Call PICK, Before You Pack FOR SAN ANTONIO Enjoy real money-saving value, and relax at the ALBERT OK MOTEL 96 N.E. Loop Expressway Adjacent to San Antonio International Airport Color TV in every room Restaurant & Lounge Heated Pool Family Plan Free Parking ALL AT MODERATE RATES RESERVATIONS: CALL TOLL FREE 800-621-4404 In Illinois: 800-972-7200 20 The Texas Observer Watching Texas the NEW Observer Bob and Sara Roebuck Anchor National Financial Services 1524 E. Anderson Lane, Austin bonds stocks insurance mutual funds optional retirement program surgery, or when a cousin loses everything in a fire, a big conjunto dance is held and money is raised. Everyone comes, even los niiios. Eight-year-olds dance cumbias with their sisters, mothnight when Tony de la Rosa was away from his haunts in Corpus Christi, trying out the HemisFair in San Antonio. Between numbers he spoke intimately from the stage to individuals in an audience well over a thousand, linking strangers with their kin, his friends back on the Gulf Coast. Old men listened intently and said that what de la Rosa \(“el Rey,” meaning and sentiemento. Younger chicanos had come not only to hear the Austin It looks like the first film on Texas conjunto music and the migrant life from which it comes may end up more discussed than seen. The economic principles of a bloated, centralized motion picture industry discourage the distribution of short films, especially those with a burdensome political content. “Chulas Fronteras” \(beautiful borBlanc’s latest film, focuses on the TexMex honky-tonk vibrato sound. Although not a hidden music to thousands of farmworkers and urban chicanos, conjunto is practically unknown to the anglo majority in Texas. Unless Blanc and the film’s producer, Chris Strachwitz, find some commercial or governmental patron, “Chulas Fronteras” will be lost to the large audience it so clearly deserves. Les Blanc documents the wellsprings of cultures usually ignored by the mass media. His films on Cajun life in Louisiana, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Clifton Chenier and his classic, “A Well Spent Life” \(on people, the lives they live and the art they make. In “Chulas Fronteras,” Blanc has choreographed the music of the Mexican-American population of South Texas with all the sorrow, celebration and history not found in approved textbooks. Scenes include interviews with veteran conjunto accordionists, migrants, dancers, and extended families. The film displays lyrics in English subtitles, and some get straight to the point, such as “Rinches de Texas”: newer, brassy orquestas also on the program but to pay homage to their roots in conjunto and take time out from the psychic crunch of minority life. Dancers that evening in San Antonio sang songs heard for years at weddings and in the fields. Young and old took part, sharing their musical forms, and singing corridas ations songs of strikers, wetbacks, deportees, of separated families and the nostalgia of northbound migrants for home. Kay Council is a freelance writer and an educational consultant for the Austin Independent School District. Lydia Mendoza in “Chulas Fronteras” Rinches de Texas By Willie Lopez I’m going to sing Of the sad misfortune That occurred On the first of June. In the year of ‘Sixty-seven In Starr County There was blood spilled Right by the Rio Grande. It is sad but true About the poor farm workers Who were brutally assaulted By those murdering Rangers. Magdeleno Dimas said, “I did not resist them, “Frightened and helpless “They beat me without conscience.” Benjamin Rodriquez said, “Don’t hit me any more, you cowards. Film hits snags By Daryl Janes
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