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CASTILLO | Continued from Page 1C

from 5 to 10 p.m. on the school grounds. What better way to spend some quality family time than to enjoy fabulous food, great games, awesome auction items and just all around fun with your loved ones on a Saturday afternoon? So mark your calendars.

Time out for tea

Catching up with old friends is the only objective of this happy gathering. Taking a break from the hectic week will be the Ursuline Academy Alumni, who are hosting today's homecoming tea at the Ursuline Convent, 2302 Corpus Christi, starting at 2:30 p.m. It's not too late to Call Cynthia Saldaña at (956) 206-6014 for more information.

"Yo no"Yoga

Cynthia Saldaña has been urging me to take a yoga class. This is definitely a way to "de-stress," according to many who practice this ancient form of exercise and relaxation. It sure seems to work for Cynthia, who always looks cool, calm and collected. A look I have yet to achieve.

Photos by Gabriel Castillo | Special to the Times

Arleen Lorraine Averill and her escort,Joe Rubio Jr., have a good time at a recent debutante party given in their honor.

Looking over auction items for the Amparo Gutierrez Elementary School Carnival on Nov. 5 are, standing left to right: Denisha Rodriguez, Mayme Schwartz, and Irma Romanelli. Seated is Claudia Dovalina, Principal.

Love All

Let's take a lesson from these guys who know how to take a break from the daily grind and enjoy their favorite sport. The Market Street Public Court gang consisting of Dr. Alfredo Treviño, Bobby Cavazos, Gustavo Fuentes, Bernhard Gubser, Candelario Escamilla, Robert Cavazos (Captain), Arturo Gutierrez and not only play tennis they compete. They recently brought back honors after playing at the Senior United States Tennis Association tournament garnering third place. Great work, guys!

Deb stress

Another athlete who's always on the go is Arleen Lorraine Averill. Arlene will be taking her formal bow into society at this year's Society of Martha Washington November presentation, escorted by Mr. Joe Rubio, son of Mr. and Mrs. Joe Rubio Sr. Her parents are Pancho and Anita Fansler Averill. She is a student at St. Augustine High School where she is active in various clubs including the National Honor Society, Math Club and, Interact Club. She's and a star athlete in volleyball and softball and is a varsity head cheerleader. During her summers she has taken independent studies at Cambridge University with studies in psychology and criminology and attended the Presidential Classroom in Washington, D.C., in February 2005. She plans to major in Business and Marketing. I'm late for my massage so that's my surf for the week. Keep in touch via e-mail: [email protected]

TOP: Committee members met recently to plan the Ursuline Academy Alumni Tea to take place today, Sunday, Oct. 30, at the Ursuline Convent. Standing left to right: Elsa Cass, Sister Mary Helen, O.S.U., Cynthia Saldaña and Diana Martinez. RIGHT: Celebrating birthdays recently were, left to right, Ellen Levy, Laurie Goldberg and Joanne Balzar.

Sofia Cigarroa, daughter of Kinny and Melissa Cigarroa, models Joe Brand fashions at the recent Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation fundraiser.

Madison Haynes, daughter of Dicky and Allison Haynes, models the latest in toddler style from Bambino's of San Antonio at the JDRF Fashion Show.

ARAMBULA | Continued from Page 1C

side generally would reply with a strong denial. There were instances where this occurred in paid political advertisements in newspapers and radio stations in Laredo and Nuevo Laredo. Wilcox witnessed some of these developments as the changing and dominant political winds continued to shift through the 1930s and 1950s when the leading Independent Club of Webb County ran into opposition from candidates and partisans of the Citizens Party, the Popular Party or the Reform Party. The 1886 campaign for city marshal, involving the incumbent, Stephen Boyard, and Higinio Garcia was another overriding spark to the violence that followed the elections for city and county offices. It was a heavily contested battle won by Garcia. One aspect of the Boyard-Garcia campaign probably overlooked by history was the involvement of a teenage son of the eventual winner. His name was Apolonio Rodolfo Garcia, a brilliant student and a talented orator for his age. Apolonio was 17 when his father decided to run for city marshal. History described Apolonio as an intelligent youngster, a fast learner and an outstanding speaker and wordsmith, according to former city officials who knew the Garcia family. (Editor's Note: For details and pictures, read Dr. Jerry Thompson's book, The Election Riot of 1886, and Laredo: A Pictorial History published, in 1996.) Historian Wilcox became well acquainted with Apolonio Rodolfo Garcia during Wilcox's tenure as an official court reporter for the 49th District Court. Garcia was serving as city secretary when Wilcox was court reporting. do and attended St. Mary's Academy in San Antonio in 1883 for advanced school training. He returned to Laredo and got involved in his father's 1886 campaign for city marshal. He went on to study law at the University of Virginia and earned certification in international and constitutional law in 1893. He practiced law in Roanoke, Va., briefly before returning to Laredo. He passed the state bar exam and was sworn into the practice of law by Judge Albert McLane in 49th District Court here. Apolonio was elected county attorney, serving from 1894 to 1896 when the first of several political upheavals in Laredo brought widespread changes in local government. In 1899, Apolonio was elected city secretary and served through 1906 when he lost a bid for re-election against A.V. Woodman. Garcia took a job as administrative assistant to the city marshal in 1916, doubling as a desk sergeant at the police station. In 1920, he returned to public service and earned election as city secretary in an election contest against the same A.V. Woodman. He held the post through the 1940s with mediocre opposition in ensuing elections. He directed services on behalf of the unemployed and poor in the post-Depression years, overseeing the work of the Texas Relief Commission and the Workers Program Administration (WPA). In essence, Apolonio Rodolfo Garcia earned his place in history for outstanding public service at City Hall and as an exponent of programs to assist homeless, poverty-stricken and jobless families during the early years of President Roosevelt's New Deal. On the other hand, history overlooked him completely as a young orator campaigning for his father, Higinio Garcia, for city marshal.

Knowing his turf

The incumbent city marshal in that 1886 election, Boyard, probably knew the ins and outs of the opposing Botas and Guaraches. The Botas supported him but he had sympathetic ties with the Guaraches. History describes Boyard as a tough disciplinarian in his role as city marshal. He didn't like bad cops and was quick to get ride of police officers who did not perform accordingly. The minority Guarache members of the city council, nevertheless, supported the city marshal. However, that did not keep the majority Bota members on the council to get rid of Boyard as city marshal. The stories told by Wilcox, and later by Luciano Guajardo and other municipal officials, suggested that things got nasty as a result of the Boyard dismissal. The city marshal's friends demanded and got a hearing before council on a petition for reinstatement. At the end of the proceedings, the man having been fired by the council's Bota majority, the city mayor voided the action. The Botas, nevertheless, overturned the mayor's decision and the dispute was taken to district court.

nized journalist in Nuevo Laredo. He was born in Madrid, Spain, in 1843 and came to Mexico as a young man. He was the editor of El Laredense from 1884 to 1887 and went on to write "History of Nuevo Laredo" in 1901. His book focused on Nuevo Laredo municipal government from 1847 when 1899. The initial material focused on life in Laredo and Nuevo Laredo near the end of the MexicanAmerican War. The book quoted a Spanish version of the order by U.S. Army Captain Mirabeau B. Lamar wherein the military overseer announced that "the laws of Mexico will prevail on the western side of the Rio Grande. Mr. Andres Martinez is appointed alcalde and all resistance to his authority will be regarded as rebellion and treated accordingly." Richer wrote that the night of May 17 neighbors called for assistance when they discovered a fire at the Bruni business place at the northwest corner of San Agustin Plaza. Richer's account (in Spanish) said that "despite the gallant efforts of local authorities, with assistance from federal sources (the military), the fire destroyed the building and the major part of the merchandise." "The loss was considerable and only a small part was secured by insurance," Richer wrote.

Hidden hot spot

An incident that history overlooked right after the April 1886 city election was a downtown fire that destroyed the commercial building of Antonio M. Bruni (A.M. Bruni and Sons). The incident was cited in the year 1886 segment of Juan E. Richer's book, "History of Nuevo Laredo," first published in 1901. Subsequent editions were published in 1958 and 1997. Earlier historians identified Juan E. Richer as the first recog-

Getting started

Richer pointed out that Nuevo Laredo was in its infancy as a municipality, having been organized in 1848 after the Lamar decree of Sept. 15, 1847. The writer and publisher, nevertheless, noted that family ties were strong on both sides. He said the ferry operators were kept busy as people from Nuevo Laredo and nearby Mexican communities crossed to and from Laredo by the hundreds seven days a week.

Well-schooled young man

Apolonio Rodolfo Garcia attended parochial schools in Lare-

At the turn of the 19th century, Laredo and Nuevo Laredo already were well connected by commercial operations and the very people who moved in and out of the region. Nuevo Laredo was part of a zona libre for international commerce on the border at a time when Laredo was experiencing economic growth and development. Consequently, like the modern-day political activity, candidates' organized campaigns of that era had their canoneros (trouble shooters), campaigners hired by the political groups to rally people who supported given candidates who might win and keep promises to share the spoils. The number of partisans at political rallies, parades and voters, in large measure, depended on how much the organization could afford to bring the acarreados (bought) to the polling places. Laredoans familiar with the story generally agreed that the Botas and the Guaraches of the postCivil War era had their share of poor Mexicans from both sides who could be bought to participate in the elections. "Both sides had a large following of the Mexican poor," Guajardo would explain when he talked about politics in old Laredo. "That's how it was and that's how in remained for years. The organized campaigns brought people to the huge rallies to hear the speeches and to partake of the food and refreshments. It was well known that they people were brought from the Mexican side. Some of the men who fired weapons that day (election riot) came from across, which probably explains why the ferry operators were so busy after the military intervened." The Botas had prevailed in the elections of 1884, but the results did not discourage the Guarache leadership (Santos Benavides, et

al.) who had taken up the official name of the Reform Club. Another former city official and history buff, Ramiro Sanchez, told this writer about the incident from accounts passed down his grandparents mixed with what he read in the Wilcox papers. The accounts told of fisticuffs and brawling involving partisans, many of them armed, who obviously had been drinking. "They held political meetings in private homes and designated meeting places," Sanchez said. "There was always food and drink, the carnitas and the beer, but there was always hard liquor (tequila) nearby. There were not too many policemen on the streets. Homeowners in a block hired their own serenos (watchmen) or one night watchman would patrol the area for all the neighbors." History says one popular meeting place was the Santos Benavides home right in the heart of the present-day historical district. The Botas had repeated the election victory of 1884 and were intent on celebrating with a parade and a mock funeral -- to bury the Guaraches for good. Invitations were composed in Spanish and printed for distribution. It was time to rub the election results in the noses of the Guarache leaders. The election losers, however, warned that there would be big trouble if the authorities allowed the Botas to do their thing. No one kept time, but history tells that the pushing, shoving and gunfire probably lasted less than an hour, closer to 30 minutes, before a Fort McIntosh unit appeared on the scene. The Army major in charge rushed to City Hall, confiscated firearms and other weapons, and ordered a halt to the melee. Laredo was placed under martial law. (Odie Arambula is at 728-2561 or e-mail, [email protected])


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