Monday, December 7, 2009

The Church of Fire in Pharr, TX (1980s)

I'm on the search for more information about this, but this is all I got now. This was a church in the late 1980s in Pharr, TX that caused major hysteria in the town and freaked out an alarming amount of parents. One of their major fears was that their child was somehow going to be harmed by this church in some sort of ritualistic ceremony of sorts. I've heard conflicting reports about the nature of this church, some swearing it was a Satanic church while others positive it was a Christian church that was mistaken for a Satanic church due to its name. Jenny Martinez from the local KRGV Channel 5 did a report on the Church of Fire around the the time of this infamous public outcry, and had her house burglarized shorty after the report had aired. Some conspiracy theorists would like to make the claim that the Church of Fire was responsible or that they were in some way connected, but to be honest, I'm not the type to make such an assumption. Dr. Shawn Carlson claims that one of the reasons why the people of Pharr panicked about this Church of Fire is that they "began to hear rumors that blond-haired, blue-eyed children were to be ritually murdered" in the Church of Fire. But, that makes no sense and sounds like a falsehood to me. That rumor might work in a northern Texas town, but I doubt Pharr parents would be scared about hearing such a rumor. I think what would scare Pharr parents the most is that "dark-haired, dark eyed children were to be ritually murdered". That sounds more plausible and makes much more sense given the demographic. All kidding aside, they probably just heard that kids were going to be harmed and no racial or physical distinction was made Dr. Shawn Carlson!

Long story short, the town of Pharr was furious, and the Church of Fire ended up being burned down and destroyed forever. From my limited understanding of this story, no one was ever charged with this act of arson.

Eduardo Martinez

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Eagle Rap from Mission High School (1987)

I hear from Texas high school football experts that Mission High School had a pretty good year in 1987. They went to the playoffs that season and had a really great team at the time. The Monitor recently ranked the 1987 team as the 15th greatest team in Valley history. 

But their greatest contribution to the world was this awesome video:

Mission has given us Tito Santana, Tom Landry and this rap! I think we should all thank them for that!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Las Bombitas de Pharr-San Juan-Alamo

History Channel's Gangland: Trinity of Blood

A very brutal documentary on the Tri-City Bombers and their violent effect on the Rio Grande Valley. I must admit, I always knew las bombitas were pretty bad but I didn't know they were this horrible. I dismiss those complaints that this is going to make South Texas look bad since it's a very fascinating look at modern gang warfare in these bordertowns and the terror they've caused with knives, frying pans, AK-47's, and hand grenades. Any information, whether positive or negative is good information. I did have a few complaints, like they framed the story from Brownsville at the beginning and they didn't mention that they were at one point considered a break dancing crew in the 1980s. Why would they frame it from Brownsville when this story begins in Pharr-San Juan-Alamo? They briefly mentioned the Po' Boys in passing, and I wish they would have gone more into detail with their bloody rivalry. But maybe that's just me since I attended LBJ Middle School and PSJA North High School and I knew students that dreamed of one day being members of either the TCB or the Po' Boys. There was some other assumptions that were made and issues that could be interpreted differently to people that are not from the Valley. Nevertheless, I wasn't aware of a lot of information presented in this documentary, like what led to the creation of rival gang The Chicano Brotherhood, some of the violent local incidents, how far their influence reaches, the ranking system of the gang, and the role of these gangs in Texas Prisons.

Now that I saw this documentary, I'm very interested to search if someone has written a history on this topic. This is an interesting primer to watch but I now think a book about this subject could be incredible and could do a better job telling this story.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The 1961 Donna Redskins

Since we are in the middle of High School Valley Football season, I thought I would post our one true tale of glory. My dad grew up in Donna and was a kid when this happened, so he'll mention it often. I am going to quote an excerpt of Jorge Iber's account of this tale:

The Donna High School Redskins, and in particular the team's Mexican American players (10 of the 18 were of Mexican descent), battled such perceptions of inadequacy as they took the field in December of 1961 against the Quanah High School Indians in a contest for the Class AA state football title.

Founded in 1907, the town of Donna is located in Hidalgo County, nestled right next to the Rio Grande, which serves as the border between the colossus of the North and los Estados Unidos de Mexico. Because of its proximity to Mexico, the county was the scene of much cattle rustling and many other illegal activities. The jurisdiction also fits in nicely with the tradition of corruption and political chicanery common in South Texas during the early 1900s. Although Mexican Americans in Donna did not enjoy civil and social equality with their white neighbors, the political boss system then prevalent in the area provided a certain amount of protection from the worst ravages of racism experienced by some of their brothers and sisters in other parts of Texas. As long as corrupt Democratic Party machines needed "Mexican" votes, relations were amicable.

The arrival of the St. Louis, Brownsville, and Mexico Railway in 1904, however, stimulated a land boom in South Texas and radically changed the area's racial dynamics. The arrival of Midwestern farmers during the late 1910s and early 1920s brought stricter segregation to Hidalgo and adjoining counties. Donna split into two separate communities - one mostly white, the other almost all "Latin". The poorer side of town, East Donna, was the domicile of virtually all Mexican Americans, and the children of farm trabajadores (workers) often encountered humiliating and difficult circumstances in "their" school. During the early 1930s these students faced daily dirt and health inspections (specifically for lice infestation) and segregation for the first five grades because of perceived educational "handicaps". Due to such social and economic pressures, few of East Donna's pupils made it out of elementary school.

Because they were classified as "whites", however, those that did survive attended Donna High School (located on the west side of town), and, as one reporter noted in 1931, athletic ability could help increase Mexican Americans' acceptance among their white peers. "In fact, the Mexican children who can show their skill in art, music, scholarship, or physical prowess soon become favorites with the other white children and are wholeheartedly admired by them." By the late 1950s, therefore, the Donna Redskins had a history of fielding competitive, ethnically mixed teams. The 1958 and 1959 squads produced records of eight wins and two losses but did not earn playoff appearances.

For the 1960 season Donna administrators hired Earl Scott, who had a proven record of succeeding with border area teams, in hope of winning their long-sought-after district championship. The coach's credentials were impressive as, starting in 1955, he had guided the Eagle Pass (Maverick County) Eagles to a record of seven wins, two losses, and one tie (with a team that was 90 percent Mexican American) before moving on to Laredo (Webb County) in 1956. Prior to his arrival, Laredo school board members actually considered dropping football because, Scott asserts, many of them believed that the town's "kids could not compete in the league."

However, the new Laredo head coach proved the administrators wrong. After winning two games and losing eight in his first season, Scott's last two Laredo teams finished acceptable campaigns of six wins and four losses and nine wins and two losses. Both programs, though, lacked money, facilities, and winning traditions, and they generated only limited community support. Clearly, Scott was an able motivator and administrator who produced positive results under challenging conditions. Fortunately for Donna's bureaucrats, Scott purchased a small citrus farm in the community and accepted a junior high school teaching post in 1959. When the head coaching position came open, the veteran coach accepted the spot and guided the Redskins to eight wins and three losses in 1960, earning a district title and qualifying for the playoffs. The team's run ended when the squad lost to Sinton 12 to 0 in the first round of the state tournament.

At the start of the 1961 season, Texas' sport media predicted that Donna would be respectable (selected to win its district, number 32AA), but the team was not perceived as a potential championship threat. In class AA, the pundits expected traditional powers Sweeny and Jacksboro to clash for the statewide supremacy. The Redskins' early season schedule featured a scrimmage with San Benito (which fielded 45 players against Donna's 18), as well as two class AAA nondistrict teams, Rio Grande City and Mercedes. Injuries in the scrimmage and setbacks in the first two nonleague games (20 to 0 against Rio Grande City and 12 to 8 against Mercedes) got the team's campaign off to a rocky start.

In addition to a grueling schedule, Scott also faced much the same situation as many Rio Grande Valley teams of that era: dealing with players who worked as migrants picking crops or performing agricultural and other types of labor in other states. A 1961 report by the Corpus Christi Caller stated that the (mostly Mexican American) population could "travel to approximately 38 other states on their journey...follow[ing] the cotton crops" and even trekking to "Colorado for sugar beets, Idaho for hops, Wisconsin for vegetables, Illinois for corn, and Illinois and Alabama for potatoes." Such circumstances made preparation for an upcoming season difficult since Coach Scott and his assistant, Bennie La Prade, never knew "what they had [with regard to talented players] going into any season."

For students such as running back Abel Benavides, playing conflicted with assisting in his family's economic survival. Benavides's father, for example, did not want his son to play and instead insisted that he toil in the fields until mid-September. "My dad didn't believe in sports, he believed in working all the time." Still, Benavides persevered, and his words buttress some of Gems's assertions regarding the value of football to the life of a minority student. "The migrant students had it especially tough...because their lack of English generally shut them out of school activities. For a young man struggling for a toehold in the mainstream, football worked wonders."

Quarterback Luz Pedraza faced similar circumstances since his family spent summers picking potatoes in northern Alabama and later in Illinois. Fortunately for Luz, his parents and siblings sacrificed some of their earnings and sent him home to Donna each year before the start of school. Other players, such as Richard Avila and Harry Lantz, shared similar experiences. When Avila's father, a Hidalgo County peace officer, died in 1955, the fifteen children in the family bagged groceries, delivered papers, raised livestock, and worked as migrants to generate income. Lantz's family traveled the nation as carnival workers, and the young Harry lived by himself in a trailer behind a local gas station for most of the school year.

Although they lost their first two games, the Redskins remained optimistic as they prepared for their third and final nondistrict game against the Mission Eagles. First, both Scott and La Prade were stern disciplinarians who insisted on tenuous conditioning (the Redskins started the first weight-training program in the Valley) to produce a team with stamina that played well through the fourth quarter of their games. Players recall that they "'didn't ever take [our] helmet off or sit during timeouts...[We] sprinted on changes of quarter. We sprinted to the huddle. We ran everywhere.'" Second, tightly scripted practices were designed to perfect their offensive attack and eliminate mistakes. These efforts paid off handsomely during the playoffs as Donna totaled a minuscule fifteen yards in penalties during its last three games. Finally, unlike the situations Scott had faced in Eagle Pass and Laredo, the Donna community, both Mexican American and white, supported their team boisterously, with crowds of two thousand or more attending the junior varsity games. These factors, combined with a talented squad, generated eight consecutive victories (including holding opponents scoreless in four of their last five games), a perfect in-district mark, and a berth in the bidistrict (first round) playoff game.

The Donna Redskins, the unlikely powerhouse from the Rio Grande Valley, marched into (and through) the tournament, defeating Refugio (32 to 0), Devine (12 to 7), Sweeny (32 to 14), and Brady (16 to 14) to reach the state title game with Quanah. In all five contests, they were considered the underdogs and were also the visiting team, which increased the difficulty of success. An examination of the Texas Class AA team polls from the 1961 campaign reveals that Donna never ranked in the top ten of the classification, while for the majority of the season, Sweeny, Brady, and Quanah were all ranked in the top five.

Because of its racial undertones, the most noteworthy clash in the early rounds was the battle with Sweeny High School. Coach Scott never used race as a motivating factor for his team; during the regular season he certainly did not have to since most of the 32AA district teams also had substantial numbers of Mexican Americans. But the Sweeny game (which was played in the Gulf Coast city of Freeport) was different. One of the opposing coaches questioned the team's ability because of its ethnic composition. Prior to the game, he approached Scott and asked, "Can these pepper bellies play? I mean, you never heard of any of them in the Southwest Conference." The Redskins' field general responded that his players would show their mettle between the sidelines and informed his squad of the commentary. Nick Padilla, who went out for the coin flip before the contest, endured one final insult when the Sweeny captain inquired whether he was a "real" player or the team's mascot. After the battling to a tenuous 13 to 6 lead through three periods, the Redskins wore down their opponents in the fourth quarter, crossing the goal line three times in the final period to seize the victory.

Donna's opponent for the title came in with highly impressive credentials. During a dominating season, the unbeaten and untied Quanah Indians tallied an astonishing 483 points, while permitting a mere 56. The team from north central Texas had been classified as high as third in the state polls and had already eliminated top-ranked Jacksboro in the other state semifinal match. The Redskins' "Cinderella" season, prognosticators assumed, would meet an inglorious end on the turf of the University of Texas' Memorial Stadium on December 16, 1961. The Valley's representatives were apparently outmatched by their foes for the title game. In a 1999 interview, Luz Pedraza discussed some of the most glaring differences between Valley teams and squads from other parts of Texas. Although his commentary dealt with the 1961 team, it still holds true in many instances today (before the championship game one newspaper described the Redskins as being both "outweighed and outnumbered" by their opponent). "We have mostly Mexican American kids. Other areas have more talent and speed, which you need as you go further and further in the playoffs."

Donna's season had a happy ending, however, although the title game did not start off very well. Donna received the opening kickoff and quickly had to give up possession of the ball and put to Quanah. The Indians marched down the field and scored to take a 7 to 0 lead after only five minutes of play. The scrappy Valley team responded with a drive of its own, although its offense lost possession of the ball near their opponents' goal line. The Redskins' defense then made a gallant stand, lead b Raul ("Chief") de la Garza and Fabian ("Outlaw") Barrera, who combined to sack the opposing quarterback, forcing Quanah to surrender the football. An appalling punt left the Redskins on the Indian's twenty-yard line, from where they quickly drove their offense across the goal line to make the tally 7 to 6 (Donna failed on a two point conversion attempt). The powerful Indian offense was unable to gain ground on their ensuing possession, and the Pedraza-led offense scored again with less than two minutes left in the second quarter. At halftime, surprisingly, the underdog led by a score of 12 to 7.

The second half began with an exchange of punts until Quanah pushed across the Donna goal line with about four minutes left in the third quarter. Uncharacteristically, the Redskins then turned the ball over on a Pedraza interception, and their opponents scored again to take a 21 to 12 advantage. The championship dream seemed to be slipping from the Redskins' grasp. Team member Joe Gonzalez recalls that this was the only moment of panic for the squad. "Two or three guys started crying in the huddle, but Luz helped get them refocused on the task at hand."

Atoning for his earlier miscue, quarterback Pedraza drove the offense down the field for a score and made a two-point conversion to narrow the deficit to 21 to 20. With less than six minutes to go, the Redskins' defensive unit stopped the Quanah offense and regained possession of the football. The Redskins' drive began on their opponent's 42 yard line and, with pinpoint passing and the hard running of Fred Edwards, scored a touchdown with about three minutes left. The Indians, in a final attempt to salvage victory, took the ensuing kickoff and drove down the field to make a tying score. Their last-ditch effort ground to a halt when Oscar Avila, one of the five siblings on the Donna squad, sealed the title by intercepting a pass. The final score read 28 to 21 in favor of the Rio Grande Valley's representative. The Laredo Times reported the triumph by stating that "Donna's Redskins were the only team to pull an upset. They brought the first state [football] championship in history to the lower Rio Valley area."

The Donna Redskins had done what many prognosticators thought impossible: A Rio Grande Valley team had become football champion of the state of Texas. Indeed, the "Mexicans" had shown "them what they could do if given an opportunity." The task of the student of U.S. sport history is to uncover the significance of such an improbable triumph. What impact did the victory have on individual and community life? Sport reporters of the era noted the achievement but did not appreciate the social and historical significance of the victory. Harold Ratliff (in an article titled "The Latins Show Them") lavished praise on Coach Scott but voiced only faint approval for the sacrifice and talent of the Spanish-surnamed players. The championship "paid for all of the hard work the boys had done in showing that the Mexican boy can play football as well as anyone if he has the coach to tell him he can do it and show him how to prepare himself for the task at hand."

The interviews conducted with members of the team provide insight into the sport's ability to engender social change. The Mexican American players asserted that competition offered them a setting where they could battle alongside and against whites and in which they were judged on individual merit, not their ethnicity. In part, football helped them stay in school, graduate, and pursue college degrees. As running back Abel Benavides reported, "'Football gave me a much better outlook on life. In football we all grew together. Coach treated everybody the same....In this town, I went comunidad used a mostly Mexican (and Catholic) way to commemorate victory in a mostly American (and Texan) ritual.

The second incident is apparent in an interview with Oscar Avila in May of 2002. Avila, who now lives outside the Valley, visits Donna frequently. During one of his sojourns an older gentleman approached him and inquired whether he was one of the "Avila boys" from the 1961 team. After indicating that he was, the individual turned to his wife and said, "Mira, viejita, este es uno de los Avilas que jugo en el equipo del '61 cuando les ensellamos a los gringos que nosotros tambien sabiamos jugar football" (My dear, this is one of the Avilas boys who played for the '61 team when we showed the gringos that we too knew how to play football).

This is an excerpt from Mexican Americans and Sports: A Reader in the Athletics and Barrio Life. Also, if there are any typos to be found in this great excerpt, it is my fault, so blame me.

Eduardo Martinez

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Reynosa Tamaulipas

A friend of mine was recently in Reynosa, and he came back with a CD that contained this gem of a song. It's been stuck in my mind for the last few weeks, and luckily, I was able to find a YouTube video of this glorious life altering song. I don't think it's possible for a song to create a more funny and truthful picture of Reynosa or perhaps of any bordertown. My goal is to one day start a fake Tejano band and do a heartfelt trashy tribute to Pharr, but I need to learn the accordion before I do that and get cowboy boots. So anyways, *Drumroll* REYNOSA LA MALDOSA:

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Ballad of Nodrog

Orville T. Gordon is a hero of mine, and I don't throw the word "hero" around lightly. Orville T. Gordon founded the Outer Dimensional Forces (aka Armageddon Time Ark Base Operation) on September 3rd, 1963 in Weslaco, TX. The cult has been extremely controversial over the decades, and at one point the CIA even went in to raid the place. For many years, the Wal-Mart that is right next to the Armageddon Time Ark Base, has tried their best to buy them out and just get rid of them. The best Wal-Mart could do was just buy 1/3 of the area but ODF still has a rather large portion of the area there and it sticks out in a rather glorious visual. Some people view them as an embarrassment, but I'm rather fond of genuine insanity.

Free Image Hosting at


Orville T. Gordon renamed himself Nodrog (yeah it's Gordon spelled backwards...), refused to sell out and for decades has been claiming that the creator will destroy the Earth with the greatest of all floods (this is our punishment for the nosey CIA bothering Nodrog and his friends) and he and his followers will be flying away in UFOs to live happily ever after. Apparently, Nodrog claims that the area he owns right next to Wal-Mart, Church's Chicken, and Pizza Hut is the landing pad for the aliens to arrive. Gordon would go to the local pulga and sell stuff like honey and fruits but he would also sell space on the UFO for anyone interested in leaving the Earth when the time came (which Nodrog claimed was SOON!).

Also, could one ever forget the association that Nodrog's cult had with the Lingenfelters family? That family joined the cult and one of the members of that family, Mark Alan wanted to teach the mayor of Weslaco a lesson. So Mark Alan decided it would be a good idea to plant a pipe bomb and explode the mayor's car in front of the paintshop that the mayor worked for. After the car blew up and after Mark Alan was arrested, Mark's father released this statement to the local newspaper: "Your President, all supporting Bloodsuckers of the United States, plus all Bloodsuckers of Canada and Mexico, have been duly served and convicted in the Outer Dimensional Forces Foursquare Court at Alternate Base, of Triple High Treason". My dad who has worked for the City of Weslaco for the last 30 years, was telling me that after this incident they finally decided to cut off Nodrog's water supply (so he hasn't had water for as long as I've been alive) and that the whole city headquarters was packed with extra security for a while after this incident.

One thing that fascinates me about him, is that the possibility that he is a carny sometimes enters my mind, but why would he do this for this long? I imagine he really has to believe this, I mean, wouldn't selling your area to Wal-Mart be more profitable than selling UFO tickets at pulgas? Or maybe Nodrog was at one point a carny, and this reminds me of something I read at PWO from Kevin Cook:

"When you read about the early years of the CIA and the men who built it, you read a lot of stories very similar to those of wrestlers who have died. Suicides, insanity, broken families, murders, disappearances; it's really horrible stuff. Anyone who got too involved with covert action or counterintelligence, anyone who really understood the inner secrets of American foreign policy, ended up horribly damaged in some way. There are a lot of theories about why this is but I think it's simple enough; when you demand someone give up their ability to maintain a true personality to do their work they're going to get fucked out of all recognition."

So if it started as a con, maybe Orville T. Gordon got so into playing the role of Nodrog that he lost all touch with reality and forgot that he was a carny in the first place?

Anyways, the greatest of all time, Nodrog has released this statement, but unfortunately, I don't have a "Batshit Insane to English Dictionary" with me, but if you can translate this bullshit for me, feel free to comment:

After 6000 years under free moral agency, ending on September 3, 1966, occupants of The Positive Birthright Terrortory on Time Station Earth were found, by the OUTER DIMENSIONAL FORCES, to be abusing themselves by still existing in The Stone Age, thereby automatically being MEASURED as humatons.

These humatons did retain some knowledge of The Circle, shown by use of The Wheel, but have only been employing it in a negative manner by producing friction, and by gathering and distributing Dump Energy for the sole purpose of debt creation against the Bondslaves.

This ignorance, by self-restriction of Perfect Knowledge, has produced the end product of capitalization of costly, deadly, time-wasting experimental research, with its voluminization of material and noise pollution, man-made sickness, disease, and death.

Humatons did go so far as learning how to square the circle, mainly from the measurements of The Great Pyramid, but have restricted its benefits to the negative use of numbers to satisfy their perverse greed for the evil power of man's inhumanity to man.

The OUTER DIMENSIONAL FORCES have returned to find that the occupants of The Birthright Territory have degraded their environment to a terrortory of evil. They have de-monadized the soil, water, air, and buffer zone.

Timrascope tests prove that Homo Sapiens is afflicted with that fatal Armageddon disease (AIDS II) and is now measured as an endangered species.

For 23 years the humatons of the U.S. have refused to activate the protocol for the tapping of the Universal Time Bank for unlimited energy.

Seal no. 6 is now in functional position for activation at 6:00 P.M. preceding S. Day for the rendering of Time Station Earth safe for future habitation.

When there is no vision, the humatons perish.

When the original is lost sight of, humatons come to worship a fancy of their own.

As they have discarded their ancient perfect factual knowledge, they have substituted and confined themselves in a juzgado of ultimate Babylonian mysteries religious philosophy, based upon the restricted limitations of belief and faith.

The jailers who force the humatons to sweat and exist in this stone age juzgado (the great American dream that has turned out to be a nightmare) are the She-Man Devils, who perverfractionated the perfect knowledge, the false prophets of the many of the End Time, who are preventing you from knowing by restricting you to belief and faith, and the Big Brother Police State to insure that you remain in the Dark Stone Age of The Wheel, with its friction, pollution, disease and death as a reward for being a good bondslave.

The slavemasters could not exist without the continued creation and voluminization of debt claims for expansion of the Gross National Product.

This method now has become largely The Capitalization of Calamity based upon inefficiency and poor-quality, short-life products. The achievers who built the nation--the efficiency experts--were necessarily mentally executed by the end of World War II.

If you do not understand this plain English which you are trying to read, it proves that your mind is constipated by the enforced limitations of religious unreality.

In such case, it is not always safe to physic your brains with too much knowledge, as it may result in a fatal case of varicose brains. Use Extreme Caution!

Humatons (degenerated mankind) have proved themselves totally incompetent as stewards of the Positive Birthright Territory, and have turned it into a Terrortory of hate, false love, disease, death, and mutilation of bodies fro profit.

They emulate the Chinese Warlord System in that whichever Lord has the most tax money to hire the most burglars and gunslingers (SWAT teams and various raiders) takes the most loot and prisoners to pack the Great American Gulag Archipelago.

The Great American Dream has become a nightmare of bloodsucking and terrorism.

The constipated minds of the bondslaves are kept in a state of bumbling with created terrorism in other nations while solidification of The Big Brother Police State is activated in The Birthright Terrortory.

The Indians are blamed by the white man for mutilating bodies, but the Indians only mutilated because of their ignorance caused by religious limitation.

The white man mutilates, not only because of being mentally retarded by his mysterious religious philosophy, but moreso to intentionally create debt claims toward voluminizing the Gross National Product.

In this present perverted society, debt claims are created from birth to death, whether you are in the slammer or out.

The hospitals and fake health care fraud have become a vast industry of birth and death factories for creation of debt claims.

In argument, the friendly undertaker puts down the doctor by informing the doctor that the undertaker has to bury the doctor's mistakes, and the undertaker eventually buries the doctor.

"Who buries the undertaker?" is like asking, "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?"

Well, it's all good for debt creation in the bloody religions of fornication with The Harlot and worshipping The Beast.

After all is said and done, if all the humaton Mattoids and Mentats escaped the self-created consequences of the due action of Seal no. 6, would you not be in the same wretched mess as now?

Armageddon Time Ark Base Operation
1500 N. Texas
Weslaco, TX 78596"

Unfortunately, Nodrog hasn't been seen since the late 1990s, so he could be dead. But no outsider ever enters there, so how would we ever know? Or maybe, just maybe, the UFOs arrived and saved him while we await our demise. That'll do, Nodrog. That'll do...

Here is their official website in case you are interested in joining this cult!

Eduardo Martinez

PS - On December 26th, 2009, the Governor of Public Relations for ATA Base Operation contacted me and posted some corrections to the piece below. First correction he made was that Nodrog's property had never been sold and that the Hidalgo Co. Water District unlawfully sold it to Wal-Mart, this sounds true. Then, he claimed that no one can produce any evidence that Nodrog's legitimate name is Gordon despite it being printed in several books, which is his right to say but I must be honest and say I don't believe him. Next, he went on to say that it is slander to call his organization a cult, so out of respect to him I guess I should refer to it as an organization. Fourth, he said that the following statement "...would also sell space on the UFO for anyone interested in leaving the Earth..." was totally false and that I was ignorant for stating it here. Finally, he corrected a date (it was September 3rd, 1963 instead of September 3rd, 1966, I was wrong here and it has been corrected in the original article) and claimed that Nodrog did not find the base but assisted in creating it.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Where to go eat in Pharr?

Most of my friends from around the World usually ask, where would one go to eat if visiting the World famous Pharr, TX? Lucky for them and for you, I wrote two reviews of two restaurants that I think are as awesome as Negro Navarro (and trust me, I think the world of Mr. Negro Navarro and his great technical lucha libre work). Here is the first review that I originally posted on MySpace and look for the second review next week:

200 E Expressway 83
Pharr, Texas, 78577
(956) 702-7235

As one enters Whataburger, one senses the true nature of being in East Side Pharr. This area within the Rio Grande Valley region is made up of an ecstatic truth that makes the rest of the Rio Grande Valley look as false and as phony as an Oscar-baitish motion picture (Whataburger in East Side Pharr is an Ermanno Olmi film while the rest of the Valley is a horrible Cecil B. Demille film). Whataburger is the harmonious center of it all, where the community comes together in their joy and love of hamburgers and breakfast tacos. No superfluous dress codes here, social status does not come into play as one enters the beloved restaurant and encounters the community with open arms. When spending time at Whataburger, cocaine enthusiasts, geeks, criminals, pseudo intellectuals, and Negro Casas fans all co-exist peacefully and respectfully as they eat some of the greatest food ever created by the human mind. Oscar Wilde once said "A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing." In my humble opinion, Utopia is the Whataburger in East Side Pharr and the humanity you find here, gives you a hope for the future.

Eduardo Martinez

Pharr, TX Riot

I was going to write a description, but the description that YouTube user jgonza1846 provided pretty much tells the story:

February 6, 1971 The night of the Pharr police riots which left one young boy dead. Mexican-Americans started protesting in the afternoon in front of the police station. Angry over police targeting and mistreating Mexican-American residents . Firefighters had to use a water hose to quell a larger crowd of people who had started throwing rocks and pieces of brick. Alfonso Loredo Flores was getting his haircut at Ramos barbershop at the corner of U.S. Hwy. 281 and Bell Street. Flores had stepped outside to see what the commotion was about when he was shot and killed by law enforcement. In the video actual footage of block 400 North Cage, Pharr, Texas in 1971.

I actually live a few blocks away from where all this took place and I've heard about this story forever, so it's fascinating to watch. I hope the guy uploads the rest of this documentary. Very interesting to view this almost 40 year old version of Pharr, TX. Some of the footage is graphic, so you've been warned.

Eduardo Martinez

EDIT: August 24th, 2009

EM: At the 2:01 mark in the 2nd video you see a lit up film theater, so I thought I should post a pic of how the theater and Ramos Hair Styling Center look in present day Pharr.

I blame my love on clouds on Sergei Eisenstein, Dziga Vertov, and Aleksandr Dovzhenko! Credit to google map for the pics since I don't have a camera at the moment.