midstnot even any girls getting pinched as they pranced through the crowd. THEY TRIED to make up for these shortcomings, however. Pretty senoritas rode around the ring in horse-drawn carriages. Some of them were surprisingly blonde. The aquacil, the plumed mounted horseman, came out and got the show on the road, and the matadors and banderilleros marched out into the ring all looking as though they had hangovers. Yes, it was beginning to seem authentic. The horses were magnificently equipped with golden saddles and beautiful colored cloths entwined in their manes and tails. The bull-fight music came in over the loudspeakers. There was not the realism involved in the off-key Mexican band and the flat Mexican trumpet player introducing the matadors and the bulls into the Mexican ruedo, but it was all right for Houston, and soon the spell of the corrida de toros did pervade the Astrodome, with the matadors’ suits of lights and the pawing malevolence of the bulls. The first act consisted of two rejoneadors, or fighters on horse back. The horses were fine, but the rejoneadors were lousy. They kept missing the bull with their banderillas, decorated wooden barbs that are placed in the bull’s hump or neck muscle. The bulls wore padding to protect them from such barbaric practices, courtesy of Texas law and Waggoner Carr, who came 2 The Texas Observer Incorporating the State Observer and the East Texas Democrat, which in turn incorported the State Week and Austin ForumAdvocate. We will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see it. We are dedicated to the whole truth, to human values above all interests, to the rights of man as the foundation of democracy; we will take orders from none but our own conscience, and never will we overlook or misrepresent the truth to serve the interests of the powerful or cater to the ignoble in the human spirit. Editor and General Manager, Ronnie Dugger. Partner, Mrs. R. D. Randolph. Associate Editor, Larry Lee. Business Manager, Sarah Payne. Contributing Editors, Elroy Bode, Bill Brammer, Larry Goodwyn, Harris Green, Franklin Jones, Lyman Jones, Larry L. King, Georgia Earnest Klipple, Robert L. Montgomery, Willie Morris, James Presley, Charles Ramsdell, Roger Shattuck, Robert Sherrill, Dan Strawn, Tom Sutherland, Charles Alan Wright. Staff Artist, Charles Erickson. Contributing Photographer, Russell Lee. The editor has exclusive control over the editorial policies and contents of the Observer. None of the other people who are associated with the enterprise shares this responsibility with him. Writers are responsible for their own work, but not for anything they have not themselves written, and in publishing them the editor does not necessarily imply that he agrees with them, because this is a journal of free voices. over to Houston to protect Texas bullhoocl by trying to get the whole thing stopped \(the judge decided it was a legal game of Once in a while the barb must have gotten through the padding nn the bull’s back. for a bull would turn his head and try to lick it off. The bull’s horns had been sheathed in leather to protect the horses. In Mexico they solve the problem in a simpler manner, by sawing off the ends of the horns. I understand that the S.P.C.A. had been trying to shut the thing down, anyway. The S.P.C.A. would be even more shocked to find out that the barbaric practices of the bull ring are only casual discomforts on most Texas ranches. I mention a few necessities of the trade such as ear notching, branding, the electric prod pole, dehorning, slaughtering, and the psychiatric utilitarianism of the rancher’s knife which diverts the bull’s thoughts from a family life to grass. Of ‘course they did without the picadors, the mounted men who stab the bull’s hump with a lance in order to lower its head for the kill. The Astrodome advertised the fight as Portuguese Style, where they don’t kill the bull. The first couple of fights went along in the classical style, and since the Astrodome aficionados didn’t know a veronica from a Betty Grable, the Astrodome Signboard lit up with an Ole when thdy were supposed to say Ole. The Mexican announcer took umbrage and shouted at them, “Don’t 01 here,” but the acoustics were bad and most of them Oleyed anyway. The Observer publishes articles, essays, and creative work of the shorter forms having to do in various ways with this area. The pay depends; at present it is token. Unsolicited manuscripts must be accompanied by return postage. The Observer is published by Texas Observer Co., Ltd., biweekly from Austin, Texas. Entered as second-class matter April 26, 1937, at the Post Office at Austin, Texas, under the Act of March 3, 1879. Second class postage paid at Austin, Texas. Delivered postage prepaid $6.00 a year; two years, $11.00; three years, $15.00. Foreign rates on request. Single copies 25c; prices for ten or more for students, or bulk orders, on request. Editorial and Business Offices: The Texas Telephone GR 7-0746. Change of Address: Please give old and new address and allow three weeks. Subscription Representatives: Austin, Mrs. Helen C. Spear, 2615 Pecos, HO 5-1805; Dallas, Mrs. Cordye Hall, 5835 Ellsworth, TA 1-1205; Denton, Fred Lusk, Box 8134 NTS; Fort Worth, Dolores Jacobsen, 3025 Greene Ave., WA 4-9655; Houston, Mrs. Shirley Jay, 10306 Clifford Dr., PA 3-8682; Huntsville, Jessie L. Murphree, Box 2284 $HS; Lubbock, Doris Blaisdell, 2515 24th St.; Midland, Eva Dennis, 4306 Douglas, OX 42825; Odessa, Enid Turner, 1706 Glenwood, EM 6-2269; Rio Grande Valley, Mrs. Jack Butler, 601 Houston, McAllen, MU 6-5675; San Antonio, Mrs. Mae B. Tuggle, 531 Elmhurst, TA 6-3583; Cambridge, Mass., Victor Emanuel, 33 Aberdeen Ave., Apt. 3A. I’ll bet that the sports writers really had hell, no 40-yard line, no goals, no home runs, just veronicas and faenas. One of the matadors, Gabriel Espana, had the most vivacious bull. After making a few passes at Espana and his banderilleros, he decided he wanted no more of this, so he raced over to the wall and jumped right into C.B.S. News and World Report. About thirty television and newspaper cameramen broke all Olympic records in the highjump, clearing the fence as the bull ran down the narrow corridor behind them. Mrs. Waldron, who hates cameramen, exclaimed afterwards, “Did you see that? It was wonderful! All those photographers jumping the fence and falling into the ring. It was the best part of the fight.” They managed to get the bull back into the ring with only a few smashed television cameras, and the proceedings continued. As he didn’t have to kill it, the first matador dedicated his bull to Roy Hofheinzsymbolically. If he had been awarded an ear or the tail, I suppose that Roy Hofheinz would have been compelled to chase the live bull around the ring trying to cut it off. The next one was symbolically dedicated to Leendon Johnson. In Mexico they are usually more realistic and dedicate them to women. UNFORTUNATELY, one of the hapless matadors, Jaime Bravo, who has been gored 14 times, had received a bad nress in the Houston Chronicle from Jose Luis Lamadrid, the “UPI Bullfight Writer” who has the sneaky background of having been a Mexican bullfighter. Lamadrid maintained in his article that Bravo “has drawn far more boos than cheers during his career. He has been criticized for lack of nerve and sloppy swordwork, sometimes hacking interminably at the bull before dispatching it. “In one of his recent appearances in Colombia, both his bulls left the ring alive when he failed to kill themthe supreme humiliation for a torero short of fleeing the arena in panic. The animals had to be killed . . . behind the arena. “In an appearance last year in Tezuitlan, Mexico, the crowd rained cushions and jeers on Bravo while he tried in vain to kill his bull, until he buried his head in his arms and wept.” Hapless Jaime wasn’t going to put up with this kind of press. He had had an interesting career before he wound up being cased by the business end of a bull. He started out as a candy salesman in a circus; then he became a clown; then he took up comic trapeze acts, and then he went to trapeze flying without comedy. This was mostly what he did in the Astrodome. He has made two movies, one of them “Love Has Many Faces” with Lana Turner, and he is planning on quitting bullfighting and becoming an automobile racer. He got his first bull out into the ring and made a few passes, and then he zigged when he should have zagged. The bull knocked him down and then proceeded to methodically stomp him. Then it caught THE TEXAS OBSERVER al Texas Observer Co., Ltd. 1966 A Journal of Free Voices A Window to the South 60th YEAR ESTABLISHED 1906 Vol. 58, No. 2 February 18, 1966
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