You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.
Music for the ages
Apple Pie and SalsaJuly 18, 2012 | 2,451 views | Post a comment
I attended the golden wedding anniversary celebration last month of Henry’s cousin, Rebecca Castro Rocha and her husband Daniel. It was a beautiful celebration. The downside to it was that Henry was unable to go with me. He missed out on visiting with a lot of cousins.
After a beautiful church ceremony, we moved to the hall where the reception was to be held. After the delicious meal and presentations by the celebrants, the DJ began playing oldies. After a while, he announced that he had a special guest to introduce. A distinguished-looking older gentleman stepped out onto the floor. The DJ introduced him as René René. There were a lot of oooohs. Except for the very young, I think the rest of us all had heard of René René.
He told us a little bit about his humble beginning in his music career, adding humor to his story. (He has been a very successful singer-songwriter-composer for many decades.) Then he started belting out one of the first songs that earned him worldwide recognition -- “Lo Mucho Que Te Quiero.” It is one of my very favorite songs. He said that all of his compositions are love songs. He followed up with “Angelito,” his other international bilingual song.
He sang other popular songs before he switched to Christian songs, which he has also composed, in English. He had us clapping and singing along with him. He said that he now sings for the Lord and gave a testimonial on that. After he went back to join his wife at their table, I knew I had to go talk with him. He stirred up a very pleasant memory for me, and I had to share it with him.
It was April of 1962. The Falstaff Brewing Corporation was having a convention in Corpus Christi and all the distributors and their wives were invited. We knew about it way ahead of time, but then I had an emergency appendectomy. (I wrote about it in my series on Dr. Blake.) I was four months into my pregnancy with our seventh child, and after the surgery, I wasn’t sure I would get to go.
Mamá told me it was a “tonter’a” (foolishness) to even think of going. But Dr. Blake removed the staples a few days before we were to go and I felt much better. Dr. Blake just cautioned me about not picking up anything heavy. I convinced Mamá that I would be better off going on the trip than staying home with the kids. So we left them with our faithful babysitter, Lilly De La Fuente (Lilly Bo to her family and friends).
On the second day of the convention, the men were tied up in business meetings, so the wives were taken for a plane ride over the city and then driven to a hotel where we were to attend a luncheon. It was a ritzy-looking place. For our entertainment, they had a band that featured two male vocalists. They called themselves René y René.
They sang several songs, but the one that stuck with me was “Lo Mucho Que Te Quiero.” The English part goes, “Believe Me When I Say How Much I Love You.” It has been a favorite of mine since then. So I shared that with this incredibly talented artist, and he thanked me. (His real name is René Victor Ornelas.) His singing partner and collaborator passed away not too long ago.
When I returned to my table, I told my son, Marshall, and daughter-in-law, Letty, about something else that happened at that luncheon. We were served wine with our meal. I liked wine, so I didn’t have trouble drinking the first glass, slowly of course. But then the waiter came and filled it up again. I made that one last even longer, but before I could finish it, he came and filled it a third time. I whispered to the lady sitting next to me that I really didn’t want anymore. That’s when she told me that I should have turned my glass upside down to indicate I didn’t want anymore. Like I was supposed to know that! I had never been to anything like that before. In fact, I was the youngest wife there. The others were all seasoned veterans.
Because René René’s songs are love songs, they appeal to people of all ages. Our daughter Lia chose “Lo Mucho Que Te Quiero” for the dollar dance at Gilbert’s and her wedding reception 19 years ago. Even someone who can’t dance can sway to the music. We enjoy watching the video every now and then because we see Lia dancing with her late brothers, Larry and Louie. Bittersweet memories.
Julia Castro, a retired Head Start teacher and mother of 10, lives in Floresville with her husband, Henry. Her email address is email@example.com.
Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post a comment.
South Texas Living Archives
Celebrate July 4 in cradle of Texas liberty (June 29, 2016)
Freedom Fest brings in big names, big fun (June 29, 2016)
Hear Keen sounds at the river (June 29, 2016)
Paint by number (June 29, 2016)
Poth church offers Bible study, services (June 29, 2016)
Stagecoach ride in Anderson (June 29, 2016)
The Falstaff years and the trucks (June 29, 2016)
Austin’s oldest museum offers daily tours (June 22, 2016)
Dine out with The ROCK (June 22, 2016)
Esparza reunion planned for July 9 (June 22, 2016)
Free guided hikes at Enchanted Rock (June 22, 2016)
Getting your hands dirty — in the garden with Iris Seale (June 22, 2016)
Men: Pay attention to your health (June 22, 2016)
Movies in the Park (June 22, 2016)
New Pioneer Playroom offers hands-on learning (June 22, 2016)
Old newspaper makes memories ‘Local and Personal’ (June 22, 2016)
Poth church to celebrate 90 years (June 22, 2016)
See Legacy of Leadership exhibit in Washington (June 22, 2016)
SS museum plans meeting (June 22, 2016)
Tips for a safe trip to the beach (June 22, 2016)
Wall pocket (June 22, 2016)
Area seniors invited to Bingo Tuesdays (June 15, 2016)
Art Walk America contest deadline is June 23 (June 15, 2016)
Attend picnic at Dewees-Remschel House June 15 (June 15, 2016)
DRT receives honors at state convention (June 15, 2016)
Hear patriotic tunes in Pleasanton (June 15, 2016)
It’s gone! The Spot is gone! (June 15, 2016)
Join WASP for summer season (June 15, 2016)
Jubilee offers fun for the whole family (June 15, 2016)
Martinez Social Club keeps you dancing (June 15, 2016)
Meet 2016 Stockdale Watermelon Jubilee, rodeo court candidates (June 15, 2016)
Moms walking group invites members (June 15, 2016)
Napoli Glass (June 15, 2016)
Oak Hills Church plans yard sale (June 15, 2016)
Ramirezes celebrate golden anniversary (June 15, 2016)
See free movies at Arcadia (June 15, 2016)
Sutherland Springs seeks volunteers (June 15, 2016)
Vendors needed for Freedom Fest (June 15, 2016)
Witness Summer Solstice performance (June 15, 2016)
Add amphibians to your landscaping (June 8, 2016)
Enjoy free summer movies at Rolling Oaks Mall (June 8, 2016)
Enjoy Pilgrim Opry (June 8, 2016)
Gene Watson in Kerrville (June 8, 2016)
Hear ‘Bach to Luckenbach’ (June 8, 2016)
Hummel plate (June 8, 2016)
June dances in Geronimo (June 8, 2016)
Meet for Play Dates in the library (June 8, 2016)
OLPH names 2016 Mother of the Year, May Queen (June 8, 2016)
Prepare to enter cool creation in Ice Cream Freeze-off (June 8, 2016)
Remember Flag Day June 14 (June 8, 2016)
Running group plans June 11 run (June 8, 2016)
St. Ann Teen ACTS plan 5K Color Run (June 8, 2016)
Take Dad out to FatherFest June 19 (June 8, 2016)
The old Wagenfuehr house in Bleu Casa Village (June 8, 2016)
Tracking an icon in the ‘horned lizard capital of Texas’ (June 8, 2016)
Building communities (June 1, 2016)
Cowboy penknife (June 1, 2016)
Garcia receives Linda West Scholarship (June 1, 2016)
Garner State Park celebrates 75 years (June 1, 2016)
Libraries prepare to launch ‘Reading Is So Delicious!’ summer program (June 1, 2016)
Lutheran Church windows relocated for a little TLC (June 1, 2016)
St. Helena Men’s Club plans picnic (June 1, 2016)
Stockdale’s early beginnings (June 1, 2016)
The progression of the classic ‘koozie’ (June 1, 2016)