Thursday, August 27, 2009

Dancing in the Dark

Last Saturday night, close to 300 neighbors and friends gathered at Newman Park to boogie, cumbia, rock and roll, enjoy a lovely array of desserts, run around in circles (the under-5 crowd), swing, stare at the stars, day/night dream and visit with people they hadn’t seen in ages. We had a wonderful showing of Newman Park neighbors, but also plenty of visitors from other neighborhoods, and even some Austin High alumni back in town from San Antonio and Manhattan to visit their mother.

This is the second time that Romance Latino has played at Newman Park. Last year we made the mistake of waiting sedately until the last song before we got up to dance. What was up with that? We weren’t about to do that same thing again—dancing began from the first note to the last and everyone joined in. Some people danced in pairs, some in groups, and some floated joyfully all alone.

Some, like Sally and Jim Sauli from Richmond Avenue, were really smooth dancers. Watching them was a big treat. Sally and her husband told us later, “This was really a wonderful event.”

It was definitely a night to remember. Martha Garza from the 2700 block of Louisville Street said, “It was a cool evening at the park with dancing and desserts. I got to see old friends and lots of neighbors.” One of Martha’s old friends is Anya Cook of the 2400 block of Louisville. Anya is an enthusiastic supporter, with her husband Greg, of the Newman Park Neighborhood Association. She declared that the whole evening was “a blast!” Anya doesn’t want to wait until next year to meet with neighbors again and so had a whole raft of suggestions to get everyone together sooner than later: a progressive dinner, a barbecue in the park, etc. etc.

Go Anya! But the Neighborhood Association already has lots planned too, to include a dedication of the new park equipment in September, a pumpkin carving event and a neighborhood and park cleanup event in October, a neighborhood visit to Cinco Puntos Press, plus Christmas caroling in December. Stay posted.


Anonymous said...

Romance Latino was awesome!!! I have known them for years and they just get better and better every time I hear them. My family, friends and I had a blast listening to the music and watching everyone dance. I hope this continues every year.

Jim Tolbert said...

We received a comment from a former El Pasoan who grew up on Elm and was a classmate of Susie Byrd's. She is now a high school principal in New York State. After attending the concert, she emailed and said:

"Saturday in the park was wonderful. The mountains, citylights, and desert breeze made me remember why I love El Paso summer evenings. We had three generations dancing and playing together under the stars.

Claudia Aguirre
The Dual Language Middle School, MS247
New York State

Anonymous said...

Hi! I was searching for my dear friends Anya and Gregory Cook on Google and came across this site. I used to live at 3120 Richmond Ave in El Paso...which is only one street and a few blocks over from the Cook's. I never knew that the neighborhood had a anyway I am glad to see what ya'll are doing for the neighborhood. I currently live in Louisiana, but will always have a great love for El Paso.
Lizzy Blythe