Saturday, September 16

Dear Jim,

Happy Mexican Independence Day. Last night I went to the celebration at the State Capitol.

It was great. The weather was perfect – in the 80´s and 70´s with no wind. You would have loved it.

I drank two bottles of water. So after each time I peed I wandered around. I felt awkward being white.

I wanted to speak Spanish, but it would have been contrived because everybody knows how to speak English. I understood a lot. I was very pleased with my improving ear.

You should have seen the women dancers. The color of their dresses were incredibly beautiful and romantic – very dramatic when they twirled. I wish I had one of them to come home to.

Toward the end of the night I moved way far from the stage, to the corner of the park on 10th and N. I sat on the lawn to watch the dancers. I must have been 150 yards away.

The lighting of the stage was very well done. I´ve never seen lighting in a performance I wanted to write home about. When I was up close to the stage, I had to decide what couple to focus on, what person to focus on, or whether or not to watch the men or the women. But from so far away, all I could see was a stage full of swirling colorful dresses. Poor America. We are so drab.

I was there from 5:30 to 8:00. I kept looking for a priest. Hopefully more than one. But I did not see one. That´s odd because the guy who started the movement for independence was a priest.

The bishop should have been there. The cathedral is two blocks away. He is a Mexican-American my age. He learned Spanish as an adult so he could be a more effective priest. He is someone Mexican-American parents can point to and tell their kids, ¨See. He loves his people so much he went out and learned the language.¨

Remember your Mexican friend from the seminary? I think he dropped out. All you guys who left would have made good priests.

Just before I went home the em cee led the Cry of Dolores – the Grito de Dolores – to celebrate the cry Padre Hildago made before the rebellion:

¡Viva Sacramento!
¡Viva California!
¡Viva America!
¡¡¡Qué Viva Mexico!!!

I wonder if we´ll have a civil war.

Remember I told you I am reading Texas by James Michener? I have 400 pages to go in the 1300 page book. It´s getting tedious.

The most exiting parts are when he talks about Mexico.

Now I am at the settling of the panhandle. As I read the dialogue I visualize a TV show. Like a soap opera. I keep saying ¨He´s lost it.¨

One of the things I realize is how violent Texas was. Another thing I realize is they had no safety net. I wouldn´t have lasted a week in Texas.

I probably would not like it today, but I would love to see it. For now, I´ll keep pushin´ till I finish the book, just like a Texan.



Copyright © 2021 by David Vaszko