LA BODA Los diás estaban hectic and filled with gaiety in

Los diás estaban hectic and filled with gaiety in anticipation of the impending
nuptials. Mujeres, en sus delantares blancos, largos y limpios, baking pasteles, desserts, and
cookies for days. Los hombres, were busy cleaning la yarda around the ranch house,
butchering a marrano or two y gallinas, partiendo leña for the old black ornate estufa, so
that las mujeres could continue their cooking and baking. El cuarto grande was emptied
and 'kalsamined' (painted) in preparation for the gran baile. En el medio del cuarto was an
old round black fogón that was taken out, leaving a round hole en el techo that was covered
with a piece of tin. Los entarimes were scrubbed with lye soap until they were bleached.
New linoleum was laid en la cocina to replace the old worn-out one.
Another big, oblong cuarto separaba the bedrooms y la cocina. Este cuarto era el
saguan, a room where people gathered, almost like a large living-dining room. En un rincon
they built a round, tiered table, covered con los mejores manteles que tenian, and then
decorated it with colorful streamers. This was el banquete that was filled with all the
goodies, fresh-squeezed orange juice, home-made cerveza, wine y otros tragos. A very large,
oblong mesa con new oil-cloth and long homemade bancos were set up next to el banquete
por la gran sena. We, los niños, were so worked up, we could hardly wait for the novios to
come. Getting in the adults way, nos corrian para afuera to play or kept us en un cuarto,
next to la cocina where they could keep an eye on us.
Antes de la gran boda era el pedimento, a ceremony of asking for the girl's hand in
marriage. Most of the time, a letter was written to the girl's parents. If she accepted, the
banns were read en la Iglesia the following three Sundays. If she refused, it was called
'darle las calabazas' and no marriage took place. After the banns were read in Church, en
el día antes del casorio, was the prendorio. It was usually a fiesta con un baile to introduce
the bride to the groom's family so they could meet each other antes de la boda and were
held at the bride's home.
En el diá del casorio, after the ceremony in Church, the wedding party marched to the
house and were met at the gate, about half a mile or more de la casa. Toda la gente lined up
behind los novios as two or three men pounded out La Marcha de Los Novios on their
guitaras y violines, leading the procession of the newlyweds, down the winding camino de
tierra hasta la casa. Los niños, dressed in our finest clothes, corrianos back and forth entre
los happy guests and the radiant couple, el novio en su dark suit y corbata and the blushing
novia in a long, white gown and trailing veil. Los musicos led them into the house, derecho a
la banqueta. Dinner was served to los novios y adultos, as we waited patiently. Era la
costumbre, entonces, for children to wait until all the adultos had eaten. La musica started
almost immediately. Hay mucho gusto to hear the beat of las guitaras y violines, making you
want to tap your toes. La risa, the aroma of food, the mingling of relatives y amigos, cerveza
y la musica alegre added to the magical moment.
La noche era para los adultos, the children were all gathered and taken upstairs. Los
escalónes were in one corner of the sala which had a puerta on the bottom that was kept
closed. Estaba una camalta alta, en un rincon, y colchones were spread out on the floor, one
covering the hole with the tin covering in the ceiling. Estaba una victrolia with big round
thick records, a dresser con un espejo, a stand con un pichel llena de agua and a basin to
wash your hands in. Tambien, un vacin abajo de la cama, in case we needed the restroom.
As the music played on downstairs, bailabanos and said versos imitating the adults.
After awhile we got bored, so, mudamos el colchon y la ojelata covering the hole and had a
birds-eye view of the dancers below. Estaban bailando valses, cutillos, La Varsoliana, cunas
and other popular dances. With all the loud music, laughter, dancing and drinking going
on, no se dieron cuenta de nosotros peeking and giggling from the hole they thought they
had covered up real good. We were having so much fun cuidando los bailadores go round
and round below us. Cuando...."Mira, ese hombre no tiene cabello en su cabeza," y "Alla va
No se fijaron, with all that sweat running down their brows, that we were taking
turns, escupiendolos on their bald heads, trying to see who could hit the target first. When
we did, we would quickly cover the hole and laugh our heads off. Nos esperabamos unos
cuantos minutos and uncover the hole again, spitting and throwing spit wads made from an
old catalago. Al fin, someone got wise and snuck upstairs to scold us. Pero todos nosotros
estabamos bien dormidos, piled one on top of the other on the mattress that covered the
hole. Que Angelitos! Oue niños tan buenos! We thought we had out-smarted the adults y
pensamos a jugar something else, before we really got caught.
Antes de que se cabara el baile, in the wee hours of the morning, they had la entrega.
Esta era cuando the novios were given advice about their obligations as a married couple
and received las bendiciones de sus padres y padrinos. After breakfast everyone left, talking
about the great time they had y donde va hacer la otra boda o baile.
Alfiria Casaus Salazar was born in 1935 and lived in Salt Creek. She attended Edison School, Keating
Junior High School and Central High School. She didn't graduate, but later completed a GED. She drove a
school bus, worked in a hospital dietary department, and acted as Boy Scout Den Mother for nine years. She
received the Dr. Frist Humanitarian Award from Parkview Medical Hospital in 1988, Outstanding Woman
of 1995 for Woman's History Month and an Up With Reading Community Award in 2000.
She has been a volunteer at the Pueblo City-County Library District since 1993, a founding member of
the Fray Angelico Chavez Chapter of the Genealogical Society of Hispanic America since about 1993, as well
as a member of two other Genealogy Societies in New Mexico.
Alfie and a neighbor founded the 'La Salle Road Ladies Club' in 1964 which sponsors the annual
children’s Halloween Party. She and her mother, now ninety, started a Family Reunion in 1997, meeting for
three days in the mountains every July.
She is married to Alfred Salazar (1953), has three children, Larry, Andrew and Phillip, seven
grandchildren and one great-grandson. She began her formal writing career as a member of a poetry group
called 'Las Compañeras.’ She enjoys writing, crafts, camping, crocheting, traveling, the mountains, Cripple
Creek, and visiting her sister in Denver. She describes herself as a people person and a hugger.