Why Floresville? That’s the first question I get from my friends. I’m from Long Island, New York. My father was a sales representative for diamonds company in New York City for the South America and Caribbean region. Whatever country he was assigned, we moved with him.
I was 2 years old when we lived in Lima, Peru. My first grade school was in Panama City. That’s where I started learning Spanish. We lived in Cali, Colombia and five years in Puerto Rico. Sharing the life of many cultures was an adventure.
Finally, in 1958 we moved to Pensacola, Florida where my father retired and I dropped out of high school. In the same year, I joined the Army. I came to Fort Sam Houston for medical training and never left. I found South Texas to have the perfect weather – summer almost year-round.
After military service I started washing dishes for 35 cents an hour at the Pig Stand restaurant on Broadway. I worked my way up to cook and went on to cook for celebrities at The St. Anthony Hotel and with Ralph Hernandez at The Little Red Barn.
In 1992, after the end of a 30-year marriage, I needed a new place to live. I found a mobile home in Wilson County and left San Antonio. I remarried in 1999, and my wife and I moved to Floresville.
We bought a half-acre lot in the Northcrest subdivision. At first, the zoning department was skeptical about me building a home. I hadn’t told them that I was a builder at Great Northwest in San Antonio back in the ‘80s. The city staff was very helpful in the preparation for the construction project. All departments went out of their way to help, including former Mayor Garza and Mayor Tejada.
My wife and I like having a lot of space and foliage around, which is why Floresville is perfect for us. Our home is a place where I can rest after a stressful trading day. I need the chance to sip on a cup of coffee and read a book sitting on the back porch.
Floresville offers everything we need, from low cost of living, low taxes, all medical services you find in large cities, and one of the best school districts in the area. The Chamber of Commerce even has a cookbook, The Taste of Floresville, featuring many tasty local recipes, like one for peanut brittle highlighting Floresville’s famous peanuts.
Pecan Park is a pleasant place for a run and, in the fall, to gather pecans for baking pies. You’ll often find me there or at Lew’s Patio & Grill with friends after a round of golf at Riverbend Golf Club.
When we moved here, we found the residents of Floresville to be well-mannered, friendly, and welcoming. It didn’t take long for us to feel at home. Soon I was visiting council meetings and becoming involved in the community. Nowadays I serve on the Planning and Zoning Committee, Board of Adjustments, Convention, Tourist, and Visitor’s Advisory Board, and the Floresville Development Corporation.
In summer I offer free seminars on investing, budgeting, and finance at the Wilson County Library. Many Americans are deeply in debt, and there are glaring salary disparities. I want to share my knowledge with my community to help them move forward.
Though it’s a quiet, peaceful place to live, changes have been developing in the last few years. The natural beauty of the land, availability of water, and proximity to San Antonio has attracted new residents. Even the distant discovery of oil in the Eagle Ford Shale now makes Floresville desirable to residents and businesses.
The City Council leadership is working very hard to meet the challenges of a growing population by installing new water wells and a new treatment plant to manage future expansion for the next 50 years. Additionally, a plan for street maintenance has been put in place to meet the demand of growing traffic.
Over the course of my life, I have been lucky enough to travel extensively and see a lot of the world. I consider myself especially lucky to have found Floresville, where I can have a piece of peace, contribute to my community, and where our neighbors are our friends.