Consuela Escadero Simpson’s mother, Maria, was a dancer. They said all her babies were born dancing. She danced straight through eight pregnancies by two husbands - brothers - and outlived them both. She raised eight girls. Connie was the youngest. The oldest, also named Maria, married the Colonel and their boy, Alvalito, married Connie. Apparently no one thought it was weird to marry your own aunt. They weren’t asked. It was arranged for them.
Aunt Connie said their marriage was about a poker fight in Perea’s Bar. The Colonel accused her father, a longtime business partner, of cheating. A horrible fight broke out. The Colonel tried to shoot the old man who was swinging at him with a knife. He missed and shot his dog, a widely beloved terrier.
Everyone came running toward the gunfire and found the two men collapsed in a weeping heap. At first they thought they'd wounded each other and no one was sad or shocked. But when they pulled them apart and saw the dead dog the bar erupted in wailing. She said people heard the cries for miles. Men had wounded each other in fights in Perea's for decades but loss of that precocious pup was the last straw. Something had to be done.
After the dog’s well-attended graveside service in the chapel cemetery, the men were given an ultimatum by their wives: transfer assets to their children or have their many illegal enterprises exposed. To seal this pact and tie the fortunes of the families together, their children were married. There was little debate or disagreement other than from the couple. And the fact that the families were already related and this had not aligned sympathies, didn't figure into it.
Alvalito, who danced at least as well as his grandmother, ran the Spanish Dance School at the Perea Hacienda for almost fifty years. He and Connie had a son, Alva. But he was short on common sense and almost lost the ranch to his unsavory business partners. After that, Connie took it back somehow and ran the bar and the rest of the ranch with Rosa - until she died and the twins came of age and Sammy screwed it up again. So that's the short story.