Ice Storms and The Alamo

Texas is in the midst of a nasty ice storm. It started with sleet, then freezing rain, a dusting of snow, and now more freezing rain mixed with thunder, sleet, and lightning snow. I envy the folks up north; they get plain old snow. it may be five feet deep, but it’s not ice.

Ice storms are part of our history. Our great authors, Larry McMurtry and J. Frank Dobie often wrote of them in their novels. Hondo Crouch, the lord of Luckenbach, Texas, commented, “there is nothing as lovely as a good ice storm to make you stay inside to ponder and piddle.”

In 1836, when General Santa Anna marched his troops from Mexico to San Antonio to dispose of those pesky Texians who were having a barbeque cookout at the Alamo, his men were pelted with ice and sleet storms. Most of his soldiers came from warmer parts of Mexico and died in the scrub brush of south Texas, frozen solid while standing upright or in mid-stride. Santa Anna lost his personal wagon full of Tequila; the bottles froze.

Here in Granbury, the most historical small Town in Texas, the day before “Icemegedon” hit, my wife and I went to our local H.E.B. for a few items. We know how to “hunker down,” so we don’t require much.

Good God, it was as if the world was ending. Masses of shoppers grabbed everything they could from the almost bare shelves. One lady had a basket full of Mrs. Baird’s bread and twenty-six packs of Dr. Pepper and Big Red. I ran into Mooch and Mrs. Mooch, and he had a basket full of Red Baron Pizzas and Pork Rinds, which is actually survival food here in Texas. I saw two older women in a tug-of-war over the last pack of pork ribs, and the bakery ladies were smacking shoppers with loaves of French bread as they came over the counter. It was pandemonium at its finest. The wine shelves were empty, as well as the beer coolers. If you have enough booze, food is not required to sustain life.

Back to the Alamo, if I may. It’s a good comparison to the state of our country today, and we are fighting a similar battle, destined to lose. The defenders, which would be the citizens of Texas, are sheltered in the mission and are attempting to hold off the invading hordes, which would be Mexico and the rest of South America. By letter, Travis, now Governor Abbot, begged for reinforcements, which never came. Thus, the mission was breached, and the defenders slaughtered. President Biden is now playing the part of General Santa Anna, and Senorita Kamala is his muse.

All of this happened because of an ice storm. I think Hondo was right. It’s a good day to ponder and piddle.

34 Replies to “Ice Storms and The Alamo”

  1. Heh. I moved to TX (Round Rock) in July 2002. I’d heard the “240 days of sunshine” trope. By February, I saw an ice storm. I was fascinated. The whole area shut down. I remember driving in it, in downtown Austin and all the I-35 flyovers were closed. I called my dad while driving and told him that, yes…frozen precip does appear in TX but, no one wants to drive in it. We were both amused. I grew up driving in NC snow & ice (we used to get more back then, than we do now).

    In the near decade I was there, I saw that ice storm, one more a few years later and one actual snow fall. I left in May 2011. I remember reading this…

    …and, thinking of the Texan freakout. Ha! Reading today’s news, more freakouts. Actually, I am jealous. It is completely ass backwards for Texas to get winter weather before us. Throw me a snowflake. I’m feeling left out.


      1. One can only hope… I had so much fun in wintry weather as a kid. So many snowmen, so many sled rides thru backyards or icy, hilly streets in my neighborhood…my dad putting chains on the 1972 Dodge Charger…me, sliding sideways thru an intersection in my 1977 Honda Civic (college days)…

        The last incident I had with frozen stuff was in January 2015. I was headed into work in my 2010 Chevy Cobalt and hit a patch of black ice. It was OK. The fire hydrant stopped my slide but, it broke the tie-rod on my right, front tire and ripped the wheel well. I was mad as hell. That car was cursed. I always called it my Cobalt Mark IV. It had been marked on all four sides, the broken tie-rod being the only thing I was responsible for. Serves me right. I never, never should have traded my Texas-bought (Liberty Hill) 1999 F-250 Supercab XLT for that thing.


      2. LOL! I’d have to try that. I like Tequila. I’m also fond of Rum. I don’t do well with grain alcohol, including beer. It’s either those two or cider & sweet wine.


  2. In Nashville, we get mostly ice also… I live 35 minutes north of Nashville so we get a mixture but today all ice as I’m working from home. In Kentucky they get snow…like you, I would love that.
    If an inch of snow is forecast… it’s complete pandemonium here…

    “Senorita Kamala is his muse.” LOVE that!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh yea… that thingy.
        We do get snow a little once in a while like you. I could feel that global warming when it was -4 here around Christmas.


  3. One hole in your tale………….the temperature must be -17 for tequila to freeze. Most tequila is 80% alcohol. Now San Antonio did record a zero degrees temperature in 1949 and records only officially go back to the turn of the century. Just saying, lol, Santa Anna’s tale may be a tall tale. (p.s. I’ve tried to freeze it and the freezer is set to 0 degrees). Enjoy your writing!


    1. Of course it’s a tall tale, that’s part of my blog. The Mexican army did go through an ice storm and several inches of snow getting to San Antonio. I learned this from several books and an interview taken from some of the soldiers that fought the Texians. Yeah, the Tequila thing is artistic license, but it sounded good. I have frozen Pinot Gregio and Cab, but like you, not whiskey or Tequilia. Thanks for the reply.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. (1) According to the Wikipedia article on Granbury: “The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters.” In other words, the editors failed to consult with you. Shame on them!
    (2) Wikipedia also informs me that…”Granbury is named after Confederate General Hiram B. Granbury.” Seeing as how the Left is canceling anything and everything that honors the Confederacy, I have to wonder if they will soon try to bury the name of Granbury.
    (3) We need an ICE storm at the Texas border. (I think Alejandro Mayorkas is drunk on Tequila. If only we could fix his wagon!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Granbury is hot as haites in the summer. Wiki did not consult me or they would know. Our local weather guys are mostly correct, but they missed this one. Two years ago a group of libs tried to take down General Granbury’s statue and name plate. A large group of gun toting citizens surrounded the town square. I don’t see the name of our city changing because we have a saying here, ” Don’t Mess With Texas,” and we mean it. Thanks for the great comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My home county, here in NC (next door west to where I am, now)…the Sheriff made it VERY clear that no one was going to touch our Confederate soldier statue, in front of the Courthouse. There is an iron fence around it, now.

        The county I am in, now…the idiots at UNC (southern part of the county) pulled down Silent Sam, the Confederate soldier statue that represented the UNC students that went to war. Next door east, they pulled down a statue in Durham. We need some Texans here.


  5. Being from Wisconsin I have to let you know that we did get ice storms there, too. In Colorado we get golfball to softball size hail.
    I’ve always admired Texas. Your invasion from Mexico is bad but you have a worse invasion going on, Californians. They’ve Californiacated Colorado but please don’t let them do it to your great state, which is an inspiration to many of us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Herb, the Californians have invaded Austin, and Dallas. So far, Fort Worth is holding them off. My wife daughter and her family moved to Colorado Springs and she said there are more Calfiornia plates than any others.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Right spot on. I grew up around cowboys as many of my extended family were farmers and ranchers. the code of the west does exist, and though not written, it is passed down from father to son to daughter to grandchildren in a chain of faith and respect. I’ve never known a bad rancher, although they are out there. Colorado and Texas have much in common as far as ranching goes, but the Californians invading, that’s another war in the coming. Good writing Herb, keep it going.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you so much for the kind words. Yes, the attitude that comes with them, the “spirit” if you will, that they bring would be better left in California.


      3. Oh…I wish I was there! Me & the ex-Marine looked at property in the FW area. We loved to go up there and go two-steppin’.

        We looked at houses & land in Azle.

        I remember my supervisor telling me of the Tarrant/Dallas politics. We sent fliers to veterans to notify them of state benefits (I worked for the General Land Office/Veterans Land Board). He made it clear that Dallas people would not go to Tarrant Co. for meetings…and vice versa. We had to send separate fliers, tailored to the particular audience. They would not cross county lines. My supv. was native. Though he worked in Austin, he had a big ranch in Clyde.


  6. Finally got to 34 F this aft here this aft & thankfully, also surprisingly, most of the ice melted. We had over an inch of freezing rain and we’re housebound for 2 solid days due to it. I’ve only been in TX 9 years but have learned ,hear ‘snow’ or ‘ice’ in forecast, go out NOW to get bread, beer, pop for the misses, water…shelves will be empty in hours.


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