February 14 (Saturday), 10:00 AM – “ Role of Tejanas in Spanish and Mexican Texas” – Dr. Frank de la Teja, Norris Center, Northcross Mall; Contact: Dr. Sylvia Garcia
The Norris Conference Center hosted AAUW Austin’s Valentine’s Day meeting with great hospitality and a delicious buffet which reflected the holiday theme. President Inés Garcia welcomed the 52 members and invited guests who had gathered to hear Dr. Frank de la Teja, the Director of the Center for the Study of the Southwest (Texas State University) and a noted authority of Texas history. After saying that his usual approach to history is holistic, he deftly focused on Hispanic Women in Early Texas, the topic requested by Dr. Sylvia Garcia, program planner. He began by scoffing at the notion of Jane Long as the Mother of Texas, pointing out that Indian and Spanish women in the area we now call Texas had farmed, ranched, borne children, fought abusive husbands and the rigors of the Catholic church, managed towns like San Antonio on their own for centuries while their men were off hunting or warring, and they had generally prevailed–at least those who didn’t die in childbirth. He told the stories of determined women who raised children on their own by doing cooking, sewing, farming; of strong females who inherited vast ranches from husbands or fathers who recognized their worth; and of women who struggled to survive as widows or unwed mothers. Female slaves and indentured servants were also a part of the narrative.
After the program, Dr. de la Teja joined members and other guests in enjoying the generous and tasty buffet luncheon. Guests included five members of Las Comadres, an informal internet-based group that exists to build connections and community with other Latinas. Branch members Nancy Myers and Anneliese Ellerton were the lucky recipients of movie ticket door prizes provided by President Garcia.