219 Chapters
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Medium 9780253002952

9 Roland Barthes, Mojado, in Brownface: Chisme-laced Snapshots Documenting the Preposterous and Factlaced Claim That the Postmodern Was Born along the Borders of the Río Grande River William Anthony Nericcio

ARTURO J ALDAMA Indiana University Press ePub

WILLIAM ANTHONY NERICCIO

The editors have asked that I add a prolegomena to the forehead or face of this essay, and I am happy to do so. Way back in the day (old skool grad school days, when this son of la frontera was kidnapped by the Ivy League and whisked away to freeze his nalgas off in Ithaca, New York), I was a big fan of Roland Barthes—I thrilled to the jouissance of the pleasures of the text, read and reread the dispatches in Mythologies, etc. etc. Long story short, I escaped the wicked pirates of Cornell, got a job at the University of Connecticut, jumped ship to Califas and SDSU and, my first year there (1991, shh shh!) I wrote an in-house grant proposal and was awarded five hundred smackeroos to purchase my first 35 mm camera. The rest, as they say, is history. What follows are the theorylaced meditations of a Chicano on crack Kodak, a Mexicameran-American (that’s me in the center there to the right of Edward James Olmos; Barthes’s there to the right of me, or at least his photoshopped ghost is); I am utterly responsible for the contents of this rasquache semiotic whatsit and beg you reward the editors of this collection for allowing it to appear in these pages.

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Medium 9781574413205

This is for the Birds

Edited by Kenneth L. Untiedt University of North Texas Press PDF

7978-ch04.pdf

10/6/11

8:16 AM

Page 255

THIS IS FOR THE BIRDS by Charlie Oden

My wife Georgia and I were bird watchers, or “birders,” as folks frequently called bird watchers. It is in this sense that we hunted wild birds. We also hunted for wildflowers, which led to hunting for arboretums and botanical gardens. Different species of trees also held our interests.

The government of the State of Texas had passed the laws making the mocking bird the State bird, all species of blue bonnets the

State flower, and the pecan the State tree. Georgia and I saw wild birds just about any place we looked. We also had a fair amount of knowledge about the local birds in our part of Central Texas.

Mourning doves, quail, and wild turkeys we knew as game birds.

Other Central Texas birds included mocking birds, scissor tailed flycatchers, jays, wrens and sparrows, whip-poor-wills, owls, hawks, crows, cliff swallows, cardinals, and turkey vultures.

We found mocking birds just about everywhere, representing

Texas as the State Bird. They were in the residential areas, warehouse areas, and commercial districts with banks, malls, small businesses and offices for professional people. Scissor-tailed flycatchers with bright salmon-pink sides and belly snapped up flying bugs out in the open country. Jays in populated areas scolded cats. Wrens and sparrows in barnyards hopped about and pecked for food.

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Medium 9781574414615

Youth Rodeo

Ron Tatum University of North Texas Press ePub

Youth Rodeo

Cowboys and Cowgirls don’t just rise up completely formed off of some cattle ranch, and although some people might disagree, most are not born, they are made. A lot of these youngsters start up on ranches and farms, but the proving grounds for many is the Youth Rodeo. The ages of the participants range from two to nineteen.

Youth rodeo in my part of the Northwest usually has four divisions: Pre-Pee Wee (ages 2 to 5), Pee Wee (ages 6 to 10), Junior (ages 11 to 13), and Senior (ages 14 to 19). For several years I’ve volunteered at these rodeos in what is called the “stripping chutes,” where the lassoes are taken off the steers and calves after their event and the animals are driven into pens, and I am humbled and astonished at the courage and talent of these young boys and girls.

The rodeo grounds where youth rodeos are held are the same grounds used by professional rodeos, and the people and the scenery look much the same. The crowds are much smaller, however, made up mostly of family members. You’ll see the same competitors walking around wearing big earned silver buckles large as saucers, but these will mostly be on children . . . little five- and six-year-old boys and girls, cocky young eight-year-olds, serious and competent eighteen- and nineteen-year-olds. You’ll hear country music playing in the background both before and during the rodeo. You’ll see cowdog puppies on horses’ lead ropes everywhere, and may hear an opening prayer that doesn’t ask for help to win, but to do their best and avoid injury. There will often be a couple of hardy-looking seven-year-old boys or girls wearing fancy cowboy shirts embroidered with the names of local sponsors, and during the opening ceremonies you’ll see tiny little three- and four-year-olds proudly racing their ponies all around the arena, hats blowing off all over, none getting stepped on by horses.

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Medium 9780253010285

17 I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing

Mike Roos Quarry Books ePub

Someone had put coal in the Spuds’ Christmas stockings. Mercifully Pete did not force the team to practice on Christmas Day, but he held practice on Christmas Eve and on the day after Christmas and on every other day over Christmas break. The practices were every bit as merciless as they had been in the preseason, if not more so. Pete, however, backed off from any special focus on Joe Lents, who nevertheless retreated into a quiet funk, while the rest of the team waited for him to return his head to winning basketball. It would take a while.

Joe was not about to get over the incident quickly. In January and February, his scoring markedly declined from the sixteen points he was averaging per game prior to the tourney. Most games he barely reached double figures. Before the holidays, Joe was fourth in the conference in scoring. By the end of the regular season, he had dropped to ninth. This was not the way he had wanted his senior season to go, but he just could not get himself motivated to play his best for Pete Gill.

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Medium 9780253008589

Big Ten Tournament: Indiana VS. Penn State, 3-8-12 (75-58)

The Herald-Times Indiana University Press ePub

Indiana Hoosiers guard Jordan Hulls (1) lays the ball in during the Indiana Penn State men’s basketball game at the Big Ten Tournament at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind., Thursday, March 8, 2012. Indiana won 75-58.

By Dustin Dopirak

Even though it was expected, this was a win Indiana should’ve been able to bask in. The fifth-seeded Hoosiers’ 75-58 victory over No. 12 seed Penn State in front of 17,936 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament represented yet another milestone for this resurgent squad.

It was Indiana’s first Big Ten Tournament victory since 2006, a slump that not only included the first three seasons of the Tom Crean era but also both of Kelvin Sampson’s years at the helm.

But the tears Crean was fighting back in postgame interviews were not tears of joy. Indiana couldn’t enjoy the victory quite as much, because someone who had seen all the tough times was missing from the bench at game’s end.

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Medium 9781574413205

Texas Menu 1835: Venison and Honey, Prairie Chicken, or Baked Fish

Edited by Kenneth L. Untiedt University of North Texas Press PDF

7978-ch05.pdf

10/6/11

8:17 AM

Page 319

TEXAS MENU 1835: VENISON AND HONEY,

PRAIRIE CHICKEN, OR BAKED FISH by Jerry Bryan Lincecum

The autobiography of Gideon Lincecum, my great-great-great grandfather, contains some remarkable accounts of hunting and fishing in unspoiled areas of Texas in 1835. Lincecum’s six-month exploration of Texas came about after a good many citizens of

Columbus, Mississippi, where he resided and practiced medicine, became interested in migrating to Texas. An emigrating company was organized late in 1834, and Lincecum was appointed physician to an exploring committee charged with traveling to Texas and bringing back a report. He and five other men left Columbus on

January 9, 1835, and crossed the Sabine River into Texas on February 3.1 The following excerpts from Lincecum’s autobiography are among many that describe encounters with wildlife in Texas. In

1848, Lincecum moved his family to Long Point, Washington

County. His memoirs were written when he was an old man, and most of his accounts of hunting and fishing were first published in

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Medium 9781574413205

The Lore of Wild Hog Hunting in Texas

Edited by Kenneth L. Untiedt University of North Texas Press PDF

7978-ch02.pdf

10/6/11

8:15 AM

Page 139

THE LORE OF WILD HOG

HUNTING IN WEST TEXAS by Kenneth W. Davis

In many parts of West Texas on Friday and Saturday nights when there are neither football nor basketball games, chronological or psychological adolescents and others—male and female, from ages about fourteen through sixty or way beyond—delight in roaring around farm and ranch lands after dusk in high-powered all-wheel drive vehicles—mostly pickups equipped with strong spot lights.

These vigorous people are armed with 30.06s and similar weapons.

In a single four-wheel-drive pickup there is usually enough ammunition to quell a moderate-sized insurrection or flying saucer invasion. The presence of intrepid hunters is welcomed by owners of the land over which these Nimrods ramble frantically in search of what is considered a dangerous creature found almost everywhere in Texas: the wild hog. These hogs are a nuisance, a pestilence, threats to man and beast, and, of course, they smell bad, have ticks, and are ugly. In most species the very young are at least somewhat cute. Not so with wild hogs I have seen up close in West Texas.

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Medium 9780253002952

7 Performing Indigeneity in a South Texas Community: Los Matachines de la Santa Cruz Norma E. Cantú

ARTURO J ALDAMA Indiana University Press ePub

NORMA E. CANTÚ

It’s a brisk morning in early March 2009 in San Antonio, Texas, and the annual women’s march celebrating International Women’s Day is about to begin. We will march past the Alamo, past San Fernando Cathedral, past the hotels and businesses with early morning tourists and local patrons. The march will go from Travis Park to Milam Park—Anglo names for spaces that in the old days were called “plazas.” A young girl no older than twelve, dressed in a long brown cotton skirt and a red blouse with a red headband across her forehead, holds an eagle feather. She will do a water blessing before the march begins. Her father, who also has a red headband and is wearing a white cotton shirt and pants, beats a flat drum solemnly. The crowd of a couple of hundred people hushes solemnly and listens to her soft song. She dips the feather in water and sprinkles the ground. Some of us face the four directions as she sings her blessing prayer in a language we don’t understand. Could it be Coahuiltecan? That was how Fabiola, one of the organizers, introduced her—as a member of the Coahuiltecan nation. But pretty much all vestiges of the many dialects of that language that were spoken in South Texas for centuries are gone. Erased. Only scraps survive, mostly in old prayer books; the Christian prayers used to indoctrinate the native people paradoxically remain as testaments of the old language. As a child, I went to “la doctrina” to learn the Catholic prayers—in Spanish, of course. But I also went to see the matachines dance to the beat of the drum. In this chapter, I focus on the latter, the folk religious dance tradition of los matachines, as I interrogate the indigenous identity we as Chican@s identify and disidentify with in the particular area of South Texas.

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Medium 9781574416527

Chapter 1 - Texas Prisons: A Pattern of Neglect

Mitchel P. Roth University of North Texas Press ePub

Like a horrid nightmare.

—Edward King, 1874

DURING the years of the Texas Prison Rodeo, spectators came not just to watch the rodeo activities but also to observe a prison demimonde that seemed dangerous if not exotic, giving rodeo goers the chance to interact with inmates, though safely separated by a wire mesh fence. But as will be described below, this was just the latest flourish in a legacy of “prison tourism” as old as America's first prisons. The inauguration of the Texas Prison Rodeo in 1931 would introduce a new form of prison tourism that allowed free-world spectators to pay a small fee to vicariously participate in the prison experience, albeit with the expectation of leaving through the gates they had just entered when the tour was over. However, no matter what visitors witnessed at the Texas Prison Rodeos, or for that matter any other prisons, it was mere window dressing, since like all prisons, Huntsville's walls were meant not just to “keep prisoners in,” but to “keep the public out.”1

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Medium 9780253346988

4. The Invisible Pass

Abraham Aamidor Indiana University Press ePub

The Great Depression spelled doom for some, opportunity for others. For Chuck Taylor, it was the time of his life. Marquis Converse had lost his company in 1928 after it went into receivership. The company’s failure was linked to an ill-fated effort to market an automobile tire, the “Converse Cord,” which had high production costs, a high failure rate, and many returns from local dealers.

Mitchell B. Kaufman, president and owner of the Hodgman Rubber Co. in Framingham, Massachusetts, bought the firm in 1929, but he sold it to the Stone family—Joseph, Harry K., and Dewey D. Stone—in 1933. The Stone family ran the business for the next thirty-nine years, but in spirit, and in the public’s mind, it was to be Chuck Taylor’s company from then on.

Chuck’s secret was in sales and promotion. Years of touring with the Converse All-Stars basketball squad, making “special appearances” on local hoops teams and glad-handing customers in small-town sporting goods stores, plus his growing number of basketball clinics, were making Chuck a celebrity, albeit a faux celebrity. Converse revamped everything beginning in 1932 to revolve around their new star. The annual Converse Basketball Yearbook, begun in 1922 and enlarged and expanded in 1929, soon began promoting Chuck’s clinics, complete with endorsements from top coaches of the day. Beginning in 1932, Chuck’s name was added to the ankle patch of the All Star shoe for the first time. His well-regarded College All-American picks began that year as well, next to a smiling mug shot that was to become a signature piece over the years. As if to an increasing drumbeat, Chuck was exclusively touted as a veteran of the great pre–modern era basketball teams, as well as an authority who personally knew the top coaches and best players across the country.

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13 Lila Downs’s Borderless Performance: Transculturation and Musical Communication Brenda M. Romero

ARTURO J ALDAMA Indiana University Press ePub

BRENDA M. ROMERO

Suddenly, everyone is interested in Lila Downs! Her musical performances appeal to multiethnic, multilingual, and transnational audiences across hemispheres, gender boundaries, and musical cultures. These audiences include progressive academics, political activists, and radical artists with political consciences. Who is this remarkable new vocalist/ composer? Lila Downs made her debut into the mainstream with four song credits in the acclaimed film Frida,1 where she appears singing in the tango and bedside scenes. Certainly her proximity to the Frida cult via the movie has led her to capitalize on the pop cultural Frida image, as her critics are quick to notice, but Lila also claims indigenous ancestry, holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology on Oaxacan textiles, and is a musical activist. Lila Downs is the daughter of a Caucasian father and a Mixtec2 mother; she straddles the middle of a divided world. This essay celebrates Lila Downs’s artistic contributions and proposes that she offers a truly new brand of musical performance that not only represents her own journey of personal discovery but also integrates diverse musical ideas and fuses deeply layered indigenous ideas and beliefs about music with sounds and lyrical imagery. The result is truly engaging for listeners on both sides of the US–México border.

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Medium 9781574413205

The Big Fish That Didn't Get Away

Edited by Kenneth L. Untiedt University of North Texas Press PDF

7978-ch03.pdf

10/6/11

8:16 AM

Page 177

THE BIG FISH THAT DIDN’T GET AWAY by Nina Marshall Garrett

In 1938, when I was eleven years old, my family moved from Arizona back to Oklahoma to Lake West, a community about ten miles south of Boswell and three miles north of the Red River.

While we were in Arizona for three-and-a-half years, my brothers and father used the irrigation system on the farm where they worked. They were impressed with how one could water the crops at a time when the weather was dry and thus have a sure way of having a successful harvest. After share cropping one of the large farms at Lake West for two years, the Government placed the former plantation land up for sale in 1940, and my dad and brothers were some of the first to buy their farms. It seems they chose just the right land, for the creeks that flowed through their farms would feed a lake to water the land with a gravity flow system, which was what was used in Arizona and California. In

1954, they purchased a bulldozer and, with their mule teams and tractors, built a large fourteen-acre lake, making the proper dam and outlets to irrigate about 100 acres of my father’s land. My two older brothers were partners with much more land. Between

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Medium 9781574411607

Part One Day 2

Geraldine Ellis Watson University of North Texas Press PDF

Part One, Day 1

Part One

Day 2

BURIED FOREST

River Mile 103.5 10:30 A.M.

It was a misty, magical morning. The gentle rain lasted a short time; a dense fog lay over the water, but it was dispersing, so I packed and stowed my gear and pushed off over the glassy water into the mist.

About ll:00 A.M. just below Cowart’s Bend, I came upon a high, colorful bluff. It was once a steamboat landing, and was the terminus of a branch of the Magnolia Springs road. The cutting action of the river here reveals about

25 feet of floodplain history covering possibly 5,000 years. At normal water level, there is at the bluff base a shelf of the rock-like gray clay found at various shoal sites between Dam B and Sheffield’s Ferry. It appears to be of

Fleming Formation age as it tests high on the pH scale. (I carry a small bottle of 10 percent hydrochloric acid to test materials suspected to be calcareous.)

Above this rocklike clay are several strata of different materials. There is a layer of ocher-colored silt above the clay, then a layer of compressed snowwhite, fine-grained sand, over that a layer of red iron oxide sandy clay, all topped by a dark topsoil. The erosion of these materials has created many strange and beautiful shapes and colors. They are transient in nature as the heavy rains, water seepage, and floods erase them and make blank walls for new creations. One white wall had an abstract design of brilliant red oxide painted onto the surface by water seepage from above. Buff-colored walls

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Rabbits

Ron Tatum University of North Texas Press ePub

Rabbits

Along with chickens, throughout this entire process, there were rabbits. A farm needs rabbits. This was all back in the protest days when people were giving up city jobs, putting red farmer’s handkerchiefs on their dogs, and running off to the country to live off the land. I couldn’t just run off, so I created my own little farm, complete with meat animals. This was where the rabbits came in.

My grandma in Tacoma always served rabbit for our big Sunday dinners, so I decided to carry on that fine tradition for my own family. The kids were ecstatic about the new rabbits, less so after hearing we were going to eat them, but I patiently explained the facts of middle-class America. Almost everybody eats meat and nobody takes responsibility for killing these creatures that we eat. We just buy a nice sanitized package of chicken or hamburger, I explained, and insensitively enjoy the meal, letting others take the rap for the butchering. That’s not how it’s going to be in this family, I promised. We were going to take responsibility. If we were going to eat meat, by God, we would be men (and girl) enough to kill it ourselves!

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Making a Drive in Botswana

Edited by Kenneth L. Untiedt University of North Texas Press PDF

7978-ch01.pdf

10/6/11

8:14 AM

Page 25

MAKING A DRIVE IN BOTSWANA by Francis Edward Abernethy

Making a drive has been a hunting custom as long as man has been a man—and even before. When a community’s survival depended upon a successful hunt it was important that early man hunted for game in the most efficient way. One way was to form a long line of hunters spaced ten or twenty feet apart. They moved forward, side by side, making a drive and flushing and killing any game that started in front of them.

Men still make drives. Quail, pheasant, and grouse hunters line up and seine the grasslands, shooting the birds that rise in front of them. Sometimes four or five men will space themselves in a line a hollering distance apart and make a drive to flush deer out of their brushy hiding places.

The point is that making a drive is a contemporary hunting custom among humans that is steeped in antiquity, and I believe that it is also a much older instinct. After a trip to the Okavango

Delta in Africa in June of 1996, I wrote Thad Sitton the following letter (dated 11/26/08), in which I discussed my views on the genetics of hunters:

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