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TRIBUTES Vered Mares

Transit Papers: Remembering Ernest Anthony “Tony” Mares Ernest Anthony (Tony) Mares died January 30, at the age of 76, after complications from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. He was born May 17, 1938, in Albuquerque, into a family steeped in the rich history of New Mexico and the desert Southwest. There are no good words to sum up the life of such a brilliant and gentle soul. Tony was a true Renaissance man: professor, poet, essayist, dramatist, actor, political agitator and social activist, as well as mentor and friend. His life and legacy will continue to touch people through the lessons he taught his students, his overt dislike of the “establishment,” and his extensive body of written work. His most recent work, a collection of poems about the Spanish Civil War, Through the Convex Mirror of Time: Remembering the Spanish Civil War, will be published posthumously. He wrote and performed his play, I Returned and Saw Under the Sun, and traveled all over the Southwest, playing the role of Padre Martinez of Taos. His essays about Martinez were anthologized in the book, Padre Martinez: New Perspectives from Taos. It is fitting that Tony’s obituary be as untraditional as he was. Thus Tony leaves his family and friends with the following thoughts: “In the movie Casablanca, Humphrey Bogart, proprietor of ‘Rick’s Café Americain,’ tries to obtain the ‘transit Tony Mares papers’ from the Nazis that will allow his ex-girlfriend, played by Ingrid Bergman, to escape with her husband from Vichy controlled Casablanca. “Since I have never liked the sounds of ‘will’ or ‘testament,’ I prefer Transit Papers, which seems to me a term more fluid and ambiguous with future possibilities. What will I transit to? A hideous urn that a merciful cat will knock over and scatter my ashes in some broken-down trailer home? Or ashes placed in a simple urn to be scattered over a beautiful site somewhere on the North American continent, a place like the Rio Grande or the Sandia Mountains, or maybe Alaska? As I write this, I am fully aware that my ashes will have no say so whatsoever in what happens to them. So I leave it up to my resourceful wife and daughters who survive me to determine what to do with me while I am cooling off in some urn or container.” In Tony’s closing scene from his play, I Returned and Saw Under the Sun, the Padre bids us farewell, “…And now, I really must be going, mis hijos, my children, for the voyage is long and I have scarcely begun my travels. I trust we will also meet again soon and we can resume our discussions of these weighty matters. Remember to travel lightly. I now travel as light as a shadow, as light as the traces I leave of myself in your minds, in your dreams. Adiós.” As he so aptly put it, “When the poem stops, you should go through the windshield.”

Profile for Michael Burwell

Cirque, Vol. 6 No. 2  

A Journal for the North Pacific Rim

Cirque, Vol. 6 No. 2  

A Journal for the North Pacific Rim

Profile for burwellm
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