Tejano Association for Historical Preservation

Lorenzo de Zavala Chapter

April Issue 2003



On April 25, 2003, The Tejano Association for Historical Preservation is very fortunate to have Mr. Benny C. Martinez, Tejano Association for Historical Preservation Advisory Board Member and his sister, Mrs. Estella Zermeno both presenting at 7:00 p.m. at the Latino Learning Center 3522 Polk, Hou. Tx. 77003.  Mr. Martinez will lecture about the devastating tornado of Goliad of 1902. This storm took place on May 18, 1902 in the afternoon leaving 115 people killed and 230 people injured. This tornado was one of the most disastrous storms in Texas History.


Mrs. Estella Martinez Zermeno will lecture about Manuel Becerra and his relation to the missions.  He is her and Mr. Martinez’s third great grandfather.  He served as the Ayuntamiento of Goliad, and was born in 1762 at the Presidio La Bahia de Espiritu Santo.  He died about 1849 in Refugio.  He was elected to accompany Stephen F. Austin to the Colorado River and in 1827 Martin De Leon placed him in charge of the colonists’ political and business affairs.  He also helped negotiate a contract with the Coco and Karankawa Indian Tribes.  He would later assist James Power in the colonization of the Power Colony at Villa de Refugio.  For more information please visit the website

http://www.texas-settlement.org/marker/goliad/42.html regarding the historical marker of Manuel Becerra.  She will also talk about the Cabreras and the Canary Islanders.  Please make plans to attend this historic meeting.


The Cesar Chavez Parade was a success.  Domingo Marquez was the eloquent emcee at Hidalgo Park and many thanks are extended to Mr. C. Michael Gaspard, Postmaster of the U.S. Postal Service, John Martinez of the U.S. Postal Union, I.B.E.W., Carpenters Union, Plumbers Union, LCLLA, Avalos Detachment, V.F.W., San Jacinto D.A.V., Gallegos Elem. Boy Scouts, Pugh Elem. Sam Hou. Boy Scouts, Benny C. Martinez, Roy Zermeno and S.W. Bell. Mr. Gaspard spoke of the April 23 issuing of the Cesar Chavez Stamp and how the U.S. Postal Office is honored to be issuing a stamp after a great Mexican American Leader.  Hon. Congressman Gene Green, City Councilman Gabriel Vasquez, City Councilwoman Carol Alvarado, Constable Victor Trevino Precinct 6, Mrs. Campos of Houston Independent School Board and Linda Alonzo Saenz, T.A.H.P. President, shared words of praise of Cesar Chavez and words of encouragement for the community.  Hon. Congressman Green also presented T.A.H.P. Pres. Linda Alonzo Saenz a Congressional Proclamation.  The Houston Police Dept., Military Museum of Texas, Tejano Center for Community Concerns, Ballet Ambassadors, and Ballet Itzaey of Talento Bilingue de Houston, also attended.  The talented writer and Channel 13 Producer, Evangelina Vigil-Piñón also read her poem entitled, “Legacy” to the Memory of Cesar Chavez. Political Activist Mary Lopez gave a brief synopsis of her work.  The day ended with ballet folklorico groups’ performances.  If you are interested in serving on the Cesar Chavez Parade Committee for next year please contact Linda Alonzo Saenz at 713-540-5449.  Thanks to all who made the parade and celebration a success.


The following is a synopsis of the work of Mrs. Mary Lopez, our past T.A.H.P. speaker for Nov. 2002 and she also presented a brief synopsis of her political activist work at the Cesar Chavez Celebration.


Mrs. Mary Lopez was asked by Mr. Emilio Luna, President of the Magnolia Civic Club in 1958 to attend a Hou. City Council meeting and ask then Mayor Lewis Cutrer to fix Hidalgo Park.  This park would be used for about 120 youngsters for their Little League Baseball.  Ideal Plumbing Co. and William Construction Co. had already donated the uniforms and equipment.  Mrs. Loped volunteered, Father Brentine and Judge Robert Lowery, Atty. at Law, also spoke on the needs of a park for the children.  Mrs. Lopez told the Mayor and Councilmen, “Parents get blamed for juvenile delinquency, and even though we are responsible for the well being of our children, our children need more recreational programs and therefore curb delinquency.”  By the Friday of the same week, Mr. Gene Burd of the Chronicle Neighborhood Section called Father Brentine, Mrs. Lopez and Judge Lowery to come to Hidalgo Park and have their picture taken as bulldozers were in the process of leveling the ground.  Hidalgo Park, today has a baseball diamond, bleachers, water fountains, restrooms, concession stand, lights, an electrical system and a quiosco (gazebo).  T.A.H.P Member, Mr. Genaro Flores’ father, Mr. Flores was a carpenter and helped build the gazebo in 1934.  An artist by the name of Lozano came from Mexico and helped design the quiosco, and used concrete, but gave it the appearance of wood.  Mr. Lozano left his signature on the gazebo but city workers later covered it.  Pressure was placed on the city to uncover the name.  Mr. Lozano would go on to do other construction work at Hermann Park and the Houston Zoo. 

In 1959 Magnolia Park was sold to the city of a freeway extension, leaving about 80 boys without a place to play.  Mr. Benito Zermeno wanted to obtain the land at Tipps and 75th for Mason Park #2.  Mrs. Lopez went again to visit the Mayor and City Council with Mr. Manuel Crespo, and Mr. Richard Holguin.  She told the Mayor that “that the people from Magnolia were as good as the tax payers from River Oaks, Sharpstown and Westbury and a park was desperately needed for the older boys.”  Today Mason Park #2 also has a baseball diamond, bleachers, water fountains, restrooms and a concession stand.

Mrs. Lopez graduated from Univ. of Hou. in 1982.   She worked at Milby as a High School teacher and translated a book for the Universidad de Chile in Santiago in 1975.  She helped in the formation of P.A.S.O. and also helped form the “Viva Kennedy-Johnson” Headquarters in 1960 along with Mrs. Juanita Vera.  In 1964 she worked at the Johnson-Humphrey Headquarters.  Mrs. R.D. Randolph, at the time National Committee Woman from the state of Texas also appointed her as co-chairman of the “Gonzales for Governor” Campaign.  Mrs. Lopez has served, as an election clerk, precinct judge and worked for the drive against the poll tax.  She is a member of the GI Forum, a past member of the Harris County Democrats and the T.A.H.P.  T.A.H.P. salutes the efforts and work of Mrs. Mary Lopez.


Legacy to the memory of César Chávez

by Evangelina Vigil-Piñón


waste not the fruit of sacrifice

la vida es una

waste not the fruit

sudor en la palma

puños de tierra gris mojada


a pico y pala


waste not the broken backs

waste not the broken dreams

make something of the pain

make something of the toil

sueña tu historia:



campesinos al partir del siglo

trabajadores de los veintes y treintas

sirvientes de guerras fútiles sin causa

migrantes de los cincuentas y sesentas

soldados ausentes

soldados perdidos en las selvas

guerreros torturados

los desaparecidos de los setentas

refugiados de los ochentas

recién lluegados de hoy y de mañana

esclavos del sistema

criadas y criados de la modernidad

niños de generaciones todavía no nacidas

conciencia de tiempos mas allá de las estrellas:


revisa tu historia


aprecia tu deber

grip the red soil with your fists


dig deeper

tear the parched earth with your hands

ignore the scrape of sharp rock

gashing lines of destiny

on the raw flesh of your palms


usa tu poder


es tu vida

es tu derecho

waste not the fruit of sacrifice


para descanso hay tiempo

ya que todo se acaba


no pares


el destino no se halla

se hace

no desperdicies


waste not the fruit

la vida es una





The 2nd day issue of the Cesar E. Chavez Stamp will take place on May, 9, 2003 at 11:00 a.m. at the Cesar E. Chavez High School 8501 Howard Dr. Houston, Texas 77017, Houston Independent School District.  The U.S. Postal Service in conjunction with the Tejano Association for Historical Preservation and Houston Independent School District will be sponsoring this event.  Arturo S. Rodriguez, President United Farmworkers of America AFL-CIO, will deliver the keynote address.  For more information call Linda Alonz Saenz at 713-540-5449.

“The Rise of Hispanic Political Power”, by Jose de la Isla was released to the public on Jan. 27, 2003.   Mr. de la Isla has received praise from Publishers Weekly and the University of California Educator Juan Delgado said, “a much needed book… and excellent job of unfolding the political landscape.”  Mr. de la Isla recently had a reading and presentation at Rice University and River Oaks Bookstore.  The book is also available at http://www.archer-books.com and http://www.amazonbooks.com Tejano Association for Historical Preservation wishes Mr. de la Isla much success on his career as a political writer.

Last minute registrations can still be made for the Battle of San Jacinto Symposium 2003, “San Jacinto:  A Chapt. In U.S. – Mexico relations” to be held on April 25 at the Houston Club from 9:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.  Call 281-496-1488 for information.  Cost is $40.00.  The Commemorative Ceremonies will be held on April 26, 2003 at the San Jacinto Battleground at 10:00 a.m. at the San Jacinto Monument San Jacinto Battleground State Park.  Ron Stone will serve as emcee and the eloquent Sam Houston IV will deliver the keynote address.  At 1:00 p.m. there will be a 55th Anniversary of the Battleship Texas.  The Battle Reenactment will take place at 3:00 p.m.  For more information regarding the Battle Reenactment, call Jerry Tubbs at 713-973-1136.  Please show your support for San Jacinto and make plans to attend this historic event.  The T.A.H.P. will be laying a wreath at San Jacinto on April 21 at 11:00 a.m.  Call 713-540-5449 for information.

T.A.H.P. extends condolences to John Martinez and Family on the recent loss of their mother.


Linda Alonzo Saenz, President

Loretta Martinez Williams, 1st Vice President

Richard Perez, 2nd Vice President

Margarito C. Vasquez, Board Member

Dr. Emilio Sarabia, Advisory Board Member

Yvette Banuelos, Secretary/Treasurer

Benny C. Martinez, Advisory Board Member



For input regarding the newsletter contact Loretta Martinez Williams at latejana3000@aaahawk.com