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South Texas Living


A visit to Freasier Ranch




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Julia Castro
Apple Pie and Salsa
May 28, 2014 | 3,519 views | Post a comment

I don’t travel to San Antonio that often, so I didn’t really see when the house was going up, but I saw this beautiful house sitting on a hill sometime after it was finished. A sign to the left of the beautiful entrance to the property reads Freasier Ranch. There’s also a sign that reads KC Homes. I recognized it as being one of the signs that denotes a home built by our nephew, Ken Castro. I thought to myself, “What I wouldn’t give to see that beautiful house on the inside.” I never dreamt that it would be possible! I had always liked that property ever since the Lamberth family lived there many years ago.

The Lord works in mysterious ways! My wish to see that house came true in an unexpected way. Over a year ago I acquired an email pal. Her name is Betsy. We have stayed in touch ever since and have even become prayer warrior partners. She is a member of the Musical Club. I had attended one of their meetings in December on an invite by another member, Lydia, and recently in one of Betsy’s emails, she informed me that they were having the last meeting of the year since they suspend their meetings during the summer months. She said that for the last meeting they always do a tour of homes and that this time they would be doing a tour of a “mansion” on a hill on 181. I knew right away that there was only one place that fit that description. I feel that I invited myself, but in fact she had been inviting me and encouraging me to join the club. And so I found myself riding with Betsy to that place.

I stepped on the front porch at the same time as Maxine (Lamberth) Pavliska. We greeted and hugged each other and I made a comment to her that she must have a lot of good memories of living there. She smiled and said, “Yes, but not in this house.” I told her that once I had spent the night in her parents’ home. The house and all its décor was even more amazing than anything I could ever imagine. But I think I was more impressed by the view of the back yard. A huge oak tree with its sprawling branches offers a peaceful and serene atmosphere. I would love to sit under that majestic oak tree. Just beyond it the green terrain slopes down like rolling hills.

My first visit there was in the summer of 1953. My sisters-in-law Bertha and Alice were working at Lieberman’s as was Mrs. Lamberth. She had invited them to go spend the night at her house so they could make some enchiladas for them. It was only her and Mr. Lamberth living there. Their children were all grown. Henry and I knew their son, Jimmy, from high school, and he and Henry were inducted into the Army at the same time.

Bertha and Alice in turn invited me to join them. Henry was stationed at Fort Eustis, Virginia. So I went with them after we all got off work. Bertha and Alice set about making the enchiladas. They made enough to fill a large pan. And they kept on making them until they filled another pan. I thought to myself, “How much can these people eat?” Well, Mrs. Lamberth was smart. She had them make enough not just to have some left over, but enough for another full meal.

We all went to bed with a full tummy. Their house was an older, very roomy and comfortable farmhouse. Later that night Bertha woke me up. I was lying down next to an open window. An electrical storm had come up. She told me to move away from the window because of the lightning. I did as she told me and then went right back to sleep. I didn’t have trouble sleeping back then like I do now. The next day was Saturday and we all had to work. I worked at Compton’s Beauty Shop.

At the Freasier house, one of the ladies greeting us was Nell (Taylor) Freasier. I knew her and my classmate, Ruby, since grade school. Actually I knew the whole family. It is her son and his family that call this place “home.” As we toured the house, in one of the bedrooms I spotted a framed picture. I asked those around me, “What is Johnny Dunn doing here?” Of course I meant the picture, a school picture, same beautiful smile that I remember with a wisp of hair sticking up, sort of like Alfalfa. Someone behind me said our hostess, Betty, was one of his daughters. Then it came to me -- I had actually met her at Johnny’s service. Now I felt at ease. Now I knew that these people are not some high-falluting outsiders. They are homegrown, good, down-to-earth Christians whom the Lord has chosen to bless abundantly. I’m sure they have opened up their home to others as they did to the Musical Club. And the Lord has blessed me by granting my wish.

Julia Castro, a retired Head Start teacher and mother of 10, lives in Floresville with her husband, Henry. Her email is castrojulia022@gmail.com.
 

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