Why San Antonio should be proud right now


Here's a quick thank you, a pat on the back, and a little bit of a plea - in the aftermath of the four tornadoes that skipped through San Antonio late Sunday night.

First, that thank you.

It goes out to all of my neighbors - literally - from the neighbors on my street to those miles away who were also in the path of the storm and everybody else who came out to help with the cleanup.

You see, my next-door neighbor had the back part of her roof pulled off and deposited in her front yard by one of those tornadoes that skipped across the area.

She was rattled, but otherwise OK.

And while we had some damage at my house and it scared the heck out of my kids when it roared through with things popping and cracking, we didn't get hit nearly as bad as so many others.


Then this morning it seems like a lot of us in the neighborhood came out to see the damage in the light of day at about the same time.

And to help.

And we saw there was a lot of work to do.

A car across the street was smashed by a downed tree. An apartment a block down the street had part of its roof and side walls torn off.

And trees and fences were down everywhere, with all kinds of debris and limbs and junk just spread all over.

Of course this all stinks for everybody who will have to deal with the damage - some of it really devastating - as it's easily in the millions of dollars worth throughout the path of those tornadoes.


But if there's any good news in all this - it's that nobody was killed or even injured in all this destruction.

Thank God for that. And that those four tornadoes that skipped and darted across the city were on the weaker side. Two EF-0's and two EF-1's.

But what's more, another little silver lining is that many of us had a chance to see - up close - the best in each other.

I met neighbors I didn't even know I had who came out to check on each everybody else, to commiserate, and to help.

And while we make fun of ourselves in San Antonio, say, for our weight, or for not being as sophisticated or hip as places like Austin, at least we proved a positive sterotype about San Antonio - again.

We are pretty generous and generally caring, and at least at times, we can overlook our differences.


Along my street today - and some others where I took my camera - nobody asked whether you were Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative.

Nobody cared what your personal life, what you did for a living, or what you looked like.

They just asked 'Are you OK?' and 'How can I help?'

And when people happened to recognize me as a news guy, they didn't say, 'Let's see, uh Beamer, are you part of that liberal, lamestream, enemy-of-the-people fake news media?' or 'Are you part of the conservative, corporate, alt-right, fascist, media?'

No. They asked 'Anybody hurt or killed?' And 'What's it like everywhere else?'

And I was glad I could tell them what I knew.


Because that's my job. That's it.

(And now and then doing a little column kinda thing like this).

But let me make it clear that I'm not being political at all here.

In fact, I'm trying to be a-political.

I just want to make the point that in San Antonio we always seem to come together after something horrible - like this - or for something fun - like Fiesta or the Spurs going for another title.

And that's awesome. We're good at it.

But too soon too many of us will be back in our own little bubbles and back on the computer spewing and venting at some of the very same people we helped today!

People in San Antonio have always seemed to get along a little better than most places. Maybe it's because we're a little more laid-back, or family-oriented, or maybe it's exactly because we are a little less sophisticated than elsewhere and don't try as hard to impress everybody else.


But wouldn't it be great if we had that same spirit we saw all over the city Monday - on even one other day?

Maybe we could celebrate a Day Without Politics (or political differences) if not a Day Without the Web?

How many of us try so hard to get our kids to spend less time on their phones (on those darned games!) or constantly texting each other.

But then we get back to our own computers or phones and looking at all the stuff on the web that makes us so angry we absolutely have to post! NOW!


So pat yourselves on the back, San Antonio and South Texas.

Take just a moment to be proud. 'You done good!"


Yes, over the coming weeks and months many of us in San Antonio will get lost in all the details of dealing with the destruction of the storm.

But for now, remember we're at least all alive and well.

And that's what we all really want to hear first about our family, our friends and our neighbors.

We saw after the storm that the huge majority of us are more alike than different, that we care about our family, friends and neighbors and want to see the best for our city, our state, and our country.

So at least speaking for myself in that dang, fill-in-your 'blankety-blank' news media! I'll try to make sure we reflect that caring part of us a little more often and more accurately.


But also please remember that part of our job in news is to accurately and fairly report on those divisions and differences between us.

You know, all the ones we forgot about on the day after the storm.

And wouldn't it be cool if we could express those differences with same the respect and concern that so many here showed in the aftermath of the tornadoes?

Just wondering. Or dreaming.

You can let us know what you think on our News 4 San Antonio facebook page at or at my facebook page at

And just this once, if you don't have anything nice to say - imagine you were just hit by the storm and that you don't have any power or wi-fi or computer or phone. And that you're all out of battery power.

So you'll just have to keep all of that anger, condescension and venting to yourself.


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