Encouraging, inspiring and educating audiences, whether teaching history, writing historic novels or telling wonderful stories, is my “third life” in retirement.
Presentation for the Humanities Texas Teachers Professional Development Workshop. Talked about Mexican-Americans during the Texas Revolution. Focused on Patricia de la Garza and son Fernando. Director Michael Gillette said he thought my presentation made history come alive for them. Teachers agreed!
Always fun to be with past students and to see them doing well. All teaching history at Blinn or Lone Star or various Central Texas Universities. They were all in attendance at the First Annual Central Texas Historical Association meeting. I have been asked to serve as a Board member, as I have been for the Texas State Historical Association.
Central Texas Historic Association
Enjoyed sharing presentations with fellow colleagues at the Central Texas Historical Association First Annual Meeting. Ken Howell did a magnificent job of putting it all together and Washington-on-the-Brazos museum was a beautiful venue, in spite of the rain. I spoke on Patricia and Petra and the comparison of the Hispanic and Anglo worlds.
Las Villas del Rio Hispanic Genealogical Association
Thanks to Dr. San Juanita Martinez for all her hard work organizing the Villas del Rio Hispanic Genealogical Association meeting in Laredo. Did two presentations – Patricia and Petra, and a new one The Feud. Always fun to meet and greet fellow historians, and to find common ancestors. Everyone in the Valley are “Primos” or cousins, after all.
Had to miss the National meeting of the Granaderos de Gálvez in Washington, D. C. Last December, I was there and already got to speak at ALDEU and to the Granaderos several times. They know as much about Governor and General Bernardo de Gálvez as I do. Still, it would have been wonderful and I wish I had been there!
Speaking to ladies of the Daughters of the American Revolution is always a pleasure. They are fellow historians or at least lovers of history. Thanks to Johnnie Jo Dickenson, I am now a card-carrying member. Have spoken to our Huntsville Chapter as well as several others around the state including the chapters in Bryan-College Station and the Lady Washington Chapter in Houston.
Spanish Documentary producers felt the DAR library would provide the best background for filming my speech on Bernardo de Gálvez. I was already in DC for the hanging of the portrait, so it was convenient to meet with them. The lights, cameras and interview (in Spanish) brought the attention and interest of DAR Cynthia Weatherby who got me started on tracing my genealogy.
After the showing of Texas Rising, a Hollywood version of the Texas Revolution, several of us objected and gathered to share details of the errors and inaccuracies of the film. Dan Arellano, always a wonderful supporter of all things Hispanic, organized the group and filmed the proceedings. The film is out there somewhere.
Interview for documentary on Sam Houston and Santa Anna. Always ready to express the Hispanic view, I offered a point of view not often heard in Texas: Santa Anna as a consummate politician who was reelected 11 times. Museum Director Mac Woodward and Curator Mike Sproat offered the opposing sides.
At the request of Maria Baños Jordan, spoke to the Montgomery County Republicans on the history of Hispanics and the Hispanic Heritage that is still part of Texas today. Homestead laws, women’s rights, water rights all came from Spanish laws.
Annual invitation by members of the Pleasanton Sons of the Republic of Texas to give the Hispanic side of the Battle of Medina. This First battle for Texas Independence resulted in the destruction of over 1500 Tejano soldiers and a few Anglos who had accompanied Gutierrez de Lara and Augustus Magee to Texas in 1813. Conservative General Arredondo made sure to eliminate as many Liberals as he could.
Annual meeting of the Texas State Historical Association is always a chance to visit with my best loved Boss, Charles Spurlin and wife Pat. He has passed away which always makes me sad but what a wonderful person he was – supportive, kind, and a dedicated historian. I attend the TSHA meetings every year, whether as presenter, commentator, Board member, or Program developer.
Presentation to the San Jacinto Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas in Houston. Enjoyed sharing the story of Bernardo de Gálvez with the members and his importance to Texas and the United States. He helped save General George Rogers Clark in the Illinois territory, and got supplies up the Mississippi River to George Washington, before defeating the British on the Mississippi River and again on the Gulf Coast.
While in Spain doing research on Bernardo de Gálvez’ wife, Marie Felicite, had a chance to meet Manuel Olmedo Checa. He inspired me to take a serious interest in Bernardo de Gálvez which led to presentations at the ALDEU (Asociación de Licenciados y Doctores en los Estados Unidos) Conference in Washington, D. C. He launched me on my determination to spread the story of Bernardo de Gálvez, little-known in either the United States or Spain.
Christmas in Goliad is always a pleasure. My work on De León, the Founder of Victoria, is in large part due to the support and help of Estella Zermeño, a dedicated and determined historian. She and I both share an interest in spreading and encouraging the history of Hispanics in Texas. Her support helped me finish my book De León, a Tejano Family History.
Thanks to Dr. Andrés Tijerina, I was invited to participate in writing the bronze markers for the Tejano Monument on the capitol grounds of Austin, Texas. It took the members of the Board, including Estella Zermeño and her husband William, years to convince the Texas governor and the Congress to allow a monument to the Hispanics of Texas on the capitol grounds.Then the Board had to gather the millions of dollars to have it built. Very proud of all of them.
Back in the 1930s and ’40s, the Sam Houston Museum used to host an April gala in honor of Margaret Lea Moffett Houston, the wife of Sam Houston. Houston was not celebrated at the time since ladies saw him as a drunk and womanizer. Margaret Lea turned him around after their marriage. We restarted the Margaret Houston Tea five years ago. I put all the town ladies into the costumes I had gathered for the Folk Festival. Fun to see elderly ladies dressing in costume and enjoying the feeling of going to a “Ball.”
Granaderos in Mexico City
Invited to speak at the Universidad Iberoamericana, the prestigious Jesuit University in Mexico City on Bernardo de Gálvez. I followed Consul General Miguel Angel Fernandez Mazarambroz who had planned to allow me fifteen minutes after his fifty minutes. My impassioned speech ran a little long but impressed him so much that he has invited me to participate in producing a book and movie on Don Bernardo. He now lives in Houston and we will work jointly on the book and movie.