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South Texas Living

Sweet memories of the Original Mexican Restaurant

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Rainy Days and Starry Nights
July 2, 2014 | 3,447 views | Post a comment

Holly Deaton really liked the story I wrote about the old Original Restaurant on the River Walk in San Antonio several years ago. The history of that wonderful place is priceless. Later she sent me a letter telling her memories of the place when she was a small child. I thought people would like to read her words of remembrance. I asked her if I could share this and she said she would be honored to have them shared.

“My father’s locksmith company was just feet away from the old Original restaurant, and I all but grew up going back and forth to the establishment. I was but a small child, but I was always treated as if I were royalty. I can still see the fans twirling above, and the very sweet waiters that were standing, as if they were in the Army. Their white jackets and polite manner still resonate in my memory.

Mr. Farnsworth was a slight man, and as I can remember, he had a limp. He had a small apartment that was right next door to Daddy’s place, and it went downstairs, and I remember the black wrought iron gate that enclosed the entrance. I can still see the items that were on display before you entered the restroom, all of these being items that one would buy in Mexico. As old as I am now, I can still taste the unbelievable enchiladas and the sauce that covered them, and of course the wonderful pralines that were always on display at the register area. They were in Mexican baskets of course. The Original was and will always hold the name that was perfect for them. They were an original and I have such wonderful memories of the place that served me so well as a child.

Just across from Daddy’s, San Antonio Key service was another wonderful place, and there was the original Lucchese boot company. That small place was always busy and my Daddy made keys for several movie stars that had dropped into the boot company. Daddy made keys for John Wayne, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Steve McQueen, and other names that have gone out of my memory.

There was the wonderful HL Green drugstore that made the most awesome root beer floats in the world, and I loved to go there and shop as if I were a grownup. It was safe then, to walk up to the area businesses; it was as if I owned the entire block, all knew me then.

I was also privy to the Majestic Theatre, and back then they had little private stalls you might call them, a small booth all to yourself. The Aztec as well as the Empire theaters had them. Getting back to the Majestic, I can still remember the bathroom area, it was so large. The black female assistants stood there to help you. They wore crisp white aprons, and were there to help you in any way. The Aztec did not have such a large bathroom area, and the Empire did not either. The great thing about the Aztec was, however, the candy company that was right next door. Oh those pecan candies ... heaven on earth.

I could write all night about my memories of that entire area, but the writings about the Original Restaurant struck a cord. A most happy cord. Thank you so much for taking me down the lane that I went on. My health problems have kept me in a funk, but taking me down such happy thoughts made me so grateful to have lived through such a happy time.”

Lois Zook Wauson is the oldest of eight children who grew up on a farm in Wilson County in the mid-20th century. After many years living in other parts of Texas, she now lives and writes in Floresville. Her two books are available from the Wilson County News office. Email her at

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