Ay Ay Ay Ay! The Preserve welcomes back Snowbirds

Ann Lange

The Preserve homebirds rolled in those muggy, buggy, f’ugly days of summer and rolled out the welcome mat for the snowbirds on October 22 to celebrate their migration back to The SaddleBrooke Senior Playground. One hundred and seven old birds, sporting at least 50 shades of grey, got some good hobnob and hugging goin’ on at The Preserve’s annual Welcome Back Party. The snowbirds shared summer stories about their family and travels and the homebirds bragged about their newly acquired field of expertise – entomology – and their massively expanded display collections. Bartenders Colleen and Christina took good care of the flock during all the wing flapping and feather fluffing before sitting down to a fiesta prepared by Chef Alan and Sous Chef Cody. When servers Barbara, Brett and Sharon presented generous plates of green salad, chicken enchiladas, rice and beans, not a one ate like a bird. Muchas Gracias MountainView Bistro team! Muy Buena comida!

With the well-fed gang all here, it was time to roll out the entertainment with the back-by-popular-demand Mariachi Aztlán de Pueblo High School Singers. The Mariachi Aztlán plays traditional Mariachi music, but in honor of Oktoberfest they made the Bistro come alive like never before with a rockin’ rendition of Roll Out the Barrel. Zing boom tararrel! You should have seen how fast the hearing aids were turned up full blast, the canes were tossed aside and the hand clappin,’ toe tappin’ and knee slappin’ started. The magical music of the Mariachi Aztlán made the SaddleBrooke Seniors young again. They frolicked and danced and onlookers are still wondering, “Who let the seniors out? Why are they making such a racket? And why are they up so late?”

Ay Ay Ay Ay Cielito Lindo is one of the most popular Mariachi songs and, loosely translated, means Lovely Sweet One. The Mariachi Aztlán has endeared The Preserve for almost 10 years. We have seen the maturation of many of these outstanding individuals, as well as the evolution of the group. The school was founded in 1992 by Richard Carranza and today there are over 120 high school musicians, ages 14 to 18, who practice extensively and maintain a high academic level. Director John Contreras arranges and conducts the group which promotes authentic Mariachi music dating back to the 18th century in western Mexico. What a remarkable example of young people today who have a vision and purpose and proudly preserve their cultural heritage. Dressed in elaborate, embroidered traje de charro outfits, the singers included solos, duets and trios in the performance, accompanied by their violins, trumpet, harp, guitarrón and vihuela. Singer Destiny Olea led the group and each of the 15 talented, poised, engaging singers made their own introduction, gave their age and described their instrument and musical experience. Following their spectacular performance, Bonnie Barazani, social chairman for The Preserve and organizer of the party, passed around the pot so we could further appreciate our Cielitos Lindos. Community support, neighborly camaraderie and always a barrel of fun – that’s the SaddleBrooke way!