Where I Live: Collins Garden

The Where I Live series aims to showcase our diverse city and region by spotlighting its many vibrant neighborhoods. Each week a local resident invites us over and lets us in on what makes their neighborhood special. Have we been to your neighborhood yet? Get in touch to share your story.

When I attended Lanier High School back in the 1970s, I was on the track team and used to run around Collins Garden Park, which back then we knew as North Park. There was no track there at the time, just grass, but I would run from my house to the park and do a few laps before running back home.

I often ate at Panchito’s with my dad, and we’d always see local politicians there. The owner at the time, Frank Sepulveda, used to run the San Antonio Produce Terminal Market, and the restaurant was like a spin-off of that. That restaurant has changed a lot over the years, but you still see a lot of the neighborhood people there, so when I go, I still get that sense of nostalgia.

It was important for me to return to the neighborhood after retiring from the Army because I had seen how Collins Garden had changed and was still changing. I wanted to help make sure it was changing for the better, which is why I bought the house next door to the house I was born in and joined the local neighborhood association.

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