Marfa woman celebrates 100th birthday Saturday
MARFA – Trinidad ‘Trine’ Morales turns 100 years old on Saturday, and the public is invited to her birthday celebration.
It’s at 7pm Saturday at the USO building in Marfa, and is potluck and BYOB.
When Trinidad Samaniego Morales was born on June 2, 1912 in Lajitas, the United States numbered 48; Alaska and Hawaii had yet to be granted statehood, and World War I was still two years away. Democratic challenger Woodrow Wilson won a landslide victory over Republican incumbent U.S. President William Howard Taft.
Here’s some background information on Mrs. Morales, compiled by her family:
Who were Trine’s parents and places of birth?
Antonio Samaniego and Flora Galindo, both of San Marcos, Mexico.
Who were Trine’s siblings, oldest to youngest?
Three sisters, and a brother, Mario Samaniego, Maria Rivera, Trine Morales, Antonia Ramirez, Lucia Galindo.
Generally speaking, what was Trine’s childhood like?
Trine’s childhood was “all work and no play.”
What are one of two stories that Trine remembers most clearly about her childhood?
The one story she remembers clearly is her father being killed by the Texas Rangers. Her mother did not like the Texas Rangers, not to mention being fearful of guns.
Trine remembers her mother marrying at the age of 12 and becoming a widow at the age of 19; never remarrying.
Did Trine and her siblings attend school?
There weren’t many schoolhouses back then, if at all. If there were, they weren’t close by. What Trine and her siblings knew of speaking, reading and writing was of what they picked up from others. Their mother taught them to “work hard for what you want.”
What was Trine’s first job? What did she do while growing up?
As young kids, they all used to go to the fields to pick cotton, melons, cantaloupe and watermelon. Trine said it was hard work, but that’s how they earned money. They used that hard earned money to buy dresses and shoes to go to the dances. And her brother, well he loved to dance as well!
As a young woman between her 20s and 30s, she started working at the Hood and Barrett Spring ranches as a housekeeper, cooking, cleaning, ironing and washing laundry.
In later years, besides being a housewife and mother, Trine worked at the local Laundromat and dry cleaners, which is where the Marfa Public Library is today.
Romance & marriage
How many times did/was Trine married? How many children did Trine have?
Trine was married twice in her life, to Andres Garcia and Francisco “Chico” Morales.
Trine had eight children, oldest to youngest: Jose Enrique “Joe Henry” Samaniego, Rojelio “Roger” Garcia, Martha, Beatrice, Abigail, Florel, Jose Luis “Joe” and Minerva Morales.
Did Trine follow any religious traditions?
Trine was born and raised a Catholic and is very much devoted to her faith.
What did Trine tell her children about her faith?
Practice, practice, practice! Read the Bible, go to church and listen to lectures, especially her own, is how Trine enriched Catholicism to her children. Through Christ, all will survive and good will occur.
War & Peace
What were Trine’s recollections, experiences and feelings during World War I (1914-1918), World War II (1939-1945) and the Great Depression (1929-late 1930s/early 1940s?
Trine’s recollection was during the Great Depression. There were these “books of stamps,” what we call “food stamps” today. These books were small stamps and had the name of the food/product and the value price on them. Not only could these stamps be used for food, but for clothing as well.
What did Trine, her siblings, and her parents do for fun? Did they watch TV? Did they listen to the radio? Records? Play ‘dress up’? Acting? Dances?
Trine doesn’t recall having much fun during her younger years. They had no TV, but would listen to music or audio and records; let’s not forget the dances!
Triumph & tragedy
What were Trine’s most joyous, fulfilling times in her life?
Trine’s joyous times have been when a grandchild or a great-grandchild is born. She absolutely loves their smiles and giggles.
Any sad, tragic or difficult times?
Trine’s sad, tragic and difficult times in her life have been the deaths of her loved ones. Her first child, Joe Henry, was lost during the Vietnam War in 1967 at the young age of 33. Her third child, Martha, died in 2000, followed by her husband, Chico, two years later. Lastly, the unexpected deaths of her two grandsons, Chris Bentley and John Morales in late 2011.
Were there any moments Trine can recall as a ‘break through’ in any areas of her life?
Yes, the “road blocks” throughout her life. Though she’s been through many “challenges”, she’s one tough cookie! She wouldn’t be here today, if it weren’t for her faith in God and the love and support of her family and friends.
If she could do 1 thing differently in her life, what would it be?
Absolutely nothing! There isn’t one thing she can say that she would do different because “everything happens for a reason”…it is what it is and you deal with it. “God doesn’t give you anything you can’t handle.”—Mother Theresa
Words of wisdom
What has Trine learned over her lifetime that she’d like to share with “the younger generation?”
Go out and see the world, see what life is about. Enjoy it and experience it while you can.
What is Trine most grateful for in her life?
Although Trine has outlived both of her parents, all of her siblings, her oldest son and daughter, her husband and three grandsons, she is extremely grateful for her own life, to date.
How has she taught her children to be grateful?
Do unto others, as you would have done to you. Keep the faith and good will come. Believe. God bless.
Trine’s generation count currently consists of six children, 14 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren and 14 great-great-grandchildren.
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