You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.
After 5 years, readers share their memories
Apple Pie and SalsaApril 3, 2013 | 2,678 views | 2 comments
It’s hard to believe that March 12 was the fifth anniversary of my very first column in the Wilson County News. It’s been an incredibly rewarding experience. I would like to share with you some of the responses I have received. While my story may not be old enough to fall in the reminiscing category, the stories that my readers have shared with me go way back. I have triggered memories and made people look back at the past and that was my intention. One of my biggest fans has been my nephew, Rudy. After a few of my articles, he was motivated to write his own memoirs. He has been a big contributor to the Reminiscing page.
Olga, from Saspamco, was one of the first ones to call me. She says she remembers her mom buying the crystal wedding Oats also and the dishes that came in the boxes.
Maggie, a teacher at Sacred Heart School, sent me a note after I wrote about my one and only machine permanent. She had one also and said that she “was a sight”!
M.C. from Austin wrote to me after reading of Henry riding his horse to Sacred Heart School. It reminded her of the short time she attended school there.
There is Rachel from California, a childhood friend, who sent me a baby doll dressed in pink with eyes that open and close, not because it reminded her of her childhood, but because she wanted to fulfill my childhood wish of having a doll like that. Her sister-in-law, Janie, from Arizona called to thank me for writing of her dad’s passing when she was very young. She said she cried for an hour after reading it. I apologized for making her cry, but she said she was grateful to me for stirring up that painful time in her life. The crying was a healing for her and gave her closure.
There was Helen from Adkins, who contacted me through the Wilson County News to tell me she enjoyed the story about bedbugs. She said everybody had them back then but nobody would admit it.
Dr. Chavez enjoyed the story of himself and the turpentine remedy. He says it’s the first thing that comes to his mind every time he sees me.
And Rosemarie, also of Adkins, who sent me a snapshot of Henry and Reynaldo when they were little, with Mila and Dora, who would later become her sister-in-law, and another friend, Josephine, standing in a watermelon patch. This was after seeing the photo of Henry on his horse. Rosemarie was Dora’s niece and her mom had the photo.
There was Berta Jean from Seguin, who sent me a beautiful flower arrangement in appreciation for writing so many nice things about her dad, Dr. John V. Blake Jr.
And Susan from Missouri, who called the Wilson County News and left her phone number so I could call her. I did and we talked for a long time. She told me that my story about the Warren sisters had made its way through several states because she had sent copies to her children. Her grandmother was Anna Warren Johnson. She said she had happy memories of visiting relatives in Floresville in the summers of her youth.
Then there was my friend Connie from Cameron, Texas. We reconnected when I started my column. We had sort of lost touch with each other since she moved over 25 years ago. Now she says it’s like I drop in for a visit every two weeks.
And my friend, Anne-Marie, emailed me after my story about the Christmas trees. I have to share her story with you. Anne-Marie says, “Thank you for stirring up my own Christmas tree memories. When we were little, my dad would take all of us, myself and seven siblings, to the gas station down the street from us to pick out our own tree on Christmas Eve. The church that we belonged to always bought the 12-foot trees there and there was always one or two left over that the Holy Rosary Church did not purchase. My dad would pay the man fifty cents and all of us would carry the big 12-foot tree home to decorate. After midnight Mass, the two oldest children would stay up late to hang the tinsel strands one by one. What a sight to see the tree on Christmas morning all decorated and sparkly. Thanks for triggering my Christmas tree memories.”
There is Angie from Poth. She approached me at the meat market and called me by my name. I thought, “Oh my gosh! I guess I’m supposed to know her by name, but I don’t remember her.” It turned out that she knew me from the picture on my column. She told me she especially likes the stories of Henry on the farm because she remembers spending time with her grandparents on their farm.
And Mrs. Talley called me to thank me for the article I wrote about my sister-in-law, Alice. She and her late husband were very good friends of Alice and Joe. Our cousin Margie also sent an email about my recollection of Alice.
And there’s Rosie from Caddo (her address is Stockdale). She sent me a thank- you card back in September through the Wilson County News for the article I wrote about Henry and how he used to can chilipitins. She said it brought back memories of her dad doing the same thing. I wrote her and gave her my phone number. But she has never called me or given me her phone number. She loves to write and receive letters and we have been exchanging letters every week since then. When she wrote me and told me that her mother’s maiden name was Castro, I wanted to know more. She told me her mom was born in Cameron and she had been wanting to get a copy of her birth certificate and also her baptismal certificate. I called Connie, enjoyed a long chat with her, and asked her if she could get a couple of phone numbers for me and she did. I passed them on to Rosie. The Lord works in mysterious ways. I’m glad I could help my new friend Rosie. I have yet to meet her in person, yet she sent me two veils when she read that I had started wearing veils again. And she sent Henry some chiles from her husband Jimmy. They’re trying to find chiles that Henry can consider hot enough.
And there’s Raquel, who did my hair courtesy of my daughters Sara and Dee Dee for our small wedding anniversary celebration. When Raquel found out that I write a column, she bought a two-year subscription to the paper. And my latest fan is Betsybug (her email moniker) from San Antonio. She read about our anniversary and my wine-drinking days and emailed me that she hoped I would write more stories and she would like to hear stories about the kids. She was surprised when I told her I had been writing for five years. She has been a subscriber for quite a while but just now discovered my column.
And I am not forgetting the countless number of people, friends, and acquaintances that tell me in person how much they enjoy Apple Pie and Salsa. There’s Betty from Pleasanton who wrote to the editor and started out by saying she especially enjoyed Apple Pie and Salsa.
I realize I have made some boo-boos in my articles, and I welcome comments whenever that happens. Like Toni from Fairview who politely informed me that peanuts are still grown around here by her son. And Manuel, who I talked to on the phone after he claimed to be one of the players in the photo of the softball team, which Henry sponsored years ago. I have talked to others and have not been able to confirm it. In the future if I make mistakes I will gladly correct them if possible. To you, my readers, I thank you for your encouragement and loyalty.
My 13-year-old granddaughter, Lori, wrote an essay about me recently for a school assignment. She wrote that my stories inspired her to start making up and writing stories of her own. The truth is she is very creative and has a big imagination so most of her stories are fiction. I only write true stories from memory. She has probably been writing longer than I have. I was very humbled by all the good things she wrote about me.
And, a big thank you to Elaine and Kristen for having faith in me right from the start. And to the members of the staff at WCN who have helped me with my primitive ways to get my column together.
And of course I am grateful to my family for allowing me to write about them. They never know who I am going to write about next.
I am very blessed!
Julia Castro, a retired Head Start teacher and mother of 10, lives in Floresville with her husband, Henry. Her email is email@example.com.
Your Opinions and Comments
Lia C Flores
April 3, 2013 12:30pm
Share your comment or opinion on this story!
You must be logged in to post a comment.
South Texas Living Archives
Benefit for animal shelter is Aug. 1 (July 29, 2015)
Cestohowa Altar Society ladies celebrate 60 years of service (July 29, 2015)
Church youth to hold car wash (July 29, 2015)
Don’t miss Kosciusko Picnic this Sunday (July 29, 2015)
Free movie Friday in Poth (July 29, 2015)
Historical marker denotes former school site (July 29, 2015)
Legion Auxiliary garage sale Aug. 1 (July 29, 2015)
Life in the Camp Ranch community (July 29, 2015)
Luciano Pacheco – the sole Tejano survivor of the Alamo (July 29, 2015)
Opry helps fund historical markers (July 29, 2015)
Popeye beach pail (July 29, 2015)
See a free flick in Elmendorf (July 29, 2015)
Stuff the bus in Stockdale (July 29, 2015)
Summer program ends at Falls City library (July 29, 2015)
WCRSP delivers children’s books to schools (July 29, 2015)
Balance classes start July 27 (July 22, 2015)
Be a high roller in Floresville (July 22, 2015)
Bobble-head Bozo (July 22, 2015)
Cool down with free snow cones (July 22, 2015)
Copper-pot craftsmanship — CINCO Vodka (July 22, 2015)
Marion Sausage Supper is Aug. 1 (July 22, 2015)
Mu Chi members attend state convention (July 22, 2015)
Opry lineup is sure to satisfy (July 22, 2015)
Save the date for Kody Fest Aug. 8 (July 22, 2015)
Shop ‘Trinkets and Treasures’ (July 22, 2015)
SSCA seeks donations for rummage sale (July 22, 2015)
Start two-stepping at FUMC (July 22, 2015)
Texas sales-tax holiday (July 22, 2015)
The Landing offers help for teens (July 22, 2015)
What a difference an ‘A’ makes! (July 22, 2015)
Browse, learn, shop at Home and Garden Show (July 15, 2015)
Celebrate Czech Day in Jourdanton (July 15, 2015)
Daughters of the Republic installs officers (July 15, 2015)
Enjoy St. Anthony church fest (July 15, 2015)
Experience ‘The Hobbit’ under the stars (July 15, 2015)
Free Movies at the Park in Poth (July 15, 2015)
Learn to compost with worms (July 15, 2015)
Legion Auxiliary plans garage sale (July 15, 2015)
Library happenings (July 15, 2015)
Mystery blanket sparks search (July 15, 2015)
Night In Old Fredericksburg is July 18 (July 15, 2015)
Plan now for Beaver Roundup (July 15, 2015)
Teddy bears, pottery (July 15, 2015)
The bridges of Wilson County (July 15, 2015)
‘Atomic tourists’ converge on Trinity Site ahead of 70th anniversary (July 15, 2015)
Behind the lens: Cover photo (July 8, 2015)
Bobby Flores Birthday Bash is July 11 (July 8, 2015)
Early settlers of Wilson County (July 8, 2015)
Enjoy ‘Big Hero 6’ at Movie Day (July 8, 2015)
Enjoy ‘Cool Tunes’ in Brenham (July 8, 2015)
Family violence shelter seeks volunteers (July 8, 2015)
Family weekend fun in Adkins (July 8, 2015)
FHS Reunion is July 25 (July 8, 2015)
Fishing lures (July 8, 2015)
Give blood at Sacred Heart Church (July 8, 2015)
Hamilton earns rank of captain (July 8, 2015)
Memorial hog hunt a hit! (July 8, 2015)
Save the date for Home and Garden Show (July 8, 2015)
See comedians in China Grove (July 8, 2015)
‘Alabama’ to invade K-Town (July 8, 2015)
‘Dying’ brings broadcaster back to life (July 8, 2015)
Bible study in Verdi (July 1, 2015)
Buses, pickup trucks, automobiles, and walking (July 1, 2015)
Davy Crockett, Depression glass (July 1, 2015)
Dog shows start July 8 (July 1, 2015)
Enjoy Fourth of July parade, concert in Seguin (July 1, 2015)
Enjoy Sunday Dances all month (July 1, 2015)
Free July 4 concerts in SA (July 1, 2015)
Free music, fireworks in Brenham (July 1, 2015)
Ice cream makers, tasters needed (July 1, 2015)
Jack's Cafe adds Sports Room and patio (July 1, 2015)
July is for grape stomping (July 1, 2015)
Look who's flying solo! (July 1, 2015)
Memories fly following balloon stories (July 1, 2015)
Register for state-wide Chili Cook-off (July 1, 2015)
Remembering my first haircut (July 1, 2015)
Savor: Summer drinks with calories and exercise equivalents (July 1, 2015)
South Texas Gardener reveals 'mystery plants' (July 1, 2015)
The Gathering Music Show (July 1, 2015)