MEET RAUL FLORES, JR. : POET, ARCHITECT, FAMILY MAN

BY DR. NEO GUTIERREZ
JUNE  2018
Raul Flores, Jr.,  was in my 9th grade English class at Christen Jr. High School in Laredo in 1957, when I was 21 years old, and he was 14.  Below you can read one of his poems, about Zapata, Texas, where he lived as a kid. But he was born in Laredo,  where he returned as a teen  to live in order to go to school. He writes about being in my English class as an enjoyable task, and he is thankful I was his teacher. Enjoy his poem below,  learn all about his education for his professional work, as well as his family endeavors.

Once Upon a time

Once upon a time I thought I knew

That the world was fresh and new

The pleasant fragrance of the summer rain

And the beautiful rainbow were proof again

That those things of beauty would always remain

A part of my carefree and innocent life

But the times did change as the seasons did fly

The long northern winds made me cold

The short springs I did love

The extended summers I did cherish

As I played in the warm sun until its setting

Once upon a time I thought I knew

But the times changed as the winds again blew

Dust in my teeth dust in my hair

I so wish I was still there.

Raul Flores, Jr.

14 March 2016

Raul was born in Laredo in 1943 and grew up in both Old Zapata and the new town.  He went in elementary schools in Zapata, and moved with the family to Laredo in 1957. Attended one year at L.J. Christen Jr. High and graduated from Martin High School in 1961. Graduated from Texas AM University in 1966 with a degree in architecture.  Joined the USAF and was discharged honorably in 1970.  He worked with the City of Laredo and established the City’s first Building Department from 1975 to 1979.  From 1979 to 1999 worked as V.P. of construction for Armadillo Homes.  After returning to work for the city’s Planning Dept, he retired in 2004 and moved to Houston.  He now spends lots of time with his four grandkids, attends many Houston Astros baseball games, reads a lot, and writes as much as time allows.

(Note:  This poem is based on his memories of the new town of Zapata, barren of trees–lots of caliche dust blowing onto everyone’s  faces and  teeth, and with lots of time riding  bicycles all around town to sandlot baseball games, all in the hot
sun .)

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