I remember---Spanish swirled in my head first; then
it quickly danced out of my mouth. Silly me, I thought everyone in the world spoke Spanish! English was a stranger while Spanish was my best friend. 
I remember---My Nana, Chela singing: Pon Pon, Un Guzanito, Los Maderos, and Ilitos de Oro, Brinca la Tablita! Chela, my storyteller played a movie in my mind recounting Aladino y su Majica Lampara over and over until I fell asleep.
 
Yo recuerdo--- Mis vecinas, Lupe, Lala and Gela communicated with me only in Spanish—as we exchanged our chats through the chain link fence which separated our frame homes.
Yo recuerdo--- All my barrio friends had been “born in Spanish” like me. Our family piñatas and weekend barbecues were flavored in Spanish. Chicles Totitos, cacahuates, tamaridos, las Glorias, dulces de leche con nuez, and galletas Marias y los ganzitos, and cocadas filled our pansitas.
Yo recuerdo--- My Riverside barrio booming Spanish conjunto, polka and accordion music serenading daily.
Now the Spanish barrio no longer exists, only in my mind it is found…gone forever, gone to heaven are the people who opened the gates of creativity in my childhood days. I want to escape to that happy place but it is gone forever!
Dr. Melba Salazar Lucio taught high school English for over 35 years, currently teaches full time writing and literature at Texas Southmost College and enjoys living near the beach. She likes traveling in Mexico and Europe too. Dr. Lucio has been married almost 40 years with the love of her life and knight in shining armor, Juan David Liendo Lucio; together they have 3 children and 3.5 grandchildren. Writing is one of her passions!
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