Good morning everyone. Since I have decided to use Saturdays to talk about San Marcos and Texas State University here at 'Bikini Hill', I thought that I would devote this Saturday to giving you a little bit of background on San Marcos, America and what it means to me. San Marcos is located about a half hour from both Austin and San Antonio. Downtown Austin is actually closer to us than downtown San Antonio because the "downtown area" of each of these cities lies to its south, and San Marcos is located to the south of Austin, while being located to the north of San Antonio. Although San Marcos itself only has a population listed at 50,000 residents, these neighboring cities allow us numerous opportunities to experience live music, sporting events, and the other things that big cities have to offer. One of the nicknames that has popped up in recent years for this little haven is "San Marvelous" - I personally cannot stand this cutesy little nickname, and this is probably one of the reasons that I use the moniker "San Marcos, America" so often in my writing here. I like the sound of it, although honestly the first time that I ever heard it used, I believe that it was in the vain of, "well, welcome to San Marcos, America" (as in, "that's San Marcos for you..."). I also hijacked the moniker 'Bikini Hill' from someone that I overheard, and was instantly in love with the nickname the first time that I heard it, as it is the perfect description for the stretch of grass overlooking the San Marcos River where it runs through the Texas State campus. If it is up to me, "San Marcos, America" and "Bikini Hill" will become a natural part of everyone's vocabulary... ;)
Texas State University now has an enrollment in the neighborhood of 35,000 students (I think that it is probably a little bit higher than that, but I haven't seen the fall semester's official total yet). When I started school here 100 years ago, the enrollment of my alma mater was approximately 20,000 students. If you are a regular reader of this little blog (and even if you're not), Texas State is now a "Division I" (called FBS for football) member in every sport as of this year, and has been a "D-I" member in all other sports since 1986 (I believe) when my alma mater joined the Southland Conference. The start of this school year brought a move to the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). Among the several requirements that the NCAA lays out for a school to move up to the ranks of FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) membership, the football stadium at the school must have a certain minimum seating capacity. This resulted in the expansion of Bobcat Stadium to a 30,000-seat capacity heading into this football season. The stadium held 15,000 fans when I began attending here 100 years ago.
The city of San Marcos has a small-town feel to it... The 50,000 is not so big that you're not going to hear about something when it happens. Due to the number of students, San Marcos is the living definition of the term "college town" - I have always liked this about the city because there are always new people moving here (and leaving of course), and it keeps San Marcos fresh. Interstate 35 separates the "college side" of San Marcos from the other side of town, and I have always lived on the "college side" of 35, within a mile of the university more often than not. Even as an alumnus, one of the big advantages of this has been my ability to walk to campus and the campus library, which I take full advantage of (okay, "full advantage" might be defined as reading their current magazines for free, and checking out the occasional book)... :) My current location also leaves me with about a 15-minute walk to Bikini Hill, where I will go to read, soak up the sun, jump into the river, and listen to the automobile accidents on the nearby adjacent street. Motorists will crane their necks to see who is laying out, which often results in cars being rear-ended as distracted drivers hit the non-moving vehicles in front of them. I have heard people JAM on their brakes and the CRUNCH of metal SEVERAL times... :) I have never been involved in an accident near Bikini Hill, so I can type smiley faces...
I have now lived in San Marcos longer than I have lived in any other one place in my life. I was an Air Force brat, so it was pretty much a race between my hometown in New Hampshire and San Marcos until this college town finally took the lead. As I have said here before, if San Marcos had free-flowing poker games and football parlay-betting available on tap, I wouldn't really have any reason for wanting to go to Las Vegas. With the increasing number of students being crammed into these city limits, San Marcos is becoming a little crowded, but it's still a great place to live for my money.
Well, I hope that gives you a little background on this city that I refer to quite often here in my little blog. Tomorrow I plan on being back with a random topic, not to be confused with a 'ramble'... Have a great day!