I am always amazed when a complete stranger approaches me and immediately speaks to me in Spanish! When I was in Arizona, I was pumping gas and someone asked me for help with the gas pump in Spanish. My sons were surprised that this person knew that I spoke Spanish. This happened again in the mall in Phoenix. A woman approached me to sell me a nail product by greeting me and introducing herself in Spanish. We spoke Spanish during the entire demonstration. My friend was surprised not only that she addressed me in Spanish, but also that I spoke Spanish so well. (After all, I do teach college Spanish!) My non-hispanic friends are shocked to learn that I know Spanish. I suppose that’s the only way I’ll shock anyone.
Last night I went to a Fourth of July celebration in Phoenix, Arizona. Most of the spectators were of Mexican descent. There were also a few whites and Native Americans, but most of the people were minorities in this sea of humanity. There were several stages were a variety of current music was played. We sat by a stage that featured two bands that covered American Pop songs. As I listened to the bands, I read a newspaper in Spanish, La Voz. No one criticized me for reading a Spanish-language newspaper. I loved the bands, even the one that covered Metallica. The crowd applauded all the bands equally. People were even dancing in front of the stage, although there was no mosh pit. Some spectators were actually singing along to many songs. This was truly an American event, despite the ethnic appearance of the spectators. Thousands of Americans came out to celebrate America’s birthday. I brought my sons to this celebration to instill the importance of patriotism to the USA. You could feel American pride throughout the crowd. We were all proud to be Americans!