By: Herman Delgado
One hundred years of Bowie Bear pride compacted into three days of events. You might say, “That’s impossible, but “impossible” is not a word associated with the people from the Pride of the Southside…La Bowie. Thousands of Bowie Alumni gathered for three days to show off their Bear Pride and growl at the top of their lungs. The Bowie Legacy Committee worked endless hours to put together this great event, “Bowie Legacy 100 Years of Pride Alumni Celebration”
I attended several of the events, and in two words I can describe what I witnessed, “Puro Orgullo!” Beginning September 1, 2022, and over the next three days, the Bears pride roared loud enough to send waves throughout El Segundo Barrio, La Bowie, and El Paso. Saturday, September 3rd was the last day of activities put on by the committee, and let me tell you, what a show and statement made by none other than the legendary “Little Joe y La Familia”.
Bowie Alumni traveled from all around the country to attend these events and show their support and pride for their respective graduating classes and they lived up to a Bowie High School tradition; “Once A Bear, Always A Bear!” Many high schools around El Paso use this phrase, but there’s only one that has been saying it for over 100 years and lives up to that standard…La Bowie!
I visited with Irene Gutierrez-Juarez, class of 1969, who was a chairperson for the mass committee and who also attended various events over the three days of Bowie Legacy events going on around Bowie and El Segundo Barrio. As I spoke with Gutierrez-Juarez I could hear and sense the joy and pride as she talked about her beloved Bowie High School and the beautiful people she ran into after so many years of not seeing them. “I ran into about 20-25 people from the Class of 1969. We took so many pictures together and we ended up taking first place for ‘Best Decorated Float’ in the parade,” said Gutierrez-Juarez. “The very best thing that came out of all of this, was that we were able to reunite with so many friends and even family that we had not seen for so many years.”
Patrick Palmer, Treasurer of Legacy 100 Committee, was very pleased with how all the events turned out for the Committee. “The Committee will continue as a formal non-profit group,” said Palmer. “Our whole goal from the get-go was to put together and old Bowie fiesta style celebration worthy of 100 years of Bowie’s legacy.” But things won’t stop at 100 years for the Committee. “The Committee will continue as a formal non-profit group creating a strategic plan of action to utilize all the profits from these events to benefit current and future Bowie students at both Bowie and Guillen Middle School, which is where it really starts,” said Palmer. “All with the intention of improving the academic scores and anything related to testing.”
Felix Chavez and his wife Susie Rosas-Chavez (Class of 1984) flew in from Rowlett, Texas, to attend and celebrate all three days of the Legacy events. Both retired from Homeland Security-ICE/HSI Officers came back to El Paso to visit with friends, family, and classmates. “My brother-in-law, a graduate from Burges who attended the dance with us mentioned that nowhere in El Paso do you have a school like Bowie that does things like this,” said Susie. “I think a big reason is that we have the same socioeconomic background and I still remember the kids at the pep rallies and homecomings being told by the Bowie Exes always give back when you move on, and I think our school is one of the few that really takes it to heart….we felt what it was to receive and now we’re giving back and we still hear that message at the pep rallies.” Viva La Bowie!