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CC MAGAZINE

APRIL 2013

LAS60DOÑAS YEARS OF GOWNS, PAGEANTRY AND TRADITION

DAN MADONIA AND THE WEEDILICIOUS COMEDY TOUR & DOCUMENTARY COMES TO CC 4-20

DRUG TESTING CCPD RAIDS FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS WHY ITS A WASTE OF MONEY SMOKE SHOPS CALLS LEGAL BUSINESSES "A MENACE" CONDUCTS FRUITLESS RAIDS He who sacrifices

FREE -dom for security deserves neither

MCNELLY'S MEXICAN WAR

THE RANGERS CHASE BANDITS OVER THE BORDER


WEDNESDAY

DOWNTOWN

EVERY WEEK

CORPUS CHRISTI

Every WEDNESDAY 5 to 7 pm 00

00

EAT LOCAL! & BUY LOCAL!

505 South Water Street

At The Vil age Shopping Center ( Tango Tea Room)

Market Manager Aislynn Campbell

(361) 548-3373


CC

magazine

JEFF CRAFT Publisher

JEFF@JEFFCRAFT.US

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Samantha Koepp, Dale Rankin, Georgia Griffin, Ronnie Narmour, Aletha Eyerman, Charlz Vinson

PHOTOGRAPHY Miles Merwin, Jeff Dolan, Janette Park-Rankin Dale Rankin, Georgia Griffin, Max Strycharske, Ronnie Narmour, Angela Maria Gonzalez

CONTACT CC @ 361.443.2137 361.949.7700 505 S Water St Suite 545 Corpus Christi, Tx 78401

ADVERTISING JEFF CRAFT 361.443.2137 JAN RANKIN 361.949.7700

From the Publisher...

When we set out to put this issue together, I knew we'd mention pot, I mean we were putting Dan Madonia on the cover. He has a strain named after him, and he's filming a documentary about legalizing marijuana. But then Kyle sent in his piece about the smoke shop raids, and the Texas Senate started talking about requiring drug testing, first for welfare recipients, then it was people collecting unemployment, by now, I'm sure its anyone who wants to use the public library. So I guess this is the weed issue. I'm not a huge fan of the marijuana, its not that I'm a prude or anything, I'm just very busy and I don't need anything making my life any harder. I'm also notoriously cheap. This month I clomped around in a broken flip-flop for three weeks because I couldn't find a decent pair that was cheap enough. That being said, I've never understood the prohibition mentality. Its not as if making it illegal has had any positive effect on our country. We've created a permanent black market for a plant that is clearly in high demand, creating wealth for a dangerous criminal class. If we handled cannabis the same way we handled alcohol or tobacco, we'd increase our tax revenue, undercut the criminal gangs who control distribution, and at the same time, make it much harder for children to get access to it. A legitimate business has an interest in following the law. Try sending someone underage to purchase a bottle of wine and see what happens. Send that same person to a dealer of illegal drugs, and he'll probably come home with anything he wants.

Mail Last month I ran a little note about the South Texas Atheists putting up billboards, and I said I never understood why religious folk find it necessary to advertise for the creator of the universe... I mean if the universe doesn't convince you, is and ad going to? I got a few responses, this was the best one: In response to your article: South Texas Atheists put up Godless Billboards, I can’t speak for others but I personally have not seen the billboards I think I pay more attention to the traffic here in Corpus. When I first read your article I became angry not at you but at those people that do not believe in our Lord and Savior then I thought that was silly , then I felt pity for those that do not believe then I realized that I felt more sorry for them than anything else. I will not deny that I believe in our Lord or that I am a Christian but that does not make me perfect I am a long way from it. To answer your question why do people feel a need to advertise for our creator? Because as a Christian it is our (job) to let as many people know he exists…Your next question why does our Lord not advertise in your magazine he did by your article. You may not believe in our Lord you may believe that everything that you have accomplished and obtained in this lifetime was your own doing yet the Lord knows all your private thoughts, prayers, and desires and he has been with you every step of the way. Having faith and believing in our Lord does not mean your life is perfect far from it. I can’t quote scriptures, I do not attend church every Sunday but I am still a Christian: I believe in our Father, the Son and the Holly Ghost. If you seek and believe you shall find him. My words may not make it into your magazine if they do it would be the best gift anyone ever gave me Amy C.

Carpet Cleaning

I hope you all enjoy this issue, If the weather ever gets nice, I'm off to the beach for a day or two to decompress from all of this.

Jeff Craft

© Copyright 2013 all rights reserved. CC Publishing, LLC reserves the right to edit, rewrite & refuse editorial materials and assumes no responsibility for accuracy, errors, omissions, or consequence arising from it. CC magazine shall be held harmless indemnified against any third party claims. CC Publishing, LLC accepts no claims made by agents, contributors or photographers. Opinions expressed by contributing writers or columnists are not necessarily those of CC Publishing, LLC or its affiliates. Advertisers appearing in CC magazine present only the viewpoint of the advertisers. CC magazine is printed in the USA. We assume no responsibility for advertising claims made in this publication. All correspondence to this publication becomes the property of CC magazine. Publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without express permission of the publisher and author(s).


08 McNelly's Rangers Invade Mexico

After being fooled by the Frenchman bandit McNelly swore revenge. He believed the man who had lied to him was holed up in Mexico and he was determined to find and kill him. He led his troop to the King Ranch where he recuperated from his recent bout of consumption and Captain Richard King gave him a wagon to get around in. Four weeks later he was ready to ride out on the most storied of all Texas Ranger missions in the history of the force.

11 Las Doñas

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Celebrating its 60th year, Las Doñas will present the Court of Triumphant Dynasties on May 2nd at the American Bank Center Selena Auditorium.

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Why Drug Testing Welfare Recipients is A Misguided Waste of Money We're being asked to pretend that this new law is going to save us money. I'm calling shenanigans. This bill will not save one penny from the public assistance budget. The added costs of drug testing, administration of the program, and legal defense of the law will far outweigh any money saved.

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The Canvas Mary Helen Fernandez Chriss is the first artist to be featured in the Art Center of Corpus Christi’s new “Coming Home Series.” Now an Austin resident and member of the UP Collective, Mary creates in a variety of media, from surfboards and skateboards to canvas and seashells. She was gracious enough to spend some time sharing her journey with me.

14 CCPD Smoke Shop Raids 16 Dining Guide 18

Rumors & Lies

19 Art Scene 20 The Lenz

15

Festival of the Arts

Over 12,000 art enthusiasts are expected for the annual 2013 Festival of the Arts hosted on the Corpus Christi Bayfront. New this year, the Festival events and activities will be featured on the beautiful Corpus Christi Bay at “Destination Bayfront Park”, the Art Museum of South Texas and Corpus Christi Creative Connections Gallery in Heritage Park.


Heroes of the Month

Sandfest 2013 Port Aransas, April 26-28, 2013 Schedule

Friday, April 26

9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Master Sculptors start

9 am

Vendors open

9 a.m. - 5 p.m

Lesson Mountain

(Free sand sculpting lessons)

Noon – 6:30 p.m.

Beer & Wine Garden

Noon – 2 p.m.

Hyatt Eddleman, Entertainment Tent

1 pm

Amateur Pre-registration – SandFest Central

204 p.m.

Rae Anne & the Ride, Entertainment Tent

4-6 p.m

The Ones, Entertainment Tent

5 pm

Vendors close

Saturday, April 27

9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Master Sculptors

9 am

Vendors open

9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Amateur Adult & Teen

9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Lesson Mountain

(Free sand sculpting lessons)

10 a.m. - Noon

TBA , Entertainment Tent

11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Amateur Youth & Guppy

Noon – 2 p.m.

Flat Broke

Noon – 6:30 p.m.

Beer & Wine Garden

2-4 p.m.

Rich Lockhart Bank, Entertainment Tent

4-6 p.m.

Melissa Brooke, Entertainment Tent

5 p.m

Vendors close

5:45 p.m.

Sunday, April 28

Skip the Plastic is very pleased to announce our April Bag Hero, marine biologist Jeff Francis. A recent PhD graduate of the Harte Research Institute at Texas A&M Corpus Christi, Jeff's research in ecosystems services emphasizes the importance of healthy bays and estuaries for our local economy.

National Day of Action @ Packery Channel On Saturday, April 6, heroes from around the CC area came out to Packery channel to clean up the area. The cleanup included divers and kayakers, and removed miles of discarded fishing line and other debris, creating a safer habitat for birds and other wildlife. Thank you to Angela Maria Gonzalez, of CC Solid Waste Services for providing the photos.

Amateur winner announced, Entertainment Tent

7 a.m. – Noon

Masters competition

9 am

Vendors open

TBA

Entertainment Tent

9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Lesson Mountain

(Free sand sculpting lessons)

Noon – 2 p.m.

TBA, Entertainment Tent

Noon – 6:30 p.m.

Beer & Wine Garden

2 – 4 p.m

Cord Carpenter, Entertainment Tent

3:30 pm

Bag Hero

Masters Awards Ceremony, Entertainment Tent

4- 6 p.m.

Melissa Brooke, Entertainment Tent

5 pm

Vendors close

Sandfest 2012 Winner "Where Mermaids Come From" Photo by Ronnie Narmour

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Downtown Farmers Market

Adopt A Beach Spring Cleaning Set for April 20

Celebrates First Birthday

Thousands of Adopt-A-Beach volunteers remove an average of 500 tons of trash each year from Texas beaches. Through two large scale cleanups, and a number of smaller ones, Texans arrive by the thousands to show their dedication to keeping Texas beaches clean.

Photos by Jeff Dolan The Corpus Christi Downtown Farmers Market celebrated its first anniversary on March 27th. In the last year, the Downtown Farmers market has grown from an idea to a vibrant market, an educational garden, and a local food advocacy organization coordinating everything, Grow Local South Texas. The Farmers Market meets every Wednesday at 5pm. The market brings in vendors from around the CC area who offer a variety of locally-grown or raised fruits, and vegetables, as well as grass-fed beef and farm-fresh eggs.

Since 1986, more than 439,000 volunteers have removed 8,400 tons (more than 17 million pounds) of trash from Texas beaches and estuaries. Photo by Brent Rourk

If you have extra stuff from your garden and want to bring it in for sale, the market has a special program for "hobby gardeners," that is, people who aren't farming for a living. Contact the market manager, Aislynn Campbell for details on how you can sell your produce at the Downtown Farmers Market instead of watching it go bad in your kitchen.

Adopt A Beach Locations Corpus Christi Beach Mustang Island State Park, Corpus Christi Check-in: Texas State Aquarium 2710 North Shoreline Boulevard Contact: Kara Hahn 361-881-1259 kara.hahn@texasadoptabeach.org

Cole Park (Kid’s Place) Check-in: 1526 Ocean Drive Contact: Angela Gonzalez 361-826-3673 angela.gonzalez@texasadoptabeach. org

North Padre Island Check-in: Padre Balli Park Office, 15820 Park Road 22 Contact: Jim Needham—Surfrider Foundation 361-825-2708 james.needham@texasadoptabeach. org Todd Dwyer 361-853-9877 todd.dwyer@texasadoptabeach.org Gladys Choyke 361-816-1243 gladys.choyke@texasadoptabeach.org

Portland Check-in: Sunset Lake Park, 201 Sunset Drive, adjacent to Highway 181 Contact: Aneita Ortiz-Cedano 361-816-1766 aneita.cedano@texasadoptabeach.org

Padre Island National Seashore Check-in: Malaquite Visitor Center, 20420 Park Road 22 Contact: William “Buzz” Botts 361-949-8068 buzz.botts@texasadoptabeach.org

Check out this month's Lenz on page 21 for more photos of the birthday celebration.

Check-in: Park Headquarters Parking Lot, 17047 State Highway 361 Contact: Mike Mullenweg 361-749-5246 mike.mullenweg@texasadoptabeach. org

Rockport Check-in: Rockport Beach Park beachfront pavilion Contact: Kerry Goodall 361-729-6661 kerry.goodall@texasadoptabeach.org

Aransas Pass/Redfish Bay Check-in: Lighthouse Lakes Park, 4 miles east of Aransas Pass on Highway 361 Contact: Richard Gonzales 361-779-7351 richard.gonzales@texasadoptabeach. org

St. Jo Island/Port Aransas Check-in: 8:00 a.m. – Fisherman’s Wharf, 900 Tarpon Street Contact: Deno Fabrie 361-749-0256 deno.fabrie@texasadoptabeach.org *Limited access – advance reservations required

Port Aransas Check-in: Avenue G at the beach Contact: Deno Fabrie 361-749-0256 deno.fabrie@texasadoptabeach.org

Registration for all Coastal Bend sites here: http://bit.ly/Zah7uL

Or visit glo.texas.gov for more information

07

David, a chef at Tango Tea Room, shops at the market every week for fresh ingredients to use in his recipes


CC History

MCNELLY'S RANGERS INVADE MEXICO

Editor's note: This is the latest in a series of stories based on the book Taming the Nueces Strip by Texas Ranger George Durham who rode into the area between the Nueces River and the Rio Grande to confront bandits who had been raiding into downtown Corpus Christi and the King Ranch in the year 1875. After being fooled by the Frenchman bandit McNelly swore revenge. He believed the man who had lied to him was holed up in Mexico and he was determined to find and kill him. He led his troop to the King Ranch where he recuperated from his recent bout of consumption and Captain Richard King gave him a wagon to get around in. Four weeks later he was ready to ride out on the most storied of all Texas Ranger missions in the history of the force. By Dale Rankin

Headed for Mexico Late 1875 in the Nueces Strip near Brownsville: McNelly made way south to Rio Grande City which was then the location of the U.S. Army's Ringgold Barracks just across the river from the bandits' lair in Las Cuevas, MX. Their leader was the legendary Mexican overlord Juan Cortinas. When it came to fighting Mexican bandits the U.S. Army in 1875 was about as close to useless as it could be. The Army travelled with wagon trains for supplies which meant they couldn't catch a Mexican cattle rustler riding a three legged burro. On top of that they were under strict orders not to ride or fire into Mexico. So about they all did was stand around and watch Texas cattle disappear into Mexico and file useless reports that were sent up the chain of command to San Antonio. On his arrival in Ringgold Capt. McNelly sent the following telegram to Austin: Las Cuevas, Nov. 19, 1875 A party of raiders have crossed two hundred fifty cattle at Las Cuevas. They have been firing on Major Clendenin's men. He refuses to cross without further orders. I have ordered my men up and shall cross if I can get support. A few hours later he wired again: I recommend crossing at one o'clock tonight. Have 30 men. Will try and recover cattle. The U.S. Troops have promised to cover my return. Ranger Lt. Robinson arrived making a fifty five mile march in five hours. McNelly took command of the newly arrived Rangers under a half moon. He was wearing starched pants and brush jacket and even had on a black necktie. He addressed the troop. "Men, these Las Cuevas bandits crossed a herd of 250 beeves yesterday. I'm going to bring those beeves back to Texas. (Frenchman) Pete is holed up across there. I'm going to kill him. I can't order a single one of you men to go with me. You were hired to fight in Texas, not Mexico. I can't order you, but I sure need you. I need every one who'll cross with me, every one who'll volunteer. We'll be on our own. I can't guarantee to bring you back. All I can guarantee is to lead you up to a dang good scrap. I

won't send you - I'll lead you. If you don't volunteer it won't be held against you or show on your record. It's squarely up to you. Take all the time you need to make up your mind. If any decide to go, step across this trail to this side." All twenty eight Rangers stepped across and as they began crossing the Rio Grande in a two-man rowboat the telegraph lines to Washington were buzzing. McNelly wanted the U.S. Army soldiers to cross with him, Washington viewed it as an act of war and said

M ho elev An

You're making ready to violate two American laws - one is against mounting an armed invasion in Texas, the other is against committing suicide... But we'll try to bring the bodies back and bury you on this side.

Wh h 187 po b

no.

Suicide is against the law Word had been sent from the American consul in Matamoros to Juan Flores Salinas, owner of Las Cuevas ranch and alcalde (mayor) of Camargo, Mexico demanding the return of the cattle. The Army Captain on the river told McNelly to wait for a reply and maybe he would be given permission to cross his troops. "You really think so?" McNelly asked. "No," the Army man said. "But I've told you what I was ordered to tell you. I'm just the Colonel's emissary, and the Colonel is the emissary for General Ord at San Antonio, and the General is getting orders direct from Washington. I've got to make my report and when I do they might order me to use the army to prevent you from crossing. You're making ready to violate two American laws - one is against mounting an armed invasion in Texas, the other is against committing suicide. That's against the law in case you didn't know it. But we'll try to bring the bodies back and bury you on this side" So McNelly had to cross before word came back from Washington to stop him. It was easier to ask forgiveness than permission. They reached the Mexican side under a heavy ground fog and fanned out in a skirmish line. The Captain whispered his command: " Stay in sight of the line. Move quietly, five paces behind me." They followed a cow trail from the river through scrub willows and blackjack and clumps of hardpan sacahuista grass. They came to a rail fence and halted. The fence cut the cowtrail and could be a corral or maybe they weren't where they thought they were. Three Rangers moved into the brush to scout and drew no fire. It was just starting to get light and they could see some sheds.

Shooting starts A rifle shot rang out and clipped a tree a foot from a Ranger's head. McNelly fired his pistol as it came up and the Mexican sentry fell dead. They had been discovered. The bandits were camped a mile from the river and had not expected an ambush. They woke up and came pouring out of their shed fumbling for their guns. The Rangers were within pistol range and stayed in the brush killing twelve fleeing bandits, 08

some of whom had on the uniform of the Mexican Army. The rest scattered into the brush until all that was left behind was a woman who continued to pat tortillas like nothing was happening. She told the Rangers this was not Las Cuevas but Cachuttas, a line camp, and pointed them down a forked trail. Casoose had led them to the wrong place and now the bandits knew they were heading for the main ranch house a mile away where the bandits would have time to take cover or ride off. But for McNelly there was no turning back. He had come to kill bandits, retrieve cattle, and kill a Frenchman. The Rangers shouldered their .50 caliber Sharps rifles and jogged ahead following McNelly. They topped a small rise and could see the main camp below in a wide low spot. It consisted of a stockade closed with six foot poles and clusters of jacales and a chapel in the center. The bandits were taking their time and were still saddling their horses as the Rangers stayed hidden low in the ground fog undetected. Four scouts were sent out from the camp to check the brush. The Rangers cocked their Sharps and took aim, waiting for the Captain to fire first. His first shot killed the lead rider and three more went down immediately. Then the Rangers opened up on the group of riders milling around on the near side of the camp.

Bad day to be a bandit The bandits' time in camp away from any law, combined with the plentiful mescal and easy living had made them lazy and careless. They were taking their time in mounting their horses but they were out in the open and had no idea who was shooting at them. They were well in range of the Sharps and Durham said every Ranger shot brought down another bandit. A hit with a .50 caliber shot did a lot of damage. The survivors panicked and ran for the stockade. The sun was up and the Rangers were dug in and could see well. They poured in the fire as the


Nothing to Lose Before taming the Nueces Strip, Leander McNelly won distinction as a Texas lawman by organizing the Washington County Volunteer Militia to stop the rampant murder of newly-freed black citizens during reconstruction and quelling the TaylorSutton Feud. The people of Waller County remembered McNelly chiefly for his use of the "sky-scaffold" to hold prisoners- the outlaw was tied by the neck to an elevated platform, up high and exposed to the elements. An attempted escape was likely to result in the prisoner hanging himself. When McNelly was summoned to back to service from his deathbed by Ranger commander Major Jones in 1875, and served for only two years. McNelly was in such poor health toward the end that he was transported between battles in a "bedroom wagon." he died of Tuberculosis in 1877, 33 years old.

leaderless bandits ran or rode in every direction. A group of them on horseback rode right at the Rangers, who they still hadn't seen because they were looking for men on horseback. They barely got off a dozen shots before they all fell from Rangers bullets. But reinforcements began riding in from Camargo and one man was clearly their leader with a blooded horse and silver on his saddle. McNelly squinted through his spy glasses - it was Juan Salinas, the mayor. In no time he had more than one hundred men around him and was heading for the river to cut off the Rangers' line of retreat. "Every man," McNelly said, "break for the river or we'll be cut off. Keep low and don't shoot unless overhauled. Break lines and make it your own way." The river was two miles away through heavy brush. If the men inside Cueves had known what they were up against they could have ridden in and cut the Rangers off easily. But all they knew is they had tried three frontal attacks and the brush in front of them had begun spewing bullets and nearly thirty of them were shot. To them the brush was haunted and they probed slowly.

War on Mexico! Back across the river the U.S. Army Lieutenant Guy Carleton was burning up the telegraph keys. It turned out he was quite the writer- he eventually published several books and stories about what he observed from his perch on the north side of the river that day. What he didn't know he made up; Texas had declared war on Mexico! The first band of Rangers had been wiped out! The rest were surrounded and arranging terms of surrender. The consul at Matamoros send word to his man in Camargo to go advise McNelly to surrender to the Federales. But McNelly had a trick up his sleeve. Rather than just running for the border or making a stand in the brush he had his men give ground as the riders approached but did not fire. The incoming bandits thought they were being led into a trap and approached slowly giving the Rangers time to reach the river. The Sharps riffles being fired from behind the Rangers kept the incoming riders from getting close enough to fire with their repeating rifles. The Rangers dug in on the south bank of the river standing ankle deep in water and waiting for the

riders to approach. They were outnumbered five to one and out of rifle ammunition. On the Texas side the Army Captain had brought in half a company to keep the fight from crossing the river. As a large group of riders closed in on the Rangers the soldiers on the Texas side opened up with a Gatling gun they had mounted on the far bank and then the soldiers opened up with rifles. Their commanding officer later swore a shot had landed on the Texas side and he thought they were under attack. The site is marked today on the Mexican side with a plaque that reads: To citizen Juan Flores Salinas who fighting died for his country November 20, 1875. It wasn't just Salinas, all his men died there - more than thirty men at that spot alone. Some of the U.S. soldiers took off their uniforms and swam across in their underpants to join the fight - one of whom was a Captain who later became a General. More men from Las Cuevas were on the way and more soldiers coming across the river. Already more than fifty men on the south side of the river were dead – no Rangers – and the fight wasn't over. An American fighing force had shot men wearing Mexican Army uniforms on Mexican soil. Things were heating up down the Rio Grande.

Mexican Standoff on the Rio Grande The first thing that happened when the Rangers dug in along the riverbank is that the few bandits left alive on the south side of the river retreated. The second thing that happened is that the Captain commanding the U.S. troops crossed the river with a telegraph from his superiors. It was from Colonel Potter at Fort Brown: Advise Captain McNelly to return at once to this side of the river. Inform him that you are directed not to support him in any way while he remains on the Mexican territory. If McNelly is attacked by Mexican forces on Mexican soil do not render him any assistance. Let me know if McNelly acts on this advice. When McNelly finished reading the telegraph the Captain asked him, "What shall I tell him?" "Tell him no," was McNelly's answer. "Anything else?" "No. Plain no," McNelly said. "The colonel won't like that," the Captain said. "The answser is still no," was McNelly's final reply. He had come to Mexico with two things in mind; the first was to kill a Frenchman who had betrayed him and there was a good chance that the Frenchman was one of the fifty of so men who now lay dead on the Mexican side. The second thing was to return about 300 head of cattle that had been stolen and recently crossed into Mexico by the men McNelly had attacked. McNelly wasn't going back without the cattle. What they had now was a true Mexican standoff - in fact it may be where the term came from. The Rangers weren't leaving until they got the cattle but they didn't have enough men to go round them up while fighting Mexicans at the same time. On the other side, the Mexicans had the Rangers pinned down, at least for now, but didn't have enough men left to drive them back across the river. A few hours passed while McNelly went in search of food for his men, which the Army provided. Then a party of three riders appeared out of the prarie with a white flag held high on the end of a carbine and a letter pinned under the hammer. As 09

the truce party approached three Rangers, including Durham but not McNelly, went out to meet them. The leader of the bandits was a man listed in The Book - a list of those wanted in Texas for various crimes - as Doc Headly. He was said to be one of the leaders in the border gang. As he rode up he was drinking from a bottle of mescal. Behind his white beard his face was flush from the mescal. "You're not McNelly," he said to the Ranger. "Just give me the letter," the Ranger said. "This letter," Doc Headly said. "Is from the chief justice of the sovereign Mexican state of Tamaulipas addressed to the commander of the Texas and United States forces that have made an armed invastion of Mexico. And you sir, are not the commander." "Just give me the letter." "How many men you got?" Doc wanted to know. "Enough to go on through to Mexico City if we want to," the Ranger said. "Just give me the letter." "You have invaded Mexico and killed our beloved alcalde (mayor) of Camargo and eighty other citizens." "I'll make it eighty-three right d--- quick unless I get that letter," the Ranger, whose name was Robinson, said. Doc started to speak but Robinson drew his pistol and pointed it at him, the other two Rangers followed suit and one of them asked Robinson., "If I get the first slug in that windbag can I have those pretty pistols of his - and that handtooled belt?" "Well," the other Ranger spoke up, "if I get the second slug in can I have that saddle?" The answer to both questions from Robinson was yes. Doc was sober enough to know the real thing when he saw it, Durham wrote later. He handed over the carbine with the letter, butt first. About that time McNelly showed up and read the letter out loud. In short, it said for all Americans to go leave Mexico and then they would talk about the cattle. "We'll negotiate when we get that herd of stolen cattle," McNelly said. "We'll stay in Mexico until we do." After some discussion Doc said,"Let's suspend fighing for tonight and tomorrow, that being Sunday. Then we deliver the cattle." "We suspend nothing," McNelly said. "The only way to stop fighing is for you to keep your men out of our shooting range. That's final." Doc was starting to sober up. "Those cattle are penned at Camargo," he said. "Your write out an order for them. Write it and sign it. We'll see then." That was done and when both McNelly and Doc signed, the talk was over.

The United States soldiers can go to ... Back on the riverbank the Army had brought over a pot of slum gullion stew and bread. While they were eating, an Army Captain rode up with another telegram: Secretary of War Belknap orders you to demand McNelly return at once to Texas. Do not support him in any manner. Colonel Potter. McNelly wrote back: I shall remain in Mexico with my rangers and cross back at my discretion. Give my compliments


to the Secretary of War and tell him and his United States soldiers to go to hell.

Little McNellys

And then he signed it. About that time a group of wagons appeared under a white flag. It was the Mexicans come to bury their dead. McNelly ordered his men to start back across the river. It had been twenty four hours since they saddled up for their raid and in that time they had covered more than fifty miles, wiped out an outpost rull of rustlers, and earned themselves ten cents wages for the day. When they got across they found their horses fed and rested. The mounted up and rode out. "We want to be across from Camargo at daybreak," the Captain said, "to take delivery on the cattle. I don't trust those rascals and they might change their minds." "They ain't going to deliver the cattle across," Ranger Sergeant Hall said. "They've taken a beating as it is. They've lost their big jefe and lots of men. They'll be forted for us at Camargo." The next day a messenger arrived from Diego Garcia, the man who had taken the place of the slain mayor, saying the new mayor had so much business he wouldn't be able to deliver the cattle until tomorrow. "Tell him," McNelly said, "we want the cattle today, like we agreed to yesterday. They were to be delivered this morning. Tell him the commanding officer of the U.S. Army demands them now and might take military action if that truce agreement is violated." A short while later a note arrived from Garcia via a very polite messenger who reported that the cattle would be delivered to the river at 3:00 p.m. today. Across the river the Rangers could see a pole corral full of cattle with plenty of armed horsemen riding herd. The Rangers checked their weapons and wondered what McNelly would do next. He did what he nearly always did, the unexpected.

Bad day to be a Mexican customs man After a visit to a cafe for coffee and pan dulce, the Rangers rode back out to the river where McNelly got on the ferry and ordered the first ten Rangers in line to board with him. Durham did a quick count, he was number eight. They crossed the river and we met by four Mexican customs men. "It's 3 o'clock we're here for the cattle," McNelly said. The customs man in charge explained that they had forgotten it was Sunday and since their religion forbade them from doing any business on Sunday, they would bring the cattle tomorrow. Suddenly the Mexicans started to draw their pistols. "Captain McNelly was on top of that customs man like a cat," Durham wrote years later. "His pistol crashing the side of his head and his knee in the man's belly as he went down." The Rangers drew and jumped up behind their captain as they had been trained. The Mexicans were not trained and were bunched up so that even if they got their weapons clear of their holsters they couldn't get a clear shot at the Rangers. When the first Mexican cleared leather Ranger Bob Pitts shot him and he "dropped like a polled shoat" in Durham's words. The rest dropped their pistols and reached. The dead man had fallen on the leader that McNelly had clubbed and McNelly grabbed him by the collar and hauled him to his feet. He said to the interpreter, "Tell this man we're going to cross him over to the Texas bank, and for him to order his hands to deliver the cattle over in an hour or he dies. Tell him also if any rescue is tried he dies. Tell him." It was just not his day. With a shaking hand the boatman pulled the Rangers and the hapless customs man back across to the Texas side. Once again the Captain had used surprise to get his point across. In less than one hour the cattle started wading into the muddy Rio Grande heading to Texas.

One riot one Ranger Years later, after a career in law enforcement George Durham wrote: "I had learned another mighty good lesson that stood me in good stead in later years as a peace officer, and that was to get control of the leader when you had a mob or crowd to handle. Never kill the leader if you can help it. Take control of him, and do it in a way so he'll know he's been brought under control. That way one or two peace officers can handle a whole mob without too much killing." It was the origin of the mantra of the Texas Rangers that lives through until today. Like the Ranger said years later when he got off the train alone to squash a riot in an oilfield town. "Only one Ranger!?" the town's Mayor croaked. "Well, you only got one riot," the Ranger said. One Riot One Ranger. As the cattle began crossing back onto the U.S. side the Rangers expected to see around 250 head, but as the herd continued to cross there were more than 400 cattle and they were prime beeves. The raiders had already killed and skinned the

The Texas historical marker placed at McNelly's grave Reads: His men always proudly called themselves "Little McNellys." "scrubs and she stuff" as Durham put it. These were two-year old and older steers with brands ranging from the Running W of the King Ranch to the Half-Moon from the Hale & Parker Ranch down south near the mouth of the Rio Grande. There were thirty-three head that bore the King Ranch brand and they were bunched up and driven off to the ranch. Durham went along in hopes of meeting a young woman who had served him coffee there on his last visit. It was almost Christmas and Durham was missing his family back on their Georgia farm. He lamented: I’d come to Texas to get me a piece of ground, maybe a few head of stock, build me a house. But what I'd really done was to hire out at thirty-three dollars a month to kill people. That's all I'd done. Kill people. I'd been in Texas about a year, and all I still owned was what I wore from Georgia. Like a land terrapin, all I owned was either on my back or in my belly." The Rangers were invited to eat with the King family but none had clothes for the occasion, even after they cleaned up, except a Corporal Rudd who was an Englishman with an education who had pants and jacket of good cloth "that actually fit." When they refused to sit at a table with the women King had a separate set for them in a different room. The women brought in a cake, written on top was "Compliments of the King Women to The McNelly Rangers.� One of the women was Caroline, the niece of King's wife, who Durham had come to see. She asked where he had gone and was told he had stepped outside. In truth, he was hiding behind a big stove because he hadn't bathed since the weather turned cold months before. He had been sleeping on a saddle blanket. King took the cattle the Rangers returned and ordered their horns cut short and they were turned out to pasture with his order that they never be shipped or traded. They were now a King Ranch legacy and stayed around for years. The reason, it turned out, was that King had never expected to see them or any of the Rangers again.

Next Time: The Second Alamo & A Ranger Captain goes to Washington D.C.


Center INSIDE THE

Los Donas

By Phyllis Allen

Celebrating its 60th year, Las Doñas will present the Court of Triumphant Dynasties on May 2nd at the American Bank Center Selena Auditorium. Many changes have occurred in the presentation of the pageant since its inception in 1954. The first year of its staging, duchesses wore dresses borrowed from San Antonio’s Fiesta celebration. Beginning the second year, all dresses were designed and executed locally. In the early days, there were no trains. Through the years, dresses have become more elaborate. They now include elegant trains, crowns and carries that depict the theme of the court.

Chancellor of the Realm walking on stage

The annual Buccaneer Days Coronation is rooted in Corpus Christi history and resounds with pageantry. Its beginnings were during the popular “Splash Days” and have now grown into a spring social event, a real Texas tradition. This celebration originated with the salty legends of the sea and the swashbuckling buccaneers who inhabited the Gulf Coast more than two centuries ago. The Coronation Pageant is one of the highlights of the Buccaneer Days celebration. It is sponsored by Las Doñas de la Corte and was founded at the request of the Civitan Club. Las Doñas, a unique organization with a history of tradition, is committed to producing a yearly Coronation Pageant honoring local and out-of-town families. The Coronation is modeled after a royal court, recalling the Spanish rule of Isabella and Ferdinand. King Alonso represents the 16th Century explorer Alonso de Pineda, who discovered Corpus Christi Bay. Over the last 60 years, hundreds of families have participated in this community event. Several duchesses in this year’s court represent the third generation of their family’s participation. Las Doñas is proud to be a part of this city-wide celebration and proud to bring the sparkle to the Sparkling City by the Sea. Local duchesses are invited from among families participating in the civic life of Corpus Christi. Las Doñas has a design and wardrobe chairman each year who spends an entire year choosing and researching a theme and inviting an artist or artists to interpret this theme. Duchesses are asked to fill out sheets stating their favorite colors, hair and eye color and complexion. Every effort is then made to match the design to the young lady’s style.

Duchess & Escort walking

After the Coronation, many girls donate their costumes to museums, costume departments, the Harbor Playhouse, etc. Some choose to hang them on walls at home or use them as elaborate Christmas tree skirts. While the Coronation itself and the illuminated night parade will be the center point of the Diamond Jubilee, Las Doñas will offer to the public, free of charge, a robe display at the Art Center of Corpus Christi, 100 Shoreline Boulevard. This Robes Display will take place May 8 – June 2, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (closed Mondays). Someone who has never attended the Coronation can expect a thrill to the senses at the sight of gloriously jeweled dresses, music and stage set to match each theme, amidst an array of eager participants. The Coronation is a shining moment of each glorious year of life in Corpus Christi. My name is Phyllis Allen. I have been a member of Las Doñas since 1977, serving as president and in most jobs of the organization for 36 years. I was a duchess in 1958. My daughter, Melanie Allen Hauglum, was Queen of the Court of Heroines-Fact & Fantasy in 1987. Melanie is, also, a member of Las Doñas.

07

Princess walking up the stairs


Vegetarian, Vegan & Gluten-Free Friendly

A Taste of Austin

Don't Panic! We have Lots of Non-vegetarian stuff too!

In Downtown Corpus Christi

Free WiFi Farmers market Every Wednesday 5pm Open Mic Night 2nd and 4th Saturday

Tango Tea Room 505 South Water Street 361-883-9123

12


Texas to Require Drug testing for welfare Recipients, unemployed By Jeff Craft

Symbolic Legislation is Idiotic, Ineffective, and Expensive

The Texas State Legislature is in the process of requiring anyone on public assistance to submit to mandatory drug testing. On the surface, this seems like a reasonable idea. Nobody wants to have our tax dollars wasted on some lazy drug addict's habit, so what's the harm? But like everything in politics, there's devils in the details, and the fact that its such an easy vote politically - Imagine the ads next year, "Jeff Craft voted to allow welfare recipients using your tax dollars to buy illegal drugs!" The politicians who vote for these measures consider them carefully, but their goal isn't to improve the state budget, to save money or accomplish anything beyond a symbolic vote that can be touted as an accomplishment. It only takes a moment's thought, and a little research to reveal that the drug testing idea, while politically brilliant, is going to create another expensive layer of bureaucracy and will be largely ineffective at preventing drug abuse among recipients of emergency aid. And its probably unconstitutional, so there goes another pile of money spent defending this pointless exercise in political symbolism. So why is it so appealing? Why do we all immediately like the idea? Do we want to beat down even further those of our fellow citizens who have been brought so low by circumstance or bad decisions that they are dependent upon us for their daily bread? We hate paying taxes, that's as American as baseball. The idea that those of us not receiving aid have to give our money to someone else who blows it on crack is offensive, but if we're worried about saving money, we should be cutting the budget, not adding to what we spend on every single case. There may be another, probably subconscious motive at work here. Ask yourself:

What does a "Welfare Recipient" look like? Close your eyes, picture the line of people waiting to pee in a cup to get their food stamps or whatever, now what do they look like? Do they look like you? I'm not saying its just about racism, but its definitely got something like racism in it. But when you pictured that line you might have seen some people of your own ethnic background, at least I hope you did. But people on welfare have been portrayed in politics as lazy ethnic minorities who are gaming the system since day one. The truth is more complicated, most people receiving assistance are single mothers with limited job prospects and little or no help from their community. "Welfare recipient" is a code-word, and it ain't code for "young single mother with a high school education, kids to feed and no help from anyone."

Paint a red L on my lawn if you must But I don't think young women and helpless children should be cast out of the tribe to fend for themselves. Neither did the big J.C. or L.B.J., and according to my kid's State-Approved history books, they're both from Texas so I'm not entirely alone, maybe just old-fashioned.

Its the money, stupid.

testing law, U.S. District Court Judge Victoria Roberts ruled that the state's rationale for testing welfare recipients “could be used for testing the parents of all children who received Medicaid, State Emergency Relief, educational grants or loans, public education or any other benefit from that State.”

Its about money. We're being asked to pretend that this new law is going to save us money. I'm calling shenanigans. What we really have here is a symbolic act, where a despised minority is punished for "being lazy."

Sound Familiar? Whether the despised minority is an ethnic group or a socioeconomic class, In an effort to save money, the state If the everyone who receives it's the ugliest part of human legislature has added the cost of urine nature that is being expressed testing to the public assistance budget. In some public benefit from the here, and not one senator in another effort to cut the state budget, the state were to be subjected to Texas had the courage to say legislature is considering a measure to send drug testing, that would be everyone. If you have children this is a stupid idea. This bill $100 to everyone in Houston. in public school, received a will not save one penny from student loan, grant, or a tuition waiver, or maybe the public assistance budget. What it will do is your kids are on the children's medicaid program, add the cost of drug testing to the budget and give should you have to show up and have your urine these Austin politicians a sound-byte to use in the tested? Now what does a welfare recipient look like? next election. Our tax dollars will be funneled to drug testing companies who are already jockeying Oh, and it costs stupid money for position to get that coveted state contract. The average cost of a drug test is about $42 Instead of using that money to make sure no child in per person tested, not including the costs of Texas goes hungry, it will be used to "catch" anyone hiring personnel to administer the tests, to who has smoked marijuana. Not heroin, crack, or ensure confidentiality of results and to run methamphetamine, but in practice, just pot. confirmatory tests to guard against false positives Applicants who test positive would be barred from resulting from passive drug exposure, crosscollecting benefits for 12 months. They could reapply identification with legal, prescription drugs such as in six months if they complete a substance abuse codeine and legal substances such as poppy seeds. program. Three failed drug tests would result in a Another way to measure the cost is by counting permanent ban. So its going to cost 3 drug tests, and what it costs to “catch” each drug user. A a substance abuse program, some social worker to congressional committee estimated that the cost monitor the program is done, and God knows how of each positive drug test of government much more in administrative costs before anyone employees was $77,000, because the positive rate is removed from the welfare rolls for smoking pot. was only 0.5%. Then there's the legal challenges that are bound to erupt. This bill will not save one penny.

And lets not forget the obvious

Texas could learn from Alabama Alabama (yep, Alabama) has figured this out already? Alabama gave up on its drug testing program as a waste of time and money. New York and Maryland each considered a program to randomly drug test people receiving welfare, but abandoned the plan as not cost-effective, given that urinalysis is almost exclusively a barometer of marijuana use and that welfare recipients are already required to undergo regular supervision, allowing for effective monitoring without the cost and intrusion of mandatory drug testing.

And then there's the whole Freedom Thing Michigan attempted to impose drug testing on welfare recipients, and that policy was struck down as unconstitutional in 2003. The ACLU challenged the mandatory drug testing program as unconstitutional, arguing that drug testing of welfare recipients violates the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches. The case, Marchwinski v. Howard, concluded when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld a lower court’s decision striking down the policy as unconstitutional. In halting the implementation of Michigan’s drug 13

These tests only really catch cannabis users. Cannabis metabolites are present in urine for a very long time, up to four weeks after taking the drug. Cocaine metabolites completely disappear after 3 days, heroin takes 5 days to clear, and alcohol is gone after 2 days. So we're only going after pot-heads. You can spend your entire welfare check on cocaine, and by the time you go to take your pee test, you'll be fine, but don't smoke pot, which is something that we all have to admit is pretty common among Americans, even though it is still illegal in the more backward areas of the country. So it will cost more taxpayer money, violate the fourth amendment, it won't be effective at preventing drug abuse or helping people get off welfare, but lets do it because... Why exactly?

God Bless Texas, We Need it. Comments? Send your well-reasoned and intelligent responses to jeff@jeffcraft.us. Jeff


CCPD Raids on Smoke Shops: CCPD: Small Businesses selling legal products are "a Menace" By Kyle Hoelscher With this title, you are probably expecting an article about the recent street user fee which will severely affect small and local businesses, while hardly affecting big corporations. That would be a good article, but I prefer to talk about the government attacks that go unnoticed. My topic today is the head shop raids that occurred at the beginning of February. If you are unfamiliar, please, do a quick Google search (corpus christi head shop raids) before you continue reading. You will find plenty of mainstream media stories that tout the police's agenda and boast how drugs, money, surveillance equipment, and paraphernalia was all seized during these daring police raids. The fact is that these raids were public spectacles with one purpose: shut down the head shops. Some of you may not know what a head shop is. So, let me clear the air. You’ve seen them around town. There is Puff n’ Stuff, Sampsons, and Mr. Nice Guy’s, S&G’s, Flashbacks and many other stores that have a head shop portion. They might also be called smoke shops, novelty stores, or if you ask the Corpus Christi Police Department (CCPD), dangerous drug dealing criminal enterprises full of scum and villainy. The truth is that these are businesses, started by local entrepreneurs who employ people, hire managers, buy locally made products, and pay for local contractors to build signs, store fronts, ect. They generate money for these activities by selling products which are legal (if perhaps undesirable by some). They sell water pipes, traditional pipes, hookahs, glass cleaning kits, detoxifying products, herbal incense, and other smoking accessories. Some people use these products to smoke marijuana. Oh, let’s just drop the façade. They sell marijuana accessories. They sell pocket pipes, steam rollers, Snoop Dog rolling papers, marijuana literature, and bongs. They sell bongs with water reservoirs, ice chambers, ash catchers, multiple bubblers, filters, big bowls, and small bowls. Now that the cat is out of the bag, let’s move onto another issue: EVERYTHING THEY SELL IS LEGAL. They are citizens who saved up money, wrote out a plan, and started up a business selling a legal product which has a legal demand by following state law and paying all of their federal, state and local taxes. These are the same type of individuals that drive our economy in all other areas of commerce. Now, let’s move to the real controversy that caused these raids. That is the controversy over a new product which has emerged in mainstream America. The product is generally referred to legal marijuana, synthetic marijuana, or The Legal. The Legal is not an all that new phenomenon. It’s been sold in the back of magazines and in head shops for many, many years. And since many people want to get high, but marijuana is illegal, they often turn to The Legal. Since there was no legislation on the subject, head shops began carrying it CCPD: It doesn't matter how you change the more often and in more contents to try to follow the law, we still say varieties. its illegal.

you have expended dozens of officers’ Enter the State of Texas. Like many work days, multiple police cars’ usage, emergent drugs, the State of Texas got multiple detectives’ days, the effort in around to banning it. Like a typical getting all those search warrants, the crime government, they were way behind scene vans, and the additional resources the curve. The legislature passed a bill that will be used in the future to test the in 2011 which set out a long, long list confiscated material. of different types of chemicals which are commonly used in The Legal. You Now, if that were it, I would not write may recall the City of Corpus Christi this article. If the CCPD came in and seized attempting to do something like all of The Legal on the shelves in order this, except they made a very broad to make a case against head shop owners and sweeping law that ended up in for violating state law, that would be litigation and ultimately an injunction fine. That would be the normal course was placed on the city from enforcing of enforcing our criminal laws, which is the law. Now, to me, this process is CCPD’s primary job. I may disagree about perfectly fine. If you are a citizen and how they do it, but they certainly need to you want to pass a law, you have your do it. lawmakers pass it through a democratic Illegal drug That is not what they did. Using this process. If you want to change the paraphernalia or tobacco pretext to go into these shops, they laws, you talk to people about it and accessory? proceeded to take everything they can convince them otherwise. You can get their hands on. They took all the see this effect in the current changing pipes and bongs. They took all the companies’ opinions on marijuana itself in America. CCPD is not surveillance equipment. They did not just take the interested in a democratic process, hence the raids. recordings; they took all cameras, wires, recorders, Well, a funny thing happened in head shops in and everything. They broke into the store safes 2011, they quit selling the illegal product. Why? and took all of the store’s money. They took things Because they are legal businesses. They thrive entirely unrelated to the sale of The Legal. Why did in the legal market. They sell legal products. In they do that? They did it because they wanted to 2011, water pipes were not made illegal. Nor were shut these local businesses down. The CCPD decided pipes, rolling papers, or any other products that what businesses should be shut down and they shut they sell. Something else did happen though; the them down without asking a single person if they manufacturers changed the chemical formula of The should or could. Legal to conform to the laws passed by Texas. Within There is where the injustice lies. You must regulate a year, after the dust settled, head shops began businesses, especially in the fringe businesses like selling The Legal again within the confines of Texas head shops, bars, and strip clubs. A free society does law. not let its enforcers decide that a certain industry Now comes CCPD. CCPD does not like head shops. must be shut down. A free society does not destroy They childishly believe that having these shops in the a person’s legal livelihood because the police want to city promotes crime and drug use. They think that destroy it. The worst part is that the police got their if only there was a way to destroy these businesses, way for now. Most of the smoke shops could not we could stop marijuana use across the city. Far be withstand a burglary of that magnitude. Without it from me to tell someone their opinion is wrong, product or money, they were forced to shut down. but of course CCPD is not a person. It’s a government The families of the owners and employees are going institution. It is my right to tell them that they to be affected. We have a few more people on are foolish and that they are wrong. Worse, they our unemployment rolls. We will have a few more cause the illegal activities in this arena by pushing abandoned buildings in the city. And of course, we their wrong-headed agenda. We can see all over will have exactly the same amount of marijuana this country, when marijuana related businesses are use, synthetic or otherwise. Those users will just regulated like businesses, we get better communities. send their money to other parts of the country or Communities thrive when local businesses thrive. world to get their smoking accessories. In the end, the CCPD specifically acted in a way that hurt their The problem is that CCPD is not interested in asking own community and those actions seem to lack any citizens what they think of head shops. They are not noticeable benefit to society. interested in hearing about local businesses. They are interested in destroying head shops and they got Kyle Hoelscher is a Corpus Christi Attorney their wish when head shops began selling The Legal specializing in criminal defense. Kyle received a Juris in forms that conformed to state laws. It is CCPD’s Doctorate from St. Mary's Univirsity Law School position that under vague and difficult to enforce in 2010 and is a member of the Corpus Christi Bar laws related to chemical analogs of illegal drugs, Association, The Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers the head shops are selling drugs. That is certainly Association, the San Antonio Criminal Defense enough to get a search warrant, though the criminal Lawyers Association, and the National Organization cases seem rather dubious. We know the criminal for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. Kyle's offices cases aren’t going very well since they only arrested are located at 505 S. Water Street, Suite 527 in 3 people in relation to the search warrants. This is downtown Corpus Christi. You may contact Kyle out of a total of 8 search warrants issued and 8 shops Hoelscher via email at khoelscher@hoelscherlaw.com. raided. That is an extremely low success rate after 14


How hard do you fight to stay laid back? By Aletha Eyerman-Craft

Dan Madonia, Jesus Trejo and Steve Trevino, making faces during our interview the last time they were in town for Steve's "Grandpa Joe's Son" tour. - Photo by Jeff Dolan

Late last year, I had the opportunity of meeting Dan Madonia, one of four comedians who will invade our town this month. Dan and Jesus Trejo, another stellar comedian and all-around super cool human being, were touring with for Steve Trevino. You may have heard of Stevie T (don’t tell him I call him that). He taped his first comedy special for Showtime last year and went on tour with his show, “Grandpa Joe’s Son.” He brought Dan and Jesus to Corpus Christi back in November where they opened for him at Harbor Playhouse and performed their own sets at the Comics Live Comedy Club Toys for Tots drive. (They had the room, and me, laughing so hard that they made up for forgetting about our first lunch date, which only happened because Stevie T forgot to tell them about it. We’ll talk about that in a few months when Trevino finds his way back to town. (Payback, Esteban. Sweet payback.) So, Dan Madonia. Hilarious, intelligent, kind… he’s even handsome if you’re into skinny guys with the wavy, golden locks of a heroine! Um, hero. I meant hero. Looking like he stepped off the cover of a Harlequin novel, he’s got pretty hair and he knows it. In fact, his luscious locks find their way into his stand-up, alongside other aspects of his life that make Dan the guy he is in real life. I should probably mention something else… Dan the performer/Dan the hair model? He likes to smoke weed. Just a little something you should know since the comedic spectacular coming to town is called “The Weediculous Comedy Tour.” Corpus Christi is one of many stops the tour’s comedy-stuffed, hot-boxed van will be making on the tour while filming the associated documentary, “Weediculous.” “Weediculous” is a ground breaking documentary “filled with comedy, travels, awareness and love.” The film follows “The Weediculous Comedy Tour” which is really just the fun-filled tomfoolery of four LA based comedians on their crazy quest to travel across America, perform their unique brand of stand-up and capture conversations with everyday people. Why? They are people people. Er, people persons? Whatever. They like people and they want to make you laugh. And talk with you about pot. Or, as they so eloquently put it: “capture conversations with everyday people on the streets about the legalization of Marijuana.” Yup. These kind folks enjoy their weed and aren’t afraid to admit it. The tour may be called “Weediculous”, but it “offers much more than pot jokes.” The comedians are all well known in their own right and have individually traveled (paying gigs and all!) with their stand up. “Weediculous” consists of Dan Madonia (High Times Magazine, Vans Warped Tour), Dustin Kaufman (Christopher Titus’s “The Voices In My Head”) Jessica Michelle Singleton (Comedy Central) and Omid Singh (Club and College Headliner). The associated film will feature the group’s travels, live performances and conversations inspired by tour.

To raise $5K (a small portion of the estimated over $30K it will take to make this dream happen) the crew went to kickstarter.com. “We realized most of our friends and supporters would probably just have a heart attack even seeing a number like that [the $30K] so we decided to do a Kickstarter just to fund the cost of the DVD production. Meeting our goal means having the funds to cover equipment, filming, editing, production and distribution. Anything raised above the goal will go directly to other expenses such as lodging, food, merchandise/printing costs, getting a van for the road and the gas to get to each town.” If you know anything about kickstarter, you know that you set an amount of funds you really-really-really hope for, give the effort a time limit and harass all your friends, family, neighbors and strangers and hope they will deem your cause worthy of a donation. If the collective donations meet your financial goal by the time limit, you keep the money. Dan, Dustin, Jessica and Omid met their goal! Actually, they surpassed it thanks to the 128 donors who helped this motley crew out with cold hard cash. The support of BD Productions has helped “Weediculous” gain acceptance for screenings at top film festivals and DVD distribution to Blockbuster, Blockbuster Online and Netflix, among others.

From their kickstarter page: “The Weediculous Comedy Tour” features 4 standup comedians, traveling the country for 50 days in a van. They are making people laugh through their performances and also taking time in each of the towns they stop in to talk to everyday Americans, medical patients, growers and shop owners about their views on the legalization of marijuana. The documentary is meant to entertain through the comedic situations that come with life on the road as a standup comedian, as well as educate viewers on the positive reasons for legalizing marijuana. The biggest challenge we foresee with this project is not being taken seriously because of the cause we are trying to bring awareness to. Our hope is that between our shows, the documentary, social media, and community projects such as this one, we can help to legitimize this issue in the eyes of people who may not realize what a powerful and positive effect the legalization of marijuana (on even a medicinal level,) can have on so many individuals. This show is something you don’t want to miss. Fittingly, “The Weediculous Comedy Tour” will in town, on the stage at Comics Live Comedy Club on 4/20! Yeah, totally planned. Actually, the comicquad (I totally made that word up!) will be offering three shows, beginning with Friday, April 19th at 9pm and Saturday, April 20th at 8pm and 10pm. Comics Live Comedy Club is located at 1214 North Chaparral, adjacent to Railroad Seafood Station. You can purchase tickets at Disc 15 Go Round or call the venue for reservations (361) 434-4290.


Dining Guide

Taste The Difference! The Gourmet Pizza Our famous Padre Pizza dough is handmade daily. Our sauces are created from the freshest tomatoes and seasoned with our own Chef’s blend of natural herbs and spices. Our lasagna made from scratch daily is the most tasty and delicious you will ever try, and our salad selections are prepared to order using the freshest produce available. 14993 SPID On the Island 949-0787

Snoopy’s and Scoopy’s

949-7737 15370 SPID- On the Island

Snoopy’s Pier was literally a product of the Redfish Wars, a battle over commercial fishing rights in Texas. Ernie Buttler realized the Redfish Wars signaled the beginning of the end of the commercial fishing industry in Texas. So Ernie decided to give up trying to catch fish and shrimp and start cooking them instead. In August 1980 Ernie and his wife, Corliss, purchased a small bait stand and burger joint with a fishing pier on the Intracoastal Waterway. Over time, the place was transformed with a lot of hard work and patience into a family-friendly seafood restaurant. Special attention is given to providing local harvested quality seafood at affordable prices.

Located on Padre Island, Island Italian has been serving the community since 1987. A family friendly restaurant, Island Italian also serves beer and wine and is available for private parties of up to 53 people. Flat screen TV and DVD / VHS for meetings. Delivery on Padre Island after 5pm. Daily Lunch and Dinner Specials. Hours of Operation: Monday - Thursday 11am to 9:30pm Saturday 10am to 10pm Sunday 5pm to 9:30pm

Scoopy’s was opened by Ernie’s wife and features home made soups, salads and sandwiches using only Texas products. Scoopy’s is proud of their shrimp salad, known by locals as the best in town. They also have great house made desserts and ice cream by the scoop. 13313 S.P.I.D. · Corpus Christi (361) 949-8815 · snoopyspier.com

Great Seafood s r e g r u B d n a Libations Amusements 18 Holes of Miniature Golf

Wednesdays All you can Eat Fried Shrimp Thursdays Prime RIb Open 11 am - 2 am With Twice Baked Potato Kitchen Closes @ 1 am 2034 State Highway 361

One Bite & You’re Hooked

361 749- Taco (8226)


Libations Amusements 18 holes of miniature golf Open 11 am - 2 am Kitchen Closes @ 1 am 2034 State Highway 361 361 749- Taco (8226)

G�i��

Dining Guide

Town & Country Cafe has great breakfast and lunch specials every day, offering great food at a fair price. Town & Country Cafe is a great location for business meetings and client luncheons and there is no charge for the use of the meeting room.

4228 South Alameda

Corpus Christi, TX 78412

(361) 992-0360

Locally Owned and Operated

Tango Tea Room Eat Happy!

New Locavore Specials Every Week Using Locally Grown Ingredients Farmers Market every Wednesday 5pm

The Tango Tea Room brings a taste of Austin to Downtown Corpus. Tango serves a variety of Mediterranean and world cuisine, including some of the best vegetarian and vegan fare you can find in Corpus Christi. We also specialize in vegan and gluten-free desserts, cupcakes and muffins. Don't be scared, we serve a lot of great non-vegetarian food too. Our Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Salad Is incredible! Come on down and get your hippie on!

Hours:

10-7 Monday through Thursday 10-9 Friday & Saturday 12-6 Sunday

505 S. Water Street in downtown Corpus Christi Facebook- Tango Tea Room

361-883-9123


Rumors & Lies

How I stopped worriying and learned to love the RIAA

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By Charlz L. Vinson Cvinson@ccmagonline.com

ecently seven local persons plead guilty to illegally making and selling DVDs and CDs. This is nothing new. Anyone with access to a blank CD and a CD burner/computer can be well on their way to doing this activity. Further along in the article it is stated that this "bust" was the result of a YEAR-LONG investigation. Can you imagine what that "bust" just cost you the taxpayer? A whole year. Meanwhile in Woodsboro, people are still clamoring for the 8-liner game rooms. I imagine that if I lived in Woodsboro I too would frequent an 8-liner establishment. Just for the fun of it. This month we talk about wasted money.

Perceived value is what makes a great hoarder. You see, a hoarder sees a torn piece of cardboard and will keep it because one day it may become the backing of something mailed that should not be bent. An old Polaroid camera might be a nice conversation piece, since no film can be obtained. Old electrical equipment is always a plus. For example, anyone who has been hoarding VCRs can make a killing on today's market. You can't find a VCR for sale anywhere. Did you hear about the guy who sold an old Nintendo game on ebay for $41,000? You'd be surprised what people will pay for their perceived value of something. Even when that something...is...in...reality...nothing.

and paid rent for a space, sat out in the Texas sun, waited for customers, etc. Some would think that what they did was wrong, but I think they were just too overzealous. You see, their crime was the making and distribution over a 180-day period. If they had stopped just before that 180-day mark, then they wouldn’t be pleading guilty. It's common for prosecutors to make deals with people accused of a crime, in the hope that it won’t go to court. That’s probably what happened in this case. Most likely the unlucky seven will get just 6 months of In 200 years, will our city celebrate the Music probation. Pirate Festival? Will our descendants all dress up in black hoodies and drink Red Bull to Now this author has had some celebrate our generation's piracy? experience with copyright infringements. When eBay first opened it’s doors back in the late 90’s all sorts of illegal materials were being sold. One item I used to sell on ebay was a CD-ROM collection of photos of famous actresses. I went all out, downloading as many as I could find. I even went all fancy on it with a CD autorun that would automatically pop up on your computer screen after you inserted the disc. I didn’t (and still don’t) feel that what I did was wrong or illegal. Even though it probably was illegal. Back in the 90’s internet speed was slooooooow. And people just didn’t have the time or resources to download all the Natalie Portman pictures they desired, so they bought my CD-ROM. After about a month of sales, and $300 later, I decided to stop selling that CD-ROM. Not because it was not popular anymore, but because it had run its course. That’s just like casino gambling. You gotta know when to put all your chips in the middle of the table or when to keep them right in front of you. Learn to decipher patterns in nature, or in human behavior, and this will allow you some level of certainty when making dangerous financial moves. Those game room owners in Woodsboro are playing this game and know exactly when they should pull the plug, or risk getting raided.

But who isn’t out there trying to make an extra buck? I mean really. People collect and recycle aluminum cans so they can have money to go buy more aluminum cans with beverages inside them. Those unlucky seven who were making and distributing copied DVDs were just trying to make an extra buck. They invested time, money and materials, plus they went to a local flea market

Above all else, spend your time and money on your health and family. These two things are top on my list. Your most talented resource of all, your health, is just that. One day you’re doing cartwheels, the next you’re in a wheelchair. Your physical and mental health are the most important elements in your life. That and friends and family. Enjoy Earth Day 2013!

"They should drug-test all welfare recipients!" Great idea huh? But guess what? It costs more money to execute that idea than you will recover back from positive test welfare recipients. The last time I visited the Department of Motor Vehicles I was forced to enter "the cattle line." This line curved and wrapped several times before it opened up to a service window. On the wall was a small dusty box that at one time displayed numbers. I guess the DMV janitors hated sweeping up those paper slips every night so they petitioned the board to go back to the cattle line. When you buy popcorn, soda, or candy at the movie theaters do you feel that you're getting ripped off? $5 for a small coke? C'mon, that is a bit excessive. But I think you're missing the point of that price. $5 is not for the coke and ice, or the person they pay to clean it up after you; it's because inside the confines of the theater, there's only one seller. So don't be fooled by those trash cans located just outside the door. $7 for a coffee? C'mon, that is a bit excessive. But now your neighbors can see you in that drive-thru lane ordering that fancy thing. Most people in CC have to work about an hour to make $7. But on the bright side the wrapper around the cup that keeps your hand from burning is made from post-consumer recyclables.

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Art Scene

A Few Items Of Note

March is Contemporary Art Month in Corpus Christi! Area businesses have teamed up with local artists to display contemporary art throughout Corpus Christi. These works will be on display March 1 through March 31, 2013. More than 20 venues are displaying contemporary art for the event organized by K Space Contemporary and K Space Board Member Lynda Jones.

K Space Contemporary 415 D Starr Street Corpus Christi, TX 78401 361.887.6834 KSpaceContemporary.org

Hours: Wed-Sat 11a – 5p Free Admission First Friday ArtWALK 5:30pm to 9pm

Main Gallery: CC Contemporary Art Month – Local Artists Corner Spot: PEEP SHOW! Various Artists Wig Salon, Small Works show, Wine Carriers

Treehouse Art Collective LLC

Tango Tea Room

309 North Water Street, Suite D Corpus Christi, TX 78401

Tue-Sat

11a – 8p

361.882.4822

Sunday

Noon to 6p

TreehouseArtCC.com

Free Admission

361.883.9123

Mon - Thurs

Sunday

Noon - 6p

Featured Artist: Andrea Harwell

Featured Artist for April: Pepe Serna

Treehouse Art Collective is also sponsoring the Mayor's Council on Aging event in the Water Street Courtyard on May 4, 2013.

We are featuring the artwork of Pepe Serna inside the Tea Room all month long.

First Friday ArtWALK May 3rd, 2013, 5:30 – 9pm

The World through our Artist Eyes A collective of 6 core artists, and a varying group of associate artists, who exhibit and sell their artwork in all manner of media.

Live music, a drum circle, and a new featured artist every month, poetry, fabulous food, and shopping, all in one! Also don’t forget weekly Downtown Farmer’s Market every Wednesday at 5pm!

Art Museum of South Texas

Atelier International Art Gallery

1902 N. Shoreline Blvd

Adults

$8

Corpus Christi, TX 78401

Seniors (60 and older) $6

Tel: 361.825.3500

Active Military $6

Fax: 361.825.3520

Students (13+) $4

STIA.org

Free:

Hours:

- All members - Texas A&M University-CC students

All Leading up to...

Closed Mondays & Holidays

The most popular K Space event of the year!!

Free Admission every First Friday in honor of ArtWALK!

528 Gordon Street (at South Alameda) Hours: Corpus Christi, TX 78401 Mon - Thu 12p to 6p 956.605-1221 Fri + Sat 12p to 2p AIArtGallery.com Sunday By Appointment

“Tribute to Moms 2013” May 10th Opening Reception, 5:30 to 8:30pm Exhibit runs through May 31st Works on the theme of the Madonna or female deity running through May 3rd.

Contemporary Studio Glass from the Collection of the Mobile Museum of Art

A juried exhibition featuring works based on the artists’ interpretation of the theme.

Exhibit through May 5th, 2013

Corpus Christi, TX 78401 Tel: 361.884.6406 Fax: 361.884.8836 ArtCenterCC.org

Hours: 10a – 4p Everyday except Monday Monday CLOSED

A Noble Pastime: from the Collection of the Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation Exhibit April 19th through August 25th, 2013

Admission is always FREE

First Friday ArtWALK

The hunt comes to life with representations of hunting expeditions, displays of game, and portrait of animals and the hunters.

May 3rd, 5:30-9pm Tables of artists and artisan vendors in and around the Courtyard! Check out the new dining hot spot, Citrus Bayfront Bistro! Now open Monday through Friday for LUNCH, 11a-2p (Soups, Sandwiches, Salads and Delicious Daily Specials) and TEA TIME, 2-5pm (Cakes, Pies, Coffee, and Tea).

Mary H. Chriss Opening Reception Thursday, May 9th, 5 – 7pm Mary is the first artist in our ‘Coming Home Series’. A native Corpus Christi artist, currently living in Austin, TX. She is a mixed media artist working on canvas, surf boards, and skateboards. Mary is part of Austin’s UP Collective.

10a - 7p

May 3rd, 5:30 – 9pm

- Children 12 and under

100 Shoreline Blvd

Hours:

10a - 9p

Sundays 1p to 5p

Art Center of Corpus Christi

Facebook: yin yang fandango

Fri & Sat

Tues - Sat 10a to 5p

April 13th, 8p to Midnight!

Corpus Christi, TX 78401

First Friday ArtWALK

Del Mar Photography Students

Hot Spot Gallery:

505 S Water Street, Suite 545

“Still Life with Dog and Game” Alexandre-Francois Desportes

Check the museum’s website event calendar for other events throughout the month.

Rockport Center for the Arts 902 Navigation Circle

Tel: 361.729.5519

Rockport, Texas 78382

Fax: 361.729.3551

RockportArtCenter.com

Reception & Gallery Talk with Resident Artists Judith & Richard Selby Saturday, May 25th, 5pm – 7pm Judith & Richard Selby make art out of the beach plastic they collect, and their film "One Plastic Beach" was screened at the 2012 Rockport Film Festival. Join us to hear about their recent work and exhibition at the Art Center.

Start Planning NOW!!

Festival of the Arts

The Merriman-Bobys House in Heritage Park 1521 North Chaparral Street Wednesday – Saturday |Corpus Christi, Texas 78401

11a – 3p

CreativeConnectionsCC.org

Or by appointment

Always Free Admission

First Friday, ArtWALK May 3rd, 2013, 6p – 9p

First Saturday and Sunday May 4th & 5th, 2013, 10a – 4p

Robes from the 2013 Coronation of Las Doñas de la Corte: “The Court of Triumphant Dynasties” will be on display throughout May.

The 44th Annual Rockport Art Festival -- July 4th Weekend July 6th and 7th on the Festival Grounds next to Rockport Beach Park and the Art Center! Since 1969, this Annual Art Festival has made Rockport the best place to be on July 4th weekend. Located right on Aransas Bay and showcasing high-quality artists, live music, a kids' activity tent and more, the Rockport Art Festival is always great summer fun on the Texas Coast. The 2013 Exhibitor List will be published in May.

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Lenz

Kiwanis Club Easter Egg Hunt @ Billish Park

Photos by Miles Merwin

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THE

Downtown Farmers Market 1 Year Anniversary @ Tango Tea Room

Lenz Photos by Jeff Dolan

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The

Canvas Exposing Local Artists…

By Georgia Griffin

A A

Mary Helen Fernandez Chriss is Coming Home…

couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of sitting down to chat with Corpus Christi native Mary Helen Fernandez Chriss. Mary is the first artist to be featured in the Art Center of Corpus Christi’s new “Coming Home Series.” Now an Austin resident and member of the UP Collective, Mary creates in a variety of media, from surfboards and skateboards to canvas and seashells. She was gracious enough to spend some time sharing her journey with me. "I played Spanish classical guitar, years ago, and I was able to take a class with Javier Calderón, who had studied with (Andrés) Segovia. I just always loved music. It was something I’d always liked, so I started out as a music major, but I found it to be, for me, it was going too much in the path of classical music, and I was really more about rock-n-roll and fun stuff like that... So, I thought, you know, I’m not gonna major in something I’m not interested in, what is it I’ve always just had a passion for? “It’s either art or music, those two things really define a lot of who I am, and I started

taking classes at Del Mar, (with) Randy Flowers, you know, I was able to meet some really great people over there. That was in the 70s, 78? Something like that. Then, a dear friend of mine invited me to come to New York to visit her, in 1980. She said “I want you to come up here for the summer. I want you to visit me, I go to Emerson College (Boston) majoring in film and TV, and I think you’d really like it here.” So, I went to visit her and I essentially stayed. “I started taking photography, and then I found out about The Museum School of Art, and now it’s called the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, in Boston. Back then you could just get an associates degree, it wasn’t like it is now. It was basically one of the oldest schools in the nation. I befriended a young man who was going to Northeastern University, and through the work-study program we started painting murals for the school. Before I knew it, here I was living away from home, living in Boston, away from my parents for the first time, and just loving it. Painting murals and such, I was just exposed to all different kinds of things and in Boston there are so many schools per capita you just meet people from all different places. “I’ve always been kind of an illustrator, but what can I do with those tools to actually try and make some money? So, that’s where I went with the commercial art and graphics. Also, I think for me, I’m not really satisfied with my work unless there’s some sort of meaning behind it. I will never be able to take that commercial artist out of me. I mean, I try, but sometimes my work goes a bit, I mean it could go real commercial if I’m not careful. So I’m trying to find that balance between letting it be more abstract and not holding it to that strict, you know, definition, but that’s where 22

that comes from. I just want people to look at my work and either get their own perspective from it, you know, and maybe relate to it somehow and kind of let their own imagination let them see what they’re seeing, or I want to be very specific about what I’m telling them. I think that just goes with commercial art. You know, Andy Warhol, that’s who I grew up (with)… all those guys… Peter Max, they were so demonstrative, their work was so demonstrative of what was going on at that time… that’s where I kind of started getting my voice. “I came home for Christmas holidays and I basically met my husband and we were engaged in 4 weeks and got married in 6 months. He had just graduated from Harvard and was working at a local law firm here. We started talking and it turned out we’d lived like two blocks away from each other on Beacon Hill but never knew each other. We were in the Back Bay area ‘together’. I spent a lot of time in Cambridge. I went to every concert I could get my hands on. Everything from Jean-Luc Ponty to the Grateful Dead… and then I would go to see the Fellini movies for free at the libraries and stuff, so I spent a lot of time in Cambridge and then when I came home and met him… we got married and I basically just shut everything down. I left Boston, I came back home, and thank God it’s been a good thing, 32 years later, but I really missed it so much. “Then three years later my kids came along… my family was here, Bill’s family was here. Before I knew it I was a lawyer’s wife and all

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that stuff, and I really left a big part of me on the back burner… I basically started doing this a little bit late in my life, but no complaints, you know. Its been a good journey… life’s experiences have just given me tools to express myself as an artist, where I don’t really think I had all those tools when I was 26. “Now, it’s like I’ve got all this stuff to say and nobody can stop me. My poor husband’s like, “Wow!” This has really been interesting for my kids, to see me kind of go through this transition and stuff. I’m very happy, and it’s just, I hope that I can do it until I die because as you get older, you realize that those things that you used to be able to do, just maybe aren’t there for you anymore, so if you’re lucky enough to find something that’s healthy and good and we’re just so fortunate that we’ve got our artwork to fall back on. “I started doing these shells while I still lived here in Corpus and did well with them; I was selling them in different little gift shops and things. I just started out one Christmas, I looked down at some seashells that I had and I thought, “Wow, these would be beautiful as decorations on my tree.” “I started embellishing them with different things, Swarovski crystals and paint, and before I knew it I was going from little bitty shells that I was hanging, to like this one… it’s huge. That thing took over 40 hours to paint, and I became obsessed with doing it, because it was like jewelry making. You know how you have to really be tedious? I have a good time with it… the collages are very, very time consuming, there’s a lot of paper cutting, and it’s like putting a puzzle together. It really reinforced my desire to do something and I love threedimensional work, I love sculpture. I think that’s what I’ll probably end up doing one day, because I don’t really consider myself an artist. I consider myself like a builder. It’s what I really like, you know? “I accept it for the way I express myself. Every time I see pile of wood and stuff I stop to think, “What can I pick out of there that I can put together?” I think that’s really where my heart lies…for me, good art is an artist who’s using their heart.” Mary Chriss is definitely using her heart. Art Center of Corpus Christi’s “Coming Home Series” opens with an opening reception on Thursday, May 9th. Stop in and enjoy the rewards of Mary’s colorful journey of the heart.

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CC Magazine April 2013  

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