My band was playing downtown at MadDogs on the Riverwalk.
The equipment was unloaded onto the sidewalk and Rikk and I left to park our vehicles while Steve guarded the gear.
When I got back, everything changed.
A man in his 60s was crossing the street at College and Presa and Steve said he didn't look very good, like he was suddenly very ill. Luckily a Park Ranger was right there and the man started talking to him but wasn't making any sense.
Then he went down.
And then he was dead.
In seconds a man went from enjoying a beautiful evening in my city to lying dead on the hot concrete.
By this time the Park Ranger had already called for EMS, and the sirens were getting louder. (For my non-local visitors: San Antonio's Park Rangers are a branch of the police that specialize in working our parks and other tourist attractions, including the Riverwalk. Badges, guns, and thankfully radios.)
We kept moving our equipment to the elevator, knowing that it would either be in the way of the rescue personnel or they would be in our way very soon, since the poor guy was less than ten feet away. This ended up being the right call on both counts.
But as I picked up a few items, the man's companion looked me right in the eyes and with tears streaming down her cheeks begged me to "Please help him!"
That's when my heart broke wide open.
What the hell was I supposed to do?
The ambulance is almost here, I have no training, and I'm just trying to clear the area so that when help arrives there won't be any difficulties.
I'm just sorry I didn't tell her that it would be okay in a minute.
There's still just the six of us involved in this tragic scene but things start to happen fast.
20 seconds later a woman in a pink top is performing CPR.
The ambulance is pulling in and a firetruck is also trying to turn down Presa Street.
Suddenly there are maybe eight of our downtown bicycle cops rolling in from all directions, and what was once a private and lonely slice of hell is now the busiest corner in town.
By this time the EMTs are just getting on-scene while the mystery woman continues her very professional looking CPR.
Barely one minute later and there's a huge crowd of people and cops are directing traffic and the dead guy isn't dead anymore.
The Nix hospital is only a block away.
I hope he made it.
I had my camera with me but didn't feel comfortable pulling it out to shoot such a sad situation--but since I don't tell stories without photos around here my phone-cam seemed like an acceptible alternative at the time.
Just took this single photo, and am leaning towards being glad I did.