Clean up effort, family reunion bring surprises
by Celia Ruiz
Jul 01, 2013 | 2422 views | 0 0 comments | 44 44 recommendations | email to a friend | print
As we gathered at TR City hall on Friday with our work gloves to pick up litter, I was in for a surprise!

My first surprise was seeing the smiling face of 18-year-old Leslie Hatch, our Miss Live Oak County Queen who lives on the outskirts of George West and drove more than 20 miles and was there before 8 a.m. to help us!

(I attended her graduation party the previous Saturday, and Leslie has already started taking classes at Coastal Bend College and plans to major in the medical field in radiology. She is the niece of my special friends, Ena Pena and Stella Hatch and paternal granddaughter of ChaCha Hatch. Her parents are Larry Hatch and Elda (Lyndon)Spect.)

My second surprise was seeing only a few volunteers that showed up to help…Rose (Dove) Burch, Rosie Fernandez, Drusanne Hunter, Leslie and I!

We weren’t discouraged as we put on our safety orange vests and went outside to get started! We divided and started around the City Square picking up litter, when we were met by Matt Naber, our young Progress editor that wanted to take “action photos!”

He is such a joy to talk to and does an outstanding job at The Progress. I’m glad Matt was out there early because, by mid-morning, we felt a breeze, but it was also the first day of summer!

After we finished picking up several bags of litter at City Hall, we went to the parking lot behind the Rialto and cleaned that and the sidewalk along Highway 281. We laughed, stating that the heavy traffic (drivers) that saw us working possibly thought we were doing “community service!”

Indeed, the dirt that has collected from the heavy traffic onto the sidewalks is truly hard to clean up. We made piles and piles and used large shovels to put in into the wheelbarrow and actually filled up a large pothole in the alley!

By 11:30 a.m., we decided not to go to another location and were treated to lunch at the Taqueria across from the refinery. We continued drinking fluids, and actually it was fun working, eating and talking together.

Afterwards, we went back to City Hall to leave our vests, and hopefully there will be another litter clean-up prior to the 4th of July celebration to make our town look especially clean for all the expected people that will be here then and throughout our Centennial celebration.

We will definitely need “Please Do Not Litter” signs!

Please consider being a volunteer with the next litter cleanup. It’s actually fun when you have a lot of people working together! No more surprises, please! Litter is everybody’s problem!

On Saturday, June 22, we traveled to D’Hanis to attend the annual family reunion of our cousins, the Rodriquez family. I had not attended since Mom died.

Mom was the oldest of the Urrabazo family born in D’Hanis on Jan. 17, 1915, to abuelitos Jose y Juanita (Rodriquez) Urrabazo. Mom and her sister, Tia Santos married cousins, our dad Aniseto Cruz and Nico Rodriquez. Mom and Dad moved to Three Rivers two weeks after their wedding and had 12 children and Tia Santos and Tio Nico remained in D’Hanis and had 14 children. (All of them have a college education.) I remember Mom talking about Tio Luis Urrabazo, Cipriano and Rosendo Urrabazo who were brothers to abuelito Jose.

Well, Luis Urrabazo was there, but it was his “grandfather” that Mom was talking about! Luis had a photo of their wedding in 1963 that showed him and his wife Gloria and his “grandfather” because his dad, Luis Urrabazo Jr. died during World War II.

The photo also showed Cipriano (whom my brother Cipriano is named after) and Rosendo Urrabazo who was a Deacon (his son Rosendo Urrabazo is a priest and daughter Gloria Urrabazo is a nun!)

Another surprise is that Luis Urrabazo, above, had a cousin in Three Rivers, Ben Ramirez married to Margaret O’Brien who are parents to Gladys (Ramirez) Ruiz, who is married to our nephew Danny Ruiz!

The whole day was amazing!

Tia Lencha (Atnipp) and Tio Juan Urrabazo, along with Mom and Tia Santos Rodriquez are deceased. Tio Fred Urrabazo and Tia Mary Urrabazo Hughes are the only living siblings in Mom’s family, and it was a joy seeing them.

Another surprise during the introductions is that we have members who were enlisted in the military to include the Army, the U.S. Marines, the Air Force and Navy and several had been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.

We left with the proud feeling that our family on my mom’s side (we don’t know too much on dad’s side from San Luis, Potosi) has indeed accomplished a lot for us to be proud of!

Please make plans to come see “the Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.”

This miraculous missionary image was obtained from the digital image file blessed by Pope John Paul 11 and will be at Sacred Heart church on Friday, June 28, at 4:30 p.m. starting with singing, procession, Holy Mass, reflective talk, veneration and rosary. Father Richard cordially invites everyone to attend this special celebration.

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