Arts Social intercourse

The eyes of exes are upon you

Something about the holiday season causes me, in the middle of all the hubbub, to plan a party. Maybe it’s a defective gene. Nonetheless, a party is what I planned. One recent Sunday, a cross-section of humanity held court in my house and shared some Christmas cheer: a published author, a couple of engineers, a chicken farmer, two former teachers, a banker, two photographers, and a well-known artist, among others. Some were old friends, some are new ones, and some were family. Being the modern, well-adjusted (ahem) family that we are, our guest list included my ex-husband, his wife, his sister, and his mother-in-law; and one of my husband’s ex-girlfriends and her husband, who also is one of my hubby’s best friends (a relationship that is older than that marriage). Don’t ask us how, but we all get along wonderfully, thank you very much.

I attended the recent $ABay fundraising event, which benefited the San Antonio River Foundation. The concept was great: Artists, authors, entertainment venues, and scores of other philanthropic folks donated items to the foundation, which then posted them all on eBay. The reception, held at Richard Higbie’s Zinc Champagne and Wine Bar downtown, was an opportunity to bid on the items in the final minutes while enjoying drinks and nibbles, with the admission cost also going to the foundation.

In a fairly sizable crowd, I didn’t recognize a soul, save for Lila Cockrell ... so, I set off to meet a few people. Pablo Rodriguez, community relations manager for H-E-B, and I chatted about our party obligations for the evening, and he graciously introduced me to the executive director of the San Antonio Conversation Society, Bruce MacDougal. An East Coast transplant, Bruce discussed the changes he has seen in San Antonio during the last decade and the continuing evolution of the city’s cultural offerings, downtown living opportunities, and more. Also on hand was architect Joe Stubblefield, who shared some of his recent renderings in his ubiquitous sketch book. Even the quickest of sketches were lovely, with my favorite being a sneak peak at a project on which he’s working for El Mirador, the Mexican restaurant on St. Mary’s Street that’s a favorite of councilmen and other City Hall denizens.

Unfortunately, I missed the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce annual banquet, which turned out to be quite a networking frenzy. Hey ... even The New York Times’ Campbell Robertson can’t be everywhere. A few spies attended in my stead and happily reported back that real-estate developer Marty Wender, wearing a burnt-orange sport coat, and Rick Cavender coerced the crowd into singing “The Eyes of Texas.” As a Texas Ex myself, I was crushed to have missed such a sight. I’m told that nearly everyone in attendance was working hard to make a good impression on new City Manager Sheryl Sculley, with movers and shakers circling like sharks waiting for their moment of attack. The event’s funniest outtake was certainly a moment during the live auction, when one of the auction items—a puppy—peed on chamber president and CEO Joe Krier. Not a way to curry favor with the brass.

By Beverly Ingle

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