As I prepare to crash another way-above-my-paygrade social function at the Pearl Brewery, hopefully pinching my collar into faux starchiness and double-sniffing my gingivitis, I can't help but harken back to all those Pearl lunches gone by. It will be strange, I think, not to see several key CPS Energy personnel on stage or at least near the front round of tables.
Why, it seems like only yesterday that blue-lipped former Public Information Officer Bob McCullough was castigating me outside the Pearl Stables in front of former Acting GM Steve Bartley as former veep of nuclear development Bob Temple crouched behind some bushes waving his hands like a choir conductor.
Did I really believe my coverage of CPS had been fair and balanced? McCullough demanded. My response that it had been fair, though not balanced, inspired disbelieving guffaws. It seemed lost on all present that news coverage need not cleave to false dichotomies that give equal weight to decidedly unequal arguments in the name of false "balance."
Surely, there will be some déjà vu involved today, as solar titan Jigar Shah, I think that's what I called him last year, addresses us at another Solar San Antonio luncheon. (I signed up as soon as I heard birthday cake may be involved.)
But I'm expecting a lot less head shaking and eye rolling at the utility's table this year. After all, CPS is preparing to roll out Solartricity for the business community. And efforts are underway to replicate the rooftop solar universe Shah has popularized elsewhere. It is, truly, a new day in San Antonio.
Worried that those who have left us would not be here to see our progress, I pulled out the old where-are-they-now file to track them down. I was delighted that Bob Temple has landed on his feet, cashing in his considerable nuclear legal talents for a seat with Haynes and Boone, LLP.
"Bob's emphasis on nuclear development and transactions, combined with his commercial and business acumen, is a real asset for our clients," said Buddy Clark, partner and chair of Haynes and Boone's Energy and Power Practice Group. I wonder if they called Mayor Julián Castro for a reference?
And Steve Bartley wasn't too difficult to catch up with. The youngster appears to have trimmed his hair and returned to school, apparently in Arkansas, where he has joined the drum squad for the Razorbacks. His specialty is simplistically complex five-minute drum solos inspired, one school paper quoted him as saying, by “the rise and fall of industrial magisterium.” He always was a brainy one, that Steve.
Enjoy the magic and mystery of Bartley's brave new work:
While I was never quite sure the circulatory-challenged hairless creature was thoroughly human, my secret wish is that he has found a path through his tangled new reality to a sort of wholeness and happiness. Preferably one that involves lots of headstands.