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COUNTRY ECHOES

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BRANDON WISCONSIN R.R-2 ZIP-539I9

Country Echoes are floating to you from way down in Brownsville, Texas this time. Friend Husband and myself are set up in a housekeeping unit of the Parker Motel here. Charro Days are in full swing but somehow or another we are not down taking in all the excitement. There will be a big parade tonight and another tomorrow which I expect we will want to take in.

The preliminary events start about February fifteenth. The school children stage pageants, there are chicken barbecues, Mexican dinners, Mexican dances and even street dances. A Pop Concert is given by the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra as a preliminary event. And the Camille Players presented a melodrama 'Egad, What a Cad.'

Being a naturally inquistive person I had to find out the meaning of the word CHARRO. The lady in the motel office assured me that a charro is a fancy Spanish dancer. I am led to believe that it must be a male. The Brownsville Herald had an interesting picture in it yesterday which caused me to draw this conclusion.

It is a picture of three gaily dressed children, two girls, and one boy. The caption underneath the picture starts out 1 quote 'Pretty charras and a charro dance for the hundreds of winter visitors, etc' unquote. So I could only concur from this that the little lady dancers were charras, and the boy a charro. But I must tell you about the parade the school children put on yesterday. We saw only the last of it as we had just arrived after between sixteen and seventeen hundred miles on the road.

There was one little sweet-faced boy child showing from under a huge Mexican hat whom I won't soon forget. He was riding on a school float all decorated with bright artificial flowers. Here he sat, cross-legged, balancing this yellow straw hat with a crown almost as tall as he himself was. If it hadn't been for his ears I don't think he could have managed to wear it. I wonder how long it will take them to pull back into shape.

This evening we went to the illuminated parade which was the forerunner of the big parade on Saturday. The floats in the evening were lit up with colored lights which played upon the characters that rode on them. There are many bands in both of these, some in Spanish costumes, but most in traditional High School band uniforms with their very pretty majorettes. And the girls here are really pretty. I saw two little sisters in the crowd who looked so much like my Idaho grandaughters as to make me hurt inside with longing for them. But it did no good.

On Sunday morning we picked a Lutheran church to attend on Boca Chica Drive. We went to the adult Bible Class and had a helpful and interesting lesson. There was a good bit of discussion about Peter and his impetuousness and the many times he probably goofed badly. The one lady commented that people at least were trying to accomplish something. She felt that this was better than always playing it safe so you didn't make any mistakes. I think she has something there.

This takes me back to the big parade on Saturday where we had some great trick driving by a motorcycle unit. They goofed a little too and tipped over near the curb a couple of times. Then there was a Bedouin Band who played the oddest music you ever heard. I would never have known if they goofed for I didn't know what they were supposed to sound like in the first place.

But we met one man down here who has a hobby with which he doesn't goof, even a bit. My husband met him here five years ago. So we hunted him up in a trailer court on the edge of town. Frank and Myra Bagley invited us in and we spent a most pleasant hour discussing steam engines and threshing days, hobbies, our children and many other things.

It was when he showed us his continuous chains carved out of wood that our eyes were really open wide. They were perfect, so perfect it seemed impossible. One was made of oak, one of mahogany, another of fir, etc. But to top them all was a continuous chain with a ball race and two balls within each race at the ends of the chain. All were sanded, finished to perfection. I was not at all surprised to learn that he had taken first prize at the South Texas Hobby Show. He surely deserves it.

Another hobby of his is cribbage boards complete on the under side of deer horns. The points of the antlers are down and the legs evened up so they stand level. They are sanded and polished to a beautiful sheen and bits of red color added where the horns are sawed off for realistic effects. We came home to our motel room with something to talk about that night.

But Mrs. Bagley is a clever woman also. She has the sweetest tiny chairs made out of aluminum beer cans that you can imagine. The bottom of the can forms the seat, which she has decorated with bright little pillows, edged in lace. The can is then cut and curled to form the rest of the chair. I mentally noted that the second use of the beer can was certainly more decorative and profitable than the first. This clever and hospitable couple are from Chatham, Ontario, Canada. A piece of wood 2x2 inches can become a chain, a ball race, and four good-sized balls, in his hands. In hers a lowly beer can can become a thing of exquisite beauty. And the man told us he was nearing eighty. His whittling has become an art.

Today we went out to Boca Chica Beach. Oh what fun we had. We were just like two little kids. We met a couple from Lipton, Saskatchewan, Canada. Their names are Joe and Pearl Beros. We met while helping a lady out of the sand. She had driven too close to the beach, went gathering shells and the tide starting coming in. She was in trouble. There was about ten of us came to her rescue. Someone had the bright idea to Jack the car up on one side, then when she was up quite a way everybody lifted on the other side. She shifted over and with all of us pushing we got her out. She was a happy lady.

Then the four of us waded through a channel and ran down the beach. An old ship became uncovered here when the hurricane roared in last fall. In November they tell us it stood up out of the water from three to four feet. Now it is close to submerged again. But the Historical Society plans to raise it. It is about ninety feet long and twenty feet wide, all put together with wooden pegs and timbers the size of railroad ties. Surely it is very old and has been covered with sand for many years. Tomorrow we plan to walk way up the beach to see an unearthed fort which some feel was Zachery Taylor's fort. So from Sunny Texas So Long.