John Phillip Santos was born and raised in San Antonio. During a decades-long exile in South Bend, Oxford, New Haven, and Manhattan, he developed a theory about South Texas: that it harbored a deep story about what America was becoming, a slowly unfolding plotline that emerged from the fateful meeting between Old New Spain and the American Republic. Today, Santos once again lives in his hometown, and teaches at UT–San Antonio.
Today my grandfather is buried in a family plot in Laredo. But to understand who he was and what his family was like, you have to know the story of his first burial, seventy miles away and nearly twenty years earlier.