Sunday Speaker Series program to be held at 2 p.m. on June 22, 2014
The Museum of South Texas History welcomes back author and former Rio Grande Valley (RGV or Valley) resident Angélica Reyna-Bland, as she presents a revised version of her 2006 book “Last Ride on the Ferry: My life as a migrant worker 1940’s” at 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 22. Writing under her pen name Angélica Reyna, Bland has re-released “Last Ride on the Ferry” as a non-fiction memoir of the multigenerational Reyna family that now includes the names of her seven siblings and more family stories. Attendees will be able to meet the author during a book signing where copies of “Last Ride on the Ferry” will be available for purchase in the Museum Store.
The final wish of Bland’s father, Severo Reyna, was to be buried in his hometown of San Miguel Camargo, Tamaulipas, Mexico by way of the Los Ebanos Ferry. After his wish was fulfilled in 2003, Bland, in reflecting on her childhood, was in awe of the life her father provided the Reyna family and the life she led as a migrant worker in the 1940s and 1950s. A self-taught man, including reading, Reyna, his wife and eight children traveled, camped and worked with braceros (Mexican National temporary agricultural laborers) harvesting cotton from Lubbock, Texas to Arkansas, to the lower RGV and several other states. Bland shares her family’s stories, starting with the impact of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and ending with Reyna’s last ride on the ferry.
After obtaining her siblings’ approval, Bland’s newest book can at last reveal the true story of a father that provided and cared for his family the only way he could. “Last Ride on the Ferry” is dedicated to the memory of a father who taught his children to have respect for each other, to be proud of being American and to be proud of their blended heritage. This Sunday Speaker Series presentation by Bland is included in the fee for regular museum admission. As a participating museum in Blue Star Museums, all active duty military personnel and up to five family members receive free admission. FRIENDS of the museum are admitted free as a benefit of FRIENDship.
About Angélica Reyna-Bland
Born in Mercedes, Texas, Angélica Reyna-Bland is the third oldest of eight siblings born to a Mexican National father and an American mother. Growing up as a traveling migrant worker, receiving a steady education was a challenge. Despite not having a formal education, Bland has achieved much through a career that included providing quality control in factories, selling residential real estate and owning and operating her own beauty salon. Today, Bland resides in Indiana where she is surrounded by children and grandchildren. Bland still visits family in the RGV at least once a year.