SAN ANTONIO — The Alamo is falling apart.
They don’t exactly advertise that, but if you look closely the signs are there. The people running the place are extremely apologetic about it via placards. They don’t allow photos inside the church itself, presumably out of shame for its current state. But the black paper they put along the walls of a room to the left of the exit shows the damage: small piles of limestone dust and bits of rubble slowly crumbling to nothing, as any 300-year-old mission made of four-foot-thick bricks and mortar is destined to do.
They’re trying to keep things up, though, and they want your help. There are donation boxes in various sports on the grounds. Anything you buy at the Alamo is supposed to help, too. Purchase a “Come And Take It” lapel pin or drink koozie at the Alamo Gift Shop (erected as a museum in 1938) and you’re helping to keep the walls up. The same goes for a Coke Zero or ice cream sandwich from the vending machines at the Alamo Snack Bar on the other side of the grounds, where a movie about the mission and Texan Revolution battle site plays on continuous loop.
The Alamo doesn’t have a corporate sponsor, but maybe it should. It would certainly pay for the maintenance on the church and make sure it’s around for another few hundred years. The Alamo, Presented By The Home Depot. Something like that. It sounds somewhat grotesque, but give it time to grow on you. We’ve allowed brands to co-opt so much of our lives, why not add a few historical sites to the list if it keeps them from ruin?