What has your City become?

I’m not born or raised in San Benito. I’ve only been to your City a few times visiting my Mom and Dad wintering here in your City from my home town up North.

On my visits to see them, I stayed with them in their park.

We stayed in their park most of the time staying involved in their park activities.

We went to Progresso a few times for a neat visit into another Country. I’ve never been to Mexico before, what a neat tourist city.

We didn’t go out to the local restaurants for meals, Mom either cooked or we ate at the park.When I asked if we can go out to eat, Mom said she had supper prepared, we don’t need to go out.

I rode my motorcycle down here and Dad told me to lock it up and chain it to the post when I’m not riding it.

That was strange to me but I did what Dad said. As I left to ride home, I marveled at the beauty of this little town from the interstate.

It was cool to see Freddy Fender’s name and picture on the water tower in town.

I didn’t know he was from here. Neither did Mom and Dad. Now it’s my turn to winter away from the cold North.

I chose San Benito because Mom and Dad liked the park they were in. Dad’s gone now, and Mom’s losing her health, rendering her unable to winter in San Benito. She stays home now for her doctors.

I’m wintering here by myself this year in a park like Mom and Dad was in. Unlike them, I go to town for a few meals, shop and buy needed things, and even go to a few bars here in town.

It all makes sense to me now why Mom and Dad didn’t go out of their park for anything, why I was told to lock up the motorcycle, why they stayed happy in a secure park.

In my adventures traveling around San Benito, the first thing I noticed and hated was no one spoke English in San Benito.

Not even the two American looking blond haired blue eyed men in front of the post office. They were talking to each other in Spanish.

As I went to the stores in town I experienced the same thing.

The American-looking lady behind the counter at the gas station greeted me in Spanish and I looked at her with a blank face (I don’t know Spanish). She went to perfect English when she figured out I couldn’t understand her.

At the grocery store, I know what a chicken looks like but that’s not what the sign in front of it in the cooler read.

I don’t know how to read Spanish but if I could, it probably read chicken. I respect that you receive a lot of revenue from Mexico and their Citizens, and that they come to San Benito to shop, sell, eat, and entertain.

I somewhat understand that it would be important to speak and understand Spanish to provide for the Mexicans if it’s necessary for your business.

I even understand that your neighbor might be from Mexico living in your city not knowing English. I’m guessing this has been a Spanish speaking town for a long time.

I understand your desire to know Spanish, but Americans in your city should communicate to each other in English.

The Mexicans are more comfortable here than the Americans, especially American visitors.

The Americans in this city have picked up Spanish and made it their language of the city. I don’t even feel like I’m in America when I go to stores, bars, hardware stores, and restaurants.

I can’t read some of the signs in town or some of the advertisements in the local newspaper. Even some television commercials end with a Spanish phrase I don’t understand.

I’m not comfortable in your city. I don’t know Spanish nor do I want to learn it.

I can’t make friends with your local citizens. I can’ t understand anybody.

It’s not the correct answer for me to learn Spanish, the correct answer is speak English in your American city.

Let the Mexicans be the visitors. I’ll learn Spanish if I need to know it. I don’t need to know it.

I’ll be looking for a different city next winter when it’s time to winter down here.

I’ll find an English-speaking city somewhere here where it’s warm.

Joe Schlechtinger Hamilon, Ohio