28. July 2015 · Comments Off on A New Venture – Tales of Luna City, Texas · Categories: Luna City
Welcome to Luna City

Welcome to Luna City

(So, the Daughter Unit and I were watching Northern Exposure last night, and I had an errant thought … what would a town like Cecily be like … if it were in South Texas? A charming and quirky place, full of slightly skewed, interesting people, with an eccentric history all it’s own. And before long, we had come up with Luna City, Texas, and a whole long cast of characters. This is going to be nothing like any of my other stories; rather more like a regular blog about an imaginary Texas town, and it’s inhabitants. Who prefer to be called Luna-ites, thank you very much. Enjoy. Eventually, this will be another book, but for now, perhaps just a short semi-weekly visit to Luna City.)

Tales of Luna City – Introduction

The little town of Luna City is not a city at all, as most people understand these things. It is a small Texas town grown from a single stone house built by a Bohemian stone-mason in 1857, at a place where an old road between San Antonio, Beeville and points south forded a shallow stretch of the River. It is not a place well-known to visitors, for Luna City makes very little effort to attract the casual tourist. They pass by the Tip-Top Ice House, Grocery and Gas on the old verge of the road to the south, perhaps note the four-square house of limestone blocks owned by the last descendant of the man who first drew up the plat of Luna City in 1876, and drive on towards their destination. The tea room and thrift shop housed in the front room of the old McAllister house is open only two days a week, which discourages casual visitors, but not anyone who knows Miss Leticia McAllister, who is the last woman in this part of the world who always wears a hat and gloves when she leaves the house – not just for early Sunday services at the Episcopal church. The formidable Leticia McAllister – always known as Miss Letty, even during those decades when she taught first grade in the Luna City Elementary school – is notoriously impatient.

On the occasion of the centenary of Luna City, Miss Letty and her older brother, Doctor Douglas McAllister – the doctorate was in history, which he taught at a private university in San Antonio – wrote a commemorative volume of local history, gleaned from the memories of the oldest residents; scandals, shenanigans both political and sexual, the last gunfight in Luna City (which happened in front of the Luna Café and Coffee) old feuds and new, controversies over every imaginable small-town issue – it’s all there in A Brief History of Luna City, Texas, published privately in San Antonio, 1976, price $18.25 plus sales tax. The Luna Café & Coffee still has a small and dusty stack of them behind the cash register counter, and Miss Letty’s tea room also has a couple of boxes in inventory. Dr. McAllister, whose puckish sense of humor was not appreciated by his sister, was dissuaded from titling it A Hundred Years of Lunacy in South Texas on the very fair grounds that other places possessed a history every bit as scandalous, and that it would somehow encourage local residents to be called Lunatics, rather than Luna-ites … and that simply would not do at all.

Luna City does not discourage visitors, exactly; neither does it welcome them effusively. Luna-ites prefer to take a quiet measure of such visitors who do venture into the heart of downtown, and treat them with exquisite Southern courtesy. Those who choose to remain longer than a quiet stroll around the square or stop for a lunch at the Luna Café & Coffee – never doubt their welcome. And if they fall under the spell, and stay , within four or five years, they are as established and respected as any of the original Luna-ite families … McAllisters, Gonzalez-with-a-z and Gonzales-with-an-s, Abernathy-who runs-the-hardware-store, Wyler-of-the-Lazy-W-Ranch and the rest. Luna-ites have no urge or need to distain relative newcomers. They know exactly who they are, and do not need proving it to anyone.

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