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All the years, during our lifetime, we gather all kinds of jewels.
They could be the finest diamonds, rubies, emeralds or pearls,
set in gold, silver or the most precious platinum.
These, we treasure with our life and take them out once in
a while, to admire and enjoy once more.
Like the finest jewels, memories are our most valuable
belongings, not easily stolen or lost.
As long as we have them, we can relive those
moments and recharge our batteries in life.
Good memories feed our souls and lift our spirits.
Our memories makes us what we are,
but in our memories, bad experiences are also saved.
These makes us grow stronger, even when they hurt so much.
I think we should take them as a lesson in life that
helps us grow wiser, but the good memories are kept in
a very special place in our hearts.
Today, we should work hard in making good memories
for tomorrow. Today we should enjoy Life...
the best Gift God has given us.

Good Old Days at Holding Institute.

I have to say I have tons of memories and if I think long and
hard, many of them will come back. Now, I am starting to worry
that with all of those terrible diseases we are all
exposed to, many of those files in my mind could be lost
forever. So, for my peace of mind and your enjoyment I will
post them in here where they could be saved
 for posterity. If you read these memories, by any chance,
and you remember some of your own, tell me about
them in an e-mail and I will post them here gladly.

Chavita, Salvador Ibarra (R.I.P.), was so active and intelligent,
 specially with crafts and most of us knew he was a great
 folklore dancer. When any craft ideas were needed, Chavita
was there on the spot. Ok, this time a big globe was needed
 and he was always more than happy to do the job. They decided,
the group, that it would be done using the piñata technique
or for those of you who do not know it...the globe would
 be covered with little pieces of colored rice paper glued
to the surface. The globe was soon ready to be taken
for the presentation. All so happy with the work well done
and I am sure Chavita so proud with the final result. When
 everyone helped to take it out of the room, the globe
was not going through because it was too wide. Chavita
had to force it to take it out and I am sure that when
people saw the presentation, they wondered why the
oval globe. May God bless you Chavita and my
prayers are with you always.

René Medina was one of our great, tallest basketball players,
(best regards wherever you are René) and one time we were
in study hall. It was one of those days when the weather is
so calm and warm, it was difficult not to fall asleep.
Many times I saw my friends sleeping and I kind of
envied them because I never could do it. Well this time René
fell asleep in his seat but his head tilted backwards and his mouth
 wide open. Jose Luis Chapa (R.I.P.) was always playing around
 making jokes and he was another one of our great basketball
players so he and René were friends. Chapa, as we called him,
started to cut pieces of paper and making paper balls, started to
throw them into René´s mouth and while some of them made it
and others fell away and all the joking and laughs, René ended
up with a mouth full of paper balls and until the bell rang
and somebody woke him, he realized what had really happened.
Poor René, but being the great guy he was, nothing happened
and he always showed his great smile.

In 1964, I was new at Holding and adapting to a completely new
environment and to what, for me, was far away from home when
we heard about President Kennedy´s assasination and the news
that the international bridge was closed and would remain closed
until further notice. Imagine at 12 and being told you would
not be able to go home and having to stay at school overnite.
I felt scared but there was not much I could do except wait. Finally,
late that day, news came that the bridge would be opened
and "relief" was the word to describe the feeling.

Miss Frieda Blum, very dear Ms. Blum. It was such a joy to
be your student. I send you my love wherever you may be and I
hope you are so blessed. I had some trouble understanding
math and you were so patient and I remember you would not
rest until all of us understood it all. You would look at us straight
in the eye and I think you said so much more with your eyes than
with your lips and it worked because I would finally understand.
You and I got to work very closely when I was treasurer in
my junior year and you were our counselor. I learned how to
keep up with our bookkeeping and bank transactions with you.
Imagine we covered all the Senior´s Prom expenses with less
than $300.00 dlls. It was a lot of cash, considering we only had
the candy store to make money and in those days you
could buy a candy bar for a nickel. Miss Blum when I saw you
writing and erasing our blackboard and admiring how active
and fast your movements were and at the same time, how
delicate and efficient, you would remind me of a butterfly.

Jaime Garza, I remember you as a very good friend and as
very intelligent and dedicated.  Holding´s Valentine King,
surely a title many would have wished for, but not easily
won with all the requirements, right? Imagine, and I was lucky
enough to accompany you!! Jaime, you were the kind of friend
anyone would love to have for life. Your  graduation present,
I will always remember and thank you for it. Wherever you are,
best regards and I am sure you have a wonderful life and family.

Miss Mabel Dunham; how would anybody forget you? I know
our group gave you a hard time, but you know we loved you.
There was one or two jokers, but the rest thank you so much
for your patience and love.  Those spelling tests helped us
the most and your kindness and sweetness made the
magic with the worst students. Miss Dunham, any place you
are right now, you certainly can see we carry you and
your teachings in our hearts all the time and a
big kiss to you with all my love.

Mr. Enrique Mejía was new when I first started at Holding and
I remember girls gave him a hard time when they did not
want to run and would claim they were suffering from
cramps just to be excused. Later on, we had a nurse and
the problem was solved because when girls claimed
they had cramps, she would say cramps disappeared
with exercise. Mr. Mejia, you and your wife,
my teacher also, Mrs. Amira Mejía were wonderful teachers.
I remember you both with love and gratitude.
Mr. Mejia, you are now coaching a great team in Heaven,
so many are still enjoying your great smile and
dedication. I know you are in the best place, keeping watch
over your loved ones. Mrs. Mejia, may God bless you!

To you, Ms. White, I owe so much. I remember you exercises to
speak clearly opening our mouth well and marking the words.
I do not know if I had a speaking problem, but I took your
advise to the letter and nobody had ever told me they do not
understand how I speak. I am so grateful for your being
so sweet and at the same time strict and patient with all of us.
Someplace. here in the U.S.A. I know you remember Holding and I
pray you are well and living with God´s graces and blessings.
I send you a big hug and my very best regards and gratitude, with love.

Prima, Dora Medina, remember me? I do and I also remember
that time we were both running for a post at the Student Council
and the weirdest thing happened... I voted for you and you for me and
we came out with a tie. You see why honesty had never been paid?
You should have voted for yourself and I would have voted
for you and you should have come out a winner. I am just kidding,
it felt good and Honesty is always much better. I know we took
different ways in our lives, we kind of lost contact and that
is always sad, but memories like these is a priceless treasure and it
is always kept safe inside in our hearts. Except that sharing
those memories seem to increase the value and bring a smile
when we most need it. Thank you prima, for the joys shared.

I remember José Luis Chapa Mtz. (R.I.P.) and you were always
joking and with your humor making the classes so much happier.
Most people told me I was the quite girl at Holding but you made
me laugh so much and I was never sure of what to expect with you.
Chapa, also a great basketball player and with that love he had
to have good grades to stay in the game. You were not only funny,
but very intelligent and certainly a great leader. I remember
calling you when your dad passed away and then another call
when I told I was a voice from your past and you recognized me
and offered me a job in your store. Little would I know that
would be the last time I would hear your voice and it stuck to my ears.
Death would never be something we can understand, no matter how
many times it would be explained, we just cry and learn to accept it
with time. May God keep you in His glory and bless your whole family.
Thank you so much Chapa, my prayers are with you.

Dalila Rocha is a dear friend and I spoke to her not very long ago. I
reminded her of how I admired the way she would get her hair fixed
while we were on the bus and she arrived all made up by the time
we got to school. Her beautiful dark and curly hair was all brushed up
and all tidy. Her long and dark lashes looked sensational as did
her whole make up. I remember feeling like I had so much to
learn from her. She was also a great dancer and we enjoyed many
of her numbers and she was a great friend. We used to cross the
bridge and walk to her sweet bread store and sometimes we took
another bus to her home. Dalila, I remember you so calmed and
patient. Thank you for your friendship, for the times we shared
and because I can still give you a call anytime. May God bless you
and your dear daughter Luisa.

You know, it is of popular knowledge that the secret to an
excellent education is to have small groups. Holding´s groups
were at the most 25, I think, or 20.  I remember being in a shorthand
class where there were only two of us and one time my classmate
was abstent. The class was given only to me. This is just an
example of how Holding took teaching so seriously and there
were never such things as raffles to take our attention from
our classes.

There was this one year I wanted to get a certificate for not being
absent during the whole year. I had never been able to get it and
this year I wanted it so desperately. I think it was 1976-77 and in
January we got snow. There was ice on the bridge and snow all over.
I missed school that day and I heard there were no classes, but
guess what? I got and absentee and no certificate. It did not
change anything, I still felt and still feel so proud of my school.
Teachers, I do not even remember their being sick at all.
I remember Mrs. Canales and Mrs. Mejia being pregnant, but no
classes were cancelled or missed at all.

This one time somebody proposed to charge a penny for each
word spoken in Spanish just as another private school was doing
to make students speak English only, but it was not accepted.
When you decided to study at Holding, you paid your tuition,
your books, food, transportation and very few extras once in a while
or you would see if you applied for a scholarship and that was it...
the rest was only the effort of the student to learn.

I can recall Rev. Robert Bedford and his bible classes. Wherever you 
are sir, my gratitude from my heart. Your stories, specially the one
about Jacob and Esau, Jacob so calm and spiritual while Esau
more into material things, gave me the inspiration for my own
spirituality. I still feel that thirst for learning and understanding
much more my religion and the strength to try to follow Jesus´
footsteps no matter how difficult it may seem. Rev. Bedford,
I know you must still be an inspiration to so many young and
old and I pray God gives you and your family His blessings for
your hard work in your ministry. I will always be so grateful.

Mr. Librado Vera and Mrs. Rita Vera you both so sweet and gentle
teachers. Mr. Vera I remember so vividly all you stories about Cuba,
the taste of your wonderful coffee and the "tostones" which I
had never tasted before. I will always be so grateful to you two
and you are two of the people I most admire. Your having a
life and a career in Cuba and loosing everything and then coming to
the U.S.A. and start all over from scratch had to be so hard and an
inspiration to all of us. You had to go to the university and you
did it all over again. I am sure God has blessed you and your family.
You are a very important part of my memory CD. Thank you very
much from my heart!!

All the way to Trinidad, Bolivia maybe I could still find Dalmiro Gaona.
Maybe he is living somewhere else. He was a great friend and I am
sure he remembers Holding Institute and the wonderful moments he
spent here. I just hope he is not one of those people who can seem to
learn how to use a pc. The internet is a great way to keep in touch.
Dalmiro, wherever you are, take very good care of yourself and thank
you for your friendship and patience of those good old days. You were
always so sweet and a friend I will always remember. May God bless
you and yours.

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