The Texas Story Project.
“And there I was, in heels and a dress, pushing that old truck so he could try and turn it back on!”
Guadalupe and Gerald Fuentes were both born in San Antonio, Texas. Guadalupe, Lupe to her friends and family, was raised on the Southside of San Antonio. She lived with her mother and father who both had generations of Texans before them. Lupe had 8 brothers and sisters which meant there was never a dull moment in her household. Gerald's parents met in Devine, Texas and after divorcing later, moved to San Antonio to start a new life. Here, his mother met a man whom she fell in love with and started a family. On the Westside of town, Gerald grew up with 9 other siblings. Both appreciate their big families and strong bloodlines of proud Texans.
Lupe was a quiet, polite woman who would go dancing with her group of girlfriends. She recalls going to Mission County Park where she saw in front of her a group of boys who were there to enjoy the dance. In the group was an old friend Domingo Barbosa. As she looked over to say hello, another face met her gaze. Gerald’s eye had been caught by the beautiful, young Lupe. He walked over and asked her to dance. The two shared a dance together and soon after, Gerald asked for Lupe’s phone number. Lupe was not one to go out with a man like him. Gerald was very different from Lupe. He did not have much money and had a way with the ladies. He was social and liked by many. Lupe gave him her number still and the two parted ways.
Gerald got home and threw the number of his new interest into his dresser drawer along with many other knick-knacks. After months of not talking, Gerald decided to clean his drawer out. This is when Lupe’s number reappeared and the memories of Mission County park flooded his mind once again. Without hesitation, Gerald used the home phone to call Lupe. A few moments later, she answered the phone confused and interested. Gerald explained he had met her at the Mission County dance and wanted to know if she’d like to go out. Lupe explained that her friends were taking her dancing at the Las Vegas Nightclub on South Flores. Gerald explained he would meet her inside the club so they could see each other again.
The night had finally come and the two met at the nightclub. After dancing and enjoying their time together, Gerald asked if Lupe would want to grab something to eat some time. Lupe hesitantly agreed to go on their first date without friends around. At the time, Lupe worked at White Star Laundry. Gerald picked her up from work in his father’s old Rambler truck. The two went to get hamburgers from Summer’s drugstore, the local spot where young people would hang out. Lupe recalls acting like she had a small mouth. “I didn’t eat much at first when I was with him...but he didn’t know me yet!!” After the two finished eating together, Lupe needed to go back home. Gerald got in the truck and was met with the sound of an engine cranking.
He looked over at Lupe and hesitantly asked, “Do you mind getting out and pushing the truck?” Lupe recalls the event and asks herself how Gerald had such nerve to ask her something like this. “And there I was, in heels and a dress, pushing that old truck so he could try and turn it back on!” During the interview the two looked at each other and laughed lovingly. The memories of their first date brought them happiness and reason to be thankful.
April of 2019 marked their 50th anniversary where the happy couple celebrated with their 5 children and 15 grandchildren. They still recall times when they were younger and people doubted their relationship. Now, they will be having their third wedding ceremony. Gerald and Lupe were polar opposites, but to this day, complement each other in all the best ways. “Sometimes God gives you want you need, not what you think you want.”
Eden Ramos, born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, is currently a freshman at St. Mary’s University. She will be studying Entreprenuership and Innovation in order to pursue a career as a corporate attorney.
Posted September 17, 2019