Joined: 15 Jun 2006
Location: Herriman, UT
|Posted: Thu Jun 15, 2006 10:31 pm Post subject: Round About the Museum: Jan. 1972
|When Mexico’s Banner Waved at Lone Pine
By Dorothy Cragen
El Pueblo de Las Uvas, The Little town of the Grape Vines, loved celebrations! It may have been only a betrothal, a wedding, a christening, or some of the patriotic days like Fourth of July, Washington’s birthday, or a number of other days, but the greatest preparation for a celebration were the days preceding September 16, the day of Mexican independence. According to records the senoritas had to have new dresses, the senoras a new rebosa, and the gentlemen new silver trimmings on sombreros, ties, handkerchiefs, and new leather and silver trimming for their saddles. The older women were busy pounding corn for tamales, and even school did not start until after the 16th. New teachers often tried to start early, but with all the preparation going on, how could children settle to a quiet classroom!
At midnight, shouting started in the streets: Viva La Libertad! An answer from houses: Viva La Mexico!
This was a signal to move to the old plaza, where festivities started. At sunrise shots were fired, to commemorate the tragedy of Maximillian, then the national music and hymns of Old Mexico rolled across the plaza, and the great flag of Mexico rose slowly to the top of the flagpole.
The Eagle of Montezuma greeted the sun as it arose over the Inyo Mountains. It was a day of celebrating with all of the town in its best dress dancing and singing, and some exhibits of horsemanship.
Eating, dancing, singing, and the sound of guitars continued into the night. At midnight the flag comes down, the music becomes soft and tears were shed for the Homeland, but almost instantly, a flag begins to climb the pole, the singing and music becomes loud, and the Star Spangled Banner floated once more over the Little Town of the Grape Vines, and the guitars dash into the national anthem.
Shots were fired and the dancing continued until day break. During the early hours they sang the Marseillaise for the French who live in the town; the hymn of Cuba, and the Chilian national air.
They read the Declaration of Independence and while fro a few hours they had returned to their homeland, their joy was exhibited in their music and dancing.
For one day the Flag of Mexico had floated over Lone Pine, but no one resented this, as the presence of these people in the United States indicated loyalty. (see Mary Austin’s land of Little Rain for a description of this event, some of which has been quoted here.)
The field trop to the west side of Death Valley was most rewarding. Wallace Piper was the leader. We are grateful to the Park Service, and especially to Naturalist Bruce Kaye.
In February, we shall go to Kern County to visit the Tropico Mine. There we shall meet our members and friends, Glen and Dorayne Settle and we hope many others from the southland.
This will bee a three-day weekend, February 19-21, and will give us an opportunity to visit a number of interesting locations. We shall likely leave Independence about 8 a.m. February 19, although some may start Friday evening. We suggest you get to the camping spot (below the Tropico Mine) in the daytime.
In March we go to Augerreberry Point overlooking Death Valley. Leaders are Larry Ford and Dr. Wilcox. Historic leader will be George Pipkin from Trona.
After a full day March 18, we shall go to Stovepipe Wells for the night. Those wanting reservations there should make them soon. There will be space in the campground for the campers and those wanting to camp out. There is a fee.
There will not be a trip in April due to the annual dinner. The price is $4, including tax and tip, and you should make your reservations now as the restaurant can seat only about 150. We are taking reservations as they come. Our guest speaker is Dr. David B. Slemmons, on the subject of Earthquakes.
The Inyo Register
Bishop, Inyo County, California
Thursday, Jan. 27, 1972 – Page 12.
Transcribed by Laura M. Bybee for Inyo County GenWeb, 2 February 2006