Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Ernest Hooper: Marriage proposal makes powerful statement for cherishing cultural traditions

In nearly 30 years of frequenting area watering holes, I thought I had seen it all — until Friday night.

I met a friend on the patio at Miguelito's on Kennedy Boulevard. Shortly afterward, about a dozen Hispanic women in a celebratory mood sat at a table behind us.

Moments later, a mariachi band (Mariachi Tampa) strolled in. "Cool. Entertainment," I thought.

But at the back of the line was a young man, not in the band but dressed in a black Mariachi charro, and as he approached the table, everyone stepped back — except for one woman.

Clearly surprised, she stood and greeted the man and they shared a long embrace. Then he began to serenade her. She wiped back tears. He wiped back tears.

As the band played another song, he dropped to one knee, pulled out a ring and proposed. She said yes. Everyone applauded, even the servers.

Some people can only see the immigrant experience in terms of assimilation, of leaving native traditions behind. But to experience the beauty and emotion of this proposal left me in awe.

When the tenderness and emotion of such events remain part of our cultural tapestry, it undoubtedly makes us a better nation. Hold on to them.

Seen on a bumper sticker: Hate Is Easy. Love Takes Courage. . . .

Moms Demand Action Against Gun Violence holds a 7 p.m. meeting Wednesday at the Portico, 1001 N Florida Ave., in downtown Tampa. It will focus on helping children deal with gun violence. . . .

Music, Halloween festivities, a bloody mary toast, but I only needed to hear seafood to put the John's Pass Seafood and Music Festival on my radar. It runs Oct. 26-29. I just might be "sick" on that Thursday.

That's all I'm saying.

Ernest Hooper: Marriage proposal makes powerful statement for cherishing cultural traditions 10/09/17 [Last modified: Sunday, October 8, 2017 6:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. It's time for the Dodgers to be back in the World Series


    It’s hard to believe that it’s been 29 years since the Los Angeles Dodgers made the World Series. That’s far too long. I still remember being at Chavez Ravine for the 1988 World Series, watching Kirk Gibson homer into the right field stands to beat the Oakland A’s in Game 1.

    Been a long …

    The Los Angeles Dodgers congratulate each other after beating the Chicago Cubs in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series
  2. Nikita Kucherov's start something to see


    Yes, the Lightning lost in a shootout at New Jersey on Tuesday night, blowing a 4-3 lead late in the game.

    Nikita Kucherov is on quite a roll
  3. Nebraska man accused of helping Florida girlfriend kill self said he thought she had terminal cancer

    Human Interest

    LINCOLN, Neb. -- Investigators say a Nebraska man facing an assisted suicide charge in his Florida girlfriend's death believed she had stage-four cancer, but an autopsy didn't find any tumors.

    Matthew J. Stubbendieck, of Weeping Water, Neb., faces an assisted suicide charge after authorities say he helped his girlfriend, Alicia Wilemon-Sullivan of Orange City, Florida., kill herself in the woods near Weeping Water in early August. [Case County (Neb.) Jail via AP]
  4. Tampa's Lance McCullers Jr. knows this stage - and this feeling


    He has been on this stage before, two postseasons ago.

    And he knows this feeling, too.

    Houston Astros pitcher acknowledges the crowd as he leaves Game 4 of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium
  5. Agreement means Spectrum won't lose Viacom programming


    Less than a week after disputes between two cable industry conglomerates became public, the two companies have reached an agreement.

    Viacom and Charter Communications released a joint statement that the companies reached an agreement in principle. Charter also markets itself as Spectrum. [AP file photo]