MAGGIE HERRERA has a tattoo turtle on her back, a devil on her thigh, baby-blue stars with yellow rays, and a Virgo symbol on her leg. On her birthday she was planning to get a tattoo of her name inside a sacred heart. “I’ll be 23,” she said. “I’m getting pretty old:’ When she was 14 and “a punk-rock girl,” she started hosting punk rock shows in a garage. “We rented it for something stupid like a 100 dollars, and called it The Rug Burn. After we lost that place, we opened another place called The Dumpster Dive. We got listed in an underground book called Book Your Own Life. A lot of bands come through El Paso because it’s the perfect spot to stop between Austin and Phoenix, or L.A. or Denver. I was living with my parents and they would let these punk-rockers stay at the house, and my mom would make them pancakes in the morning, these really stinky Mohawk guys. I was born in Germany when my Dad was stationed there in the Army. My mom wasn’t into the military lifestyle so we always lived off base. I love El Paso because the border thing is different. Just having Juarez here is really cool:’ MOLLY SHAPIRO witnessed poverty and deprivation as a child. “It tore a hole in my heart, which made me become the leftist I became,” she says, recalling her early years in Brooklyn. “I got my first job at age 13 and when I was 16 there was a strike at Klein’s Department Store and I marched on my first picket line:’ She moved to El Paso with her husband when their son Larry was diagnosed with asthma. They opened a book and record shop. Classical music was her specialty; politics was her passion. “When AS&R refused to recognize the Smelter Workers Union after the war the workers went on strike, the Times and the Post gave it the silent treatment, so we bought ads in the papers. All liberal organizations were being attacked during the McCarthy hearings, and there was an article in the El Paso Times that referred to me as an officer in an alleged communist organization. It was no more communist than this wall, but that’s how it was then. The rabbi suggested that I fight the Times, but I said, law, fuck ‘ern:” Eventually Shapiro and her husband drifted apart: “We lived separate lives in separate worlds. He was liberal, I was radical. He was agnostic, I was atheist’ 811103 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 15
You May Also Like
The documentary in Falfurrias is sinister and spiritual.