Monday, November 9, 2009

Weslaco's Birthday Parade

In the fifties, Weslaco used to have big yearly birthday celebrations, complete with huge parades comparable with the Rose Parade. Organizations would work almost the whole year on plans for a special float that would compete with all the floats in the parade. These participating floats were not only from local organizations but even from some outside the Rio Grande Valley itself.
Just like in the Rose parade this floats had moving parts and were usually constructed with millions of flowers. I remember the St. Joan of Arc PTA working on one in the year 1959, when I was in the eight grade in that parochial school. We all helped to put it all together, using crepe paper flowers and real flowers to cover the whole framework. There was a big arch and beneath the arch was a young man with a guitar, depicting Elvis Presley.
Seeing the whole parade was really amazing and I remember sometimes it would take hours to pass in front of our main street with about forty floats, more than twelve bands, both local and from other areas, cars, firetrucks and other vehicles, including some antique cars. People sometimes assembled hours before the parade in order to get good vantage points on the main route. It was an unforgettable memory each year!

Friday, November 6, 2009


When I was a child of about eight or ten I used to make "cascarones" to sell to public school kidsat Easter time, who passed by our house everyday."Cascarones" are decorated Easter eggs made from empty egg shell that have been washed and dried and then filled with paper confetti and sometimes flour. They can just be colored but I chose to make them into faces with different costumes--old women, clowns, little girls or boys and even animals such as rabbits.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Idolina Gracia-daughter of Josefa Gracia

I have a very clear memory of the day my cousin Idolina Gracia was born. (I now know this happened on December 14, 1947)
My aunt Fita was living in a small rented house in the backyard of a woman named Dona Angelita, half a block away from a corner store about five blocks down the street from my mother's and my home on Iowa street. My mom and I were at my Aunt's house and so was my Uncle Nazario when Dr. Glass came to deliver my cousin. Uncle Nazario, being a man and me , being three years old , were thrown out of the small house to fend for ourselves. I remember clearly my Uncle placing me atop the fence post in the yard and holding ,me there as we watched some cats playing across the street and watching the cars pass while we waited for my cousin to be born. The fence post was a railroad tie anout 8 inches in diameter and ample room for me to sit atop of it and heavy chicken wire with 2 inch squares was nailed to the huge posts as a fence.
I remember later when we went back in to see my newborn cousin wrapped in blankets and was told her name was Idolina!