Maria Luisa, named after a Spanish princess, was born in San Antonio and moved to 118 Daniel Street when she was four years old. When she attended Bonham Elementary School her first grade teacher, Mrs. Arnold, asked if she could call her “Mary Lou” as it was easier to pronounce. From then on everyone called her Mary Lou.
A lifetime of volunteering includes over 10 years as a docent at the KWA home tour, 24 years at the Institute of Texan Cultures (she even has her name on a plaque on their wall), and 17 years at both Arts San Antonio and the Majestic Theatre. For over 20 years she has served at San Fernando Cathedral as both a Eucharist Minister and Hospitality Hostess. Age isn’t stopping her! She even has her eye on volunteering at the new DoSeum, San Antonio’s museum for kids.
Richard and Irene Garza asked the Macias family to become founding members of the King William Association. “I don’t know why we didn’t join at that time, but we did later,” said Mary Lou.
“My first memory of the Fair was when my sister, Connie, my brother, Leopold, my mother and I walked over to King William Street and it [the Fair] was very small with just a couple booths. That is when I was young,” sighed Mary Lou. She remembers when the parade was just some dressed up neighborhood ladies who walked down the street. Her first volunteer job was a “greeter." A “greeter” would dress up in fancy clothes, with gloves and a hat, to welcome people to the Fair. Mary Lou exclaimed she has collected all of the King William Fair medals, as well as Fiesta medals for NIOSA, Battle of Flowers Parade and the Texas Cavaliers River Parade.
In 1992 Mary Lou began volunteering at Ilse’s Attic, selling Fair merchandise, and has stayed ever since. She gets her family and friends to take shifts along with her. Although never married, Mary Lou has enrolled her nephew and grandnieces to volunteer and they now bring their children to the Fair, raising a fourth generation in the volunteer spirit.