueled by bad real estate in-
Prodigy Custom Homes. He is a member in
periods of inclement weather and other lim-
vestments — the banks have really tight-
good standing with the Better Business
iting factors. However, when SAN ANTONIO
ened up. Today, those with credit scores
Bureau (as an AAA-rated business) and the
MAN asked what was the most pressing ob-
below 680 have a very difficult time obtain-
Greater San Antonio Builders Association.
stacle he and his clients currently confront,
ing a mortgage, where a few years ago,
His homes have been repeatedly recog-
his response was immediate: “Financing!”
that number would have resulted in a quick,
nized and featured in multiple Parade of
simple approval.” He believes, “It will take
As he relates, “Unlike tract homes, most
SAN ANTONIO MAN
Insider’s tips on selecting a new homebuilder When queried about what consumers should consider when selecting a builder, our featured homebuilding experts not only know what the savvy shopper should ask, but were most eager to share the same. Maybe that’s because these pros and the excellent companies they represent have all the right answers. Whatever, all agree a little due diligence is mandatory. Jim Leonard believes that before and during the construction process it’s very important for the consumer to have access to the builder — not just a salesperson. Also, buyers need to find out at the beginning if the builder is “willing to accommodate requests for changes or additional items.” Not all are. And regarding developments, find out what’s planned for any surrounding vacant land. If neighboring open property does exist, what’s scheduled to be put on that property may be detrimental, price-wise, if the buyer ever decides to sell. Jeff Buell and Frank Sitterle recommend visiting builders who are located in the areas that the buyer wishes to live in. The pair also advises “knocking on the doors of former customers and asking about their experience with the builder.”
Quiz them about what they would change or do differently if they had a second chance. Was it a good experience? Quality companies are usually glad to share customer references, but buyers should insist on obtaining a complete list of past clients and not just accept a few names. And regarding references, Art Burdick suggests also contacting the company’s bank. Ask “Are there any liens or lawsuits?” Another source for good advice, according to Burdick, is asking a Realtor or, as he clarifies, “several Realtors.” These folks know! Raul Correa recommends always using established builders: “Be sure and ask how many years a builder has been in business. Longevity is a definite positive.” Ask about specific homes — were they finished on time and on budget? And while price is important, be sure to find out just “what you are getting for your money.”
SAN ANTONIO MAN
by ERNIE ALTGELT
Photography MARK LANGFORD
Doyle Beneby, president and CEO of CPS Energy, has always loved reading, especially nonfiction. The South Florida native credits his grandmother with pushing him toward achievement, telling him, "education coupled with hard work" is the key to advancement. He became the chief executive at CPS Energy in 2010.
Doyle N. Beneby SAN ANTONIO MAN
HUMAN POWERHOUSE Many men ultimately come to be defined by their chosen profession, but for San Antonio’s Doyle N. Beneby, the president and chief executive officer of CPS Energy, the reverse is perhaps more the case — his abilities and personal energy have come to characterize the industry he has spent a lifetime embracing, bettering and serving to the direct and substantial benefit of millions across a large part of the continental United States. With almost 30 productive years working and learning within the field of effective, efficient and dependable power generation and distribution, this dynamic individual, as demonstrated by his many public and private accomplishments, today finds himself at the apex of a well-founded career and life. Here he continues to guide, innovate and inspire while enhancing the comfort, productivity and well-being of CPS Energy customers.
A GRANDMOTHER LIGHTS THE WAY
BRIGHT WITH BOOKS AND BASKETBALL
A native of South Florida, Beneby was born in 1959 to parents of
Always a bright child, Beneby was particularly adept at math. As an
modest means. His father worked as a laborer for diverse industries,
example, during family shopping trips to the grocery store the youngster
while his mother taught school. His grandparents emigrated from the
would get his mother to tell him the cost of each item she planned to pur-
West Indies. When he was a very young child, his parents divorced, leav-
chase. When the basket was full, he would almost magically calculate
ing the toddler in a fatherless Miami household shared with his mother,
the exact dollar amount owed — including tax — before reaching the
several cousins and, fortunately for him, his maternal grandmother. While
checkout counter. As he recalls, “Even as a kid, I was a ‘numbers’ guy. It
it was a loving albeit crowded home, with so much constant activity there
just came natural.”
wasn’t much time for a lot of personal attention to be lavished on any one occupant.
And it wasn’t only math at which he excelled. In school, Beneby, who loved to read (and still does), found almost all of the assignments easy. The result
As a result, independence was instilled early, and in retrospect, this
was his being placed in advanced groups where more rigorous studies were
proved an important role in Beneby’s impending success. He was particu-
involved. Still, he fought to stay attentive, constantly battling boredom — but
larly influenced by his grandmother, who through her admirable and tireless
then he would remember his grandmother. Overall, he proved to be an excel-
actions became the individual he most desired to emulate. She labored
lent student (needing occasional prodding) who maintained an A average while
daily as a maid, yet never complained about her lot in life. More importantly
participating in sports and working at a variety of after-school jobs, including
for her grandson, she tenaciously held to the belief that “education coupled
a stint at McDonald’s. All in all, as he relates, “I was a happy kid but always
with hard work” was the key to advancement.
wanting more. I needed to be challenged, mentally and physically.”
It was her steadfast determination regarding those truths that kept
After graduation, an advanced education was attainable thanks in large
Beneby focused during and beyond his academic years. When he looks
part to his considerable skills on his high school’s basketball court. Quite
back at her innate wisdom and unrelenting encouragement, he feels a
frankly, Beneby, aided by a lean and quick 6-foot, 5-inch build, was really
deep gratitude for what she imparted. As he admits, when facing current
good — enough so that he was awarded a full athletic scholarship to Mon-
confrontations and challenges, “it’s like she’s sitting on my shoulder,
tana Tech. When not competing with the basketball team or working part-
there to help me do the right thing, still guiding me.”
time for the university, he studied math and engineering. His family,
SAN ANTONIO MAN
Beneby and his wife, Christine, are the parents of twins Baye and D. J. In addition to his work at CPS Energy, he serves on numerous boards and is chairman of the American Heart Association for the second consecutive year. When time permits, he enjoys golf.
especially his grandmother, was ecstatic with this scholastic opportunity.
ELECTRIC AT EXELON
After receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in mining and engineering
In 2001 Beneby relocated to Michigan, where, as a site general manager
in 1982, Beneby spent his first post-graduation year working as an underground
for the Consumers Energy Company, he continued to acquire and hone the
surveyor with Anaconda Copper in Montana. While he found the work instruc-
skills essential for future advancement. It was his next stop, however, where
tional, his strong ties to Miami beckoned, and in 1983 he eagerly returned
he would excitedly face the additional challenges and accept the broader
home. Through pure serendipity, he soon discovered and ultimately embarked
responsibilities that would ultimately prepare him for the leadership position
on a path that he still treads today.
he holds today. Joining the Exelon Power Company in 2003, Beneby became an employee of one of the nation’s largest electric producers, and as he re-
PLUGGED IN AT FP&L
calls, “The opportunities for career progression were rife.” Headquartered in
With his degree in hand, Beneby found the only employer in his home-
Chicago, and single at the time, he spent the next seven years moving from
town with the potential need for his particular skill set was the Florida
position to position and market to market, learning, doing, fixing, improving
Power & Light Company. Initially securing a position as an entry-level mar-
and always advancing.
keting services representative, he spent the next 17 years working his way
Repeatedly being recognized and rewarded for his exceptional work,
through the ranks by continuously accepting various positions of increas-
Beneby soared through the managerial ranks, ending his tenure at the utility
ing responsibility and leadership. These included field crew supervisor,
giant as its president, Exelon Power, and senior vice president, Exelon Gen-
engineering manager, transmission superintendent, labor relations spe-
eration. Some might be content with these prestigious titles, but Beneby
cialist, new construction superintendent, director of customer service and
wanted more. Hence his ready acceptance of the 2010 offer to become the
director of distribution and culminated with his ascension to that of general
top man at CPS Energy. His entire professional past had prepared him for
manager of two major power plants.
this important appointment.
As he relates, “I did it all and that was my plan. I quickly realized this was the industry I was meant to work within, and I wanted to know all as-
TAKING CHARGE AT CPS
pects of it.” The experiences encountered at FP&L (along with his acqui-
CEO Beneby oversees all internal processes and procedures at CPS En-
sition of an MBA from the University of Miami in 1996) proved invaluable
ergy. Externally, he represents the company in areas that are important to
and allowed Beneby to pursue even loftier goals within his chosen field.
the community and the utility. After only two and half years at the helm, he
SAN ANTONIO MAN
Beneby confers with CPS Energy employees Jonathan Adamcik (center) and Pete Anguiano. Before moving to San Antonio, he held positions at Florida Power & Light Company and the Exelon Power Company, headquartered in Chicago.
DOYLE’S DOMAIN A CPS Energy overview has already made significant strides in the areas of
dustry organizations, including Capital Power Corpo-
employee and community relations. Heralding safety
ration, Keystone Energy, the American Gas Associa-
as the company’s first priority, he says, “Every em-
tion, Texas Public Power Association (TPPA) and the
ployee should return home to his or her family as that
American Public Power Association (APPA). He also
individual left.” As for the community, he’s adamant
serves on the board of directors for the Greater San
that San Antonio should become a solar hub, leading
Antonio Chamber of Commerce, the San Antonio
in clean technology jobs.
Economic Development Foundation, the San Antonio Medical Foundation, the Association of Edison Illumi-
TO THESE ENDS HE HAS: • Led the transition to a lower carbon-intense fleet, utilizing clean coal, natural gas and nuclear combined with renewable sources, including wind and solar. This diversification hedged CPS Energy against tougher emission standards while maintaining the lowest customer rates among the 10 largest U.S. cities. • Brokered partnerships with seven clean technology companies to bring thousands of jobs to the area by 2020 while fostering increased research and development. • Dramatically improved workplace safety awareness, resulting in a 50-percent reduction of injuries. • Maintained the premier credit rating among all public power utilities in the nation. • Improved customer satisfaction levels and reliability metrics across the board.
nating Companies, the University of the Incarnate Word, Lincoln University, United Way of San Antonio and the American Heart Association. As the chairman of the American Heart Association for the second consecutive year, Beneby assisted the local chapter in not only exceeding its 2012 fundraising goal, but securing the highest amount pledged in its campaign history. He has also devoted considerable energies in the past to mentoring the youth in many of the communities where he was based.
STAYING CURRENT AT HOME So is there a personal life as well? At first glance one might not think so, but besides satisfying his voracious appetite for nonfiction and an occasional game of golf, fortunately for his wife, Christine, and two very
Beyond his corporate responsibilities, Beneby
Energy (formerly SAPSCO, founded in 1 CPS 1917) is the largest municipally owned combined gas and electric utility in the United States. It was acquired by the city in 1942. for 2011 were an impressive 2 Revenues $2.3 billion. Up to 14 percent of all utility revenues are returned to the City of San Antonio, and those revenues make up almost 30 percent of the City of San Antonio's annual operating budget. The utility serves 728,000 electric 3 customers and 328,000 gas customers. fourth-largest electric gener4 Itatoris thein the ERCOT region – the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which manages the state’s energy grid.
5 A 1,566-square-mile area is serviced, including Bexar County and portions of seven surrounding counties.
young twins, D. J. and Baye, his greatest commitment remains fulfilling his role as an involved and caring dad and husband. As he admits, “I’m a nurturer, at work and
A BATTERY OF BOARDS
As the president and CEO of CPS Energy, Doyle Beneby obviously has his hands full. The following briefly details the history, range and scope of the entity he oversees:
at home. It’s just what I do and I love it.” Based on the bright smiles and hugs he receives from Christine and
makes time to share his expertise and wisdom in a va-
the twins when he gets home late from another busy
riety of other ways. Examples include his service on
day at the office, he must be good at it. But where does
the board of directors for multiple corporate and in-
he get all that “energy”?
6 It has $11 billion in assets. 7 Its workforce numbers 3,500. CPS Energy's diverse fuel generation mix 8 includes nuclear power (35 percent), coal (34 percent), natural gas (15 percent) and renewable energy (16 percent). SANANTONIOMAN.COM
SAN ANTONIO MAN
by STEVE ARNOLD
Considering a Payroll Service? Ask yourself: Are you comfortable keeping up with approximately 400 legal and regulatory changes every year? Are you confident about making up to 268 tax calculations annually? Do you prefer to do routine administrative tasks instead of serving your customers?
If you answered “yes” to these questions, you can stop reading. But if you’re like most business owners, these issues are among the very last things you want to deal with. And yet they’re exactly what you need to be doing if you process your own payroll. Sooner or later nearly every business owner realizes it’s time to let someone else — a specialist provider — handle the time-consuming, risky and unproductive task of processing payroll. But how do you choose the right one? When you make that decision, here are five key things to consider — and to ask potential providers about as well.
5 things to think about: 1
Tax liability Tax issues are probably the No. 1 pitfall of handling payroll yourself. Every year federal and state penalty notices, levies and legal action not only reduce productivity, but put many small companies out of business entirely. Often the business owner was trying to do everything correctly, but was simply unaware of all the rules for calculating paychecks, timing tax payments and filing. If you hire a CPA or accountant to do your books, that person can handle your payroll as well. But that individual isn’t going to pay your penalties and interest if something goes wrong. A professional payroll service company will. And a good one will even work with the tax authorities on your behalf if you ever face a payroll tax problem.
2 Payroll expertise
Any reputable payroll service you choose will be able to cover the basic needs, such as calculating
hours and vacation time, cutting checks and mailing them to your employees. The trouble is, those might not be your needs. An experienced, trained payroll professional will get to know your business, understand what it requires and work with you to make sure your payroll solution is a good fit. For example, you may want to combine your online banking with online payroll processing or offer your employees a 401(k) plan. 24
SAN ANTONIO MAN
3 A trusted provider Of course, the provider you select needs to be someone you can trust. For something as critical as handling your payroll and taxes, look for an established brand with a solid history, extensive resources and experience and a reputation for great service. The last item is particularly important since at some point you’ll probably face an urgent situation: If your administrator unexpectedly went into labor tomorrow, could your provider step in and make your filings on time?
The right features All businesses have different needs, but those of small companies are especially diverse and are becoming more so. These days, even with just a handful of employees you might need payroll deductions for 401(k), a flexible spending account, and perhaps an HSA for your health plan, plus direct deposit. And because every minute you spend on administration keeps you away from your core business responsibilities, you want it all to work as smoothly as possible. To simplify your finances, consider working with your bank. Full-service banks can offer payroll services that have some unique advantages, such as tying payroll directly to online banking for maximum convenience. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to move money very rapidly, you will appreciate having payroll services as part of your overall banking relationship.
5 Cost-effectiveness If you’re still wondering whether hiring a payroll provider is worth the cost, consider that one in three business owners will face a tax penalty each year. After several years the question will no longer be if you’re one of them — it will simply be a matter of when. Even if you’re a very hands-on manager, working with the IRS or state agencies on payroll issues is one task you’ll be glad to give to a professional payroll provider. When that time comes, the pennies per week you spend on payroll processing may turn out to be the best business investment you ever made. Steve Arnold is the area president for Wells Fargo in San Antonio.
On the Light Side SANANTONIOMAN.COM
Story and Photography by JASMINA WELLINGHOFF
SAN ANTONIO MAN
TOBIN CENTER WILL HAVE TRANSFORMING IMPACT It will bring state-of-the-art acoustics On Dec. 6, 2012, a “topping out ceremony” was held at the construction site of the new Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. A couple of hundred supporters gathered just outside the fenced perimeter of the property to hear civic leaders extol the virtues of the new center and recognize the many community players who helped make this dream a reality. After a few short speeches, a huge crane slowly lifted up a heavy steel beam bearing the U.S. and Texas flags, with a small potted tree between them. As everyone looked skyward, the beam was deposited at the top of what will be the H-E-B Performance Hall, the larger of the two theaters inside the center. Before being hoisted up, it had been signed by just about everyone present. There was a palpable sense of excitement in the crowd. “One word to describe what’s happening before you is ‘transforming,’” said County Judge Nelson Wolff, summing up everyone’s feelings. The most obvious transformation is, of course, architectural, as the iconic Municipal Auditorium is being turned into a much larger and altogether different edifice. But for San Antonio performing arts organizations and the public at large, the Tobin holds the promise of transforming the entire experience of presenting and appreciating music, opera, dance and theater. When it opens in the fall of 2014, San Antonio will no longer look with envy at Austin’s Long Center or even Houston’s magnificent
J. Bruce Bugg, Jr. Head of Bexar County Performing Arts Center Foundation
Wortham Center. We will have our own stateof-the-art performance hall. It all started in the summer of 2007, when Wolff convened a citizen advisory committee to
SAN ANTONIO MAN
discuss the need and feasibility for such a facility. “Then in September of 2007, Nelson and I met, and he asked me to form a foundation to take the idea forward,” says J. Bruce Bugg Jr., president and chairman of the Bexar County Performing Arts Center Foundation (BCPACF). Although he’s put endless hours into the project — and his enthusiasm for it is evident — Bugg describes himself as a “loaned executive,”
takes him away from his primary job as chairman and trustee of the Tobin Endowment. Bugg and Wolff were soon joined by former mayor Phil Hardberger as incorporators of the founda-
meaning this is a volunteer position for him that
tion. District Attorney Susan Reed and former San Antonio Symphony chair Debbie Montford
of these things taken together make people rec-
completed the founding board membership.
ognize that this is an important project in the
roofline. Also, because the building will accom-
evolution of culture in San Antonio.”
modate several entities, the various rooflines
In February of 2008, the city, county and the BCPACF entered into a preliminary agreement
Among the arts organizations scheduled to
regarding an overall financial plan, but nothing
perform at the Tobin are the San Antonio Sym-
could move forward without the voters’ ap-
phony, Ballet San Antonio, the Youth Orchestra
had no choice but to go above the existing
needed to be tied together, so the veil was the solution,” he says. The metal “veil” may actually help the build-
proval of a bond issue that would generate
of San Antonio, the Children’s Chorus of San
ing become an attraction in its own right, but
$100 million for the project. Several months
Antonio and the newly formed Opera San An-
how is the Tobin going to help develop bigger
later, with that approval in hand, it was clear to
tonio. Others may be added.
audiences for the performing arts beyond the
the founders that the community as a whole
When completed, the Tobin will be home to
was behind the $203 million undertaking. Today,
a 1,750-seat performance hall and a smaller
Bugg is ready for that question. He has statistics from other cities that decided to build
initial excitement of going to a cool new place?
91 percent of the needed funds have already
250-seat theater for more experimental produc-
been raised, says Bugg, with $108 million from
tions. In addition, there will be a 600-seat out-
modern performing arts halls. “Revenues and
the county, $41 million in land and buildings
door “performance plaza” connecting the
endowments grew exponentially,” says the
from the city and the rest raised by the founda-
center to the riverfront. The most innovative fea-
chairman. In Nashville, for instance, symphony
tion, mostly from major corporate donations.
ture is the first-in-the-nation flat-floor mecha-
ticket sales went from 1,500,000 to 7,500,000,
BCPACF must raise another $18 million to com-
nism that will make it possible to change the
a 400-percent jump. Donations soared 147
plete the construction and secure a $10 million
entire floor and seating configuration from a
percent. In Kansas City, the impact was
raked theatrical setup to a banquet-style flat
smaller but still substantial: Symphony and
“To get to this point, it’s been five years of
surface in 15 minutes. Though it costs an addi-
ballet ticket sales increased by 67 percent and
work, but the results are now becoming visible,”
tional $8 million, the mechanized floor makes
85 percent, respectively.
notes Bugg, who donated $15 million from the
the big hall more versatile, increasing its rev-
Tobin Endowment. “The credibility that we now
enue potential. A $3 million kitchen will provide
phony’s output sound is lost at the Majestic
have will help us raise the remaining $18 million.
Theater,” says Bugg. “When Renée Fleming
People understand the importance of the center
But the feature that attracted the most con-
“About 50 percent of San Antonio Sym-
performed last spring, I was sitting in the sev-
to the community. Among other things, this will
troversy — and that ultimately changes the ap-
enth row, and I couldn’t hear her at times. They
be the first acoustically correct building in San
pearance of Municipal Auditorium the most —
had to bring her a mike (normally not needed in
Antonio history. It will help us bring the best
is the enormous 120-foot metal “veil” that will
opera houses). That will not happen at the
artists from around the world. It will have a
top the renovated structure. Bugg explains that
Tobin. It’s going to be a difference between
tremendous impact on economic development,
it was necessary to achieve top-notch
night and day. And once people experience
and it will have an educational component for
acoustics. “Municipal Auditorium was originally
symphonic or operatic performance as it should
our youth. Studies have shown that children
built on a lead shield underneath, and we were
be, the first time they actually hear fully what is
who are exposed to the performing arts show
told we couldn’t go below that shield. Since
being presented on stage, it will be exhilarating.
higher math and science skills, for instance. All
acoustics are driven by volume and size, we
They will want to come back again and again.”
by RON AARON EISENBERG Photography CASEY HOWELL
SAN ANTONIO MAN
His company, Sales By Five, helps businesses grow
You won't meet many guys like Erik Darmstetter. In fact, you may not meet anyone like him. Example: He turned his living room into a volleyball court and a bedroom into a wrestling room filled with 11 mattresses covering the floor and walls â€” to make his house a "fun house" for himself and his two children. He has built an incredibly successful business without requiring clients to sign contracts. And he is not afraid to toss everything out the door to start over. Call him a "risk preferrer," and you'd be right on target. Before opening his own business, Darmstetter, 48, spent 10 years as
feel as if they are wedded to us, stuck with us. And I also want the right to fire
CEO of Creative Link, a San Antonio branding/marketing/digital technology
clients." Indeed, he has fired nine clients over the years "because they were
company. He was the boss. â€œI had overall responsibility to hire and fire and
rude to my employees."
manage new and old business," he says. But he felt boxed in at Creative Link.
Darmstetter goes to work for a client with a handshake. No contract. "We
"I've always been an entrepreneur," he says. As a student at Southwest
don't believe in contracts or billable hours. Every account is on a monthly flat-fee
Texas State, now Texas State University, Darmstetter sold T-shirts on campus.
basis. We put in the hours needed to make the project successful for the client,"
"I did very well in the T-shirt business," he says. It gave him the freedom and
he says. "And that truly means whatever it takes to be successful." He believes
flexibility to do his own thing. He liked that.
keeping track of so-called "billable hours" is very time-consuming, and yet for
So after 10 years at the helm of Creative Link, he knew he needed out. He
most consulting firms, ad agencies, law firms and the like, it's the Holy Grail.
left the company in 2002, and on March 1 of that year Darmstetter opened Sales
But he believes when you tie hours on an account to projected billable
By Five, his current company. Risky? Perhaps. But he immediately quadrupled
hours, you end up either spending too little time to accomplish your goals or
you look as if you lost money on the account when you go over the allotted
So what does Darmstetter do for a living? What is Sales By Five all about?
hours. None of that helps the client, Darmstetter says. And it doesn't help his
In the traditional sense he and his people are business consultants. He de-
company either. "Our average assignment lasts six to eight months. We handle
scribes his work this way: "I grow businesses. And that," he adds, "is a lot more
five to six clients a month," he explains.
than just sales."
A lot of what Sales By Five does is related to internal and external corporate
His approach to his own business differs markedly from other consulting
communications. He has great advice for salespeople because a lot of what he
firms: "We want to be easy to hire and easy to fire. We don't want our clients to
does is to build and train sales teams to do more and more. "The biggest thing
SAN ANTONIO MAN
with salespeople that I see today is they are not building relationships. They do what I call 'show up and throw up.' They end up 'unselling' rather than 'selling,'” he says. "People are talking too much. What can you remember? Microscripts sell products and services. 'Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.' People remember those things. Salespeople tend to say too much," Darmstetter notes. "They need a 10-second pitch these days. Not 30 seconds or more. "The key," he explains, "is what are you going to say that will build intrigue to get people to ask questions? Just think of having to get your pitch in while going from one floor to the next in an elevator. One floor. Not two or three." He takes fault with emails too: "They are way too long. When I see a three- or four-paragraph email, I ask myself if I really have to read all this and if I do, what will I remember? The same is true with voice mail ... too long ... much too long." How does Darmstetter measure his company's success? "Clients know if Sales By Five has made a difference to their bottom line,” he says. “For example, we helped the Miner Corporation go from $7 million a year to $70 million in revenue." He also says companies need strategic shortand long-term plans and goals. And they need to put those plans in writing. The long-term goals should really be out there — audacious, an enormous challenge. He helps organizations put those plans in place. He does it for his own company, too, including goal setting. "One of our goals is to bill $100,000 a month, not including expenses. We're not there yet ... we were close before the economic downturn in 2009. But we'll get there," he says. One of the things Darmstetter likes best is to
The agency had told him they had too many
make complex ideas simple. Think fifth grade lan-
words, too much copy on their website to commu-
guage, he argues. He recently volunteered some
nicate with parents and others. So he suggested
time to Child Safe, a nonprofit agency helping chil-
asking the question "Is Yours?" would hook folks
dren who've been abused [www.childsafe-sa.org].
into their mission.
He said he thought they needed a short, simple,
In a nutshell, that's what Darmstetter and
concise way to hook people in to the agency's
Sales By Five do — help make organizations more
mission — what it does and how it goes about it.
effective. Sometimes that includes identifying em-
So he came up with "Is Yours?" as a way to get
ployees who should be terminated because they
people thinking about the issue.
are not doing their jobs.
Erik Darmstetter and his employees at Sales By Five handle five to six clients a month. The average assignment lasts six to eight months. As for his company and its five employees, look for a name change in the near future because Sales By Five does so much more than sales-related consulting work, he says. While overseeing Sales By Five, Darmstetter also devotes enormous time and energy to his two children, Devyn, 12, and Dylan, 10. Thus the volleyball court for a living room and the "wrestling" room for a fourth bedroom. He also lives a block away
His prescription for success is simple: Never assume — always deal with facts. Follow your heart. Have fun. And one thing he didn't voice but follows religiously in his personal and professional life: Don't be afraid to take risks!
from his ex-wife so his children can spend time with both their mom and dad. As for a personal relationship, he calls himself "extremely single." In many ways he's still a kid himself. "I hate the have-tos" in life, he says. Rules bother him. And his business success mirrors those beliefs. While Erik Darmstetter is a long way from his final curtain, it's clear he has done things his way. And it has paid off big time for him, his company and his clients.
SAN ANTONIO MAN
For Gene Williams
Its All About
30 FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013
by RON AARON EISENBERG
Photography CASEY HOWELL
SAN ANTONIO MAN
For now, golf is on the back burner. Like the minor league baseball player who realizes the odds of making it to the major leagues are slim and none, Gene Williams put his love of golf and his dreams of playing on the PGA Tour on hold and turned to commercial real estate, where he’s become a star.
Not that he didn’t give golf a chance. Born in Beeville in 1978, Williams went to the
In 2012 he moved to CBRE, one of the
University of Virginia on a golf scholarship be-
largest commercial real estate companies in the
seen as a power couple at the top of everyone’s dinner invitation list.
fore transferring to TCU, where he graduated in
world, where he currently works in offices over-
Williams loves what he is doing now, loves his
2001 after playing golf there too. He majored in
looking the Quarry Golf Course. He acknowl-
team at CBRE and enjoys working with clients
marketing and minored in Spanish.
edges that the golf course views are like a
from across the country. And he is making a lot
magnet on many a day when he can see folks
more money than he did traveling to develop-
on the links from his office window.
mental league golf tournaments prior to 2005.
He was pretty good at the game of golf. In fact, he finished eighth in his first professional event in 2002. Williams had a plan and the de-
Williams put the same energy into learning
What does he love about his job? “I’m a
sire to make it. He incorporated himself and
commercial real estate as he put into mastering
problem solver,” he explains. “Clients want to
raised the money he needed to compete as a
golf. For example, he says he drove nearly every
grow or figure out why one location is doing so
developmental player — golf’s minor league. It’s
street in San Antonio and Bexar County visiting
much better than another. That’s a challenge I
every neighborhood — residential and commer-
enjoy. Helping clients achieve what they can
It was a challenging life. He drove to most of
cial. It was much like the repeated practice
achieve. That’s rewarding to me and to them, of
the tournaments from Texas to the Carolinas
rounds on a golf course checking out greens
course.” He enjoys visualizing which commer-
with stops in states in between. He would play
and sand traps and more. He wanted to know
cial clients will fit into a planned shopping cen-
golf all week, compete over the weekend if he
everything he could about the lay of the land.
ter. He is very much a corporate matchmaker.
the first step to the PGA Tour.
made the cut, and then drive nearly all night to
“Golf and commercial real estate have a lot
There’s no doubt Williams is enjoying great
the next tournament in time for the Monday
in common,” Williams says. “In many ways it re-
success in just six years into his commercial
Pro-Am round. This went on week after week,
ally is all about focus.” He says in golf it is liter-
real estate career. “In my career now I have to
month after month. At the time he was single,
ally keeping your eye on the ball and
focus on what I am doing, focus on my pre-
remembering the twists and turns on every
ferred clients,” he says. He makes it sound like
But the life began to wear on him, and the
hole. In commercial real estate it’s visualizing
it’s all about real estate. He tries not to think
prospects of making it to the big leagues — the
shopping centers and neighborhoods and fig-
about that other passion.
PGA Tour — were slim. In 2005, at age 27,
uring out who might go where and why.
which made it easier to be a nomad.
Williams realized it was time to move on. Think of the character Crash in the movie Bull Durham — 12 years in the minor leagues and just 12 days in the majors. Williams’ time had come to find a new career. He talked to people he knew around the
With golf and weekly travel gone, he was able to put his personal life in order too.
The tour still pulls at him, and dreams die hard. And his dream of playing on the PGA Tour
Friends introduced him to a woman they
got a small boost in 2010 when out of the blue
knew, and he and Sonya Medina were married
and on a dare he qualified to play in the Valero
in March 2010; they now have a baby boy.
Texas Open in San Antonio. He remembers
country in an effort to figure out what he wanted
Sonya had served in the White House in the
walking into the players’ locker room and seeing
to do next. “Many of my friends were in real es-
George W. Bush administration. She spent time
his name over one of the lockers. “I took a lot of
tate, and they loved it,” he explains. “It seemed
with AT&T and now is an executive with Silver
pictures,” he recalls. “A whole lot.” And he called
to be a good fit for me.” And that turned out to
Eagle Distributors. Honored as one of San An-
his golfing buddies from coast to coast.
be an understatement.
tonio Business Journal’s 40 under 40, she prob-
He did not make the cut. But qualifying for
ably knows anyone who is someone in Texas
the tournament was an unexpected high, and it
he decided to change careers, San Antonio
and beyond. And those connections can’t hurt
didn’t hurt his reputation as a doer.
seemed to be the place to be. He moved to the
Williams’ career either.
He was living in Austin at the time, but when
Alamo City in 2005, interviewed with several
This year Williams is being honored by the
Is professional golf in his future? Williams is not yet ready to say no. In just 15 years he’ll be
firms and joined the Weitzman Group, where he
Business Journal in 40 under 40. If this were
old enough to play on the Seniors’ Tour. And
quickly became a top seller.
Washington, D.C., the Williamses would be
then who knows how the ball will bounce? SANANTONIOMAN.COM
by KELLY A. GOFF
SAN ANTONIO MAN
THE SILENT KILLER Want to protect your brain and bedroom performance? Control your blood pressure
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, affects about one in three U.S. adults, and nearly one-third of them don’t know it. With no outward signs or symptoms, this “silent killer” works the heart too hard and hardens artery walls. High blood pressure increases the risk for heart disease and stroke, the first- and third-leading causes of death for Americans. Hypertension can also cause other problems, such as heart failure, kidney disease and blindness.
HIGH DEFINED A blood pressure reading appears as two numbers. The first and higher of the two is a measure of systolic pressure, or the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats and fills them with blood. The second number measures diastolic pressure,
ARE YOU AT RISK? The exact cause of high blood pressure is unknown, but several factors and conditions may increase your risk:
or the pressure in the arteries when the heart rests between beats. It's natural for blood pressure to rise and fall with changes in activity or emotional state. Men under age 45 have the highest incidence of hypertension. The chart below shows normal, at-risk and high blood pressure levels.
BEING OVERWEIGHT OR OBESE
BLOOD PRESSURE LEVELS Normal systolic: less than 120 mmHg diastolic: less than 80 mmHg At risk (prehypertension)
systolic: 120–139 mmHg diastolic: 80–89 mmHg High
Do you get nervous when you visit the doctor? Some people experience high blood pressure only when faced with medical professionals. You may be asked to monitor your blood pressure at home for 24 hours for an accurate reading. 32
systolic: 140 mmHg or higher diastolic: 90 mmHg or higher Source: CDC
People with diabetes are
treated if their blood pressure rises above 130/80, since they already have a high risk of heart disease.
• LITTLE OR NO EXERCISE • TOO MUCH SALT IN THE DIET • DRINKING TOO MUCH ALCOHOL • ETHNIC BACKGROUND • HISTORY OF HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE IN THE FAMILY
SAN ANTONIO MAN
HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE AND YOUR BODY
Very high pressure can cause a break in a weakened blood vessel, which then bleeds in the brain. This can cause a stroke. In addition, accelerated brain aging was found in people as young as 39 with hypertension, as well as those with prehypertension, including damage to the structural integrity of white matter and the volume of grey matter.
Arteries: Hardened As people get older, arteries throughout the body “harden,” especially those in the heart, brain and kidneys. High blood pressure is associated with these "stiffer" arteries. This, in turn, causes the heart and kidneys to work harder.
Eyes: Impaired Vision High blood pressure can eventually cause blood vessels in the eye to burst or bleed. Vision may become blurred or otherwise impaired and can result in blindness.
Heart: Heart Attack or Congestive Heart Failure Arteries bring oxygen-carrying blood to the heart muscle. If the heart can’t get enough oxygen, chest pain, also known as "angina," can occur. If the flow of blood is blocked, a heart attack results. Congestive heart failure is a serious condition in which the heart is unable to pump enough blood to supply the body's needs. High blood pressure is the No. 1 risk factor.
Kidneys: Damage/Failure The kidneys act as filters to rid the body of wastes. Over time, high blood pressure can narrow and thicken the blood vessels of the kidneys. The kidneys filter less fluid, and waste builds up in the blood. The kidneys may fail altogether. When this happens, medical treatment (dialysis) or a kidney transplant may be needed.
BLOOD PRESSURE IN THE BEDROOM Although high blood pressure is often without symptoms, one place where it can ring warning bells is in the bedroom. High blood pressure can damage many parts of the body, including the blood vessels. As a result, it can affect your body’s ability to get and keep enough blood in the penis to achieve and maintain an erection. In one major study, 35 percent of men with high blood pressure said they had erectile dysfunction (ED), while only 14 percent of men with normal blood pressure had ED. If you’re having mojo problems, get your blood pressure checked by a professional and have a candid discussion with your doctor. If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure and given medication, it’s important to know that some drugs, like beta-blockers and diuretics, can make ED worse. ACE inhibitors and calcium channel blockers are less likely to cause ED.
As tempting as it might be to stop taking blood pressure medicine in order to “fix” ED, never stop taking medication without talking to your health care provider.
SAN ANTONIO MAN
GOT KIDS? It’s a good idea to start having your child’s blood pressure checked at an early age — even children as young as 6 can have high blood pressure. When kids reach the teen years, they should certainly have their pressure checked. According to research, teenagers with the highest blood pressure and extra pounds have thicker arteries by age 30.
TAKE CONTROL Of all the risk factors for high blood pressure, only two of them are completely out of your control. Beyond ethnicity and family history, you have the power to lower your blood pressure through various lifestyle changes and possibly drug therapy.
WHAT TO EAT TO LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE Eat a plant-based, whole grain diet with low-fat dairy and lean proteins. More specifically, foods like berries, plain yogurt, flaxseeds, oats and hibiscus tea may all help bring down the pressure. Here are some other foods that may help:
Snacking on raisins, which are high in potassium and contain antioxidants, fiber, polyphenols and phenolic acid, could mildly lower blood pressure. This is a promising finding for people who may not have full-blown hypertension, but are on the cusp of high blood pressure.
A recent study showed purple potatoes have blood pressure-lowering powers that are nearly as effective as oatmeal, without packing on pounds.
Kiwis Research presented at a meeting last year of the American Heart Association shows that eating three kiwis a day is linked with decreased blood pressure.
Peas, bananas and other potassium-rich foods A 2005 study in the journal Hypertension found it’s possible to get the blood pressure-lowering effects from potassium-containing foods, instead of just from a potassium supplement.
Tofu Researchers report people who consumed the most isoflavones — found in soy, nuts, miso, edamame, tempeh, soy milk and green tea — had lower systolic blood pressure than those who consumed the fewest isoflavones.
Chocolate A 2010 review of studies in the journal BMC Medicine showed that flavanols, which are found in chocolate, seemed to promote the dilation of blood vessels, which in turn can lower blood pressure in people with hypertension.
A healthy lifestyle is your best defense and offense. You can lower your blood pressure with the following lifestyle changes:
• Quit smoking. • Lose weight if you are overweight or obese. • Eat a healthy diet, e.g. eat more fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products, less saturated and total fat — ask your doctor about the DASH diet. • Reduce the amount of sodium in your diet to less than 1,500 milligrams a day. • Get regular aerobic exercise (such as brisk walking at least 30 minutes a day, several days a week). • Limit alcohol to no more than two drinks a day.
by JOSEPH GARZA
SAN ANTONIO MAN
In-Home Training Develop a healthy lifestyle at home. Let’s face it, living in San Antonio, where delicious food is readily available, does not make it easy to eat right and live healthy. Most people are blind to what damage their daily food intake does to their bodies. Others are aware of their bad eating habits and simply need help and accountability to develop a healthier lifestyle. That’s where in-home training comes in. An in-home trainer will provide a
An in-home trainer will come to your home equipped with weights and a personalized
through with exercise and sticking with it.
Being trained in your home allows you to feel at ease, which in turn allows you and the trainer
workout regimen tailored to fit your goals. If
based on the activities you enjoy and fitness
there is room to walk in your house, then there
goals you have set for yourself. For example, if
to focus on the task at hand. For those who
is enough room to make you sweat and be well
you love to play tennis, the trainer will design an
don’t enjoy the gym atmosphere or who have
on the way to achieving fitness goals.
in-home program that includes strength and
a tough time knowing where to start, in-home
You may be wondering, “What are the ad-
cardio with goals around playing tennis. Addi-
training is a wonderful choice.
vantages of being trained in my home?” One
tionally, the trainer can better support you be-
As you can see, there are many
of the many benefits is that you have the undi-
cause most people need more attention and
facets to living a healthy lifestyle.
vided attention of the trainer, who will be able
daily accountability. Possibly the greatest ad-
Whether you were a high school track star and
to focus solely on you since there won’t be any
vantage is that you can relax and focus on your
haven’t run a mile in 10 years, have worn the
co-workers or other gym members interrupting
workout since there is no one else around to
same pants since the ‘80s, or want to become
your time. Seeing you in your own environment
make you feel self-conscious.
leaner in the body, working toward goals with
helps the trainer get to know you better and
Immediately after hiring an in-
an in-home trainer could be just the right thing.
make suggestions on how to use everyday
home trainer, you will find little to no
Whatever desires and goals you have, an in-
items to work out on days that you are not train-
excuse for skipping exercise. Exercis-
ing together. It will be easy for the trainer to look
ing becomes beyond convenient — of utmost
at your food logs, pantry or fridge to give nutri-
comes to following
home trainer would love the opportunity to help you be at your best.
Joseph Garza is the owner of At Your Best. He is a NASM-certified personal trainer and image consultant, who enjoys helping clients strive to be at their best, especially in developing a healthy way of life. He trains clients within the comfort of their own homes He also offers image consulting, personal shopping and youth sports training. Everyone from young men to male and female professionals can benefit from an image consulting service. Some one-onone training may just be the thing a client needs to get off the bench and into the game.
by PAUL BALTUTIS
SAN ANTONIO MAN
Here’s Mud in Your Eye! An earthy look into the world of obstacle races
Because we recognized that physical activity contributed to our happiness, we began to find ways of making it even more fun. We noticed that the obstacles and physical barriers of the modern military boot camps of the U.S. Armed Forces not only successfully recreated the landscape of a realistic battlefield environment, but the net effect of completing these course was truly rewarding. I completed several Confidence Courses in the U.S. Army at Fort Dix, N.J. They remain one of my fondest memories of basic training. WHAT IS AN OBSTACLE RUN? An obstacle run is any event that detours the participants over barriers or obstacles during their forward movement through a designed course. This broad definition certainly leaves many possibilities for a devious event planner. A well-designed course often takes a mystical nature. A good obstacle race creates a challenge that equally tests both mind and body. According to Alex Patterson, CMO of Tough Mudder: “An obstacle race is equal parts mental toughness and physical endurance. These events require the primal desire to conquer the course and the physical dexterity to tackle each obstacle that we (happily) put in your way.” OBSTACLE RACE POPULARITY HITS ITS STRIDE It was just a matter of time before obstacle races became formal events to be shared by the masses. Now that we knew the genre was a winner, it was trial and error to design courses with just the right mixture and types of obstacles. After tinkering with total distances — adding running, jumping, climbing, dodging, crawling, etc., through the event — winning combinations were created. When race organizers added the social aspects into the exe-
Once upon a time, there was something called a foot race. Get from point A to point B in the fastest possible time, and you were declared the winner.
cution, participation began to grow and grow. The THE ORIGINS OF OBSTACLE RACES TRACE BACK TO OUR ANCESTORS The ancient Olympics set the precedent for
Since variety is the spice of life, and humans pay
sports participation and spectating with the first
tickets to watch monster truck rallies, enthusiastic
Olympic Games in 776 B.C. The ancient games
overall appeal of obstacle races is that they are open to everyone who has a sense of adventure and wants to challenge himself, not necessarily to compete against others, but rather with others.
physical fitness buffs with wild imaginations have
started with just one running event, a foot race of
DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO DO
come up with their version of a human demolition
about 200 yards. The ancient Olympics began to
AN OBSTACLE RACE?
derby. These specialty events are now commonly
add events and sports to the schedule, primarily
If you decide to venture into the world of ob-
called obstacle races, which lump together a group
because spectators demanded to see more ex-
stacle races, it is probably because they offer you
of races, including mud runs, into the category.
citing and dangerous competitions.
something different from a normal routine. Accord-
Obstacle races have grown significantly over
Let's jump forward 2,500 years to the modern
the past 10 years, with countless numbers of race
Olympic games. The modern Olympic movement
seemed like a good change of pace from the stan-
names being added every year. From the Spartan
recognized the inherent value of sports and the
dard 5K/10K road race scene. If you like the whole
ing to former Marine Sgt. Jarod Spraggins, “It
Race to Warrior Dash to the Foam Run, each new
contribution that physical fitness made to our well-
military obstacle course idea, these events can re-
event seemingly wants to "one-up" the competi-
being. Ultimately, "Higher, Faster, Stronger" was
ally add variety and fun to your regimen." The
tion with unique challenges to create the ultimate
the Olympic creed that reinvigorated our memories
event planners carefully straddle the line between
rite of passage. Interestingly, obstacle races trace
of the warrior ethos and created new opportunities
creating a tough course, but not too tough for the
their roots back to our ancestors’ warrior ethos.
to challenge ourselves.
average participants to handle. In other words, you
SAN ANTONIO MAN
don't have to be a super-stud to participate. The
Obstacle Race Local Calendar
Spartan Race was one that Spraggins participated in that had a nice balance. "The challenges weren't
March 16 Warrior Dash, Smithville (3.1 miles), www.warriordash.com.
so hard that they couldn't be accomplished, yet the overall effect was that you felt you accomplished something when you finished it," states Spraggins, who completed the Spartan Race in Burnet in 2012.
April 6 5K Foam Fest, Floresville, www.5Kfoamfest.com.
One of the appealing features of these races is their secrecy. Do you really want to know the exact course beforehand, or would it be more fun to find
April 21 Muddy Mayham, San Antonio, (8K - 10 obstacles), theathletesfoot-sa.com/muddy-mayhem.
out as you go? Spraggins wanted to be surprised around every turn on the course. "They kept the obstacles pretty secret until the gun went off," he explains. "It was fun not to know what to expect around the next bend. I prefer that kind of situation." WHICH OBSTACLE RACE IS THE BEST? Of the huge selection and variety of obstacle races available today, it’s hard to sort them all out.
BOTTOM LINE —GO FOR IT!
Each has its own merit and qualities. Part of the fun
The obstacle race genre owes its creation and
is choosing whom you go with to the event. Sprag-
success to the footsteps of the ancient Olympics
gins went to the Spartan Race with a group of
and military boot camp training. These elements
friends. “ We decided to do this as a group, so that
jointly planted the seeds for this sport to evolve and
we could look out for each other and cross the fin-
grow. If you have a sense of adventure, like to hang
ish line together, hopefully in one piece." Spraggins
out with like-minded friends who enjoy physical
remarks. Word-of-mouth, friends’ referrals and a lit-
challenges and don't mind a little mud in your eye,
tle research should go a long way toward pointing
obstacle races just may help you find out what you
out which one is for you.
are made of!
May 11 Muddy Buddy (multiple events and distances), Johnson City, www.muddybuddy.competitor.com. May 18 and 19 Spartan Race, (multiple distances and events), Reveille Peak Ranch, Burnet, www.spartanrace.com. Paul Baltutis is a freelance writer and marathon coach who works at Soler's Sport in Alamo Heights. He can be reached at email@example.com.
by DIANE GOTTSMAN
SAN ANTONIO MAN
Office Etiquette Are you office ready? When a client or your boss walks into your office, what do they see? Just as with your personal appearance, your office space creates first impressions too. The look of your office sends a message to others, whether you realize it or not.
Here are eleven easy steps to make sure your office reflects your professionalism, as well as your dazzling personality:
ule 30 minutes with your assistant and delegate the piles to him or
Does your office pass the “mess” test? Is there dust in the crevices of your telephone but-
her. If you don’t have an assistant, don’t procrastinate one minute
tons? Can you see a fluffy layer of powder flying off your lampshade
longer. Organize, purge and repeat the process until the clutter is
if it’s accidentally bumped? Are there cracker crumbs and little
completely cleared. It may take a few tries, but it will be worth it to
wadded-up foil wrappers (from your favorite chocolate kisses) lit-
see the top of your desk again. Another positive to doing this is that
tering your workspace? Do you have a collection of dirty coffee
your clients will take you more seriously if they feel like you can per-
mugs collecting on your bookshelf or desk? Take 15 minutes for
form a simple organization task.
basic 2013 cleaning, and then keep up with it weekly. Your image will improve drastically if people have noticed even one of the messy telltale signs.
Properly display your personal photos. It’s a nice touch to have a few pictures of your family, neatly
positioned on your desk or bookshelf. It’s another thing to keep a
How is your leather desk blotter holding up? You may have spent a fortune on it 20 years ago,
hodgepodge of snapshots tucked into other frames, over another pile
but if it is covered in sugary rings of soda, ripped at the corners or oth-
is a spare space. Somehow, these timeless memories lose meaning
erwise showing signs of wear, toss it and spend less of a fortune on a
when they are held up by tacks, tape and a little piece of chewing gum.
of haphazardly stuck pictures, which are then strewn anywhere there
new one. You’re successful; you can splurge on a new one.
Bust the clutter. If every flat surface in your office is piled with papers, binders, journals and receipts, sched-
Be art smart. Most of us spend several hours a week, if not every day, in our office. Having a few nice pieces of art-
work in your office can add interest to your personal space and
SAN ANTONIO MAN
can be considered a good professional investment. (Unless your investment is sitting on the floor or hiding behind your umbrella stand because you haven’t gotten around to hanging it up.) Take stock of your office artwork; determine if you need to update it, upgrade it or hang it up for others to see and enjoy.
What’s hanging from your coatrack? You may have found a great coatrack on the way back from
your weekend home at a little antique shop along the way. It was a
What’s in your top desk drawer? This little stash of items is your lifeline to office survival. Here are the 10 things that you should have ready and waiting in your top desk drawer: 1. A sewing kit. Don’t let a missing button ruin a meeting with a prospective client.
steal of a deal and a beautiful conversation piece. Unfortunately, most men use their coatracks to hang a variety of sport coats they have
2. Breath mints. Always be ready to defeat coffee breath.
forgotten to take home, multiple ties and several umbrellas that have
3. Basic toiletries. At a minimum, keep a comb, mirror
been left behind by clients over the past years. This would be a good
and nail file. Lotion is a good idea too, especially for dry weather.
time to take everything home or donate it to charity if it’s already gone out of style twice since you first hung it on the hook. Purchase and keep one all-purpose jacket on hand and a nice sport coat for impromptu client meetings.
4. Ibuprofen or other headache medicine. 5. A lint brush. People don’t need to know you have a pet immediately upon meeting you.
Avoid cord discord. Is your office overwhelmed with orphaned power cords that no longer have a gadget to
charge? Camera chargers, computer, printer and smart phone
6. Multiple pairs of reading glasses. Keep extras so you’re never caught trying to read something with squinted eyes, a fully extended arm and head tilted back.
wires that you no longer even own? Get rid of them – all of them! Why are you saving them? While you’re at it, get rid of ALL of your old phones and technology that you no longer use. That includes your box of cassette tapes, old DVD parts and keys if you have no idea what they open.
brand-new smart phone and don’t know how to download
the volume on your speakers. Your iPad is worthless if you can’t use it. Find the nearest intern or employee and ask for a tutorial. Take notes because they will talk fast and be gone before you have had time to click your Bic pen. (You should be using your note-taking app!)
Freshen up your office air. Real men have nice-
your shelf, under your desk or someplace discreet. A pleasant atmosphere creates the opportunity for creative thinking.
9. Stationery. Have your own nice logo-free, heavy-weight paper and postage handy so you can quickly write a thankyou, word of encouragement or other personal note. You may have company stationery for this purpose, but keep your own handy for occasions when it’s more appropriate (and less like a sales pitch) than corporate letterhead.
10. Double-sided tape. Don’t ask me why, but you’ll need it if you don’t have it. Trust me and buy it!
Got a question on social protocol?
Make space in your office. Arrange your furniture to make it easy for you and your visitors to use the space
efficiently. Don’t welcome your visitors to your office and make them walk through a maze of chairs, multiple fans, space heaters, old silk plants and boxes of supplies. Less junk around the office is preferable and most appreciated.
8. A highlighter. This is your best friend when you need
smelling offices. Stinky men have no visitors! Consider stashing
a candle, scent diffuser, nice-smelling potpourri or other light scent on
you or someone else will need one. to read something important quickly.
Brush up on your new gadgets. You have a
apps. You have a fancy computer and don’t know where to find
7. Kleenex or a handkerchief. You never know when
Show your work. Don’t go overboard in an effort to be neat; you want your boss and clients to realize there’s ac-
tually work going on in your office. Keep folders in an orderly hanging file and pens and pencils on your desk (not too many) with notes written in a notepad to show your boss and colleagues that you are actually working during the day rather than decorating your office. 42 FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013
Diane Gottsman is a nationally recognized etiquette expert and the owner of The Protocol School of Texas, a company specializing in corporate etiquette training. She is also the author of Pearls of Polish, an etiquette guide for today’s busy woman. Learn more at protocolschooloftexas.com. Or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
by JANIS TURK
SAN ANTONIO MAN
A GUIDE TO VALENTINE’S DAY GIFTS
Think outside the heart-shaped candy box Valentine’s Day — it’s just too much pressure, right? It’s that dreaded day when women expect men to be romantic, buy flowers, get them perfume and presents and hand them heart-shaped boxes of chocolates. Women want you to pen poetry or love letters and serenade them with sappy love songs … but that’s just not your style. Need a way to make Valentine’s Day painless? It’s simple — and you won’t even have to make an embarrassing trip to Victoria’s Secret, either. Here’s the thing: A woman wants to know you’ve been thinking about her and that you want to please her. It matters to her that you thought of her ahead of time and didn’t just pick up flowers at the grocery store or buy an all-too-expensive bouquet online. Here are some really thoughtful gifts to give her this Valentine’s Day or any day at all. Some of these are presents you would probably appreciate, too, but they aren’t traditionally romantic, even though the thought behind them is sweet. So you may want to pick up a pretty card at the drugstore to accompany your gifts.
HOT WAX IS SEXY Get her a coupon book for a hand-wax job for her car, or have her ride detailed inside and out. Leave a card on the front seat telling her you’d like to wax her chassis, too, or go with an understated single red rose on the dashboard. Gift certificates for a detail or even a year’s worth of car washes are surprisingly affordable at all of the Wash Tub locations in San Antonio, www.washtub.com. MUSIC TO HER EARS What if she got in her newly cleaned car and found you’d left new CDs of her favorite love songs in her CD player? It’s simple: Just upload some of her favorite music onto her iPod, and burn it to a disc. Then put them in her disc changer when she’s not looking. Write on the CD, “Love songs that remind me of you”; that way, she’s sure to swoon to your tunes. www.itunes.com. FLOOR HER Get her new floor mats for her car. OK, she may not think this is the sexiest Valentine’s Day gift, but with a card or candy on the front seat and your own personal mix of love songs in the CD player, she’s going to love to know you were willing to go to the mat for her. www.autoanything.com. SHE’S A LITTLE BIT COUNTRY... Get her tickets to the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo this February to hear her favorite singers, like Lady Antebellum, Dierks Bently and Toby Keith in concert. Still stuck on ‘80s rock-n-roll from when
you two first met back in school? REO Speedwagon is a headliner this year! Nothing tells a cowgirl You Are Always on My Mind like good rodeo tickets. www.sarodeo.com. GET HER GUSSIED-UP LIKE A RODEO QUEEN You may hate to buy her clothes, but you do know a cool leather Western jacket or a great pair of cowboy boots when you see them. For the best Western fashions to bring out the cowgirl in your lady love, visit Double D Ranch Wear of Yoakum. Just go online and pick out something special for her to wear to the rodeo. www.ddranchwear.com. YOU SAY IT BEST WHEN YOU SAY NOTHING AT ALL You couldn’t write a love letter or poem if you tried, so get her this book at Amazon: Love Letters of Great Men: The Collection of Love Letters drawn from Carrie Bradshaw in Sex in the City. Highlight the lines that say how you feel about her. www.amazon.com. A ROSE IS A ROSE … …but daisies are neat, too, and a peony is plenty pretty. Find these this spring at Central Market, or for an even better buy, stop at a local wholesale florists’ shop. Did you know they have coolers full of beautiful blooms available to the public, too? The wholesale prices are amazing. Or plant a tree in the backyard and tie a red ribbon around it. Tell her you want to watch your children swing from its branches one day. www.traviswholesale.net.
DO A DELUXE DATE NIGHT Most women would love a romantic getaway. So why not romance her with a weeknight getaway in beautiful SA — hotel rates may be lower midweek, and in under a half hour you two can be strolling hand in hand on the River Walk. Great Valentine’s Day packages are available at downtown hotels, too, so book a room at the Omni La Mansion del Rio with a Juliet balcony overlooking the river. If you can’t spare a whole weekend, make an evening feel like a vacation. Treat your love to a romantic River Walk dinner at Restaurant Gwendolyn, or take her to new heights at the Chart House at the Tower of the Americas for a glistening diamond-like nighttime view of the city. Or enjoy jazz on Tuesday at Restaurant Lüke; happy hour is extended on Tuesdays from 3 to 8 p.m., and a charming jazz band plays from 5 to 8. On weekends, Lüke also serves a great brunch, as does Las Canarias at La Mansion del Rio. And don’t forget to spoil your lady love with a massage at the glorious spa at the Mokara River Walk Hotel. www.omnihotels.com. KISS HER IN THE DARK… Ladies like to go to the movies, so please her with popcorn and kisses in a dark theater after giving her a coupon book full of movie tickets to use all year long. www.santikos.com. MAJESTIC ROMANCE Take your love to Memphis — the Broadway musical with performances this month at the Majestic. Or get her tickets to see the Moody Blues or Don Williams when they play SA in March. Make your Majestic Valentine’s Day last all spring long with season tickets, too.
SAN ANTONIO MAN
by EDWARD GARZA
Welcome to the
American Basketball League San Antonio is now home to the Texas Surge The San Antonio Spurs will no longer have a monopoly on local pro basketball fans now that the American Basketball League has come to town, bringing the Texas Surge.
short road trips that can be completed within a day, eliminating hotel costs and plane tickets. This 12-team league is projected to grow by four more confer-
The American Basketball League is split up into two divisions:
ences by the 2014 season: New York City, Southern California,
the Tropics and Lone Star Conferences â€” each having six teams.
Midwest and Puerto Rico. The addition of these 24 teams should
The Lone Star Conference encompasses San Antonio, Laredo,
make for an exciting league showdown. This year, to culminate
Corpus Christi, Sugarland, the Hill Country and the cleverly named
the season, the top two teams from each conference will head
Twin Cities, College Station/Bryan.
down to Fort Lauderdale to compete in a Final Four-style tourna-
The Tropics Conference hosts teams from Panama City,
ment to decide which one is the league champion and winner of a
West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Emerald Coast, Heartland
$10,000 cash prize. In addition, each player earns a $3,000
and Miami. Having teams within a 500-mile radius allows for
monthly salary in a season.
SAN ANTONIO MAN
The ABL’s goal is to provide “affordable family entertainment and highquality professional basketball,” all of which was visible at the Texas Surge’s
Tony Parker, Sr.
While the American Basketball League strives for a strong bond between its organization and its community and fans, it goes without saying that the ABL’s executive vice president has a very personal connection with the city of San Antonio as well as the sport. After all, his son is a star player for the Spurs.
Director of international affairs and executive vice president Tony Parker Sr. has his hands full, as the league plans to add four more conferences before the next season begins. Having a well-versed vice president can only further the league and provide extra exposure to the teams, players and league.
The senior Parker’s résumé is decorated with achievements and milestones, from playing at Loyola University, which led him to continue on to the European basketball leagues, and finally winning the French Cup.
The ABL’s executive team is headed by chief executive officer Steven Haney, most recognized for his success with bringing Magic Johnson back to basketball. Kenny Anderson, director of player development, is a distinguished former NBA player and 2008 New York City Basketball Hall of Fame inductee. And Tony Parker Sr., as executive vice president, will be focusing on internal affairs. This team of powerful and well-seasoned men will serve as a strong foundation on which the ABL can grow.
season opener at Boerne Champion High School gymnasium against the Hill Country’s Lone Star Law team on Jan. 20. While former San Antonio College Coach Curtis McGlown and his Texas Surge did not walk away with the victory, there remain 23 more games in the season. If the team continues to play with the same intensity and passion, this should turn out to be a great season for the team and the Lone Star Conference. The ABL’s season runs from January through March, with all games played on Fridays and Sundays. The Texas Surge, owned by TS Investment Group LLC, calls the Palo Alto Community College gymnasium home court. Le Moure Stephens, executive director of the Lone Star Conference, says the players in this Texas conference “have an age range from 21 to 30, give or take a few. We have a couple of older guys out there, and a few young ones, too.” Regardless of the age of the players, the first game was entertaining and family friendly, with an entrance fee of $7 for adults ($5 for seniors, military, students, or those aged 12-16; children under 12 are free), and soda, pizza and candy, all of which made the quick-paced game more enjoyable. While some would say the addition of another team to the already saturated sports market isn’t in San Antonio’s best interest, Debbie Walton with the Lone Star Law says, “We are tapping a different market from the other basketball leagues in town. The ABL follows FIBA rules, which are the same regulations played in the Olympics — it’s a more upbeat game.” For those of you who might not know exactly what the difference between NBA and FIBA is, let me try to clear it up as quickly as possible: FIBA has four 10-minute periods, a two-minute break between quarters set aside for the 15-minute halftime, smaller court dimensions (3 feet, 2 inches by 9 feet, 5 inches), a five-foul limit and two referees. Each team is allowed a full timeout in the first three periods and two in the fourth, which can only be called by the coaches. There are only 12 legal jersey numbers (4 through 15), and closely guarding a player with the ball for five seconds is legal. Walton adds, “We are doing our part to build a strong sense of community within our league. Our players and coaches are approachable and want to interact with their fans, along with their community. The teams are working with several Boys and Girls Clubs in the area, inviting them out as special guests to many of our games. The players are also working on basketball clinics with Roy Maas Youth Alternatives." At the first game it was visible to spectators that the players definitely put fans first. Several younger fans were tapping the backs of the Texas Surge players during the game just to say “hello.” The young fans were not scolded or pushed back to their seats, but were greeted with wide smiles and grateful responses. That in itself was a moment that personified what the league is all about. The Texas Surge had its first home game Jan. 27 at the Palo Alto Community College gymnasium. For more information on the ABL or the Texas Surge, visit their website at www.abl-hoops.com.
by JEFF DEGNER
johnbraid / Shutterstock.com
SAN ANTONIO MAN
ONLY IN SCOTLAND produce whisky. Speyside and Highland are the
In 2003 I took a job transfer that relocated
process used to dry the grain. Each region has
me to Scotland for nine months. Prior to moving
its own preference of the grain and the type of
more popular and larger regions followed by
there, most of my knowledge of Scottish history
barrels used to age the whiskey. Some distill-
Islay, Lowland and Campbeltown. I am more of
was taken from Mike Meyer Saturday Night Live
eries will use freshly charred barrels, and others
a Highland fan since that is where I spent most
skits or from the movie Braveheart. Even worse
prefer used wine barrels that have held port,
of my time while living there. While the Balvenie
was my knowledge of Scotch whisky. Up until then I had had one really bad expe-
sherry or Madeira to create the flavor profile
12-year-old double cask is my go-to, the 14-
they want. A lot of the flavor and color is ex-
year-old Oban is my favorite to drink. The nose
rience with a cheap blend and had all but given
tracted from the barrels, so picking the right
has a beautiful peaty, tobacco and salty flavor
up on ever drinking Scotch again. One of the
type of barrel is very important.
that transports me back to one of Scotland’s
first things that was taught to me by my Scot-
Here are some of the more
many coastal towns. I always keep a bottle
tish co-workers (besides the fact that William
famous regions that produce
around the house for any occasion that de-
Wallace was much taller than Mel Gibson) is
whiskey, along with some of my
serves a little something special.
that Scotch is as much a part of their day-to-
day life as is football and fish and chips.
United States — There is a wide
Canada — This is usually a rye whiskey that needs to be barrel aged for a minimum of
When I returned home nine months later and
range of types and diversity that make up
three years. Caramel and other flavors may be
had been properly schooled in the joys of sa-
American whiskey. Depending on your palate,
added. Most of my experience with Canadian
voring a nice dram of a single malt Scotch, I
you can choose from Tennessee, bourbon, rye
whiskey has not been favorable, but I have
wanted to further expand my horizons by trying
or corn. While the traditionalist in me loves a
found one that I really like. Spicebox Whiskey
other whiskeys from around the world. I try
smooth bourbon, the adventurous side really
is appropriately named since it has every flavor
never to limit myself to just one type or origin of
loves a good rye whiskey. Thomas H. Handy
of your grandma’s spice rack. There is a strong
any of my favorite beverages and felt that I had
Sazerac Straight Rye Whiskey has an explosion
presence of vanilla and caramel on the nose as
enough basic knowledge to begin my quest.
of crème brulee when it first hits your tongue
well as white pepper and nutmeg on the
Whiskey is a fermented grain mash that is
and then finishes with a subtle hint of dried
tongue. This is a great starter whiskey since it
distilled at a minimum of 40-percent alcohol by
fruits. This has a lot of those classic American
has a strong similarity to rum and is very easy
volume (abv). The common types of grains that
rye flavors that will be appreciated by novices
are used are barley, rye, wheat and corn. Dis-
and veterans alike.
tilleries can also use malted rye or barley in a
Scotland — Five regions in Scotland
Ireland — This is a barley whiskey that is distilled three times and barrel aged for at least
SAN ANTONIO MAN
three years. These are generally smoother than their Scottish neighbor since they lack the peaty smokiness that is present in Scotch. Over the Christmas holidays my neighbor broke out a bottle of 16-year-old Bushmill that was fantastic. It is a blend of whiskey that has been aged in both a sherry barrel and a bourbon barrel. This made for a wonderful intermingling of a nutty almond flavor and a honey sweetness that made it the highlight of the night’s festivities. Japan — While not as well known for their whiskeys as some others, they have been making a lot of headway recently with their single malts. The Yamazaki Distillery, Japan’s oldest distillery, produces a very approachable 12-year-old single malt that has hints of orange peel and clove that make it reminiscent of a Scotch whisky. I predict a lot more Japanese whiskey will start popping up over the next few years as its popularity grows. Some of the fine points about whiskey I do get a lot of questions of whether the proper spelling is whisky or whiskey. I am not a stickler when it comes to this confusion with the exception of Scotch whisky. I’m pretty sure that I raised my glass a few years ago at Deacon Brodies in Edinburgh and made a solemn oath to never use an “e,” and I am pretty sure that was a legally binding agreement. A good rule of thumb is that countries with an “e” in their names (United States and Ireland) will use the whiskey spelling. I generally drink from a tumbler glass because I prefer a wide-mouth opening on my glass so I can get a good swirl and catch an array of aromas as I tip the glass back. When I choose to open a nicer bottle, I will switch over to a Glencairn glass. This is a tulip-shaped glass with a small opening that will concentrate the flavors at the neck and allow for a fuller appreciation of the aromas. I have used a Quaich (traditional Scottish drinking cup), but this should be used only with your best friends since it is the equivalent of sharing a toothbrush. I am not a big fan of adding water to whiskey since it will change the essence of the liquor, but in some cases it will allow for some whiskeys to open up and the flavors to be more pronounced. In these cases I use distilled water that is at room temperature. Generally a splash is all that is needed. Traditionalists do not like ice in their drinks because the cold temperatures will hide a lot of the aromas that the distillers work so hard to create. I like a slight chill to mine, so I was very excited a few months ago when my wife gave me an ice ball maker as a gift. It makes a solid ball of ice about the size of a tennis ball. The ice is visually appealing in a tumbler and melts very slowly, making it ideal for social drinking situations and still allowing me to savor the bouquet in the glass. Regardless of your preference in glassware, temperature or spelling, the world of whisky(ey) is fun to explore with friends or even by yourself.
A BRIEF VOCABULARY OF WHISKEY TERMINOLOGY: Single malt whiskey — Made by a single distillery and unmixed with grain or pot stilled whiskeys. Cask strength — This is a higher proof of alcohol by volume, usually 60 to 65 percent abv. Neat — Ordering whiskey without ice or water added. Angel’s share — A portion of the whiskey that evaporates from the barrel during the aging process. 50 FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013
by LEONARD PIERCE
SAN ANTONIO MAN
Valentine’s Day is upon us, and that means either finally finding that certain special someone, or dealing with the blank look your attached friends give you when you ask if they want to come over and play Call of Duty: Black Ops II on the night of February 14th. The problem is, all the traditional venues for meeting women are tired, played out, bled dry. Here are the top 10 new ways to find the girl of your dreams.
They smell like old socks, the smoothies are overpriced, and they create unrealistic expectations on the part of potential mates.
06 AVOID: “Men’s clubs.” Trust us, that stripper doesn’t really like you.
INSTEAD, TRY: Art museums. We recommend the McNay, at 6000 N. New Braunfels; it smells like luxury, it’s free on Thursdays, and it prepares your partner for long periods of sitting down, looking at things you can’t afford.
AVOID: The driving range. No matter what your golf buddies tell you about that perfect match, it’s just one of their wives’ friends they don’t want coming over anymore.
INSTEAD, TRY: The shooting range.
We recommend the Bracken Rifle and Pistol Range, at 19140 Marbach Lane; more women are learning to shoot than ever before, and the fact that you’ll both be armed guarantees politeness.
AVOID: Singles bars. These haven’t been stylish since the 1970s, and there comes a time in every man’s life when “Buy me a Slippery Nipple?” begins to elicit sighs instead of giggles.
INSTEAD, TRY: Karaoke bars. We recommend Rebar, at 8134 Broadway; karaoke was stylish as recently as the 1980s, and when you’re belting out Call Me Maybe at the top of your lungs, you won’t hear anyone’s stupid drink order.
INSTEAD, TRY: Women’s clubs. We recommend one of many at the senior center at Lion’s Field Park, 2809 Broadway; you’ll get some peace and quiet, the drinks are cheaper, and if you compliment someone’s quilt, you might just get lucky.
AVOID: Speed dating. All this does is make the process of being humiliated much more efficient. INSTEAD, TRY: Speed skating. We recommend the Rollercade, at 223 Recoleta; you’ll get a nostalgic charge over the mere existence of a roller rink, and if you fall over and a nice girl comes over to help you up, it could be the start of something good.
AVOID: Car dealerships.
That expensive new red convertible won’t attract as many women as you think it will, and the ones that it will draw you should probably stay away from.
INSTEAD, TRY: Car washes. We recommend the Baruch Spinoza Car Wash, at Eisenhauer and the Austin Highway; a clean car tells potential mates that you’re tidy and responsible, and you can have fun figuring out why the place is named after a Dutch rationalist philosopher of the 17th century.
03 AVOID: Spurs games. You can only suffer by comparison. Hey Look, Kiss Cam!
INSTEAD, TRY: Missions games, at Wolff Stadium on Highway 90 and Callaghan Road. They’re cheaper, they’re more fun, and there’s actually a pretty decent chance you could end up in the game at some point.
AVOID: Rock concerts.
You’ll get tinnitus, no one can hear your pickup lines, and no one’s paying attention to you anyway.
Prison romance is not always what it’s cracked up to be.
INSTEAD, TRY: Rock climbing. We recommend Climb, at 2313 Lockhill Selma Road; it’s easy to build trust when someone’s life is literally in your hands, and you might get some of that 127 Hours action.
AVOID: The place you work. Sure, it’s easy, but
too many things can go wrong when you dip your pen in the company ink.
INSTEAD, TRY: Church.
It’s a great place to socialize and meet someone who shares your beliefs, but remember, God will be watching you on every single date.
INSTEAD, TRY: The place you park. We recommend the Central Parking Systems lot, at 303 E. Commerce; it gets lonely in those little booths, you know. SANANTONIOMAN.COM
SAN ANTONIO MAN
Our Pick for this Month’s Best Bites in the Alamo City Manola’s Thai & Vietnamese Cuisine 7212 Blanco Road, San Antonio, Texas 78216 (210) 348-9071 www.manolarestaurant.com On a cool day, there is nothing quite as satisfying as a large bowl of traditional Vietnamese pho. At Manola's, the pho is served in a large bowl containing vermicelli noodles in a savory broth served with bean sprouts, jalapeños, lime and basil. Meat selections include thinly-sliced round steak, meatballs or chicken, all of which are equally tasty. For a refreshing complement to your soup, order the fresh springs rolls — vegetables and rice wrapped in a rice paper, served with Thai peanut dipping sauce. Also among our favorites from Manola’s: the Vietnamese Egg Rolls — they are very crispy and very addicting, Manola’s Noodle — a spicy combination of salad, vermicelli noodles, meat of your choice and chopped-up egg rolls. The service is great, and the atmosphere clean and simple. If you like Thai or Vietnamese, you’ll love this place.
Sushihana Japanese Restaurant 1810 NW Military Hwy, San Antonio, Texas 78213 (210) 340-7808 www.sushihanasan.com When you are hungry for chicken wings, a Japanese sushi restaurant may not be the first thing that comes to mind. Order the Sushihana wings and taste some of the best, freshest, and meatiest chicken wings in town. The spicy chili version is our favorite and is served with a celery salad, which pairs nicely with the spicy. At $7.95, they are a great value. Hungry for more? Order more, or better yet, try some fresh sushi with competitively priced wines from select vineyards hand picked by the owner. Sushi happy hour is from 5 to 6:30 p.m. daily.
Boiler House Texas Grill & Wine Garden 312 Pearl Parkway, Bldg. 3, San Antonio, Texas 78215 (210) 354-4644 www.boilerhousesa.com Stopped by and enjoyed the 14-oz. USDA Allen Brothers Prime Rib Eye, grilled with composite uni-rolled butter — as good as it sounds. I highly recommend the Quail Poppers, skewered in grilled-wrapped Nueskes bacon, topped with homemade green goddess dressing, red chili oil and Blue Bonnet Farms micro-cilantro. They feature a designit-yourself menu. You won’t find common sides such as mashed potatoes. However, try the seared-grilled Brussels sprouts, sautéed with country ham and charred lemon. To finish the meal, we suggest Campfire S'mores. Reservations are recommended, and upon arrival you may be fortunate to meet the executive chef, James Moore.
by TERRY NEGLEY
SAN ANTONIO MAN
WOW, WHAT A RIDE!
2013 CHRYSLER 300 SRT8 Wow, what a ride! That was the introductory statement I made when I first tested the 2006 Chrysler 300C, but now I would add another Wow! The SRT8 for 2013 is a great example of an American brand that captures the size and luxury of cars from the ‘50s but with much greater performance, thanks to technology. It is one of the most powerful sedans available, offering 0 to 60 acceleration time in under 5 seconds. At the same time it is as efficient as many of the V6-powered sedans, getting 14 mpg city and 23 mpg highway. If you were around in the ‘50s ( like some of us ) and you were aware of the automobiles on the market, you would certainly remember the 300s
The five-speed automatic transmission shifts
pavement. Sport mode will stiffen the baseline, making it more responsive on those long winding
from Chrysler Corp. They were luxurious, high-
quickly. I prefer using the steering wheel-mounted
performance machines. The NASCAR version ac-
paddle shifters, but you can also use the console-
mountain roads. It’s hard to believe you’re driving
tually won the championship in its first year,
mounted lever to shift manually.
a 4,400-pound sedan. The Track mode just stiff-
setting speed records at Daytona. The 2013 300
The SRT8 features an active suspension that
continues to capture that excitement. You might
offers Auto, Sport, and Track modes that affect
ens things a little more and enables some real fun road-course-type driving.
say the 2013 300 is a sedan the way they used to
all areas of the car’s performance, such as steer-
Another neat addition for you performance
be — big, rear-wheel drive and a large grille like
ing effort, ride and response and transmission
buffs is Launch Control. When you take off from a
the 1958 Chrysler 300. It is roomy and stylish and
still carries some influence of Mercedes-Benz
The Auto mode is your normal driving selec-
stop, Launch Control holds the engine at optimal rpm till the driver releases the brake. Then the
from their short- lived association a few years ago.
tion, and the car will still handle sharply and re-
Launch Control will use engine torque manage-
Let’s talk excitement: 470 horsepower and
sponsively. When you stomp on it, adjustments
ment to control wheel spin for maximum acceler-
470 lb-ft of torque will launch you like a rocket.
are automatic. This is the setting best for rough
ation up to 62 mph.
SAN ANTONIO MAN
This car will definitely bring out the aggressiveness in your personality. You can use the track apps in the instrument cluster or on the large touch screen to measure G-force, acceleration and 1/8 mile ET’s. There is a selection of gauge screens that will show other vitals such as water temperature, oil pressure and more. If you’re going to use all that power to have some fun (let’s keep it safe), you can rest assured that the government testing has given the 2013 SRT8 a top five-star rating for overall crash protection, with five stars both for front-impact protection and side-impact protection. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash testing, the 2013 300 received the top rating of good in the frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength tests. You might have second thoughts about paying a lot more for a highbrow nameplate when you see the luxury in the 2013 Chrysler 300 — topnotch materials, an 8.4-inch touch screen that controls hvac, navigation, car settings and much more. Even the optional Harmon Kardon audio system is controlled through the touch screen for great sound quality. Optional two-tone seating really adds something special to the interior. The steering wheel is heated (a special touch for the Yankees) and has thick suede grips. If you’re not into working a touch screen, there are redundant controls on the center stack to handle audio and hvac. For the folks who could care less about performance or can’t afford the SRT8, I should tell you about the other versions of the 2013 Chrysler 300. There are five trim levels: 300, 300S, 300C, 300C luxury series and my favorite, the 300 SRT8. The base 300 comes very well equipped with leather, 17-inch wheels, Bluetooth, most of the electronics available today and heated front seats. The 300S has a slightly more powerful engine, remote start, shift paddles, a WD option, 20-inch wheels with performance tires, a back-up camera and a 10speaker sound system. The 300C adds LED cabin lighting, an Alpine sound system, power adjustable pedals,
heated/cooled cupholders, upgraded leather upholstery, Berber floor mats and real wood trim. The high-performance SRT8 has most of the upgrades of the 300C but also has special wheels and highperformance tires, Brembo brakes, Launch Control, a three-mode adjustable sport suspension, sporttuned steering and sport seats with leather/fauxsuede upholstery. Summary: The 2013 Chrysler shows the continuing improvements that are made every year to keep it a best-selling sedan. It has all the latest technology on the market. Every model is a pleasure to drive and gives good value for the money. Speaking of money, the 300 starts at around $30,000 for the base model and goes to $48,000 plus for the SRT8. Try one — you’ll like it at any level.
Story and photos by JOHN GOODSPEED
SAN ANTONIO MAN
The camaraderie continues when hunters gather to make their own
Making venison sausage is a post-deer-season ritual for a lot of hunters for a good reason — many share more than a deer lease. Their bond in the love of the outdoors rumbles in their stomachs, too, and that leads them to continue having fun long after the hunt. “I make sausage as part of the continuing
how much work was involved,” he says.
deer lease camaraderie. The ability to make
“Being one of the youngest, I always got
Italian, Polish, German and garlic sausage
the toughest job — using string to tie the
with my friends has been a source of great
ends of the sausage. Nobody wanted to do
joy,” says Mike Peterson, who began about
that, and you better do it right. If you hang
15 years ago after some friends invited him
it in the smokehouse and it hits the floor,
to a sausage party, where half a dozen guys
you’re in trouble. “I always enjoyed it, but it
processed more than 300 pounds of venison
took almost all day because the meat had to
and pork into links and pan sausage.
be deboned, and much of it was not fully
Not long after that, Peterson and three
thawed,” Doench says. “It’s not like we do it
other members of his Blanco deer lease
today, starting with meat ready for grinding,
began teaming up to make 150 to 200
and it takes no time at all.”
pounds of link and breakfast sausage in about four hours.
Although Peterson and Doench have taken their deer to a processor for sausage,
Every February or early March, they get
they prefer to do it themselves because
together in Bill Doench’s garage, nestled
they know how the venison was handled
among the cedars and live oaks atop a hill in
and can select the pork to be added for fat
Bulverde. He makes some tables, one with
content in a 60/40 ratio to keep it leaner
a ladder supporting a long, narrow piece of
than the commercial variety and season it
plywood, and all covered with thick plastic
to their liking.
for the knives, cutting boards, meat tubs, grinder and stuffer. Doench, 50, who shot his first deer at
5 BUILDING BLOCKS FOR ANY SAUSAGE
“Everybody likes their sausage a little different,” Doench says. “I make my own spice mix because I think you have more control
age 13, began making sausage with his fa-
over the flavors. The building blocks for any
ther a couple of years later. “I didn’t realize
sausage seasoning are five things — pa-
PAPRIKA GARLIC BLACK PEPPER SALT CAYENNE PEPPER SANANTONIOMAN.COM
SAN ANTONIO MAN
Enjoying the camaraderie as much as the sausage after it’s made, Mike Peterson drops some venison into the meat grinder.
prika, garlic, black pepper, salt and cayenne pepper. I don’t like sage.” Many commercial spice mixes — usually for 25 pounds of meat — are available, including some from deer processors such
as Granzin’s Meat Market in New Braun-
A large coil of stuffed sausage awaits being cut and tied into links, while another one comes out of the sausage stuffer in a ritual that brings hunters together after the season.
fels, where Peterson buys his mixes. He adds a few spices to customize the flavors. A good-quality electric meat grinder and hand-cranked sausage stuffer are essential. They start at around $100 and go on up, but you get what you pay for. They are available at a variety of outdoor stores. Some butcher supply shops, such as Rodriguez Butcher Supply, 1715 W. Commerce St., also cater to hunters and can provide expert advice. Making breakfast sausage takes three easy steps: grind the meat, mix in the spices by hand and package. Peterson and Doench fry a sample patty in a pan to see if the spices need some adjustments. While Doench uses the same spice recipe for links, for breakfast sausage he holds off on some of the pepper and adds a little brown sugar because his son and daugh-
ter like it that way. Link sausage can be made with natural
It’s all hands on deck when it comes to the tedious task of tying venison sausage links with cotton string in preparation for smoking.
or artificial casings that are slipped over the stuffer tube. One guy cranks while another regulates the meat flowing into the casing with a hand around the tube, curling the sausage into a big roll. It is cut into links, some meat is squeezed out of each end, and the link is twirled to seal it. For smoked sausage, which requires a cure to prevent bacterial growth, a cotton string is tied on each end for hanging it in a smokehouse. Like the unsmoked links, the smoked links have to be cooked. An informative book is Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing, which includes a section on building a smokehouse and detailed instructions for making a variety of sausage. It’s available, along with spices, grinders and other products, at
SMOKING Bill Doench checks the links of venison sausage hanging in the smokehouse he built out of plywood that he fuels with chunks of oak smoldering in a covered pan.
“I only eat about 15 links a year,” Peterson says. “I GIVE THE REST AWAY, so it’s really more about the camaraderie and being able to give people sausage so they can see that harvesting Bambi does have its rewards.” 58
SAN ANTONIO MAN
by CHET GARNER
REMEMBER GOLIAD! REMEMBER LA BAHIA!
The bloody follow-up to the Alamo Folks in San Antonio (and all of Texas for that matter) know the story of the Alamo all too well. Coonskin hats and Bowie knives, Travis’ letter and famous line in the sand, and, of course, the fateful morning of March 6, 1836. From the cradle, we have the story of the Alamo burned into our collective consciousness. And if we miss it as babies, we’ve always got fourthand seventh-grade history and/or John Wayne to pick up the pieces. While the Alamo has gained worldwide fame and attention (just ask Phil Collins), there’s a much lesser known fort sitting 90 miles southwest of the Alamo that was just as important in Texas’ fight for independence. It’s called Presidio La Bahia and beckons anyone with a curiosity for history or an interest in the great State of Texas. 60 FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013
On Palm Sunday, March 27, 1836, over 300
Originally established in 1749, today the stone
Texian soldiers were marched outside the fort
walls of this Spanish fort stand as strong as they did
walls and shot at point-blank range. Wounded
250 years ago. It looks exactly as you’d expect an
soldiers who couldn’t walk were executed inside
While in Goliad, check out these other spots:
old Spanish fort to look: intimidating stone walls,
the Presidio courtyard with Fannin being the last
Angel of Goliad
cannon lookouts and a massive wooden entrance
to die. Legend says that before being killed, Fan-
gate. Presidio La Bahia’s original purpose was to
nin made three requests: (1) that his personal
the Presidio and Fan-
offer fortified protection for the settlers of the town
possessions go to his family, (2) that he be shot
nin’s tomb lies a statue
of La Bahia, which existed outside the fortress walls.
in the heart and not the face, and (3) that he be
and an incredible story
A trip to Presidio La Bahia couldn’t be more dif-
given a Christian burial. Soldiers proceeded to
of a woman who risked her life to save others.
ferent than a trip to the Alamo. Instead of being in
steal his belongings, they shot him in the face,
the middle of a busy city, Presidio La Bahia sits on
and they burned his body along with the other
the outskirts of Goliad with the sounds of busloads
Texians who died that day.
of kids and snapping cameras replaced by the quiet whisper of the prairie wind. Arriving at the fort and seeing the artillery tur-
A total of 342 Texians died in the Goliad Massacre, making it by far the bloodiest day of the Texas Revolution.
Mission Espirtu Santo: This is the mission counterpart to Presidio La Bahia’s fort. The re-
rets immediately conjures up childhood desires to
Word of the massacre spread quickly to Hous-
grab a sword and storm the castle. However, after
ton’s men, inspiring them to add the battle cry “Re-
much consideration, I took the more adult ap-
member Goliad” to the already fervent “Remember
proach and walked into the visitor’s center, which
the Alamo.” Both of these tragic events inspired
occupies the old officer’s quarters and contains a
Houston’s army to fight stronger on the fields of
number of artifacts and information panels that
San Jacinto. It is impossible to say if Texas would
along the meandering San Antonio River, which looks
help bring the many eras of the Presidio to life, in-
have won its independence without the passionate
much different here from upstream along the River Walk.
makes you feel transported back in time. Goliad State Park: Hang out or take a swim
cluding its time under many flags and roles in nu-
inspiration stemming from the events at both the
Zaragoza Statue and House: The hero of
merous revolution attempts.
Alamo and Goliad.
Cinco de Mayo was born in La Bahia/Goliad, and you can visit his reconstructed home.
The large, daunting walls of the fort surround a
where various military functions were performed.
FANNIN’S TOMB After the defeat of the Mexican Army at San
The most impressive building is the Our Lady of
Jacinto, Texas hero Thomas J. Rusk returned to
Loreto Chapel, which has served as a functioning
Goliad and gathered the remains of the executed
Catholic chapel since 1779.
men and buried them in a mass grave behind the
While the Presidio is impressive to look at, it
Presidio. This hallowed ground is now marked with
truly becomes amazing when you know the story
an impressive stone column and is engraved with
that unfolded within its walls.
the names of every brave Texian who died that day in Goliad.
THE GOLIAD MASSACRE
Hanging Tree: This real hanging tree on the courthouse lawn has an interesting history of being Goliad’s entire justice system.
FOOD: You’ll certainly get hungry on your trip, so here are my favorite spots:
Walking through the courtyard and standing in
The story of the Goliad Massacre starts months
the spots where Fannin and his men were brutally
before the actual event, when a group of Texian sol-
gunned down brings forth a very heavy feeling. It
diers seized the fort from Mexican control and re-
is a feeling of both sadness and intense pride for
named it “Fort Defiance.” Under the leadership of
the Lone Star State. As Texans, we all “Remember
Col. James W. Fannin, these men guarded the fort
the Alamo,” but after a visit to Presidio La Bahia,
until after the fall of the Alamo, when Gen. Sam
you’re guaranteed to always “Remember Goliad.”
Image courtesty of Blue Quail Deli
huge courtyard and a handful of small buildings
Houston ordered that they abandon the post and fall back to Victoria to eventually join Houston’s army.
AN EXTENDED DAY TRIP
In a poorly planned escape attempt, Fannin
For those truly brave souls, Presidio La Bahia
and his men were caught on the banks of Coleto
offers the unique opportunity to spend the night
Creek by Mexican Gen. Urrea and his soldiers.
within the walls of this Spanish fort. The old sol-
After a drawn-out fight, the Texian men surrendered
diers’ barracks turned priests’ quarters have been
and were brought back to Presidio La Bahia as
converted into a small suite allowing guests to lit-
prisoners to await their fate.
erally sleep only feet from where Fannin and his
The Empresario Restaurant: homemade food, including homemade pie. Need I say more.
It is recorded that Fannin and his men believed
wounded men were massacred. Of course, the
they would be held captive for a time before being
ghost stories and legends abound, but there’s only
released into the United States and told never to
one way to find out if there’s any truth to them, and
return to Texas. And while Gen. Urrea appealed to
that’s to sleep there yourself. When I overnighted,
Santa Anna for their clemency, Santa Anna was in
I didn’t find ghosts, but I did find one of the most
no mood for mercy and ordered that all captives
peaceful night’s sleep in my life. Maybe the ghosts
were waiting for YOU!
Blue Quail Deli: a local sandwich shop serving up its legendary cream of jalapeño soup. La Bahia Mexican Restaurant: a traditional Tex-Mex restaurant with all the classics.
Tune in to The Daytripper on your local PBS station. For details, visit www.thedaytripper.com. SANANTONIOMAN.COM
SAN ANTONIO MAN
by RANDY LANKFORD
Who’s got two thumbs and is awesome? Everybody! During my senior year at Leesville High, home of the Fighting Wampus Cats, which is a cross between a lynx and something even more intimidating, probably another lynx with a pointy stick, I decided to go out for the football team. I’m actually pretty sure we called ourselves the Wampus Cats because no one I went to high school with knew the plural of lynx. Be that as it may, I’m over 6 feet tall and was, before the invention of canned cheese, faster than the average high school slacker. Since the ‘Cats (or possibly Lynxen) had gone 2-6 the year before, I hoped the expectations bar had been lowered enough that I might be able to step over it and make the team as a receiver or defensive back. It didn’t take me long to realize I was better at writing about football than playing it. Even my blinding speed and stunning athletic grace couldn’t make up for the fact that I’m extraordinarily lazy. It turns out playing football requires a lot of sweating and not looking at girls — two of my least favorite things. Writing about football for the local newspaper was much easier and safer than actually playing it. I almost never get a concussion while sitting at my desk shooting rubber bands at my computer monitor (which is by far the most strenuous part of writing.) Landing my first writing job also meant I could be associated with the team, get into the games free and earn considerable high school hallway status, all without having to do any of the more unpleasant things the players and coaches (all alpha Lynxi) seemed to be obsessed with. Bear in mind, this was before sports became Dancing With The Jocks. Unlike today, a touch62 FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013
down celebration back then was called an extra point and didn’t require props or backup dancers. If I’d known football was going to become a performance art, I’d have stuck with it. There may be no “I” in team but, based on word count, it’s fully half of “I rock.” Now, a meaningless tackle in a 40-point blowout is the athletic equivalent of finding a cure for Honey BooBooism and cause for considerable Gangnamstyle merriment. It can also add to the ever-escalating sideline tantrums as coaches snatch off their headphones and furiously chicken dance down the sideline screaming, “You call that a pirouette? My grandmother can cartwheel faster than that.” Then again, the 400-pounders hokey-pokeying at midfield are all millionaires, and I’m not. It could be they’re onto something, as opposed to just “on” something. Maybe we should all strut our various stuff at every opportunity. So the next time you successfully merge onto Loop 410, pull over and chest bump a light pole. The minimum reaction to finding your car keys should be at least partial nudity. If it (the keys, not the nudity) results in getting to the movie before it starts, you’ll need to unleash your best victory yodel. Successfully retrieve the newspaper (it’s a thing people used to read), and you’re entitled to moonwalk down the driveway — better yet, the neighbor’s driveway. After all, what’s the point of obnoxious self-congratulations if no one sees it? More elaborate “completely spontaneous” reactions will require some prep work though. If anyone asks why you’re wrestling a confetti cannon into the office, just tell them you’re anticipating a particularly insightful Facebook posting.
“These 500 balloons? They’re in case I get my coffee just the way I like it.” Get an email? Grab your tiara. Create a spreadsheet? Crab dance your way to the break room and re-enact your entire third grade holiday pageant. But there’s no reason to limit our oh-be-joyfulness to just our own accomplishments. Sports fans congratulate each other for simply witnessing the heroic achievements of others. “Did you see that catch?” “I sure did. I was standing right here. I’m still seeing it. We’re the world’s greatest spectators. High five!” Let’s take the self-aggrandizing wave to the streets. Let’s do the wave in the streets. Share your enthusiasm with whoever’s nearby. If the gas pump stops on a whole number, fist bump the guy washing his windshield in the next stall. (Check your surroundings first. It’s vitally important to be in the right kind of stall.) Having the correct change at the kolache stand is certainly reason enough to start a robot conga line. Give your waiter a comradely swat on the backside when he gets your fajitas to the table still sizzling. If you somehow manage to get your PIN number right on the first try, don’t just walk away from the next ATM you use, Funky Chicken your way back to the car. Why not Frankenstein down the dairy aisle chanting, “Monster dig 2 percent”? And while public displays of delight at your own incrediblosity are best, there are times when it’s either celebrate alone or not at all. Like that’s a choice? Wrap up an especially adequate column with an hour to spare on your deadline? Spike your computihgaaaaaaaaa.
SAN ANTONIO MAN
MEN ON THE MOVE 1.MassMutual South Texas announces the addition of MARTY BOARD to its group of financial services professionals. He will work in sales in the San Antonio office. 2. J. ROLANDO BONO is the newest member of Port San Antonioâ€™s board of directors, appointed by District 1 City Councilman Diego Bernal and confirmed by the City Council on Dec. 6. As part of the 12member board, Bono will help to oversee the ongoing redevelopment of the former Kelly Air Force Base to its best and highest use, creating conditions that maintain and grow good jobs for the region. 3. Security Service Federal Credit Union announces the promotion of MIKE CHAPMAN to executive vice president, chief operating officer. He will serve SSFCU as the second-ranking management official with responsibilities for member service, marketing and training. He joined the credit union in 2001 as vice president of Texas lending and was subsequently promoted to senior vice president of lending and then executive vice president, chief of consumer lending, in 2012. 4. JIM LAFFOON has been named president of Security Service Federal Credit Union. He is responsible for the credit unionâ€™s day-to-day operations and provides leadership and strategic direction to its more than 1,600 employees. He joined SSFCU in 1989 and served as primary strategist, corporate planner technologist and operations manager before being named executive vice president and chief operating officer in 2002. 5. SCOTT MATLOCK has joined Broadway Bank as business banker II and a vice president in the
business banking department. He has 15 years of experience in business development, financial and management accounting and commercial banking. Most recently he was a vice president in commercial lending at another financial institution. He earned an MBA in finance from George Washington University and a BBA in business management from the University of Mississippi. 6. ROBERT OCHOA has been promoted to commercial credit analyst II at Broadway Bank. He joined the bank in 2009 as the banking services manager and was named a banking officer. In February 2012 he was promoted to commercial credit analyst I in the credit department. He received his BBA degree in finance from UTSA. 7. Broadway Bank announces that ROMAN RODRIGUEZ has been promoted to systems engineer in the information technology department. He joined the bank in 1993 and has held several positions, including his most recent, assistant vice president systems administrator. He earned a degree in applied arts and sciences at Texas State University and holds a Certified Public Manager designation from the state of Texas. 8. RAMON VERDUZCO has joined the staff at MassMutual South Texas as a financial services professional. He will be located in the San Antonio office and will work in sales.
Men on the Move information to email@example.com.
by LEONARD PIERCE
SAN ANTONIO MAN
DOES SAN ANTONIO
HAVE AN INFERIORITY
COMPLEX? I lived in Chicago for 15 years. I loved pretty much everything about the city and its people, but I couldn’t help noticing that, considering its five-million-plus population and its status as a world-class destination, it had some, well, self-esteem issues. Despite its great size, its incredible cuisine, its endless list of things to do, Chicago just didn’t feel like the world was taking notice. As a cartoonist friend of mine once said, Chicago enjoys a friendly rivalry with New York and Los Angeles, while New York and Los Angeles — blissfully ignorant of the Second City’s exis-
Of course, this defensiveness is under-
tence — enjoy a friendly rivalry with each
standable to a certain degree. San Anto-
1980s. (These are all mixed blessings, I
other. This sense of being ignored even
nio is an old city, but it got really big really
can assure you.) We’re the biggest city in
top-rated prime-time soap opera in the
extended to the great fears of 21st-century
fast and really recently. Tell someone from
America with only one major-league
living; we figured we were safe from terror-
back east that ours is the seventh-largest
sports team, our name has a confound-
ist attacks, since no one in al-Qaida knew
city in America and you will get a look as if
ing three syllables in it, and Ozzy Os-
we were there.
your hair was on fire. Our media profile
bourne peed on our most sacred tourist
isn’t exactly top-of-the-line, so many peo-
I never expected to see history repeat
ple, even in Texas, need convincing that
itself, but when I moved to San Antonio, I
we aren’t still routinely fighting off incur-
But there’s no reason for San Antonians
noticed a particular sensation in the air —
sions by Santa Anna’s army. (I can dig it;
to walk small. We’ve got a growing popu-
a pugnacious, scrappy attitude that one
I grew up in Phoenix — currently the sixth-
lation, a steady economy, and a rich and di-
might just call an inferiority complex. The
largest city in America, though no one be-
verse cultural history. Our one sports team
first thing you hear when you step off a
lieves that either — and when I was
routinely stomps all over the rest of the
plane at the airport is a promotional video
growing up, my Southern relatives would
league, and if anyone tries to give us any
at the baggage claim carousel informing
ask me if we still got Indian attacks.)
lip, we’ve got about half the country’s mili-
you that, whether you like it or not, San
tary might sitting around. And once the I-
Antonio is Texas’ No.1 tourist destination.
We aren’t a gargantuan metropolis
35 corridor is one big strip mall, we’ll eat
Why the hard sell? You just got here, and
like Houston; we aren’t the state capital
Austin for lunch and Dallas for dinner, and
already it seems like the tourist board is
or the music mecca that Austin is; and
then who’s laughing? Houston? Stand up,
afraid you’re going to leave.
unlike Dallas, we didn’t have our own
San Antonio — your destiny’s calling.
SAN ANTONIO MAN
The Bluebonnet 1944
1944 Color guard cadets stand at attention on the former Alamo Heights campus of Texas Military Academy.
66 FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013