Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Cactus on my Forehead

I have recently had the pleasure of getting to have two brief conversations with the author of,The Cactus on my Forehead. When I saw on my Facebook that our local book store was having a book signing with an author that had grown up in Grandfalls, Texas, I determined that I had to find out if she was related to my husband and his side of the family in some way. When I got to talk with her, I learned that she does not believe that she is a relative, but that her best friend as a teenager was either my husband's great grandmother or aunt. Today, she is having another book signing at a local restaurant, so my husband got a chance to meet and talk with her himself. After some discussion, it turns out that the author could be a distant cousin, but no one is sure at this point. The Cactus on my Forehead turns out to have been a once often used derogatory term to describe mixed race people in Mexico. Ms. De Laurie told me that she first heard this phrase while in a nail salon, and that it piqued her curiosity. She found out what it meant, and determined that this should be the focus and title of her book. The book is very historical and very enlightening in nature. I just finished reading the first chapter out loud the Four Princesses and have already had some "Aha!" moments about the Hispanic and Native American culture of this area and why things are the way that they are. On the back cover of her book, it is written, "Family cultural practices, ethnic traditions and social rules serve as a mold of who we are, and also create those curious details that determine the identity of an ethnic group."--Javier Arreygue Ruiz, M.A. CC&B Ed. If you get a chance to meet Mrs. De Laurie at one of her book signings, or get a chance to read her book, you will feel very blessed to be able to learn some aspects of history that don't always appear in textbooks or classroom lectures. Also, she tells about how she traced her family history and about the resources that enabled her to do such a great job.

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