By RAY QUIROGA
South Padre Parade
To say that my grandmother was overprotective is a dramatic understatement. While growing up, she particularly didn’t want me near or around bodies of water, specifically the Gulf waters.
I mean, this was a woman who, when I’d fish at a resaca, tied one end of a lasso around my waist and the other end to the bumper of her big black ’78 Ford LTD just in case, God forbid, I’d slip into the murky foot-deep water.
To keep me away from the water, my grandma loved telling me those creepy stories many of us around here heard as kids. In her version, La Llorona (the Weeping Woman) either walked aimlessly in the dead of night near a resaca (coincidently, there just happened to be the one by my house) or the North End beaches of South Padre.
Depending on the day, and my grandmother’s mood, her version of the legend went something like this: the Weeping Woman’s male companion either abandoned her for another woman, was killed in action during WWII or crashed his car into the resaca which caused his death. The Weeping Woman was so distressed by said action that she drowned her children and then herself in the resaca/Gulf of Mexico. It is said that she forever haunts the earth around these waters, desperately crying for her lost children and/or her estranged love.
Of course when I was old enough and brave enough, the first thing I did was hike the SPI’s North End. And, no, I didn’t find aliens or La Ilorona, but I did see something just as shocking and scary for a lad of about 14 or 15 at that time — naked old guys. Well, to be fair, they were male and female nudists to be exact, but…how do I say this tactfully…maybe not the kind a 15-year-old boy would want to encounter. So the irony is that of my grandmother’s elaborate stories were all for naught as the truth was more frightening than fiction for me and would have kept me far away from the North End for years on end.
Anyways, with Halloween and Dia de Los Muertos just around the corner, there’s a tremendous amount of events and activities throughout the Valley, county and many in the Laguna Madre area alone including this weekend’s street party in Port Isabel, a special masquerade party at Casa Mariposa, and a Halloween Costume Party for pets over at Claytons on October 31.
I personally love the simple things in life and hope to make it to a special showing of Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” to be projected onto the Port Isabel Lighthouse on the 26th starting at 8:30 p.m. Admission to that showing is free to the public. Look in this week’s Parade Magazine for all the details and look us up online for all your area entertainment needs: portisabelsouthpadre.com.