Friday, June 24, 2005

Arriving in San Anto last night...

...was a little bit of a fritz, cuz we knew we were headed into a chaotic churn-spew. after all, the NBA championship finals game was headlong into the fourth quarter as the Amtrak I was on was surging towards the 210. the conductor or some subordinate on the p.a. kept periodically announcing the score, so we could adjust ourselves emotionally. knowing that our train, if on time, would arrive in San Anto minutes after the pivotal game, i resigned myself to a long wait at the station and to a hyper-exuberant city-mood of victory--should the Spurs win, as indeed they did.

and yes, it was crazy. screaming hordes of curfew-exempt teens and adults streamed through the intersections--some on foot, some on the hoods of cars, expecting to defy gravity as they yelped shirtless and crescendo.

i was happy to witness such citywide late-night excitement, but not so thrilled with the stupidity of people fender-bending and defying traffic laws. my friends Elaine and Michael braved the traffic snarls to pick me up and take me to their cool loft apartment in the downtown area, after we'd successfully circumnavigated the worst of the traffic congestion.

this morning, though, Elaine had something unpleasant to share. she as arts editor of the weekly publication--the San Antonio Current--was grappling with deadline pressure and worse, the unfortunate overnight loss of a major local luminary, Ram Ayala, the rock-n-roll club purveyor, tequila shot sharer, and all-time big hero of upstart young punkers trying to get a gig in the town of San Antonio. Ram's infamous lounge-cum-legendary rock joint, TACOLAND, has been host to many a snarly punk band and up-and-coming original music outfit. Ram is gone, dead in a bloody robbery heist. tonight, we heard, there was a tribute memorial service at Tacoland, with bands and San Anto dedicated joining together for a final send-off to the man.

what a pity. what a loss. my friend, painter and alterna-gallery owner Robt. Tatum told me that even CNN covered the story of Ram's death. and Tacoland, what will become of Tacoland? said Tatum: it is no more. it will be no more. the end of an era. no more of this beloved venue. all on the night of the Spurs victory.

consider that, my friend.

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