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The Laredo Mansion bed-and-breakfast, near downtown Laredo.Roberto Gonzalez was only thirteen years old in the mid-sixties when he began helping out at a high-end antiques store owned by Anita Martin, considered the first lady of Laredo, who was married to the city’s patrón mayor, J. C. “Pepe” Martin. After a few years, Anita Martin came to the teen one day with a collection of large mirrors whose wooden frames had been chipped and scuffed in transit. “She was crying,” Gonzalez remembers, because she had already sold them. Armed with glue, plaster, and a chisel, he carved out the imperfections and fabricated new details. When he was finished, the mirrors were so immaculate that Martin handed him a check for $2,500, a sum almost too great for him to comprehend. “This is for…

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