Monday, April 23, 2018
News Roundup

Ernest Hooper: Marriage proposal makes powerful statement for cherishing cultural traditions

In nearly 30 years of frequenting area watering holes, I thought I had seen it all — until Friday night.

I met a friend on the patio at Miguelito's on Kennedy Boulevard. Shortly afterward, about a dozen Hispanic women in a celebratory mood sat at a table behind us.

Moments later, a mariachi band (Mariachi Tampa) strolled in. "Cool. Entertainment," I thought.

But at the back of the line was a young man, not in the band but dressed in a black Mariachi charro, and as he approached the table, everyone stepped back — except for one woman.

Clearly surprised, she stood and greeted the man and they shared a long embrace. Then he began to serenade her. She wiped back tears. He wiped back tears.

As the band played another song, he dropped to one knee, pulled out a ring and proposed. She said yes. Everyone applauded, even the servers.

Some people can only see the immigrant experience in terms of assimilation, of leaving native traditions behind. But to experience the beauty and emotion of this proposal left me in awe.

When the tenderness and emotion of such events remain part of our cultural tapestry, it undoubtedly makes us a better nation. Hold on to them.

Seen on a bumper sticker: Hate Is Easy. Love Takes Courage. . . .

Moms Demand Action Against Gun Violence holds a 7 p.m. meeting Wednesday at the Portico, 1001 N Florida Ave., in downtown Tampa. It will focus on helping children deal with gun violence. . . .

Music, Halloween festivities, a bloody mary toast, but I only needed to hear seafood to put the John's Pass Seafood and Music Festival on my radar. It runs Oct. 26-29. I just might be "sick" on that Thursday.

That's all I'm saying.

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