Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Bright Shawl

Summer Reading List v. Summer Eating List

Did y'all know that the JLSA's beloved meeting space and tea room, The Bright Shawl, is named after a relatively obscure novel that was published in 1922? I just downloaded the book, by Joseph Hergesheimer, on my Kindle for free. At the time, the book was very popular and was even made into a film in 1923. Here's what the Turner Classic Movies website has to say about the plot:

Charles Abbot, a wealthy young American, goes to Cuba with his friend Andres Escobar to help the cause of Cuban independence. He falls in love with Andres' sister, Narcissa, although he spends more time with Spanish dancer La Clavel, who is in love with Charles and gives him information she garners from Spanish officers. La Pilar, a Spanish spy, discovers their scheme and sets a trip for them and the entire Escobar family. La Clavel gives her life to save Charles, but it is a chivalrous whim by a Spanish officer that enables Charles, Narcissa and Narcissa's mother, Carmenita, to escape to the United States.

All this time, I thought that The Bright Shawl was named after the Mexican Ballet Folklorico dancers' bright skirts, colorfully embroidered, that the dancers wave around enticingly while twirling to mariachi music. But I guess that makes no sense, because the building would be called "The Bright Skirt," which has less of a ring to it!

If the Junior League of San Antonio was building a meeting place and tea room today, and the members were feeling literary, I wonder which contemporary book it might be named after?

What do you think? Any ideas or suggestions? Get creative and comment below!

Since we're on the topic of reading, you can read more about The Bright Shawl's rich and interesting history here.

While I don't think I'll put "The Bright Shawl" at the top of my summer reading list (I tried a few pages and just couldn't get into it), I do plan to put it at the top of my summer eating list! I have plans to meet my girlfriends for lunch at The Bright Shawl's tea room soon. The tea room is open for lunch Monday through Friday from 11am to 2pm. Bring your JLSA membership card and you get a discount! And be sure to save room for a slice of famous almond crunch cake.  Yummmmm.


  1. Suggestion: Breaking Dawn :) A few years old, but one of my favorites!

  2. What about the Hunger Games - may help drive lunch traffic :)

  3. I have tried calling and emailing for more information about JLSA, but no one has responded. Can you recommend what my next step should be?

    1. Hi Amanda, I'm sorry you haven't received a response from someone, please email: Please reply back if you still have no response. Thank you!