He’s made a lifestyle and a living writing about San Antonio history, and in particular, its river. I'm talking about Lewis Fisher. He wrote the definitive book years ago on the history of the San Antonio River, but now he’s got a new one.
“The new book is titled American Venice: The Epic Story of San Antonio’s River.
So why did we need a new book about the river?
“The River Walk has recently been expanded from three miles to 15 miles, with dramatic extensions to the north and to the south. And this book covers both of them.”
Fisher first came here in 1964 and the river bore little resemblance to what it is today.
“There was only Casa Rio [Restaurant] on the River Walk. That was it. And it was pretty deserted. It took Hemisfair in 1968 to get things really [going], but it’s been a very dramatic development that fortunately, has been regulated, to keep a sense of localness and distinction.”
How would the success of these two extensions of the River Walk be measured?
“Well, I think a very easy measure is simply the number of visitors. There are something like 11 million visitors a year going to the River Walk, even at 9 o’clock at night, there are people walking along, or walking their dogs, or just enjoying themselves in perfect safety.”
There’s a book signing associated with the San Antonio River Foundation?
"The book will be out in early December. There will be a signing with the River Foundation, and also the Paseo del Rio Association, and other events, as time unfolds."
He suggests if you haven’t seen this yet, you should.
“I would think that Christmastime would be an excellent time to go down and enjoy it. We’re used to the lights in the trees along the main portion of the River Walk. Along the Museum Reach, there are also lights under the water, that shine up in various colors and are very attractive.”
A new twist on Holidays along the river.