By Steve Walker
With 2014 coming to an end and 2015 on the horizon, I recently re-read many of my Sunday “Just a Thought” columns and reminisced how my articles progressed throughout the year. Hopefully they were positive reading for La Prensa’s readers.
I was surprised to realize that I had addressed a fair amount of topics ranging from immigration to numerous local Hispanic icons, to holiday celebrations such as Dies Y Seis, Cinco de Mayo, and Fiesta. Even Labor Day and Pearl Harbor Day also made the cut.
Since I number my columns, this one is my 102nd in the past two years. Two articles were delayed a week due to a lack of space. In newspapers it sometimes happens.
The year began with my first writing published on January 5th entitled “Dear Dad.” I composed a letter to my long deceased father who labelled me a “Dumb Kid” as I was growing up. The letter was from the perspective that he was supportive and nurturing and not negative. For me the letter was very therapeutic in sharing with the readers.
In that first 2014 column, I also alluded to the 10 part series focusing on local Hispanic Icons.
From there I continued to write about all things Hispanic since the newspaper is called “La Prensa.” Since I spent most of my adult life in San Antonio in the Hispanic community teaching in Harlandale, Edgewood and SAISD, it works for me. I am fascinated with the rich culture of the Hispanic community although I am not Hispanic.
In February, I wrote about attending the 85th Birthday of the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber and highlighting its accomplishments in San Antonio, which are many. By March my column detailed the premiere of the Cesar Chavez movie that took place March 12th at the Palladium at the Rim that hosted a reception and sneak preview that attracted over 300 excited invited guests. That was really momentous for me since I had interviewed Cesar Chavez in 1982 for Eyewitness News.
In that article I wrote about taking lots of photos of guests walking the red carpet and posing with the likes of the middle son of Cesar Chavez, Paul Chavez and the son-in-law of Cesar Chavez, Arturo Rodriguez. Director Diego Luna and Producer Pablo Cruz also attended and mingled with the crowd as well.
In April I wrote a column on Fiesta celebrations and in May I focused on local icon Willie Velasquez, the Founder of the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project. (SVREP) It was his vision in 1974, to ensure that Latinos would play an important role in the American Democratic process. Fortunately for us his journey began here in Texas.
In July, I focused on Hispanic performers like Harlandale High School grad and nationally known actor Jesse Borrego, as well as San Antonio native and internationally known singer Vikki Carr. I have had the pleasure of hanging out with Jesse many times over the years and twice with Vikki Carr, taking photos. That same month I weighed in on Mayor Julian Castro when he was nominated for Secretary for Housing Urban Development. (HUD)
In the September issue I touched on the Diez Y Seis celebration. It was fitting since San Antonio loves to party year round especially in September because we celebrate Mexico’s Independence Day from Spain. Since Hispanics are the majority population in the Alamo City it is only logical we continue to remember that rich Hispanic heritage.
Now in its 35th year, the Raul Jimenez Dinner was the focus of my November 23rd column that continues to provide Thanksgiving Dinner to senior citizens, homeless and the less fortunate from all over the city. I have been fortunate to have been an active part of that event for many years by serving food, shucking turkeys and taking photos.
Next Sunday I will begin my third year writing new “Just a Thought” columns about all things Hispanic. I look forward to continuing exploring the history and culture of the Hispanic culture in San Antonio and sharing it with La Prensa readers.
And as always, I write just a thought.
Steve Walker is a Viet Nam Veteran, former Journalist and Justice of the Peace.