Grassroots Network of the Republican Party of Virginia

Photo: Maureen McDonnell's father, Frank Gardner discussing the race for Governor in VA with Eduardo Verastegui, an actor, activist and Bob McDonnell supporter.

We have been honored to have Maureen McDonnell's father, Frank Gardner attend many of our Hispanic Outreach events. My Gardner was stationed in Mexico for 6 years with the State Department, which has given him a deep understanding and respect for a variety of cultures. In addition to stumping for our next Governor, Bob McDonnell, Mr. Gardner spends his time writing poetry and singing. Here is a poem he wrote about leaving his friends in Mexico:

Mexico Farewell

Six years we've lived in Mexico,
And now it's time to go.
We're headed back to Washington,
Where winter brings the snow.

The winters here are warmer, though;
In Juarez it was dry.
Sonora baked in sunlight,
Under blue and open sky.

But, if we wanted weather,
Well, we'd not have made a bet
That New Laredo was a place
To be so drippy wet.

Aside from weather, there are
Many things to talk about:
That we have learned your 'espanol, '
We don't think you would doubt.

We like your food; we like your songs;
We like your dances, too.
Your culture has rubbed off on us,
The way good cultures do.

We'll take all these things home with us,
And use them when we can;
And tell them tales of Mexico,
Its people, and its land.

The people and the land,
Oh, how inseparable they are.
The people's love of 'patria'
Is like a shining star.

Of all the things we think about,
As our time here now ends,
The things we cherish most of all
Are having you as friends.

To Mexico, a fond farewell.
To friends, our gratitude,
For making these six years with you
A pleasant interlude.

(Recited to friends at a farewell dinner,
'La comida de despedida, ' June 24,1972,
Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico.)

Frank Gardner

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