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  • When you see her, say a prayer and kiss your heart goodbye
    She's trouble, in a word get closer to the fire
    Run faster, her laughter burns you up inside
    You're spinning round and round
    You can't get up, you try but you can't

    ¿Quién es esa niña? Who's that girl?
    Señorita, más fina - Who's that girl?
    ¿Quién es esa niña? Who's that girl?
    Señorita, más fina - Who's that girl?

    Lyrics from "La Isla Bonita" recorded by Madonna

    Who is this girl? What were her dreams? What did she and her girlfriends, sisters, and cousins talk about late into the night?

    This is my grandmother Beulah Edna Ries dressed as a Spanish Señorita in black and red. She is in her senior year of high school in San Bernardino, California.

    I wonder what her plans were? Would she have imagined that she would meet and fall in love with a tall, rakish soldier from The South? That he would serve in North Africa while she lived with her new mother-in-law in a tiny Mississippi Delta town? That after the war her new brother-in-law would bring home an English bride? That she would live in that little Delta town for the majority of the rest of her life, raising four children, baking hundreds of cakes, singing in the choir of the local Southern Baptist Church, and watching grandchildren climbing the tree in her front yard?

    She never talked about her life in California. She was not sentimental in that way. She did not regale us with stories of her youthful adventures.

    All we have are pictures of her as a child, teen, and young woman for which we can only imagine the life she led growing up so far away from where we knew her.

    She left us in January 2012. The stories of her life going with her to the grave. We will always be left to wonder....

    ¿Quién es esa niña? Who's that girl?
    Señorita, más fina - Who's that girl?
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