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South Texas Living

Remembering the good old days

Remembering the good old days
Members of the Floresville High School class of 1953 and their spouses celebrate at Jack’s Café.

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October 17, 2012
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By Eloy Villa

On Sept. 20, nine members of the Floresville High School class of 1953 and their spouses held a reunion at Jack’s Café in Floresville. The class of 1953 originally numbered 41 graduates, but only half that number are alive today.

Class members and spouses in attendance included Ada (Robles) Sandoval, John and Melba Dunn, Sarita Jimenez, and Willie and Katy Ramirez, all of Floresville, Berta Jean (Blake) and Dick Pilgrim of Seguin, Leona (Risley) and Joe Whitson of Alice, Felicita (Arriola) and Robert George and Manuel Brister of San Antonio, and Eloy and Jewell Villa of Williamsburg, Va.

Floresville was quite different in 1953. The high school was located on Third Street in what is now considered the “historic” district. In 1953 we knew the area as downtown. Frank Vela’s saddle shop was located in the building now occupied by the Wilson County News. And down the street the Floresville Chronicle-Journal, established in 1877, was the town’s newspaper and Sam Fore Jr. was the owner/publisher. The Chronicle-Journal offices contained a wealth of information about the history of Floresville. Across the street from Vela’s saddle shop was I. D. Flores Drugstore in what is now the Trail Rider’s Steakhouse. Lieberman’s Dry Goods was located next door to Flores’s drugstore. The Wilson County Courthouse was a functioning courthouse and it included county offices. The building next to the courthouse served as the home of the Wilson County sheriff and it also included the jail. The Arcadia Theater was a major source of entertainment for the citizens of Floresville.

In 1953 the high school had approximately 245 students and the gymnasium was very new. The graduation ceremony for the class of 1953 was held in the gymnasium. The senior prom was also held in the gymnasium.

The football team was undefeated and were District 28-A champions, outscoring their opponents 395-63 that season. Two members of the class of 1953 attending the reunion, John Dunn and Willie Ramirez, were on the All-District and the State Honorable Mention squads. On the track squad, John Dunn received second-place honors in the high jump at Regionals and qualified for the State meet. Carl Eschenburg, now deceased, was a former mayor of Floresville.

Floresville was a great place to live in 1953. And even though most of us have moved to other places, it is still a great place to visit. It always feels good to come back and remember the good old days.

Eloy Villa is a graduate of Floresville High School and a proud member of the class of 1953.

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