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Series Part Two: Hispanic Culture in San Angelo

San Angelo, TX - "My dad was a not a perfect man but he was a good man. His setbacks in life are what set him apart. The years he put into building our restaurant, the hours of labor, the days he spent working so hard were not for himself."

Our restaurant is the original Henry's - one of the many Mexican restaurants in San Angelo.

May 22nd is the anniversary of founder Henry Hogeda's passing in 2017.

After Hogeda had opened several locations since its opening in 1973, it now stands on Sherwood Way continuing to keep Hispanic culture alive.

"He has been my boss, my mentor, my teacher, my best friend," Henry Hogeda Jr. reads a poem he wrote about his dad.

Henry Jr. says he has been in the Henry's building all of his life along with his father, founder and mother Ofelia, and two sisters.

He, Ofelia, his sister Rosa, and the rest of the employees are working to carry what Henry Sr. left behind.


"We've kept that tradition alive, we've tried our best ..we want to honor him and provide service and great food and a clean atmosphere for everyone in honor of Henry Sr. and we're really proud of that," says Dough Lawhon, general manager of Henry's.

Along with the atmosphere comes the Hispanic heritage that is seen when you enter Henry's.


"In my family we always get together, laugh and joke and everything and that's the atmosphere we have here. Everybody comes in and Henry's is a place known for get togethers and have fun and enjoy each other's company as a big family. That's a big part of Hispanic heritage, the great food of course," employee Jason Asevedo explains.

Mexican food.

"Comida la muy bueno y a la gente le gusta!" (The food is very good and people like it) says Maria Keen, an employee of over 20 years.

People do seem to love it, including Ashley Sutor who grew up in Montana.

 

"I don't know I just really appreciate it for what it is you know like Mexican food is awesome. It's always been like my favorite type of food. The flavors are great and just like the people in Mexican culture the people are very tight-knit, they'll do anything for you so it's a nice tie together all in one," Sutor explains.

"I carry this with me now so that his legacy will forever live on..." Henry Jr. continues.

This is San Angelo's own mariachi.

Third generation mariachi musician Rosendo Ramos is the director for both Lakeview High School and Lincoln Middle School


"We have a lot of momentum going for us right now and I'm very proud of the program, I'm very proud of my students," Ramos exclaims.

The group has been spending plenty of time performing for the community since its formation just a few years ago.

"People of all races, people of backgrounds come out and enjoy our music," adds Ramos.

Because the music symbolizes a lot of things - especially for Ramos who was born in Acuna, Mexico - as well as the listeners and performers.

"I didn't understand it then but I understand it now - how powerful it is, the beauty of the culture and how we live through it and so I think it's really important at the kids get to see it because I know a lot of them associate that as well with either their parents or their grandparents," Ramos says.

In times like this...

"Where there's things going on around us where people are becoming divided or there's some division going on I think this can really bring us together and help us," explains Ramos.

Two main points: We are all created equal and never forget your roots.



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