Thursday, June 26, 2008

One More/Last Meeting with the Society

Last evening, it being the final Wednesday of June, I attended the general membership meeting of the San Antonio Conservation Society. These meetings are usually held in the River House on the bank of the San Antonio River behind the Steves Homestead in the historic King William neighborhood.

As I approached the River House I noticed a significant difference: the food was being served outdoors, to the right of the door. And the sign-in table was to the left. When I stepped inside, I saw that more seating was set up in the resulting space available by having the two activities outdoors. Apparently the Society was expecting a major turn-out of members, both Active and Associate (I'm in the latter category). And indeed, the May membership meeting had been so very well attended that we had standing room only.

The food was delicious! We ate meatballs, breads, and three salads. And indoors was a chocolate chocolate cake for dessert. Also liquid refreshments: wines, Bud Lite, lemonade, coffee and water.

Various officers' reports on the past year, since mid-2007, formed the main item on the Agenda. These included our President Marcie Ince's general account of the year's activities, successes and failures. One of the Vice Presidents' reports included an update on the digital billboard struggle. The Society has constantly opposed all manner of billboards and has been fighting since late last year to get the City Council to reverse its December '07 approval of the digital variety.

We also had the installation ceremony for the new officers, who had been elected by the Active membership last month. And finally the Actives got to vote for three new members of the Board of Directors, to fill recent vacancies. The candidate who received the most votes was Braxton Smith, a sharp-looking Afro-American gentleman. He and the second-most-votes recipient got two-year terms while the third candidate (with fewest votes) got the one-year term. Congrats to all!

While votes were being counted we were treated to a slide show (or PowerPoint?) about the Women's Pavilion that still stands on the HemisFair grounds. This will be renovated for new uses, one of which will be as a party room or getaway for leaders and officials of conventions meeting in the nearby San Antonio Convention Center.

You may ask, dear reader, why I commence this post with "One More/Last Meeting. . ." Well, it's because the very same day, Wednesday the 25th, I learned that my clergy standing with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) has been reinstated. This wonderful news, sent by e-mail, clears the way for 1) me to pursue a calling I've had longer than I've done this blog and 2) for me to move back to Tennessee! The "calling" is to become a full-time prison chaplain. And the move is thanks to a visit I made there in mid-June. The visit was to explore the possibility of a reconciliation with my wife Ellen. After a very good lunch with her and her pastor, who gave us very sage counsel, and after a couple evenings of line dancing -- Ellen became active in line dancing for exercise and weight loss as well as the fun, during my residence in S.A. -- I flew back to Texas rather encouraged. And truly sensing that this, too, is God's "calling", the Lord's directive for me at this time in life.

Certainly these have been eventful years of living in San Antonio, "Party City", Texas. I shall miss the unique qualities and elements that make this city what it is. But I'm going back to family, and to the "greenest state in the Land of the Free!" Tennessee has its charms, too. The biggest, and one S.A. lacks, is family.

So, dear reader, cherish your family! And cherish the place you live! It's God's camping spot for you on the earthly journey of life, and they are your God-given companions for the journey!

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