Rogelio “Roger” Colunga grew up in Hondo, Texas. Upon graduation from High School he enlisted in the United States Air Force. When he came home on leave in the fall of 1949, he decided to attend his old High School’s football game and showed up in his Air Force dress uniform. He sat on the Hondo side of the field for the first half of the game, but decided to move to the other side as he also had friends from the High School in Devine, Texas. While on the other side of the stadium, Roger caught sight of a very beautiful girl, Elsa. Elsa was playing the clarinet for the Devin High School Marching Band. For Roger, it was love at first sight. He asked Elsa if he could buy her something from the Canteen and was turned down by Elsa when she said, “No, I don’t know you.” Roger again asked, “Walk with me to the Canteen.” Elsa agreed to do that, so they walked to the Canteen, talking as they went.
When the football game was over, Roger asked Elsa if he could give her a ride home. Again she said ‘No.’, stating that she could not accept a ride from a stranger. Not to be rebuffed, Roger was insistent until he at least got her address. After going back to base, Roger kept writing her letters and she always responded. They wrote back and forth for a long time before Elsa was allowed to go on her first date with Roger, which consisted of going out for a hamburger and then to the movies. Even then, Elsa had to have a chaperon, so her female cousin went along too. Chaperon and all, Elsa still had to be home at 9:30 p.m., which Roger made sure of so he could have a second date with her.
Over time, Roger finally won Elsa’s mother over by going to their church and taking everyone out to lunch afterwards. The subject of marriage must have come up at that family dinner, as both families tried to convince Roger and Elsa they were too young to get married. But Roger and Elsa were already in love. The end result of this whirlwind romance was that they were married on December 22, 1950 in the Devine Catholic Church with both families in attendance for an 8:15 a.m. wedding. Elsa’s grandfather gave her away, but he must have had his reservations as he would not get ready for the wedding until he saw Roger all dressed up and ready to marry his bride to be. To everyone’s delight, this was a love that was meant to be as Roger and Elsa celebrated 66 years of marriage on December 22, 2016. This love affair has produced three children, eleven Grandchildren and thirteen Great-grandchildren!