Southside Fiesta Candy Chute by Harlandale Graduates

Harlandale High School Sweethearts

Robert and Thelma Reyes have lived at 134 E. Villaret for over 40 years. Both are native to the Southside and are proud 1974 graduates of Harlandale High School. In fact, Robert and Thelma are high school sweethearts. “Robert asked me out when I was a sophomore but I turned him down”, she recalls, “It was right before summer break and I knew I wouldn’t see him, plus I was too young to date”. However, Robert patiently waited to have his chance with Thelma. “One day in class she told me she liked my shirt and that was all the opening I needed”, Robert explained. They married after high school and their daughters were born in 1980 and 1984.

Southside Traditions  

Having been raised on the Southside, Robert and Thelma knew they couldn’t raise their family anywhere else. Together with their immediate family, they invested in the property at 134 E. Villaret and they have remained there ever since. Thelma retired from working at St. John Bosco Catholic School as a program coordinator and Robert retired after many years of service with UPS. Both of their positions enabled them to get out in the community and make a difference which is something they continue to this day. It’s been a long standing tradition to “deck the halls” and go all out for holiday décor. Thelma serves as the visionary and creative director while Robert puts it all together. “Usually it takes about 4 days to set up everything and I get my brother in law to help me”, Robert shared, “I enjoy setting up for all the holidays year-round so my community can look and have something to smile about”. The pandemic drastically changed the lives of San Antonians but The Reyes family continues their mission of bringing joy to their neighborhood.

Holiday & Fiesta Fun

This past Halloween, in addition to their usual decor, they constructed a candy chute so that the neighborhood children could trick or treat while remaining socially distanced. The event proved to be largely successful so the Reyes family hosted a Christmas candy chute and an Easter candy chute. Both Santa and The Easter Bunny were in attendance. This weekend the Reyes family will be hosting a Fiesta themed candy chute this weekend. For many years, Thelma was a dancer with Urban 15 Dance Group and took immense joy in performing in the popular Fiesta parades. Robert was also a part of the group, serving behind the scenes for technical support. Their fiesta themed candy chute event will be held both Saturday June 12 and Sunday June 13 from 6-8pm and Saturday, June 26th from 7:00pm – 9:00 pm.  They will be handing out approximately 200 candy cups and mask usage is encouraged. All who attend will catch a glimpse of Robert and Thelmas official entry in the 2021 Fiesta Porch Parade contest.

Photos courtesy of Robert and Thelma Reyes