The Rose Window

The first link that image? It was intended as a part of the Ruby Tuesday Meme, hosted by a Gemini, although I would ascribe more Sagittarius traits to what I’ve seen – her longest running emblem was a Centaur, certainly Sagittarius in thematic appeal.

The Rose Window Image (via, the side project).

My first introduction to the Rose Window was a downtown San Antonio Ghost Tour. I can’t say for sure that it was that exact window, but it was one of them on the South Alamo side of the old Joske Brothers’ building, at one time, the retail center of the world, or my world, anyway. The Joske Brothers built an empire and subsequently sold out. Or something. This isn’t about department stores, this is about the mythology and how it gets molded. Ghost stories, as it were.

The windows that flank the street level, both streets, South Alamo and Commerce Street, are that ornate “old world” stonework. Carved roses, among other adornments. The last time I passed that store, it was shuttered, and kid was laconically rolling by on a skateboard. Another Sagittarius mention.

The first ghost tour suggested that the rose windows were carved by an old world craftsman, around 1730 – good plug, historically in the range. Stupid tourists, we’ll believe anything. That location was started in 1867, and the deco facade wasn’t installed until late 1930’s. I didn’t figure that out until later.

A second ghost tour – I love being a tourist – same story, probably a different location, but the story is about an immigrant stone mason (or sculptor) who carves a rose window for his beloved, only for him (or her) to die before the glorious reunion in the New World, either New Spain, the Republic of Mexico, or Texas. The myth predates the incorporation of the sovereign county of Texas in the United States.

Poking around Mission San Jose, years later, I finally came across what I thought was the origin of this myth, with a window on the south side of the sacristy, sculpted circa 1775. Closer to reality.

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