So after the wonderful and emotional Memorial Day reflection at the Gonzales Cemetery, I wanted to write a little story about how the chief of police, Officer Cesar Castillo and all the Explorer scouts helped out with the honor guard. That’s what I wanted to do, but The Tribune came out with such a great story it might have seemed excessive. Although I don’t know how too much could be said of these volunteers. However, there was another to be recognized for the singing of the “Star Spangled Banner.” I really don’t like it very much when the singer decides to put all sort of vibratos, riffs and even scatting sometimes. The song is our National Anthem and I think it should be sang the way it was written, even if it was originally a drinking song sung in taverns before the Revolutionary War.
On this occasion, this Memorial Day it was sung with emotion, depth and absolutely perfect. Who was this diminutive young lady of 11 that sang with the confidence of a professional? Her name is Barbra Ann Wagner. I spoke with Barbra Ann the other night. She had been busy that day singing at another American Legion occasion. Personally I’m pretty happy she took the time to come to the memorial service at Gonzales Cemetery.
Barbra Ann has been singing since she was 3. I think I could ask for a cookie by the time I was 3. Barbra attends Fairview and I first noticed her at the play “Annie,” which was presented at Gonzales High. I thought she was one of the standout singers of that show and there were a lot of fine singers in that play. The thing about Barbra and the spirituality of her father Robert and mother Raeann is plain to see. You have to know that Barbra was really a miracle baby. I asked Robert about this. It seems Robert and Raeann have been married before. (Obviously not to soulmates.) I know this because every time you see Robert and Raeann together you can see the love that holds them together. Raeann has Multiple Sclerosis. She had contracted the disease before she and Robert were married.
As time went by, about 10 years, Robert and Raeann got to talking about having a baby. I should probably tell you that during Raeann’s second marriage she decided that she didn’t want to bring a child into the environment that she was living in at that time. It seemed like a dream to think you could undo such a delicate surgery. However, neither Robert nor Raeann were rich enough to get it done here in the United States. But they were also not willing to accept the status quo. Thanks to friends and the internet, Robert found the name of a doctor in Rio Bravo, Mexico, that came with all the correct credentials. He was thoroughly checked out by Robert. He and Raeann took a little trip south. Out of that trip a miracle appeared, Barbra Ann. Like you, I think all children are miracles, but there are some that have a little more emphasis than others. So, here is Barbra Ann, sent here to allow us to remember that miracles do happen and she has brought a special gift, the sound of singing. Once heard, you will agree that miracle is not too strong a word.