Letter to the Editor,
Midnight Mice at the Museum
Memo, the Mexican Mouse and Norton, el Ratón Norteamericano arrive in downtown Del Rio at the Whitehead Museum just in time; because at the midnight hour the International Chapel tower bell rings and everyone comes to life until the chapel tower bell rings again at 6:00 a.m. when everyone returns to their respective stations at the museum.
Memo and Norton had always heard about life at the Whitehead Museum, but this is the first time that they were actually going to be part of the rollicking, frolicking, all around good time antics coming to life at the Whitehead Museum.
Memo and Norton are awe struck and astonished as they see that Lillie Langtry elegantly dressed gets off the Southern Pacific Railroad caboose and is greeted by Seminole Army Scouts who escort her to her cabin.
Then they see Judge Roy Bean comes knocking at the door and escorts Lillie Langtry to the Jersey Lilly Saloon where she is the belle of the ball, or in this case, the belle of the saloon.
Everyone is at the Jersey Lilly Saloon having a heck of a rip-roaring good time; there’s a piano player, dancing girls, cowboys and Indians drinking at the bar, men playing poker and there’s even a bar fight taking place.
Before long, Judge Roy Bean quiets the crowd to make an important announcement; he gets down on one knee and proposes to Lillie Langtry, she says yes and the entire saloon is hooting and hollering with excitement.
It’s getting close to 6:00 a.m. and everyone rushes over to the chapel. Judge Roy Bean and Lillie Langtry are married. There’s an outdoor reception with Wolfman Jack deejaying and spinning rock and roll and rhythm and blues records and everyone is dancing and having a grand ole time.
Memo and Norton can’t believe what they’re seeing and hearing; this is a funfest of sights and sounds. But then the 6:00 a.m. chapel tower bell rings and everyone goes back to their appointed place and silence and stillness once again descends upon the Whitehead Museum.
Memo and Norton happily depart, hoping to make the trip another time to see and hear what awaits them on their next midnight visit to the museum. Wow, do they ever have quite a story to tell those back home about their most awesome adventure, where Val Verde County history comes alive every night.
“Anyone’s life truly lived consists of work, sunshine, exercise, soap, plenty of fresh air, and a happy contented spirit” – Lillie Langtry
Marian Casillas, Ed.D.