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Tom Castanos, Park Education Specialist

On May 2, I participated in a writing marathon to benefit the San Antonio Writing Project’s Summer Missions Writing Camp. We walked to several locations near the San Antonio Missions National Park site, stopping to write after each leg of the walk. On our second stop, education director,Tom Castanos, schooled us on the history of the Missions. His historical perspective is broad and includes many voices that have not been heard in the past.

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Mission San Jose, 1950

While we stood in the shade of a giant oak tree near Mission San Jose, a man approached our group and showed us this photograph.  He took this photograph when he visited the park as a child in the summer of 1950.  This was his second trip to San Antonio.  I thought it was cool that he remembered to bring the old picture with him, and that he was willing to share it with us.

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In the shadow of San Jose Mission

Many people were at the Mission in their Sunday clothes to take pictures.  I like the image in the background, as those flowers fell over at least fifteen times while we were there.  Each time an arrangement fell, someone walked over and picked it up.

Door to living quarters, Mission San Jose

Door to living quarters, Mission San Jose

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Arches in the rear or Mission San Jose

After our session at the Missions park, we walked to the Mission Branch Library and had a most interesting art lesson from Marianist brother and artist, Brian Zampier.  Check his blog out hereBrother Brian was so inspiring.  He has 97 journal/sketchbooks and brought them to share with us.  His mottos during our lesson were to: Play!, Have Fun! Do not be afraid! Date your pages!  Suspend Judgment!  He taught us to do mark making, blind contour drawings, cartooning, and collages.  We did a little of all four, but I’ll share the collage I created during our session with him.  Walk a little, take a few pictures, do some writing, make some art… what a perfect way to spend the day.

Journal Sketch after Brother Brian

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