Valley native Carmen Treviño Moreno has written a heart-warming account of growing up during the 50s and 60s in the barrio of Pharr, titled “Journey To The Aisle.”
The author will be in McAllen Saturday for a book talk and signing from 2 to 4 p.m. at Barnes & Noble on North 10th Street in McAllen.
Moreno’s writing paints vivid pictures of the Valley that will resonate for many long-time residents and provide a broader perspective on the culture for newcomers and younger generations.
This passage from the opening paragraphs of the work set the tone for the introspective work:
I lived in the same home on the 200 block of West Hawk Street just a block west of the Old Military HIghway 281 going south in Pharr, Texas, until my wedding day. All the wood-frame homes resonated with people completely oblivious to the existence of a larger world breathing outside this geographical area. They exhibited their small multicolored flower gardens every spring with great pride and dignity. The flowers cared for meticulously were destined for our Blessed Virgin Mary to enjoy as an offering during her month of May. Every inch of land produced an array of color for our eyes to enjoy or nourishment for our bodies.
Moreno takes us on a journey from childhood, with much background on how her family immigrated to the U.S., through her marriage to Juan Moreno after earning a bachelor’s degree and beginning a teaching career.
The author candidly relates the difficulties and frustrations of adhering to her very traditional family’s expectations and unwritten rules. Particularly touching are the story of her courtship and preparation for marriage while dealing with the strictures of her very-protective father, Loreto G. Treviño.
Memories of attending St. Margaret’s Catholic School in Pharr and being taught by the Irish Sisters of the Holy Ghost nuns will stir many memories for readers who were schooled in the parochial system. Moreno also covers the transition to public school, graduating from PSJA High, and then pursuing a degree from Pan American College in Edinburg.
Although Moreno’s story ends with her marriage on August 7, 1966, she went on to earn a master’s degree in 1985 from the University of Houston at Clear Lake and still lives in the Houston area. After having four children and spending 12 years at home as a wife and mother, she returned to a career in education.
After teaching home economics, English and Spanish, she became an administrator at several school districts around the state. She is presently serving as chairman of the board for Region IV Education Service Center, secretary of the United Way Bay Area Advisory Committee and vice president of the Texas Association of Education Service Centers.
The book, Journey to the Aisle … A Story of Cultural Expectations was published by Xlibris on May 10, 2010. It is available in paperback ($19.99; 153 pages), hardback ($29.99) and eBook ($9.99).
— Brad Nibert