Saturday, November 23, 2013


Cuero, Texas is the sparkling city by the Guadalupe River. In the summer, few towns can dare to compete with the 4th of July Celebration. The city awakens and watches a children's parade with children riding their flag draped bikes and pulling colorful wagons. It ends with people rushing to the Episcopal Church's 4th of July Celebration in the Cuero Park with cake walks, hamburger stands, silent auctions, and various children's games. At dark the sky lights up with the city's magnificent fireworks display that can be seen for miles around. Moreover, in the winter, no town in Texas is any better than Cuero with a Christmas Light Festival that draws thousands of winter visitors to see the sparkling lighted displays of Nativity Scenes, Fairy tale stories, and Disney characters that light up the city park. It's the best place to jump into the Christmas spirit, come Thanksgiving week-end.(See link  However, all during the year, for the past several years, the city has been surrounded for miles around by lights from nearby oil derricks that bring more sparkle up and down the highways and corridors, again, lighting up the sky for miles and miles. The activity of the wells has brought more wealth to our shiny city and a proud sense of citizenship.

If that doesn't convince you that Cuero shines, visitors should stop by the newly opened Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum that outshines many other museums in the state or nation. It opened this past week-end with a bang like the fireworks in July.  It is a state of the arts facility and institution that gives visitors a glimpse of the past cowboy life in Texas, on the range, and the trails. One can peep into the ranching culture of clothes, saddles, guns and other artifacts that was influenced by other southern pioneers and the Spainards, who brought ranching tools and the Spanish names for the equipment and ranch work that was most familiar in Spain for hundreds of years. The new museum is tastefully decorated and exhibits the most modern educational screens for children to interact with lessons about cowboy life. One room, shaped like a chuck wagon seats approximately a dozen people. It shows a fifteen minute movie of the history of life on the range and where it started near Cuero. <

The gift shop is filled with tempting goodies of art, such as: framed western prints, southwest jewelry, coffee table books, cook books, etc. The first day, people were lined up with hands full of items waiting to be rung up.

The Grand Opening began Friday night with a celebration for the museum members at The Venue. The Chamber Orchestra of San Antonio entertained those attending with "Appalachian Spring Suite," composed by Aaron Copland.< The evening was topped off by tables of delicious foods and the social hour, where members mingled and visited, as they oohed and awed about their new cultural events in Cuero.

The next morning began with another Grand Opening event outside the museum in a huge tent, as there was standing room only. The temperatures had dropped with the recent Arctic cold spell, but it didn't stop hundreds of visitors from crowding around to hear speeches and congratulatory recognitions from dignitaries, such as Governor Mark White, Congressman Vela, County Judge Daryl Fowler, and Mayor Sara Meyer.

The beautiful museum was a grand effort by many people in several counties,  but was initiated by Robert Oliver, the president/chairman,  who returned to his hometown and kicked off his lofty vision over thirteen years ago. Through his diligence and hard work, the Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum is the newest bright star in Cuero that continues to keep Cuero shining.

If you get a chance stop by our sparkling city,  Cuero anytime, but especially during the holidays. There is plenty of entertainment for the family with the Christmas Lights In The Park,  antique shops for mom, and good restaurants for all the family. But particularly, don't miss our latest addition, our new Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum.

The following is a link to take you to the site of The Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum in Cuero, Texas for more information. Please come and see us sparkle and shine.

Sunday, November 17, 2013



Many of you no doubt were not alive when President Kennedy was shot. However, fifty years ago many of you were. It is one of those important times as a nation, we are so shocked by an event that we remember it quite vividly. I was sitting in front of the TV set, watching my favorite soap, As The World Turns, in Houston, Texas. There was an interruption in the broadcast and Walter Cronkite came on the screen and told of President Kennedy being shot in a parade in Dallas. He did not have much other information, but did say he was in a most critical condition.  But it wasn't long before he came back and said that he died at 1:00 PM Dallas time, as he took off his glasses and wiped his eyes in a moment in which he was visibly shaken, as most of the world was, when we heard the terrible news. I cried and just couldn't believe it. My husband was calling on a customer in his home in Houston and asked to use his telephone when he heard the news flash on his customer's TV. He called to share the grief that he knew I was experiencing, as well.

We were big admirers of John F. Kennedy. We had seen him twice in person, the past two years, when he came to Houston. One time, he spoke at the Rice University Stadium,  in 1962. I was big pregnant with my third child and it was a hot day, but I was determined I would see him. Another time he visited Houston, we went to Hobby Airport when he arrived in the city and saw him pass by in a open convertible, on a street, near where we parked. As he stood up in the car to greet the onlookers, I was impressed by his handsome looks. He had, what appeared to be, a golden suntan,  light sandy hair and light blue eyes. It's hard to believe I saw his light blue eyes at that time, but over the years of seeing his photos, I guess I filled  in the picture in my memory. But I do remember his youthful beauty. Before his presidency, we had old men, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Harry S. Truman, and Franklin D. Roosevelt. None of whom,  you could call dashing or good looking, not as John Kennedy was.

Kennedy was also considered one of our most intelligent presidents. I remember Kennedy's press conferences on TV. Kennedy sparred with the newspeople and always seemed to have a smile on his face. He created laughter among the newspeople as he answered their questions in a clever manner. But there were scary days with the failure of Bay of Pigs Invasion and when the Cuban Missile Crisis became a standoff with the Soviet President Krusheff, as the Soviet President was sending battleships to Cuba. After several days, the Soviet battleships turned around and headed back to the Soviet Union.  For about a  week, we were unsure whether the crisis would lead to a nuclear war. People in Cuero, where I stayed during part of my pregnancy, rushed to the grocery stores to obtain surplus food to fill up their pantries, in case such an event were to occur.  As if that were the logical thing to do. The show down with the Soviet president resulted in the Soviet's withdrawal and it seemed Kennedy won.

Kennedy's family appeared exceptional. His wife, Jacqueline,  was beautiful, educated,  and a cultured woman who appreciated the arts, history, and fine music. Her figure and dress were immaculate and her good taste led to the renovation of the White House, where she gave us a tour on TV. We heard her speak for the first time. It was a gentle voice, soft as a young child's. Their children, Caroline and John John were adorable.  The White House couple was not flawless, as we learned later, but to us they appeared to be. We soaked up every bit of news on them. It was an exciting time in history to see.

There were so many things to admire and learn about this Kennedy couple, who often met  with their extended family of siblings and spouses and their children.  The grown Kennedy siblings played football on the lawns of the White House and their homes at Martha's Vineyard. They were constantly going and doing exciting and interesting things.  They practiced their Catholic faith in a most open and loving manner. The parents had experienced an exciting life, as well,  with their nine children. Rose and Joe Kennedy themselves came from an interesting background. Rose Kennedy was reared in the Fitzgerald family, who were politically involved Irish Amercans, and  made a big success in their country. John Kennedy's father was an ambassador to Great Britain during Franklin Roosevelt's administration and had been an extremely rich man in his work and investments.

In the week that followed Kennedy's assassination, we sat glued to the TV and watch the filmed events first hand. The horrible events that took place in Dallas that beautiful autumn day on Friday, November 22, 1963, became a week I will never forget.

Ask your parents and grandparents for their reflections on where they were on that fateful day, if you weren't around or too young to remember. This is just a snippet about where I was and why I had these emotional feelings about a very sad day in history.

P.S. This morning I watched a few Sunday morning talk shows and saw my favorite historian, Robert Caro, being interviewed. He had some glowing adjectives to describe John Kennedy. So, I looked him up on Facebook and found that he is on an NBC show airing next Friday night at 8:00PM (Central Time), called, "Where Were You: The Day JFK Died?" I swear, I didn't get my title from his FB before I wrote this essay. Sometimes,  inquisitive minds have the same ideas. Please click on this link for a clip of Friday's show.