Friday, December 3, 2010

Chapter 4 (My Trip to the Alamo)

Every year our staff attends our sectional meeting, which is a networking meeting among 6 different State Associations. Each year a different association hosts, and this year it was Texas. They brought us to San Antonio and we had such a great time! Just a quick overview...we stayed in the Emily Morgan hotel. Emily Morgan was the Yellow Rose of Texas. My very limited knowledge of the history is that she was the prostitute who distracted the general so that we could win the battle of San Jacinto. Here's a brief version of the story posted on the hotel's website...

The Battle of the Alamo (February 23-March 6, 1836) is considered by many historians to be the turning point in Texas’s fight for independence from Mexico. Six weeks after the battle at the Alamo in April of 1836, the Texan and Mexican armies moved their confrontation to a small prairie called San Jacinto. During siesta time on April 21, 1836, the Texas army led a charge against the Mexican camp. General Santa Anna, leader of the Mexican forces, had posted no guards, and the Texans won the decisive battle in less than an hour.

Folklore states that the Mexicans’ slow response to the Texans’ charge was due to General Santa Anna being otherwise occupied and entertained during his siesta by Emily D. West, a twenty-year old black indentured servant who had been captured along with other members of her household by the Mexican forces on April 16, 1836. Emily was indentured to Colonel James Morgan, and custom at the time dictated that indentured servants take the surname of their master, hence the reason she is more widely known as “Emily Morgan.” Though there is no official account of a woman in Santa Anna’s tent at the time, a journal entry written in 1842 by British traveler William Bollaert planted the seeds of Emily’s legend: “The Battle of San Jacinto was probably lost to the Mexicans, owing to the influence of a mulatto girl belonging to Colonel Morgan, who was closeted in the tent with General Santana (sic), at the time cry was made, ‘The enemy! They come! They Come!’ She delayed Santana so long that order could not be restored readily again.” While the loss of the battle is officially attributed to the overall carelessness of General Santa Anna, the folk legend of Emily Morgan’s role in the battle began to grow, with portrayals of Emily ranging from a sweet young girl who distracted the general with a simple dance to a cunning and clever vixen who drugged the Mexican army’s leader as he slept.

Not much is known about Emily Morgan’s life after the end of the Texas Revolution; after several disputes over her status as a “free black”—her papers confirming this were lost when she was captured by the Mexicans—it is believed she returned to her home state of New York. Her legend, however, continued to grow, and it is widely held that she was the inspiration for the much-loved song, “The Yellow Rose of Texas,” written shortly after the war.

A popular version of the song with Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, from the 1944 film The Yellow Rose of Texas:

Found on the world wide web, December 3, 2010,

Well, the hotel was initially built as a Medical Arts building, and housed patients at times. Certain floors are said to be haunted.

This was the view from my hotel window...

Yep...that's the Alamo!

The weekend was a great time. I participated in my first 18 hole golf tournament and played on the same team as our National Association Director. Fun times! We actually got to have dinner in the Alamo, which is a VERY rare occasion, so something I will definitely treasure. And, no trip is complete without a little bit of drama. One my co-workers managed to break her foot stepping off of a step (no criticism here, that's how I injured my ankle every time!), but didn't think it was that bad. By the end of the weekend she could barely walk, and was too stubborn to accept any help. When we got back into town, her first stop was the ER where they told her she had broken her foot in 2 places and that she was lucky she hadn't harmed it while walking on it! She's all recovered now :)

It was a fun time, and I am continually thankful that I have the job that I do. Not only do I get great opportunities such as this, but I LOVE my job! I love what I do, I love the people I work with, and I get paid well. Last week it really hit me that, even with such a great job there are days that I get home, crash on the couch and wonder if I can do it anymore. How in the world do people get up every morning to go to do work that they don't like, surrounded with people they don't like, at a job that they don't get paid dirt to do? Let me repeat...I AM SO BLESSED!!!!

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