Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Brief History of McAllen (Part 1)

This past week, I discovered these interesting videos from Explore McAllen. Each of these five videos is a couple of minutes long, they briefly cover some details on what happened during a decades timeframe in McAllen, TX. They are introduced and narrated by former local journalistic figures, which was a great idea. These videos are filled with great vintage photographs of McAllen, and cover key points in the history of McAllen. These are the first five videos on the first five decades of McAllen, I will post an entry tomorrow with the other five videos.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Andy Paris: Bubblegum King

Andrew Paris in McAllen
Photo Credit: LIFE

I stumbled upon this since I heard about Andy Paris being a big deal in McAllen in the 1940's. I was curious since the name was foreign to me, so I googled him up. Much to my surprise, I found this neat film trailer.

This rave review from MySA gives some most of the backstory:
Andy Paris didn’t invent bubblegum. 
But the debonair South Texas businessman made it popular the way Henry Ford made the Model-T ubiquitous – by mass producing it. In Paris’ case, after World War II in McAllen. 
Suddenly bubblegum – chewing gum mixed with latex from Mexico -- was widely available, cheap (one-penny) and fun. In post-rationing America, the timing was perfect.It made Paris, the son of Greek immigrants, an unlikely millionaire.
This looks like such a fun and enjoyable documentary, I want to see it soon.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Regional Dictionary of Chicano Slang

This is neat, this book is a product of the Rio Grande Valley. In the early 1970's, Dr. Librado Keno Vasquez was a professor at the local Valley college known as Colegio Jacinto Treviño. A lot of different people contributed to this book, as Dr. Vasquez urged his students to help him by providing slang terms for his Chicano slang dictionary project. Some of the students that were in his class that helped contribute to this book were my tio Ponciano, my dad Felix, and my mom Delia.

I've been wondering about this book for a while, and I finally was able to find a used copy on Amazon. It's really quite cool to see all this slang I've heard all my life in a book like this. Also, it's a time capsule of the 1970's era and its interesting to read some antiquated terms of that time period. So if anyone you know is coming from out of town to visit the Valley, this would be a good book to prepare them for our unique dialect.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Reconnecting the Rio Grande Valley

This is a nice find that deals with the lower Rio Grande Valley and its natural environment. This piece of informative text accompanies the video:

This short film was created in five days by the winners of the 2011 NANPA college scholarship - a group of students from five countries and twelve states. The US Fish and Wildlife Service provided supplementary images of ocelots, and the US Geological Survey provided satellite imagery for the project. All other footage and photographs were taken by the students, during the North American Nature Photography Association's Annual Summit.

It's a good educational piece about the wildlife of South Texas. It goes over some information about the endangered ocelots, the enormous amount of butterflies that live here in the Valley (someone should seriously make an avant garde Valley butterfly documentary) and how unique of a place this is (a place that gets taken for granted). Also this features some neat images of the our South Texas wildlife and environment.

Thanks to the group of students that helped create this short film.

Nodrog's Documents (Entry 2)

A follow up to a previous Nodrog post. This is the second document I received, it deals with Nodrog and the Outer Dimensional Forces group from Weslaco, TX. So check it out if you're fascinated by this unique group from Weslaco.