Blogs » J.Q. Tomanek of Victoria » Alligator wrestling and Swimming with the Dolphins


Big news brewed yesterday. You may think it was the announcement of Texas A&M being desired for Victoria. Yes, that may have been big news. Or you may think it was discussions on budget or realignment. Sure, those are big hitters as well. Heck, you may even have thought it was economic development on the State level being presented. But the most important news of all was the presence of the Victoria community at the Capitol.

Whether it was supporters of Victoria College, mental health facilities, VISD, county, city council, chamber, non-profits or many of the other industries or organizations present, it was Victorians. We were there for any number of reasons, collective or personal; we were there for Victoria.

Why would I spend a whole day from my busy schedule in Austin for Victoria Day? In short, the answer is solidarity. I wanted my representative and senator to know I was grateful for their service and that I was there on behalf of my small city.

An invitation was delivered to the representatives to join the Victoria reception, a simple luggage tag with the information inside and branded with the Victorian Crossroads stamp. Hats off to the person that thought of it, it was an invitation to a reception that also was an invitation to our city! I was able to deliver about fifteen tags to representatives from across the State. The coolest office had the fantastic smell of cigars. I could have sat in the office for hours. The group I was with had a blast delivering the invites.

We took something so simple and could have been accomplished with mere tossing of the tag, but we made it into an opportunity to showcase our city. We exaggerated what was to be found at the reception. So exaggerated that any person knew it was facetious. Unless of course the person thought for sure that a dolphin tank, Bono, and alligator wrestling would really be available at The Austin Club. It was kind of like an ice breaker into some of the city news of the urban hub of Victoria. Of course, I reminded many that we truly enjoy our suburbs and this effort continued to beg questions about our city. I love our history and mentioned some of our historical roots. Sure some will think about visiting Victoria’s historical attractions. I would mention cannons from the “La Belle,” the first church parish in the Republic of Texas (St. Mary’s), home of the first woman to lead a cattle drive (or here), the relation of Victoria to the Guadalupe, etc. One person asked who the heck I worked for and I told him I am just a resident of the town. I was not working on him to visit Victoria; I was planting seeds for a future Victorian!