The Alamo

The Alamo and the history behind it easily belong among the most iconic historical pieces of Texas and San Antonio history.  The Battle of the Alamo in 1836 proved a decisive battle in the Texas Revolution. Though the Battle itself ended in a Mexican victory, word of Mexican general Santa Anna’s cruelness reached Texan settlers and encouraged them to take arms against the army. Following the 13-day battle, the Mexican Army was defeated at San Jacinto a month later on April 21, 1836.

The History of Notre Dame

Cathedral, Paris, France, Norte Dame, French, Gothic
Notre Dame de Paris, Paris France | Courtesy of Wikipedia

The Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France is one of the most distinguished monuments in France. The 850-year-old cathedral was built to be the official seat of the Archbishop of Paris. Construction of the cathedral began in 1163 and was completed almost 200 years complete. Currently, it is owned by the French State, however, the Catholic Church has control to use the Cathedral whenever they want.

The Cathedral itself has a long-standing history. Some of the more major events include; the coronation of King Henry IV of England being crowned as the King of France in 1431; Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned as Emperor in 1804, Victor Hugo published The Hunchback of Norte Dame in 1831 which sparked a renewed interest in the Cathedral, which also led to new renovations, glass stained windows were removed during WWII, and  in 2012 was the celebration of the cathedrals the 850th anniversary.

The most recent event to hit the cathedral was the fire that broke out on April 15, 2019. The fire itself didn’t do much damage to the interior and infrastructure of the cathedral, however, part of the roof and the spire burned down completely. The recent event is currently under investigation, however, it is suspected that current renovations were the cause of the fire. Luckily no casualties occurred, however, one fireman and two police officers did sustain some injuries but luckily all are going to be okay.

 

Sweeter Than Candy: A Texas Story Project

With a name as sweet as Dulces, one might believe my grandfather to have quite the sweet-tooth. Such an assumption is correct because Dulces Rubio “Candy” Castillo is a man who loves his desserts, however, he understood that life couldn’t always be as sweet as the treats that he so enjoys indulging in.

The year was 1964 and in his little town of Dell City, Texas, the high school had invited other high schools from around the state to participate in the basketball tournament. Now, it should be noted that because my grandfather was able work on airplanes and had the personality of a payaso, he was loved by all regardless of their skin color. Make no mistake, it was because of his fair skin and usefulness that he was not looked down upon by the townspeople. Though the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ended all segregation that year, it did not stop one diner owner (on the outskirts of the city) from asking an African American basketball team to leave the premise. Being the kind-hearted man that he still is today, Dulces felt that it was not only cruel to do so, but, that it reflected poorly upon his town. Because he knew the owner of the dive in diner, he asked if he might have a word with him outside of his establishment because he happened to hear the basketball team’s disappointment over being unable to sit inside of a relatively empty diner. This wasn’t upholding the promise that the town had made to accept all basketball players from far and wide into their establishments to honor the spirit of the event. According to my PawPaw , the conversation with the owner (Mr.Hunter) went something like this.

Owner: Is something the matter, Candy?

Dulces: Well, sir, it’s not right what you’re doing. 

Owner: What?

Dulces: The way I figure, we’re supposed to welcome 
everyone here with open arms. 

Dulces: Don’t you agree, Mr.Hunter?

Owner: Hell, Candy that was my wife who said that.
 Not me. I’ll go talk to the misses.

Dulces: Thank you, sir. 

Mr.Hunter allowed the entire basketball team to eat at his establishment free of charge thanks to my PawPaw, but it left a bitter taste in his mouth. He was familiar with discrimination, certainly. But he is the sort of man who only wishes to see the good in people. In his mind, he truly believed that due to the town making the promise that all teams from across the state were welcome to come to the town that this meant that people would act accordingly. This memory stirred something within him that led to an even more interesting discovery about his childhood.

This is a photograph of my grandfather, Dulces Rubio Castillo in high school (the exact date in which it was taken is unknown)

You see, my grandfather was born in Chihuahua, Mexico, but his family moved to Dell City, Texas in 1953, when he was just seven years old. He was used to speaking Spanish at home, and so it wasn’t abnormal that he should speak Spanish amongst his friends at school who also immigrated to the United States with their parents. While he was a bit of a Punchinello he knew that there was a time and a place for his jokes. One day when his class has let out for recess, he began speaking to his friends in his native tongue. It was something that he often did, but he had never had an adult within hearing distance before. The teacher in charge warned him, saying, “we don’t allow Spanish to be spoken in this school.” At the time, many schools wanted children to speak English in order for the immigrant children to assimilate into society.

Supposedly the woman was relieved of her job soon after, but my grandfather said that he didn’t believe that it was due to that incident that she was fired. Throughout his life, my grandfather has experienced humanity at its worst as well as at its best. Regardless of the discrimination that he faced in his childhood, and the discrimination that he witnessed in his late adolescence, he told me that he was happy in Dell City, Texas and that it led to him wanting to come to San Antonio, Texas where he met my grandmother. My Paw Paw’s life was filled with many unsavory moments, but that didn’t stop him from finding a little bit of sweetness wherever he went.