Farm Collector

The Ladies Page


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

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 2×2 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.

  • Published on May 1, 1968
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