Tuesday, January 8, 2008

a dreamer from the past: part II

The Dream #2

Now that everybody is talking about John F. Kennedy again, I am reminded that Jose was the co-chairman of the Democratic Party in Fort Bend County for the 1960 election. Fort Bend has changed a lot since then... its mostly affluent suburbs now. But it was farmland in 1960, with much of the eastern side of the county being owned by the Texas Department of Corrections and Imperial Sugar.

We went to the Houston Coliseum when Kennedy visited the city. I remember the place was full of people. My parents were all dressed up (so was I). There were no seats left and I guess we arrived late, so we sat on some steps next to the regular seats. But we still saw him and heard him speak. I don't remember what he said. To me he seemed like a small figure in the middle of a sea of screaming people. But I could feel my parent's excitement.

The day before the election I had to go to the hospital - with an inflamed appendix. It was bad timing for Jose, but I guess my 8 year old stress level couldn't take his continuous distraction.

During election day, Jose and a few of his friends who had cars went all over the county bringing people to the polls. Many people, especially the Mexican Americans, didn't have transportation. It went on all day, trip after trip after trip.

As we know, Kennedy won the election. Jose received a personal letter from Kennedy and an invitation to the inaugural. He didn't go, but he framed the inaugural invitation and I believe it still hangs on the wall in his office in 2008.

photo by M.T. Hernandez 2007© all rights reserved

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