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‘The Alamo Has Fallen…’

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Posted: Tuesday, March 13, 2018 1:34 pm

Those words were first uttered in 1836 by a messenger to worried families to the east of San Antonio. 

The same words were repeated with equal authenticity and passion by Dr. Harry Krenek at a Texas Independence Day celebration hosted by the Elgin Historical Association on March 2.  Approximately 50 members and guests sat spellbound during Dr. Krenek’s accounts of troubles with Comanches, “no back door at the Alamo, and the importance of slaves in the lives of women fleeing to the East.”

A sixth-generation Texas septuagenarian and Elgin native, Dr. Krenek trod the halls of academe early on, finishing a distinguished career as President of Western Texas College in Snyder, Texas. 

His academic credentials notwithstanding, Dr. Krenek is a repository of historical events, names, heroes and ancestors. A captivating story-teller, he sat at his grandfather’s knee, absorbing personal narratives not in our Texas History books. His great-grandfather had passed on accounts as well to his grandfather, so Dr. Krenek personifies both accuracy and authenticity in recreating vast historical events for a listener’s eyes and ears. Because his ancestors were a part of the times in the 1800s-1900s, it is in his blood, knowing who, what, when, where and why history unfolded as it did.

As a member of the Mary Christian Burleson Foundation, he has based much of his Texas research on the travels and travails of the Burleson family, struggling to escape Gonzales with their lives and their newborns. Slaves became essential players in the lives of Texans under duress. 

“If the slaves hadn’t helped the women, they never would have made it…” said Dr. Krenek.

There were several occasions in Dr. Krenek’s presentation that not only did he seem to channel some of his ancestral scenes, but his passion was infectious. By his voice and facial expressions he was there; the quality of his speaking stirred both proud and painful emotions in his listeners’ hearts. Even though he made only a closing reference to Texas Independence Day, this will be a March 2 which everyone present will long remember.

Ever the professor, at the end of his speech he provided a bibliography of books and websites he recommended.

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