Date:         Sun, 6 Dec 1992 20:44:03 -0600
From: Anne Burton Harwell 
Subject:      WHTMISA

So I went to San Antonio with my mother at Thanksgiving. Most of it is not
worth repeating, but two incidents were:

1). We went down to the Riverwalk to see the Christmas lights being
strung. At the base of a stairway from street level to the river level was
a young black man with what looked like a toy dog. It was barely moving,
appeared to be attempting to negotiate the staircase. Something about its
movement seemed less than robotic, more than mechanical. Tail was brown
leatherette, the face was a comical dog's face mask, and the body was
dirty-looking whitish tufted nylon material. Then it let out a whimper.
The man looked anxiously at us. I froze, horrified and heard my voice say
in a tone which I haven't heard since my childhood, spoken by my mother,
when I was IRTN: "My god, that's a real dog." (Looking man in the face) "I
don't think he likes it in there very much." The man scooped the dog up
and scurried off.

He had dressed a dog up as a dog. A toy dog animated by a living creature.
Mother says, "He had that dog all bound up." I am still reeling, and
reply: "He had that dog in bondage."

2). A couple days later, we are at the World Famous Hemisfair Tower, a 750
foot tall space-needle type structure of the type that was popular to
build at world's fairs in the 60's. Mother and I are waiting in the
elevator to take us back to ground from the onservation deck. Four
leather-jacketed young people, three girls and one effeminate boy, are in
line in front of us. One of the girls, the prettiest, is wearing
jackboots.

Her girlfriend, who had been over trying to get money out of pay phones'
coin returns, joined her finally, hooking her arm in Boots' and resting
her head on her shoulder. My mother is getting ready to say Something.
What, I shall never know, because the boy then began to slap at the girls
and act stupid. I develop a fascination with the sign instructing people
to take the stairs in case of fire. Boy finally lands a slap on Boots'
jacket and she nails him hard, silencing him. At this moment the eleator
door opens and we all get in. Now mother is standing next to Boots, facing
me, and just as she has Something on the tip of her tongue, a woman
standing next to me begins talking in a loud voice about how neat my
ear-rings are (the ones I bought that day I got lost in Boston) and asking
me if she can touch them. Of course I let her, because this is not New
York and she doesn't want to steal them and tear my ear-lobe, she wants to
keep me from getting the evil eye, caused by failing to touch an object of
admiration. "Wouldn't want them to fall apart now, would we?" she says
cheerily.

Then the elevator door opened and everybody poured out and Boots began
taking pictures of the Hemisfair Tower and the earring lady just sort of
dissolved and Mother became enchanted with the water garden around the
tower.

-abh