Dulce Rodriguez and I grew up together on my family's cantaloupe farm northwest of Pecos, Texas. Dulce's dad, "Chico," was like an uncle to me, imparting to me his culture, wisdom, and life experiences very different from any I had known. My mother drove my sister Barbara and I, and Chico's kids, to school everyday in Pecos. When I left for college and the USAF, I would see some of the family only occasionally, when visiting in Pecos. (My dad helped Chico get a janitor's job at PHS, and many younger PHS kids remember him.)
Thirty or so years later, Dulce and I discovered we were both living in the Dallas area. Dulce and his wife Yolanda had nine children, now scattered around the country. In the years that followed, both of us lost our wives to cancer. In 2009, at the funeral of Dulce's son, Dulce, Jr., I had a chance to meet many of his children—we got acquainted by e-mail! One day I asked, "How old is your dad?" They said, "Dad will have his 74th birthday in September." I suggested that we have a surprise birthday party for him at my home—and we did! Dulce was completely surprised, and we all had a wonderful time. These pictures are especially for those who could not come to the party...enjoy!
Bye Ray Mack <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Welcome to my home in Richardson
Mr. Tweezer greeted everyone and really enjoyed the party!
I managed to have seating for 28 guests... this is the dining room.
And this is my cozy kitchen nook!
We had two cakes, this one with the names of Dulce and Yolanda's nine children.
Later, we put candles on this one, two large ones for Dulce and Yolanda and nine small ones for the children.
Pete & Pauline, and Tommie from Lubbock—and Mary from Pecos, were our "secret surprise guests" from out of town and were the first to arrive.
Mary brought PECOS CANTALOUPES from Pecos, and they were delicious as always!
The woman in the black blouse is my good friend and housekeeper, Martha Sosa. She managed the food and the kitchen so that the family could have more time for visiting—much gracias, Martha!
Dulce was completely surprised; he had never been to my home...
So he didn't know what was going on until he came in the door...
Where his family were waiting to greet him!
The guy in the black shirt is my nephew, Barbara's son, Randy Coleman. I am so glad he could come.
The family decided on a money tree instead of gifts, the dollars to go towards Dulce's vacation travel plans.
I fixed a rememberance for Dulce, Jr.
Randy (Barbara's son) got to meet Dulce, my childhood friend he has heard about!
The picture on the wall is my grandad, the founder of the Pecos cantaloupe industry, MR. TODD!
Casandra did the honor for her granddad...
Well, with these next pictures we are saying hello...
...to all of you that were not able to come...
We missed you, but we hope these pictures will allow you to enjoy the party also!
Hey, Ray Mack finally got in the picture!
So long, and may God bless this family!