A GRAND TRIBUTE TO
MRS. ESTELA ZAMORA KRAMER
BY DR. NEO GUTIERREZ
IN LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
I first met Mrs. Estela Zamora Kramer when I started my teaching career at age 19 as an English/journalism teacher at Christen Jr. High School in Laredo, Texas. Mrs. Kramer was head of the school’s Physical Education Dept., and she made arrangements for me to teach a modern jazz dance class at Christen during my conference period. Because of that assignment, I became the first local male dance teacher in Laredo history. I also taught dance at the Galo Dance Studio in Laredo. And I can never forget that Julia Vera, a 9th grader at Christen, was one of my dance students. She, of course, went on to make show business history with her acting career in Hollywood, where she still works now.
As we honor the memory of dear friend Mrs. Estela Zamora Kramer today, I have to explain to you what I feel. I really believe she is in heaven, and from there, she is still watching over all of us, and our well-being.
We will continue now with a tribute by Mrs. Cynthia Haynes Ramirez, then we’ll glance at the article in the ever wonderful Laredo Morning Times. At the very end of this entire message, be sure and click and watch the video of The Golden Spurs performance at Laredo’s Shirley Field in November 2016.
In lieu of flowers family is asking for donations to Estela Kramer memorial Scholsrship fund st Texas A&M International universit
Estela Zamora Kramer
BY CYNTHIA HAYNES RAMIREZ
In 1963, then LISD Superintendent J.W. Nixon, Christen Jr. High Principal, Vidal M. Trevino, Lamar Jr. High Principal, W. E. Lockey who would become the first principal at the new high school met with Mrs.Estela Zamora Kramer to request her help in being a part of establishing the new school being built at 2000 Plum St.
Because of her knowledge in dance, swim and physical education she would be needed to head and develop the physical education department at J.W. Nixon High.
Mrs. Kramer accepted the commission and the rest is history but let’s take that journey that began in 1964.
Many people helped to create what this new dance team would wear – Neo Gutierrez, Connie Kazen, Sam Zamora, and Martin Barrera are a few who made recommendations and shared their ideas which would become the Golden Spurs.
The name came from the spurs on the boots which was suggested by Mrs. Kramer’s brother Zam Zamora who as a student at Texas A&M University had seen the Aggie Corps and cadets wear spurs on their boots.
So began the J.W. Nixon High School Golden Spurs who would become locally, nationally and internationally known. They became the Ambassadors of Goodwill for Nixon High School and their community setting a precedent for the local and surrounding area high schools.
Another task Mrs. Kramer was commissioned for was to develop the physical education program at Nixon High She had a vision for this and so began a life time sports program which included tennis, archery, swimming, bowling, folk dancing and of course the required physical skills as part of the PE Curriculum.
She, along with the Women’s City Club members like Barbara Kazen and Frances Villarreal organized the first female track meet in Laredo held at Shirley Stadium in 1965. All this, years before Title IX which gave females the same athletic opportunities as males.
As a young girl of 16 Mrs. Kramer was the first female to teach swimming at the Laredo Boys Club under the direction of Fernando Pena and it was then that she began to put on water pageants with her students. This program continued with the opening of the Webb County Swimming Pool with the help of then Webb County Judge Roberto Benavides. The community looked forward to these shows as it was something different and new in Laredo.
The Spurs began their national travel schedule when Richard Nixon, running for President in 1972 came to campaign in Laredo and was so impressed with the Golden Spurs , that he personally invited then Golden Spurs Marshal Pam Rodriguez Juarez and the Golden Spurs to come to his inaugural parade. Well he was elected and off to Washington D.C. for the Spurs with the help of Billy Hall and then US Representative Chick Kazen.
Hollywood here they come! The Golden Spurs became stars as they participated in a Cultural Exchange with the students at Beverly Hills High School thanks toDr. Neo Gutierrez,former Laredoan who taught at Beverly Hills High School for 32 years.They also performed at Disneyland’s 25th anniversary and at the famous LA Dodger Stadium.
The Golden Spurs then continued their travels all over Mexico performing in Mexico City, Monterrey, Vera Cruz, Guanajuato, Tampico. They especially enjoyed being invited by Raul Velasco to perform on Siempre en Domingo the most popular Variety Show in Mexico at the time. Eva Garza, Luz Martinez, Pitin Guajardo, Bill Haynes, and Adrian Martinez were among those representing Laredo along with the Spurs.
A memorable event was the Spurs performance at the Juegos Classicos in Mexico City where the venue held 110 thousand spectators. Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys made reference to that event by saying it was the only venue to hold so many people other than his new football stadium.
Spurs go north to Canada where they performed at the World Soccer Championship between Canada and Italy. No other dance team in Laredo or the surrounding area can match or exceed this fabulous journey that 2,500 Golden Spurs have travelled since the beginning in 1964.
Laredo ISD would open a new high school in 1983 and Mrs. Kramer would once again be commissioned to create a new dance team. So off to Cigarroa High School she would go to develop the Silver Roses dance team. A team that would bring great pride to the new school in south Laredo.
To Mrs. Kramer and the many people who supported and had a part on this journey, THANK YOU!!!
Mrs. Kramer you indeed touched many lives and you see the fruits of your labor everyday as former Golden Spurs and Silver Roses who are successful in many areas continue to be in your life.
One word is not enough to describe you.
Visionary because you were always a step ahead and original so your list of firsts is long and amazing.
Pride – you instilled in your Spurs to be proud of who they are and pride in their school and community.
ESTELA ZAMORA KRAMER
This YouTube video shows the costumed Nixon High School Golden Spurs in performance at Shirley Field in Nov. 2016.