Meet the DRT Library Staff: Rusty Gamez
This is the third installment in a series of “meet the staff” entries that share information about each member of the DRT Library’s team. Having been at the library since 1988, Library Assistant Rusty Gamez knows a great deal about its institutional history. Here he shares some of his favorite memories of his time at the Alamo.
On January 14, 2010 I completed twenty-two years of employment at the DRT library. As a library assistant, my duties are many. I staff the reading room floor, help library patrons with their research, and assist Alamo visitors who may need directions or another public service. I also help organize the patron registration forms, which track who comes to do research and how long they stay in the library. Additionally, I maintain the vertical (or clippings) files by adding materials to the folders and checking them monthly to ensure they are in good order. Finally, I help set up most audiovisual equipment for presentations and take photographs of library or Alamo functions as needed.
As I look back on my twenty-two years at the library and the Alamo, I remember many of my wonderful colleagues and friends. Two that come to mind are the late Bernice Strong, former library archivist, and the late Charles J. Long, former Alamo curator. Bernice was the first person I met at the library; she greeted me at the gates when I came for my job interview. Bernice would go on to become my mentor and a trusted friend. As an archivist and a noted historian she made sure I was well-educated in all aspects of history and library work. Her professionalism and vast knowledge earned her much respect. I miss her dearly. Mr. Long was a kind and gentle soul. He would come to the library at 11:00 on the dot every Friday. Even though he was retired, everyone would come in to ask him questions related to his time as Alamo curator. He was a walking “Alamo encyclopedia.” He and I shared our religious faith and a love of photography, the Alamo, and Burger King hamburgers.
I am a proud “native-born Texan” and a lifelong resident of San Antonio. Reared on the south side, I graduated from South San Antonio High School and attended San Antonio College. I have many hobbies, including camping; fishing; hunting; reading; listening to contemporary Christian music; following the Dallas Cowboys, San Antonio Spurs, Houston Astros, and San Antonio Missions; and watching movies. The good Lord has blessed me with a beautiful wife (Judi) and two wonderful sons (Matthew and Stephen). My mother Alicia Besa Gamez is still living, although my father, the late Charlie Gamez, passed on in 2002. My family and I are active members of St. Leonard Catholic Church. If I am not at work or at home, chances are you will find me at church or on an ACTS retreat.
I am fortune to work at a job I love, at a place I hold sacred, and for a wonderful organization, the Daughters of the Republic of Texas.