FORT WORTH, TEJAS – Cinco de Mayo was last night, and numerous celebrants were out in force to mark the victory of Mexican troops versus French forces at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. That war started when the Mexicans borrowed a ton of money from a bunch of Europeans and didnâ€™t pay it back. Everyone settled except the French who, being French, invaded.
Itâ€™s a kind of weird holiday, since the Mexicans may have won the battle but lost the war, and the French ended up installing a puppet Emperor to run the short lived Second Mexican Empire. But entirely appropriate to celebrate here in Tejas since we, after all, stole the state from emâ€™ fair and square back in 1836.
So, after munching down on grilled red fish and gulf oysters at La Tortilandia on Berry Street, mucho tequila drinking with Mex Joe and Spanish Jerril ensued, with Ms. Louisiana and Jerril’s better half along for the ride. We figured we might as well enjoy the gulf seafood while it lasts… British Petroleum seems to be making sure that there will be a scarcity of it in the near future.
Uhhh… Houston??? We got a problem…
And no better place to munch out than La Tort, where the owner runs the bar, mama and his aunt are in the kitchen, and two of his daughters are serving the fria cervesa and frijoles. Kind of like a Mex version of the little Eye-talian joints back east.
But back to the drinkinâ€™. Celebrating the spirit of the whole night, we toasted the following with some hearty Cinco de Mayo cheer to some sporty Mexicans, Texans, and others:
The first toast went to Fernando Valenzuela. The crafty lefty out of Sonora created Fernadomania during his stellar rookie campaign back in ’81, and tied Carl Hubbleâ€™s All-Star game record by striking out five batters in a row in the ’86 All-Star game. Hip, hip Jose for El Toro.
Next came a toast to Speedy Gonzalez and his cousin, Slowpoke Rodriguez, whoâ€™ve been banned from the airwaves in the U.S. but remain popular in Mexico on Televisaâ€™s Canal 5, which is on here in Tejas in just about every cervesaria and taqueria in town. Go figure.
The third round went to Ranger Manager Ron Washington, who like fellow Texan Laura Bush, blew a little dope now and again. For personally doing your best to keep the narco thugs who rule Nueva Laredo in businessâ€¦ Ron, this shotâ€™s for you.
Wave nice George…mam’s gonna take care of ya’…
The next toast went to Mel Almada, the first Mexican to play baseball in Norte Americano MLB. Mel broke in with the Red Sox in ’33, and spent a nine-year career in the majors, hitting .285 and stealing 56 bases while toiling in the outfield. Ole, ole, ole, oleâ€¦â€¦
And hereâ€™s a toast to the Mexican Baseball Hall of Fame, located in Monterrey on the grounds of the CuauhtÃ©moc Montezuma Brewery, which also serves as its sponsor. Baseball and Beer; A match made in heaven.
A hearty hip hip also went to the Splendid Splinter, Ted Williams. Most people donâ€™t know it, but Williams maternal side was Mexicanâ€¦.he is related to Mexican Revolutionary General Pascual Orozco, who in turn shares descent from the Habsburg family of Europe, and is related to Maximilian I of Mexico. Betcha didnâ€™t know that.
Viva la Mexico! Viva la Tejas! Viva la USA!
Viva la Tequilaâ€¦it makes yer clothes fall offâ€¦
Time for a fria cervesa chaser and time to give Ms. Louisiana the keys… And then some more Cuervoâ€¦ Joe needs to stop annoying the waitress who is, after all, the owner’s daughter…
Different Matt, tomorrow.