Mission Espada

The image I like most is here. It shows the front of the Mission. The second sanctuary, as there was one before, maybe two-dozen paces to the south and east. The outline of the old walls are still there.

The Mission is an active parish, too. The attached buildings, to the south are part of active office for the “convento,” or the church offices for the Franciscans.

One flower image I blew up and framed is from there. Used to hang over my desk. The centuries old mission grounds make perfect backdrops.

The front door of that sanctuary is curious. Looks kind of like an ill-fitted keyhole of some sort. From the docent?

“The building was left unfinished, and then they brought in this one stone-fitter. He was working on Mission Concepcion, San Juan and here, all at the same time.

“Look at the door, notice anything? The front door’s pieces were cut, and it was like putting together a puzzle. He had to use those blocks, even though it was for a bigger door.

“He only had 90 days to do it. He had to get out of town. In was in some kind of trouble. Although, he could safely stay in the church, as that was sanctuary.

The story is recorded elsewhere, but instead of adding to the door, the two pieces resting on the door sill’s posts are inverted and flipped on a the horizontal axis. Kind of see it. Kind of don’t, but that’s the story. Half finished by one mason, and then, the replacement, run out of town, something about someone’s wife and girlfriend, and from what I know, wives and girlfriends don’t typically get along, nor do jealous husbands.

From the same docent, I asked about the life-span of the Spanish Colonial Missions. What I’d read — in Park Service material — that the missions were only supposed to last ten years or so.

Guess they just don’t build them like that anymore.


About the author: Born and raised in East Texas, Kramer Wetzel, settled in a South Austin trailer park before trailer parks were cool. He now lives in San Antonio, Texas.