SAN ANTONIO – The booths where customers once ate at the iconic Pig Stand are now filled with all kinds of decorative piggies that had been proudly on display throughout the diner.
Prints of historic photographs of the Pig Stand, its employees and customers through the years lie on top of tables and are propped up on chairs.
“I never thought I would see the day that the pictures came off the wall, and the pigs got to say their last goodbye to me, the customers and my staff,” said owner Mary Ann Hill.
About 200 of the prized piggies, many of them given to Hill by her customers, and other Pig Stand memorabilia will be auctioned off in the parking lot starting at 9 a.m. Saturday.
Hill said the auction will be a way to help her devoted employees now that the Pig Stand has closed.
“They’re going to need some money in their pocket. They got their last check already,” Hill said. “I am happy and honored to do something for them.”
Otherwise, Hill said she has no room for them at her house, and she doesn’t want them locked away in storage.
“I want them to go to people that say, ‘Oh, that’s my Pig Stand pig,’” Hill said. “We don’t know where they’re going, but we hope they make them happy like they made us happy.”
Hill, who started as a waitress, has been with the Pig Stand 56 of its 101 years in San Antonio.
Sold to a major downtown developer, Hill was leasing the property that had become prime real estate along a booming stretch of Broadway.
Difficult though it is, Hill said the time had come to take care of her health and spend long overdue time with her children and grandchildren.
She said her family, like her staff, were always there for her and the Pig Stand.
Hill said, “All I had to do is say, ‘I need help.’”
For those who may be concerned about how she’s handling everything, Hill said, “I’ll be okay.”
But, Hill said, she’s already decided when the time comes, “I don’t want to come back to see the building tore down. None of that.”