JACOB RODRIGUEZ THE LEGEND OF L. GWAPO
CISPA: INTERNET FREEDOM
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JOHN KING FISHER
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From the Publisher... Windstorm Bill One Vote Short
Seriously? The Texas Senate was in fine form this month and voted to require anyone who applies for unemployment to be subject to drug testing, while putting off another bill requiring drug testing for themselves. They also managed to affirm that it will be hereafter legal to say "merry Christmas."
While they were being so productive, they came one vote short of fixing the state's windstorm insurance system. That bill would have given the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association the ability to raise billions of dollars to pay claims in the event of a major storm, but the insurance industry was against it and they have money for lobbyists, while unemployed workers do not. It kinda makes you miss the days they used to drink during session.
Jack St. Malo
JEFF CRAFT Publisher
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 This monster came through the channel at Port A the other day, and the Port of CC reports it will begin exporting wind turbine parts to Japan. Meanwhile the seamless pipe factory has started its first phase of operations and a steel foundry is planned to move in next door. This is all good news, and perhaps our little bay will return to the booming center of commerce it once was.
CONTACT CC @ 361.443.2137 505 S Water St Suite 545 Corpus Christi, Tx 78401
Missing Spring A dear friend who grew up in CC asked me the other day, in all seriousness, why do people live where it’s cold? I grew up in the deserts of the west, so I often wondered the same thing until I was 22 years old, and I experienced spring for the first time. It was like the whole world was having an orgasm, and I was part of it. The desert has its own kind of beauty, but in the temperate zones where there are actual seasons, I can only say it just seemed to me like this is where people are meant to live. There’s grass, not just lawns, but actual soft grass that you can walk across barefoot without anything trying to kill you. There are trees that bear fruit. You feel the rhythm of seasons changing, and all the old holidays make sense. But living here has it's own kind of rhythm, the coming and going of Winter Texans and Summer Tourists, the hurricane season and the other three months, mosquito season and sargassum season- but after a few minutes at the beach it all works out fine.
ADVERTISING JEFF CRAFT 361.443.2137 JAN RANKIN 361.949.7700
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08 Rangers Arrest
John King Fisher In addition to operating his ranch, Fisher was evidently engaged in cattle rustling in Texas and Mexico, and his escapades led more than once to violence. He was arrested at various times by the famous Texas Ranger captain Leander McNelly and his successor Lee Hall. Charged with murder and horse and cattle theft, he managed to avoid conviction, but his legal ordeals took their toll, and Fisher decided to live a quieter life, probably as the result of a rather strong warning given to him by Leander McNelly.
12 Legacy Fighting
Championship 20 Mixed Martial Arts returns to Corpus Christi on May 31st, under the brand of Legacy Fighting Championship. The American Bank Center will host the six sided cage, where a top class card of seasoned veterans and professional debut fighters will put their bodies and reputations on the line for local fans and national viewers via AXS TV.
From the grave it rises again, like a legislative zombie. The politicians want it, the public hates it. They have finally figured out how to pass this unpopular legislation though: rename it. I often wonder how many tax dollars are spent to think up handy little acronyms to market these bills. The bill didn’t pass last time it got renamed, but they are heavily banking on the public’s goldfish-like attention span. Shortly before the writing of this article, it appears that the bill has been stopped dead in its tracks by a presidential veto threat and the Senate. Don’t rest easy though, the political winds change fast.
13 Sports History 14 Art Scene 16 Dining Guide 19 The Lenz 22 The Canvas
He had tattoos up and down his arms; an angelic glow surrounded him as he stood on the Harbor Playhouse main stage. Granted, there were a ton of spotlights pointed at him so… He is a man so handsome that every time I’ve seen him perform, people (girls AND guys) ask “hey, who’s that hot comic?” Without missing a beat, someone matter-of-factly blurts out “Oh, that’s Jacob Rodriguez.”
Jacob “The Mighty L. Gwapo” Rodriguez By Aletha Eyerman-Craft
“Oh, that’s Jacob Rodriguez.” In November 2012, my eyes had the pleasure of feasting on a man of dazzling beauty. He had tattoos up and down his arms; an angelic glow surrounded him as he stood on the Harbor Playhouse main stage. Granted, there were a ton of spotlights pointed at him so… Later that month and in April of this year, I would see him on the stage at Comics Live Comedy Club. He is a man so handsome that every time I’ve seen him perform, people (girls AND guys) ask “hey, who’s that hot comic?” Without missing a beat, someone matter-of-factly blurts out “Oh, that’s Jacob Rodriguez.” (If I had a buck every time I heard this Q&A exchange...)
“For Real Bro?” I recently met with Jacob to discuss his real-life brand of comedy. He is naturally funny so I anticipated being in stitches the whole time. And I was. I did not, however, expect the level of honesty and intimacy he brought to the table. Jacob was candid and honest with no trace of a fake persona. I learned that the incredibly good-looking guy who makes fun of his life (including his wife and kids) on the stage is the same, down-to-earth-madly-in-lovewith-his-super-cool-lady-and-three-beautiful-children, man you meet on the street. He proved that the guy you see on the stage is the real Jacob Rodriguez.
The Legend of “L. Gwapo” begins…
Comedians who share their life make the best comics. They’re real, authentic. They have the best material. He performs his own material at different venues around the city and also works with Javi Luna, another local comedian, as Los Vatos Locos. (CC Magazine will be catching up with Javi in a future issue, FYI! We also would like to express our condolences to the friends and family of the late, David Cifuentes, a totally awesome guy who performed with Jacob and Javi in Los Vatos Locos.)
(not much of a legend, just me not being able to pronounce “el guapo” to save my life) At a comedy show with my husband and some friends I may, or may not, have been one of the people who asked about the hot comic. Since there is something about a wife’s voice that makes her husband’s ears go deaf (‘m talking to you, Jeff) our dear friend John McKenna (and man-who-ALWAYSlistens-to-me, Jeff) immediately answered me in a way that indicated he’s heard the question so much that he answers it as a matter of reflex. Just so happened that McKenna knew Jacob, introduced us all, and someone (McKenna, probably) got me to say “el guapo” in the special way only I can manage. My pronunciation stuck and now, Jacob is known as L. Gwapo. And his wife makes fun of him for it so I’ve done my job. You're welcome, Jacob.
Making ‘em laugh since 1980 The olden days: April 11th, 1980, a son was born to an ordinary Corpus Christi couple. This child was destined to be in a league outside of the other 7,298* children born in Nueces County that year. He appeared to grow up like everyone else: went to school, made friends, fell in love with the ladies… and baseball. In 1998 his bad ass athletic ability would catapult him up to Dallas with a full scholarship to play college baseball in hand. His lifelong dream was coming to fruition and he was set to become one of the greatest professional baseball players of all time, a legend. A year before reaching his killer shortstop potential, he took on the serious task of polishing his party talents, perfecting his flunky skills and lost his scholarship. (An older and wiser man chalks this up to immaturity and not realizing the opportunity he had at the time.) This boy, now a man, joined the United States Army in November 2000. He was shipped off to Korea, served at Fort Bragg and was deployed to Iraq before his service was over. Eventually, he would end up back in Corpus where he would finally convince the love of his life - a girl his heart had hopes for since they were young - to marry him and begin a family. But from infancy the boy was a natural performer. He claims he was “making ‘em laugh since 1980.” Family barbecues provided the venue to develop his funny bone. The front yard was his stage – according to his routine that’s where he barbecues now, so he must’ve learned it somewhere.
children. She lived two houses down the street from his cousin (or vice versa, I honestly can’t remember because he had me laughing so much). Somehow, she never seemed to be interested in him or the time just wasn’t right. While in Iraq, he and his buddies were taking about life back home and he remembers the conversation turning to “the one girl you would want to be with if you were back home” and for him, it was always Jennifer. Fast forward to civilian life, he remembers when he finally got her attention. “Cat calls. They never, ever work. But one night I was at Murdock’s with friends and I saw her walk by. I did it [cat called]. I said ‘Damn, girl,’ and she stopped.” One son (Jacob, Jr.) two daughters (Marley and Gwen) and seven years of marriage going strong, he ultimately got the girl but claims, “She hit the lotto with me!”
He always wanted to do comedy but thought, “Oh, I can’t get on stage.” He always made people laugh and those family barbecues? “They were the ‘Jacob Show.’” But when it came to getting started, he “just didn’t know how. When you’re 19 or so, you look at comedians on the stage and think they are just talking, not planning anything. Obviously, you have to plan. Even the natural moments are planned. You can write (word censored by publisher) and be funny but I was worried what people would think of me. I felt like I had waited so long to really go and do it that I started to believe this stereotype about people keeping you down.” The stereotype? Turns out it is more of a “worry that the people you know who are used to seeing you one way… for years seeing what you do naturally, now doing it now on a stage makes you wonder if you will look stupid.” He worried about what he could or couldn’t say on stage. He worried if the rips and jokes he made about his family and friends to their faces in a private setting that were easy to do and made everyone laugh, would now be insulting when put out to the public. He decided during Christmas 2011 to go for it and with the support of his loving wife, Jennifer, he started practicing. His method was to tape himself but when he tried to watch it he didn’t like what he saw. “So I kept practicing until I saw myself.” On February 7th, 2012, Jacob performed at an Open Mic at Talon’s Sports Bar. It was the moment when he broke through the “can’t do” mentality. His comedy resonates with his audience because he speaks to them, specifically. “My comedy is real. I’m married with kids. I talk about being married with kids. That’s my audience. They have the same things going on that I do.” No subject, or person, seems to be off limits. Especially his wife and kids! He met his wife when they were both young 06
In closing, I would like to share how my interview with the evil L. Gwapo began in hopes that it illustrates the type of afternoon I suffered through and garners me a bit of sympathy. Me: So, L. Gwapo, how does it feel to be so beautiful? L. Gwapo: Well, it’s something I’m used to at this point. I was actually voted one of People Magazine’s most beautiful people in…um…I can’t really remember the year. It was not big thing for me really. (Author’s note: I spent the next five minutes searching for “Jacob Rodriguez” and “People Magazine” and “Most Beautiful” on my phone before Jacob, the big fat liarpants finally told me he was joking. In my defense, he looked sooooooo serious when he said it.) I’m definitely a Jacob Rodriguez fan. He’s good at working the stage and isn’t bad to look at, either. He also didn’t make fun of me for drinking Arbor Mist** (he brought me a bottle instead) so he will always have my full support! Make sure you check out his Facebook page to find out where he will be performing next facebook.com/ jacobrodriguezcomedy. You can also contact him to schedule a performance or discuss his supreme beauty at: email@example.com *Vital statistic courtesy of the author’s imagination. Tough times (the internet was down) call for making things up. **Arbor Mist did not pay me to give them a shout out, nor are they a sponsor of CC Magazine. However, if anyone knows Mr. Arbor or Mr. Mist, please have them contact the magazine immediately so we can work something out. And by “work something out” I mean I will drop their name for free Arbor Mist.
JOHN KING FISHER
McNelly and his Rangers Make Their First Arrest By Dale Rankin Editor's note: This is the latest in the saga of Texas Ranger Geroge Durham who rode with Texas Ranger Captain L.H. McNelly as they tried to round up the bandits that had been raiding across the Rio Grande all the way into downtown Corpus Christi. When we left the Rangers in the last issue they had just killed more than 50 bandits in a raid into Las Cueves, Mexico where the bandits were based and forced them to return cattle that has recently been stolen and crossed into Mexico.
The second Alamo It turned out that the man who had been manning the telegraph line from the scene of the fighting along the river was quite the storyteller. His name was Lieutenant Guy Carleton and he had been hacking out harrowing dispatches over the singing wire that called the fight at Las Cueves as the "Second Alamo" with all the Rangers dead on the Mexican side of the river. So when the Rangers came riding into the King Ranch there were viewed as ghosts by the natives. Now that they were alive, they had become Larger Than Life men who were the only thing between the ranchers and chaos on the border. They had tamed the border where the vigilantes and the U.S. Army had failed. They had done it with a few simple rules of engagement: First, travel as fast and light as the bandits. Second, don't take prisoners. Taking prisoners simply meant going through legal proceedings which would eventually set them free to steal again. And third, peace through superior firepower. The Sharps .50 caliber rifles that McNelly had been given by Sol Lichtenstein back in Corpus Christi had a range much greater than the repeater rifles carried by the bandits. That tactical advantage combined with the good horses provided by Captain King had allowed the Rangers to clear the Nueces Strip from the Nueces River to the Rio Grande of bandits. In spite of their success, word of their demise had spread all the way to the east coast through the papers and the relatives of Durham and the others now sent word to Austin and on to the King Ranch that they would pay to have the remains of the Rangers retrieved from Mexico and brought back east for burial. McNelly's response was to tell his Rangers to write them and tell them not to pay attention to lurid stories they heard off the telegraph lines. A month after the battle at Las Cueves, McNelly, who was not big on paperwork, had still not sent a report back to Austin about what had really happened. Austin demanded to know if Brownsville Consul Tom Wilson had handled his surrender and under what terms. McNelly finally sat down to write the report he should have written a month before. While McNelly's exploits had made him a folk hero in the Nueces strip his reluctance to write reports had made him virtually unknown to the outside world. His response to the Governor's office was right to the point: "Do you think I'd make a dicker with outlaws? "Why would a Texas peace officer ever have to beg peace terms from bandits?
We want dead bandits "We want dead bandits, not prisoners," was about all McNelly had to say to his Rangers about their mission statement. He wasn't sent to the Nueces Strip to write reports but to bring law to a lawless country and prove Texas was bigger than any gang or gangs of bandits. The military made lots of reports but they didn't get rid of the bandits. "Reports aren't what bandits need," McNelly said. "They need bullets from Sharp's." When word got back to Austin of what the Rangers had really done, Austin, and the Mexican government officials for that matter, took a different outlook. Austin sent shiny new badges, one for each Ranger. The Rangers pinned them on and now wherever they went they were known and they still lived by the admonition given by McNelly in the beginning. "If citizens were trying to mind their own business and obey the law we had strict orders to treat them as our bosses. We never kicked their dogs, much less shot one that might be nibbling at our horsesâ€™ heels. We never went into even the humblest house, unless the man himself asked us in." The Rangers were camped on the King Ranch. The bandits had gotten the message and things were peaceful. A few raiding parties were rustling cattle in small bands near San Diego in Duval County but because the raiding parties were now so small the stockmen could take care of them themselves. The Rangers' job was done.
Death to the Frenchman South of the River Portirio Diaz was heading a revolution that was sweeping through the North of Mexico and Diaz was working to quell any border trouble that would bring the U.S. or the Rangers across the border. For the first time in a long time ranchers in the Nueces Strip were sleeping comfortably in their beds at night. Word spread among them that in fact it had been McNelly who had won the Battle of San Jacinto. Diaz soon left his house in Brownsville and as soon as he set foot in Matamoros the former bandit Juan Cortinas surrendered the city to him and Diaz took the former outlaw/folk hero with him to Mexico City where the new president set Cortinez up with a pension on a big hacienda below Mexico City to keep him from stirring up trouble with the Americans along the border. The Rangers heard that the Frenchman who McNelly had gone across the river to kill after his doublecross of the Rangers had not been at Las Cueves but instead had had been killed before the fight by Old Blas who had ridden with the Rangers earlier. Blas' action wasn't so much because the Frenchman had betrayed the Rangers but because he "had much gold in his saddlebags and a good saddle." Blas disappeared into the border brush until nearly forty years later he rode up to the El Sauz section of the King Ranch where Durham was the foreman. He asked for protection as the Rangers were chasing him and Durham obliged since McNelly had given standing orders that Old Blas was not to be 08
harmed by his men. Blas made it back across the river where he was killed by Black Jack Pershing's men.
McNelly to D.C. While McNelly was resting on the King Ranch he got word that the Sergeant who had fired the Gatling gun at the charging Mexicans during the Las Cueves fight had been busted to private and that charges were about to be filed on Army Captain Stone who had stripped off his uniform to swim the river to help the Rangers fight the Mexicans. This was more than McNelly could bear. He caught a boat to Washington at his own expense and personally told Secretary Belknap to "Go to hell." The Sergeant got his stripes back and Captain Stone went on to become a General who served in the Spanish-American War. With peace in the Nueces Strip cattle drives north to the railheads began in earnest. Money from the cattle drives was making its way back home and towns began to spring up. Captain King sent his thanks in the forms of a wagonload of brand new 44-40 Winchester repeater rifles along with several thousand shells. The Rangers turned in their Sharps and decided they would do most of their fighting close in from now on. Then one day the Frenchman Parrott rode into camp. He was the out of work circus performer and itinerant photographer that McNelly had sent north on a scouting mission some months before. He had two saddlebags full of photos that he dumped out in front of the Captain. The Rangers set out north immediately and they knew where they were going; King Fisher country.
The Rangers Catch a King The Rangers set off north from the King Ranch in May of 1876 - thirteen months after they had riding out of Corpus Christi. But it had been an eventful time with several brush fights with marauding bandits and finally a showdown in Las Cueves, Mexico where about eighty of the bandits were surprised and killed. That fight largely put an end to large scale banditry in the Nueces Strip. The bandits were beaten by Texas Rangers who traveled light and quickly, as quickly as the bandits, and the Rangers like the bandits took no prisoners. As McNelly put it, "We don't do dogfalls. We fight until one side is done." All told McNelly had a grand total of forty fighting men under his command. Now about half that many were camped out just outside Laredo preparing to ride into King Fisher Country. You knew you had arrived there when you came to the sign at a fork in the road that read, "This is King Fisher's road. Take the other one." The troop was following the guidance of a Frenchman named Parrott who was known as an "out of work circus performer and sometimes picture taker." Parrott had ridden into the country some months before at the direction of McNelly to scout the area and see what was going on. As an itinerate photographer Parrott could easily slip in and out of a town without attracting attention. He could even get photos of suspected horse and cattle thieves to help
identify them when the Rangers showed up. Now he was at the head of the Rangers as they rode north out of Laredo. He had previously prepared a report for Austin describing what he had seen in the country. "You can hardly realize true conditions of the country. It is under a reign of terror from the men who infest this region. This county (Dimmit) is unorganized and attached to Maverick County for judicial purposes. The white citizens are all friends of King Fisher. There is a regularly organized band of desperadoes from Goliad to the headwaters of the Nueces. This band is made up of men who have committed crimes in other states and fled for refuge here, where they go to robbing for a living. They are organized into parties of twenty five to forty men each and form camps in counties, in touch with each other. They pass stolen horses along this line and sell them up north." So even as the the Rangers had rid the southern tip of Texas of bandits coming over from Mexico and new brand of "settler" had come to the area around Carrizo Springs and they were quite different than their southern counterparts. While many of the northern men had a history of law breaking elsewhere they operated with semi-legitimacy here. And they had brought behind them an Anglo-Saxon court system which gave them certain rights and required evidence to ensure their incarceration. As McNelly was about to find out the Take No Prisoners actions he had used on the southern bandits would be tough to apply to these men.
been the target of several raids by men from Fisher's ranch. They also gathered up a young man named Drew Taylor who knew the best route to Fisher's ranch and its layout. He had once worked for the Frenchman Parrott without knowing who Parrott was. Taylor told the Rangers he had heard that Fisher was at his ranch that day with a crew. McNelly left a small group to guard the Ranger camp and set out with about twenty-five to Fisher's ranch. They crossed Pendencia Creek and crossed to the west side into open country. They turned north and rode onto the Pendencia where they found heavy brush. McNelly told them they were close. "There may be women present," he said. "so don't shoot till they open fire. We'll give them a chance to surrender." They formed into a skirmish formation and started for the house which was nestled in under a cottonwood grove with brush growing right up to the house. There was the usual saddle shed and picket line for horses out front. A dozen or so men sat in the shed playing cards. The Rangers formed a circle and approached the house. They encountered a rock and rail fence which their horses cleared easily. As they came out of the brush they had their new Winchesters unlimbered and they dismounted. As Parrott came darting around the corner of the house he came face to face with a man named Frank Porter who said, "You are that @%$% picture man," and lifted his rifle to fire.
"Drop it," Parrott ordered. "We're McNelly Rangers," There ensued a near comical ballet as both men raised King Fisher and lowered their It was said that he still killed About ten miles from the town of rifles three times Carrizo Springs was the settlement White Republicans but otherwise before Porter threw of Pendencia located just west of down his gun Lake Espantoso. The west end of was a law abiding citizen. and surrendered, the lake was the old channel of something he said the Nueces and was about half a he'd never do. His nerve had failed him since Parrott mile wide and ten miles long. The lake was named was under orders not to fire the first shot and the Espantoso (Ghost) because it was full of alligator gar men were face to face. He knew that even if he shot that were said to eat the bodies of men or animals Parrott that Parrott would have hit him too and he that ended up there. The lake was on the wagon trail flinched. It was in sight of his outlaw buddies and between San Antonio and Chihuahua, Mexico and he was through. It turned out his real name was many travelers were said to have vanished in the lake Burd Obenchain from Kansas and had fought with and their ghosts kept vigil around Lake Espantoso. Quantrill's guerillas in the Civil War and ridden with It was at this settlement along Lake Espantoso that Frank and Jesse James. He had come to Texas to kill King Fisher lived with his wife of only one month. a man who had come from Jackson County, Missouri. John King Fisher was born in Central Texas in 1854 He had finally caught up with the man one night at and in 1869 fled his hometown after borrowing a Espantoso while the man was cooking his supper. He horse without asking. He ended up in Goliad where slipped out of the brush with his gun drawn. he was arrested for breaking and entering. After a "Reckon you know who I am," he said. pardon he migrated to the Nueces Strip with a group of Goliad citizens who established a ranch there. "Yeah, Burd," the man answered. "I know. What They settled in Dimmit Country and the banks of are you aiming to do." Pendencia Creek and Fisher soon established himself 'You know *(&# well what I'm going to do,' Burd as a natural leader and rancher. He could ride, shoot, said. and work cattle better than any of his peers and soon had his own ranch. It was arguable whether "You going to give me a chance?" the man asked. he or Captain McNelly was the best pistol fighter "Nary a chance. Set the food down. I ain't eaten." in Texas but it was one or the other. He was known to not ask questions about a man's past as long as That man set down the plate and Burd/Porter shot the man did as he was told and worked cattle. Soon him dead. He ate his dinner and stayed around to word went out that if those who had run afoul of the join the hands at the Fisher Ranch. law wanted to start over King Fisher's ranch was the place to do it. Cattle rustling in the area was a big Arresting the King industry and McNelly was convinced that Fisher was The story made the rounds that Frank James was running it. with the Rangers that day and recognized Burd and saved his life but Durham says that story was made King Fisher's road up years later by a Ranger clerk trying to sell a book. When McNelly's Rangers rode into Carrizo Springs Burd/Porter later claimed he surrendered because he they spoke to Levy English who's general store had 09
John King Fisher King Fisher was an imposing figure, once described by Texas Ranger N. A. Jennings as wearing an ornamented Mexican sombrero, a black Mexican jacket embroidered with gold, a crimson sash, and boots, with two silverplated, ivory-handled revolvers swinging from his belt. In the section where he reigned, Fisher was feared and respected. was outnumbered but Durham also called that false. "When one of the McNellys matched man-to-man like that it was his fight to win or lose." Durham later asked Parrott how his kept his nerve during a close-in lethal encounter like that. "Catch the eye of the other fella and hold it," Parrott said. "No gunman could shoot if he was facing the officer and you had his eye." The Rangers rounded up nine men at the house without firing a shot. The Captain approached the main house and King Fisher stepped into the open door. Neither man had his pistol out. "I'm Ranger Lee McNelly. Lock your hands behind your head and come out." Fisher obeyed as McNelly removed two huge pistols with gold plated handles from Fisher's holsters. "Why did you give up so easy?" McNelly asked but just at that time Fisher's wife came onto the porch. "What are you doing to my husband?" she asked. "He's under arrest. We're Texas Rangers." "What are you arresting him for?" Fisher spoke up, "Let me handle this Sarah," then in an easy drawl he said to McNelly, "Shucks, Captain, I knew who you were the minute I saw you and you told me to give up. That's why I did. I'm a law abiding man." It was the first prisoner any of the Rangers had ever seen McNelly take and he seemed off balance. "Shut up," he said. "You're going to jail." "On what charges? What have I done?" McNelly was lost. King Fisher's name wasn't even in The Book which listed the names of all the men wanted in Texas. He had no court record - pardoned -, no convictions, not even any indictments. His father was killed in a gunfight with Reconstruction Police in Fort Worth and aside from doing ranch work said he "killed Republicans for revenge but had never been charged. In fact King Fisher was a marshal to the local Justice of the Peace and had been responsible for running off the rustlers and thieves that had been stealing local stock. By this time Fisher had kept the peace all the way from the upper Nueces River to San Antonio. Stories claimed he had killed twenty six men but he had never been charged as it was deemed they all had it coming - Republican or not. He was a teetotaler and was the best genuine two-pistol killer in Texas; as Durham put it, "he killed clean with either hand."
Now what? Now McNelly had ten men in custody, one of whom was a man named Bill Templeton who had been with the Rangers but left the troop in Brownsville.
"You remember me Captain?" he asked.
the law in other states.
"Certainly McNelly said. "I never forget a coward."
McNelly now had nine prisoners, eight of Fisher’s men whose names were in The Book and Fisher whose name was not. The Rangers rode all night and arrived with their prisoners at the sheriff’s office in Eagle Pass where Fisher’s attorney was waiting for them.
"What are you going to do with us?" "Make a break for that brush and I'll show you." Then he turned to Fisher. "Call your wife out I want to talk to her." Sarah Fisher came to the door again. She was a young Irish woman with long black hair pulled up high, her clothes were neat and ironed. "Lady," McNelly said. "I'm taking these men to Eagle Pass. They're under arrest. I want to leave this warning for you to pass along - if any rescue is tried they all die." "That's your law," she said and her eyes flashed. "We've heard you make your own law, but let me tell you - if you kill my husband..." "That's enough Sarah," Fisher said. "Do as he says. If you happen to see any of my friends get the word to them. Let the Rangers have their own way right now." Six Rangers started moving the men to Eagle Pass. McNelly would follow the next day. By the time Captain McNelly arrested King Fisher at his ranch near Eagle Pass the Fisher was in his early twenties and had killed twenty-six men. He had begun as a deputy to a local Constable who needed someone to help him bring law to the border area west of San Antonio. By the time McNelly found him he had become the largest ranch owner in the northern end of the Nueces Strip and controlled the land between the border and San Antonio. He was the head of a band of about forty men who had found their way to his ranch, often one step ahead of the law, and hired on as cowboys. He had a reputation for not asking questions about where the cattle came from that he bought cheap from the men who brought them for sale. As you entered his neck of the woods you came across the first road sign in that part of Texas which read: This Road is King Fisher’s Road. Take the Other One. After the Civil War he and his father came to Fort Worth from Kentucky where his father had run afoul of the Reconstruction Police who enforced the law of the post-war Republican government. His father killed three of the policeman in a gunfight before he was killed. King Fisher made his way south to Goliad where he met Doc White who eventually moved to Eagle Pass and took up ranching. It wasn’t long before all his cattle were in the hands of raiding bandits and he needed a deputy to protect his interests. King Fisher fit the bill.
Killed twenty-six men, mostly White Republicans He already had a reputation for being quick with a gun and cool under fire. Like Wild Bill Hickok his belief was that is was not important who got off the first shot in a gunfight, it was who got off the first accurate shot. In two short years he owed his own ranch and had married and started a family. It was said that he still killed White Republicans out of revenge but otherwise was a law abiding citizen. But he still had a reputation for buying and selling cattle showing the brands of ranches other than his own. It was that reputation that had brought McNelly calling. He was armed with a copy of The Book which contained the names off men all over Texas who were wanted by
“My name’s McNelly,” the Captain told the sheriff. “I got nine prisoners I want to deliver.” “My name’s Vale,” said the man with the badge. “I’m Chief Deputy of Maverick County. I’m happy to know you Captain. You are Captain McNelly of the Rangers?” “That’s right.” “All right, Captain. You have some prisoners you want me to hold for you?” “That’s right, nine of them.” “Well Captain I see you’ve got Mr. Fisher.” “I’ve got King Fisher yes.” “What charge, Captain?” “He’s no stranger to you. He’s a d--- bandit and killer.” The lawyer spoke up, That’s an opinion, Captain - not a charge under Texas law. You must name his bandit victims and produce them as witnesses. You must produce the bodies of his homicide victims, with proper witnesses.”
Civilization The civilization that McNelly had been working to bring to the Nueces Strip had caught up with him. In the south end of the strip there was nothing in the way of a legal system for him to contend with. He had cleaned out the South end of the strip without taking a single prisoner. Taking prisoners was what the U.S. Army and other law enforcement did and it didn’t work. There was no support system for prosecutors and bandits arrested were soon free to keep up their work. But in the North end of the strip the law had made its way west from San Antonio and due process was the now the law of the frontier. McNelly was out of his element. “Up here,” the lawyer said, “we go according to Texas law as it comes down from the courts, not jungle law some Ranger Captain...” It was more than Durham could take. He let go with an open-handed blow that sent the lawyer sprawling. The Captain sent Durham out the door. “Get out, and never do that again.” The lawyer got up and ran his tongue around his mouth and spit blood. “These d--- killers of yours...” he said. “I’m sorry,” McNelly said. “It won’t happen again unless you keep up that sot of jawing and beg for it. We’re peace officers. Rangers. We know the law.” He turned to the deputy, “Kansas has felony warrants for two of these prisoners, Missouri’s got felony warrants for three...” “You got the warrants, Captain?” McNelly produced The Book. “Their names are in here,” he said, “and this book is a blanket warrant.” “Do you have the court decisions backing that, Captain?”
“No.” “If I hold these men under that blanket warrant, Captain, can you guarantee Kansas and other states will send for them in the regular manner and pay for their keep and expenses?” “No,” McNelly said, then turned to his Lieutenant and said, “Give these men back their guns and release them,” then walked out the front door. It was a telling moment. McNelly’s tactics had cleaned the rustlers out of the Nueces Strip but now with them gone the need for Frontier Justice was gone, and with it the need for those who enforced it. It was a theme later picked up by director John Ford in his movie The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance with the real life McNelly in place of John Wayne. Fisher picked up his two gold-inlaid pistols and walked to McNelly, “Much obliged Captain.” “You’ve won King,” McNelly said. “I’m licked. You’re a young man King. You’ve won every bout with the law up to now. You just might be lucky and win some more, but finally you’ll lose to the Rangers. We don’t fight draws or dogfalls. When we lose, we lose. When we win, we win. And when we win once, that’s enough. The law might lose now and then. We just did. But the law always wins the last round. We’ll win. We represent law.” “I’m a law abiding man,” Fisher said. “Like I told you...” The Captain cut in, “Make d--- sure you stay law abiding, King. You’ve got a nice wife. You could make a good citizen. You’d also make a nice corpse. All outlaws look good dead.” “But I’m not an outlaw, Captain. Nobody can prove...” “Meaning I didn’t prove it this time, which is correct,” McNelly said. “but put it this way, anything that walks like a duck, looks like a duck, and runs with ducks is might near always a duck. I only aimed to tell you to get out of this outlaw business. The next time the Rangers come after you we just might leave you where we overhaul you - and you could make a better life for yourself. But it’s up to you.” That night there was a celebration in Carrizo Springs. King Fisher showed up riding a deep chested dapple gray gelding “that would heft twelve hundred pounds;”and was the product of Kentucky breeding. He was carrying Fisher’s 7-D brand. The saddle was made of flank leather and about ten pounds of beat silver. He was wearing the brown beaver hat he would later die under and his gold inlaid pistols. But it was all topped by his leggings. They were made of genuine Bengal tiger skins and had been given to him by his friend Ben Thompson who took a liking to the skin when it was still on the tiger at a circus in North Texas. When the owner refused to sell, Thompson shot the tiger in his cage and took the skin which he made into chaps and gave to Fisher. Thompson went on to become the Sheriff in Austin and he and Fisher’s fates wound up fatally intertwined. Whether it was the talk from McNelly or some inner voice Fisher left the outlaw life behind. He banned saloons in his town of Carrizo Springs and went on to become the sheriff in Uvalde before his untimely death.
Next time: The end of the frontier in the Nueces Strip
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Legacy Fighting Championship May 31 At American Bank Center By Evan Strates Mixed Martial Arts returns to Corpus Christi on May 31st, under the brand of Legacy Fighting Championship. The American Bank Center will host the six sided cage, where a top class card of seasoned veterans and professional debut fighters will put their bodies and reputations on the line for local fans and national viewers via AXS TV. For those unfamiliar with Mixed Martial Arts, or MMA, it is a full contact combat sport that combines fighting disciplines including everything from Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to Greco-Roman wrestling and boxing. To the untrained eye it may appear to be nothing more than a brutal “blood-sport”, but to the educated fan it is an art form; a mixture of combat styles and strategy. “That being said, a good knockdown-drag-out never gets old,” says Mick Maynard, President of LFC. In each of the ten scheduled matches, two fighters, protected only by groin cups and mouth guards, will battle through three five minute rounds where they will be scored by judges for a final decision, granted neither contender is knocked out or submitted before the end. Native to College Station, Texas, LFC has grown to be one of the top three brands of MMA in the nation. Maynard began the brand back in 2006 under the name Lone Star Beat down. As their following expanded, it was time for a rebirth. Now Legacy Fighting Championship, Maynard’s LFC is home to top fighters from around the world. In this month’s event, LFC will kick off the evening with a preliminary card of four scheduled bouts, showcasing talent young in their professional careers, though not to be shadowed by the main card. “This card is stacked from top to bottom,” states Maynard. “Any of these fights are main event worthy.”
After serving in the Coast Guard, Garcia settled down in Corpus to begin his fighting career. “Corpus is awesome, I’ve been here seven or eight years so it feels like home to me, and the crowd really pumps me up,” Garcia says. In his professional career Garcia has proven to be unpredictable, obtaining each win differently. His record boasts one TKO, one submission, and one win by referee stoppage. Garcia says he is ready for any situation in this fight, “if it goes to the ground I’m comfortable there, and when it comes to standing up I’m ready for that too. I love standing up and trading.” Either way, Garcia is ready to put on a show for his home crowd and says he is up to the challenges of a local fight. “My first [professional] fight was here and it was very different,” says Garcia. “When you’re on the road you’re in a hotel with no distractions, and constantly in fight mode. When you fight at home you have your family and kids around, so it is important to remember to stay focused and prepared for the fight.” Leading up to the main event are Damacio Page (15-8), a veteran of WEC and UFC vs. Patrick Ybarra (5-0). Ybarra has won all five of his fights in the first round. David Douglas (8-5) vs. Hector Munoz (10-4), 145 – Adam Schindler (10-5) vs. Chris Pecero (8-5), Alp Ozkilic (7-1) vs. Jimmy Flick (6-1).
To top off the nights action, Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Carlo Prater (31-13-1) takes on undefeated Carlos Diego Ferreira (6-0). Of Prater’s 31 wins, 17 resulted from submission, making him a dangerous man in a grappling situation. Since leaving UFC Prater has added one loss and one win to his record, submitting his last opponent in January of this year. Ferreira, though less professionally experienced, should be a formidable opponent for Prater. Five of his six victories have been finished by submissions. When asked about this matching, Maynard stated that there is no real story behind it. “They’re both just very good,” he said. Blunt as it is true, they are “very good.” Fans anticipate a fierce battle between these two contenders as both are well versed in wrestling leading to expectations of a full three round fight, giving fans and newcomers an education in all technical aspects of a great MMA fight. Legacy plans to make an encore appearance this September, preceded by events throughout Texas. For more information on LFC or to purchase tickets, log into Legacyfights.tv. or visit americanbankcenter. com.
CC Local Paulina Granados v. Maria Lopez
One notable preliminary match will be between Maria Lopez (debut) and Paulina Granados (1-0), two female contenders who are sure to display a professional grade fight. LFC proudly schedules female fighters as often as possible. “It’s definitely not unique to Legacy, but I wouldn’t say everyone does it,” says Maynard. “If we can put on a female bout we do it and more and more lately that has been the case.” Granados, a Corpus Christi local, finished her amateur career last December with a five round title victory, and went on to win her professional debut in a unanimous decision. She hopes to keep her record unblemished as she faces Lopez, who is disciplined in boxing and Jiu Jitsu, in this atomweight bout. Other preliminary matchups include ; Gerald Gagnon (debut) vs. Kirk Hubble (1-2), Marcelo Lumakang (2-8) vs. Corey Bellino (6-2), and David Siller (debut) vs. Jared Perez (debut). Taking to the Cage in the First fight of the main card is a battle between two undefeated contenders, Elias “Smash” Garcia (3-0) of Corpus Christi and MTV’s “Caged” star Matt “Danger” Schnell (2-0). Aside from reality TV fame, “Danger” is outfitted with a purple belt in Jiu Jitsu, as well as his background in wrestling and boxing.
Newcomer Maria Lopez will face CC Local Paulina Granados in her first professional fight. Granados made national headlines in February for saying she'd like to punch pop singer Keisha in the face. 12
By Andy Purvis Some guys are just born into their profession; this fellow appears to be a natural. Smart, tenacious, seasoned, but still humble, “Buck” Showalter is one of the reasons I love baseball so much. He’s a fine man who has spent his life showing up early and staying late, and playing, learning, and teaching this great game in between. He continues to earn the respect of the players, owners, and fans, while managing from the dugouts of some of the greatest cathedrals built in professional sports. Along the way this two-time Manager of the Year has won over a 1,000 games, influenced, and made better some of the best-of-the-best this game has to offer. One of Buck’s favorite things to say is “Trust Me,” and there is no doubt there are a lot of people who do. The names of superstars like Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Bernie Williams, Randy Johnson, Alex Rodriquez, “Pudge” Rodriquez, Juan Gonzalez, Adam Jones, and Matt Weiters are just a few of the players who have all benefited under Buck’s tutelage. Guys like Buck Showalter make me proud to be a baseball fan. Baltimore Orioles’ Manager, Buck Showalter took time out of his busy schedule to spend 25 minutes on the air with his long-time friend and my radio partner, Dennis Quinn, and myself. Our show, known as the Q & A Session, is aired on ESPN 1440 KEYS in Corpus Christi, Texas. Through Dennis’s friendship, I have had a chance to meet Buck and interview him several times, during the “off season,” which Buck thinks is the worst word in the English language. “It’s a very busy time if you want to have success during the season, that’s for sure,” remarked Buck. After our greetings, Dennis, and I did what we do best, we pay tribute to our fallen sports heroes and help educate our listeners.
When Dennis asked about former Baltimore Hall-of-Fame Manager Earl Weaver, who had just past away, Buck responded, “He’s special to all of us in this organization. We’ve had him in camp the last two years and the more you’re around him; the more you realize why he had so much success. I remember his love for the Baltimore Orioles and the satisfaction of our improvement last year. It took me four or five years before I could call him Earl; he’s always been Mr. Weaver to me. He was a good man and we’re going to miss him. We will pay homage to him this summer in a lot of ways. So, I’m looking forward to that,” said Showalter. “I think what a lot of people are going to miss is the way Earl went about being successful. Earl would say. ‘We missed the cut-off man, botched some run-down plays. We did some things that weren’t perfect but, we didn’t repeat them,’” said Buck. “We had Earl at Spring Training the last couple of seasons. After he had a couple of cups of coffee in him, it was beautiful,” continued Buck. “He was engaged, taking questions; the guys were a little nervous. They had so much respect for him. As I’m riding around in a golf cart with him, taking in different drills, Earl would say, ‘Everybody tries to reinvent the wheel. It’s all about being brilliant at the basics’ and trust me, it didn’t hurt having Jim Palmer, Mike Cuellar, and Pat Dobson and some of those guys, but they caught the baseball. If the ball stays in the ballpark in the American League East, you had better get a glove on it; you’re not going to get many chances,” said Showalter. I mentioned that my two sons and I had traveled to Baltimore two of the last three years to see the
Orioles and Yankees play and witnessed the Brooks Robinson statue. I asked him about the centerfield section now known as The Garden of the Greats and if they were saving a spot for Buck Showalter. “No, trust me, the timing was great with the club being improved and it was about paying homage to our six Hall-of-Famer’s. Earl and in no special order, Cal Ripken Jr., Eddie Murray, Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson and Jim Palmer, about one per month. It was special,” said Buck. “We got lucky with the weather and these guys talked and came into our clubhouse and it was a great celebration of our history. Our ownership paid for all that and those statues will be a lasting tribute to our great Hall-of-Famers.” Dennis pointed out that Earl Weaver had been run 91 or 92 times by the umpires during his career and asked Buck how many times he had been tossed. “Oh, I don’t know,” said Buck. “I don’t keep up with that. I do know the fines are a lot different now than they were then, and that it is part of my job description.” When Dennis asked Showalter if he might turn his hat around to get closer to “Blue” as a tribute to Earl, during his next disagreement with an umpire, Buck’s response was, “That would almost be disrespectful to Earl, to place myself in his category.” Buck continued, “I would never do anything to embarrass them (umpires). They are professional and trying hard. Their experiences allow them to make educated guesses because the ball moves too fast. The only thing that gets under my skin is when they don’t show up for work or when they become vindictive or lazy.” Buck continued, “I think everybody is hoping for more replay including the guys on the field. I’m sure the guys on the field (umpires) will take as much replay as they will put in there.” It is no secret that the American League East Division got better this off-season, especially, in Toronto. When I suggested that 85-90 wins might be enough to win the division, Buck countered, “We had the number 90 on the board last year. Listen,” said Buck, “the game has changed a lot. We now hit the ball where the grass doesn’t grow. Strikeouts have gone up. One year I had close to 700 plate appearances or 650, and only struck out twenty-something times. Nowadays, they strike out 20 times in a week. If you follow the money trail, you know where it goes,” said Buck. “I was very fortunate to play; we are all the best at some level, and then we are weeded out. Trust me, when I saw Don Mattingly, I knew I wasn’t going to be the first baseman for the New York Yankees.”
Dennis insisted that Buck had done the best managing job last year he had seen since Dick Williams of the 1967 Red Sox, who took that team from worst to first. “How do you grade yourself?” asked Dennis. “Dennis, I don’t get involved with that,” said Buck. “We are at the mercy of the players and really to the mothers and fathers of the world. By the time I get them at my level, they have pretty much formulated the way they are going to go about 13
life and about competition. So, shame on you if you don’t do your homework and don’t know what you’re getting. We’ve got some really good people that are easy to trust. I probably had as much fun this season as I have had at any time. It was a club that after awhile I knew I could trust, and late in Spring Training I knew I had something special going on with the players and what they had bought into. It will be a challenge this year to hold onto that,” said Showalter. “As far as grades and all that stuff, it’s about the players. We are just passing ships in the night,” said Buck. “There are a lot of people that can do this job as well, if not better than me, and I’m just honored I have been able to do it this long. Baltimore is my last stop, my last rodeo. They know it and I know it and when they get tired of me, trust me, they will not have to talk much. I’ll just say thanks, tip my hat, shake their hands, and head on out the door,” exclaimed Buck. Neither Dennis nor I believed that. As the interview wound down, Buck mentioned he would not be attending the Super Bowl but stated he was a big Ravens fan. I congratulated him on 93 wins for the season, his contract extension, and the over two million fans that tripped the turnstiles at Camden Yards this past season. “That’s why they love you in Baltimore,” I said. “Well, I don’t know if we can get back to 3 million, but we did have close to 20,000 at Fan Fest,” stated Buck. It’s quite refreshing to find small-town values still exist. Buck remains unspoiled by the distractions of big league baseball. So, it’s safe to say that Dennis and I will be pulling for the Orioles this year in the highly contested AL East. “Good pitching carries over,” said Buck; “Trust me.” Andy Purvis is a local author. His books "In the Company of Greatness" and "Remembered Greatness" are on the shelves at the local Barnes and Noble, at Beamer's Sports Grill 5922 S Staples, and online at many different sites including Amazon, bn.com, booksamillion, Google Books, etc. They are also available in e-reader format. Contact him at www.purvisbooks.com, or andy.purvis@grandecom. net.
A Few Items Of Note
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
Mary H. F. Chriss Exhibition runs through June 20th Mary is the ﬁrst artist in our ‘Coming Home Series’. A native of Corpus Christi, she is currently living in Austin, TX, where she is a mixed media artist and a part of Austin’s UP Collective.
The Independents Show 2013 Award Ceremony & Reception Friday, June 7th, 5 – 7pm The Independent artists, who belong to the Art Center but are not afﬁliated with any speciﬁc group, put on their annual juried exhibition – always a show of great variety and creativity. Juror: Lynda Jones, Artist, activist, writer and former art educator
May 31st, 5:30pm to 9pm Main Gallery: Texas Atomic Iron Commission ArtStar & Hot Spot Galleries: Sebastian Stoddart
ART CAMPS – ages 11-17 Monday – Friday, 9 am to 4 pm Session 1: July 8-12 – Session 1: Photography & Weaving Session 2: July 15-19 – Session 2: Altered Books & Anime Session 3: July 22-26 – Session 3: Printmaking & Painting Session 4: July 29-Aug 2 – Session 4: Drawing & Bookbinding K Space Summer Art Camps offer fun-ﬁlled creative learning experiences for students ages 11-17. Immersed in ART for the entire week, campers gain an understanding of the creative process in the visual arts through practice. Students improve their artistic skills while learning problem solving skills that can be applied to all areas of study. This is seriously fun creativity! Camps begin at 9 am and end at 4 pm. Healthy snacks are provided; however, students will need to bring a snack lunch. We use art materials that can stain clothing, so dress accordingly or bring an apron. All art supplies are provided. We’ll also have brief yoga sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Studio C, Art and Fine Gift Gallery. Studio C Partnership announce the May 31, 2013 opening of Studio C, Art and Fine Gift Gallery, located at 100 Shoreline Blvd Corpus Christi TX within the Art Center of Corpus Christi (www.artcentercc.org) next to Citrus Bistro. Hours: Monday through Friday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The newest Corpus Christi Bayfront destination for community members and tourists to experience shopping for beautiful and varied art and ﬁne gifts, Studio C will focus on the continuous exhibit, display and sales of high quality jewelry, sculpture, pottery, unique gift items and 2-D art created by accomplished Texas Artists.
Treehouse Art Collective LLC 309 North Water Street, Suite D Corpus Christi, TX 78401 361.882.4822 TreehouseArtCC.com
Hours: Tue-Sat 11a – 8p Sunday Noon to 6p Free Admission Always
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 and TEA TIME, 2-5pm.
Registration Is Now Open - Fostering creative youth for 16 902 Navigation Circle Hours: Tues – Sat, 10a – 4p Rockport, Texas 78382 Sundays, 1p – 4p Tel: 361.729.5519 Closed Mondays RockportArtCenter.com Always Free Admission years! • Free to students attending school in Aransas County • $60 per week ($120 for both weeks) for students attending school out of county. • Students may sign up for one session only • Spaces are ﬁlled on a ﬁrst-come, ﬁrst-served basis. Session 1: June 17-27, 9:30 am - Noon Session 2: June 17-27, 1:30 - 4 pm Session 3: July 22 - Aug 1, 9:30 am - Noon Session 4: July 22 - Aug 1, 1:30 - 4 pm To register go to www.rockportartcenter.com
Start Planning NOW!! Art Auction & Party, Friday, July 5 The Biggest Big Tent Party in South Texas! Rockport is the place to be July 4th weekend, and the big tent is the place to be in Rockport! Every year Rockport Center for the Arts hosts the Art Auction & Party in the air-conditioned tent prior to the annual Art Festival.
The 44th Annual Rockport Art Festival
The Merriman-Bobys House in Heritage Park 1521 North Chaparral Street Corpus Christi, Texas 78401 Always Free Admission
Art Museum of South Texas 1902 N. Shoreline Blvd Admission: Corpus Christi, TX 78401 Adults $8 Tel: 361.825.3500 Seniors (60 and older) $6 Fax: 361.825.3520 Active Military $6 artmuseumofsouthtexas.org Students (13+) $4 Hours: Free: Tues - Sat 10a to 5p - All members Sundays 1p to 5p - Children 12 and under Closed Mondays & Holidays - Texas A&M-CC students Free Admission every First Friday in honor of ArtWALK!
Canvas, Cocktails and Conversation May 31st, 2013 from 6-8pm
Robes from the 2013 Coronation of Las Doñas de la Corte: “The Court of Triumphant Dynasties” will be on display through June 4th, with a small throne for your little kings and queens to have their regal photos taken.
ArtLink for Kids 2013
First Friday ArtWALK
Former landscape architect turned digital photographer, Dixie brings a romantic clarity to nature’s simple splendor.
May 31st, 5:30-9pm
Rockport Center for the Arts
July 6th and 7th on the Festival Grounds next to Rockport Beach Park and the Art Center!
100 Shoreline Blvd Corpus Christi, TX 78401 Tel: 361.884.6406 Fax: 361.884.8836 ArtCenterCC.org
First Friday ArtWALK
The hunt comes to life with representations of hunting expeditions, displays of game, and portrait of animals and the hunters.
A collective of artists exhibiting and selling artwork in a variety of media.
Art Center of Corpus Christi
ACCC has an ongoing series of art programs for children and adults – check out the “education” links on their websites for lots of exciting things to choose from for you and the little ones!
Exhibit runs through August 25th, 2013
July 4th Weekend
May 31st, 5:30 – 9pm Featured Artist: Dixie Lee
Hours: 10a – 4p Everyday except Monday Monday CLOSED Admission is always FREE
A Noble Pastime: from the Collection of the Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation
Paint a vibrant Texas wildﬂower landscape to kick-off the summer! Work alongside artist Diana Carter as she demonstrates basic to intermediate painting techniques and guide participants through the creation of a daytime or nighttime landscape using acrylic paint. A glass of wine and an appetizer plate are included with your class fee. Bring a friend to work with you or just enjoy the ambiance of a fun and relaxing evening at the Museum! $35 Members / $45 Nonmembers – Make your reservation today! Call Mary Johnson at 825-3504, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org Check the museum website calendar for lots of fun family and adult events throughout the month.
CreativeConnectionsCC.org Wednesday – Saturday 11a – 3p Or by appointment
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. 505 S Water Street, Suite 545 Corpus Christi, TX 78401 Tel: 361.883.9123
Hours: Mon - Thurs 10a - 7p Fri & Sat 10a - 9p Sunday Noon - 6p
Creative Connections Gallery Gloria Hunter’s incredible photography exhibit, “Coastal Magic”, will be shown in the gallery throughout the month of May.
Tango Tea Room First Friday ArtWALK May 31st , 2013, 5:30 – 9pm June's featured artist will be Larry Running Turtle. First Friday Drum Circle starts at 6 pm. Art, music, poetry, fabulous food, and shopping, all in one! Also don’t forget they hold the Downtown Farmer’s Market every Wednesday at 5:30pm
Congress Votes "Yea" to Internet Censorship, Warrantless Spying
Meet the New Law, Same as the Old Law CISPA is the new PIPPA (formerly known as SOPA)
by Kyle Hoelscher From the grave it rises again, like a legislative zombie. The politicians want it, the public hates it. They have finally figured out how to pass this unpopular legislation though: rename it. I often wonder how many tax dollars are spent to think up handy little acronyms to market these bills. The bill didn’t pass last time it got renamed, but they are heavily banking on the public’s goldfish-like attention span. Shortly before the writing of this article, it appears that the bill has been stopped dead in its tracks by a presidential veto threat and the Senate. Don’t rest easy though, the political winds change fast. So first, let’s go over a bit of history for those that don’t know the dangers of these bills that keep showing up at the doorstep of congress. The language in CISPA is substantially the same as PIPPA, last time, and SOPA, the time before that. It has probably been lingering in the background of congress for years before that. If you have a political bone in your body, you will recall all fuss over SOPA. SOPA’s defeat was not so long ago, but it was ages ago in politics. SOPA was a move to give sweeping powers to block internet access for people who infringe copyrights. It also gave the government powers to block website access to users. These powers came with little oversight and even allowed private companies to dictate who could access the web and what they could see. Well, after people found out that the Federal Government was attempting to take these sweeping powers, the people got angry and online companies banded together to defeat it. And they did defeat it. That defeat was so hard that the next bill, PIPPA, died in the womb. And last year CISPA was introduced and thrown out by both parties, for fear of the internet’s wrath. Unfortunately, this year’s incarnation of CISPA has some serious backing by recording artist lobbyists and has also become a useful political tool for the Republican Party. It would be wrong to say that the Republican Party is entirely at fault here. CISPA passed the House
of Representatives on April 18th with bipartisan support. The recording industry, internet security firms, and major cellular carriers all hope to gain if CISPA passes. Why? Because they would enjoy the fringe benefits of the law. So much so that they bought the required number of votes this year for a cool $86 million. Fortunately for justice, the Senate cannot be swayed so easily. In the end, this is not a left/right issue, but the Republicans are mostly for it (even though prominent conservative groups have denounced it), and Democrats are mostly against it. The victory over SOPA for a free internet seems to be a hollow one today, because government’s desire to control the internet has reared its ugly head again. This time instead under the veil of “Cyber Security.” This is a term which remains undefined in the bill and in the act that it’s designed to amend. And therein lies to biggest danger, the bill labels copyright infringement as a threat to cyber security,
All of these changes are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act. So, we can’t even know how the government spies on us unless the government decides to allow us to know how it can spy on us.
to access sensitive data. This is data about you. This is data that corporations keep in order to profit through legal channels. CISPA would open the floodgates to people who want to profit by other means. CISPA is just another great reminder that our freedoms are never safe from the appetites of government power. We need to remember that the internet is not that old. It is still a fragile place. The government wants to get in on the ground floor before the internet permeates our lives, the way the telephone once did. The FBI probably kicks itself everyday as it wishes that it had passed wiretap laws the day after Alexander Graham Bell patented the telephone. Then every telephone would have an FBI chip that could be accessed at all times and the FBI wouldn’t have to muck around with these wiretapping courts and gathering evidence. This is what the federal government wants to do now. They want to put a tap on the entire internet in order to look into your private life for criminal activity, piracy, or whatever. The problem is that they don’t care about the cost to freedom, privacy or actual security. Please inform yourself on this issue. Let’s make sure the Senate does not pass CISPA and let’s leave it dead on the floor of the house, where it should be.
Who Votes For This?
and therefore national security. That is a dangerous departure from other bills to regulate the internet in some way or another, including SOPA. SOPA made for some criminal penalties and some civil liabilities for copyright infringement, but nothing as dramatic as labeling someone who downloads a copy of a pop song as a national security threat. Another serious problem with this bill is that it furthers the government’s ability to spy on you. The government has the power right now to tap your emails, given probable cause. They can ask a judge and get a warrant to tap your phone lines. They can do a number of things to spy on you, but the government is not content with the right to spy on you. They want the spying to be easy. CISPA would drastically increase the flow of information from the private sector directly to government agencies. It would create backdoors into companies’ security infrastructures so that the government can snoop around without having to wait for a judge to approve a warrant. Worse yet, all of these changes are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act. So, we can’t even know how the government spies on us unless the government decides to allow us to know. So never. And one final point, this bill actually does nothing to increase internet security in any meaningful way. Prominent hacker groups and cyber security firms have released examinations of the CISPA legislation that shows if we give the government this ability, it actually creates backdoors for anyone to enter secured systems inside America. It essentially breaks the firewalls and ensures that there is always a way 15
Corpus Christi Congressman Blake Farenthold voted for CISPA (HR 624) Why? Members of congress require feedback from their constituents in order to know they're representing the people of their district. If you feel that your congressman didn't represent your best interests by voting for this bill, let him know. I'm calling just to ask why he'd vote this way. He claims to be a small-government conservative, so why vote to expand government's power to intrude into the privacy of citizens and create another layer of regulations for business? ~Jeff Craft
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Canvas Exposing Local Artists…
By Georgia Grifﬁn
Sazón is Dancing with the Cranes…
Whooping Crane in the middle of a drought looking for a blue crab, but last year I had a really awesome year. I had the most incredible year of my life. Early in January I had the Texas Country Reporter come here, and I got emails from all around the world, and it’s just been amazing, you know. People keep coming here, and they keep asking about the ﬂute music. When I started doing the ﬂute to the cranes, well, that has been another magic thing that’s happened.
homas R. Meinhausen’s article in the February 2013 issue of Texas NOW Magazine closes with the following: “On June 29th, Sazon suffered a major heart attack.” Now, that’s a stunning way to close an article, to say the least! Last June Ruben “Sazón” Aiken seemed to have the world by the tail: the Whooping Crane had become a creative life’s focus for him and it was beginning to pay off. The Whooping Crane is the Egyptian hieroglyph for “soul” and their graceful courtship dances culminate in a lifelong mating bond. They have touched him deeply, and the fact that they are so gravely endangered drew him to celebrate them, to promote their preservation and resurgence in numbers, through his work. Sazón created his “Soul Mate” ring, and variations thereof, in precious metals and gemstones, as well as many vibrant Whooping Crane paintings.
“People are moved by that Native American sound, but what comes out through my ﬂute, it’s a combination of Native American sound, and a little Western, and Blues. I’ve been a blues harmonica player. I play by feel. I don’t read scores and I don’t play numbers. I play by feel, when I’m playing, and to play that sound… When I ﬁrst started playing the ﬂute, and I heard the sounds coming from this simple wooden tube, man. When I ﬁrst started playing in November 2011, I couldn’t believe the sound that was coming. It’ll hit you right there, and I’ve seen how it affects people. It does something. I’ve never felt like or had anything like that.
After much dreaming and planning, in December 2011 he was to stage a “Celebration for the Return of the Crane” on board the Wharf Cat. While preparing for the event a broken ﬂute came into his possession, and during that celebration, Sazón played the ﬂute to the cranes across the water, and the cranes sang back! In January of 2012 Bob Phillips and his crew ﬁlmed Sazón for a February episode of PBS’ Texas Country Reporter. That show is still drawing people to Sazón’s studio, including a couple that stopped in as I interviewed him. A groundswell of interest grew from the event and the show, resulting in many sales and a growing interest in his work and the plight of the Whooping Cranes. He was ﬂying high… only to crash with that heart attack. To meet Sazón now, you both would and would not know he had come so close to death. Looking healthy and tan, these days Sazón is all the more focused on his dedication to the Whooping Cranes. “I’ve had this good fortune connected to the cranes and people love my ring and the crane design. That was my paying homage to the crane. It turned out to be incredible, what happened after that. People connected to the sound of the Native American ﬂute. “It’s been that kind of unique thing that connects people. I’ve had this uncanny thing where they’ve led certain people to come through my door that inspire me to go on. The artist’s struggle is like a 22
“It hits a nerve like, I learned and I didn’t realize about that. I’ve had so many people who’ve come here who have a strong spiritual connection with the sound. It has also this healing sound, and a melancholyness. Oh my goodness, it’s just moves people. When this doctor came by here, and he told me I have to go play to her memorial, Sadako, and I had already been talking about her for years, since 2007, about this girl that’s in books and everything.” In fact, Sazón is working hard to earn enough money to get himself to Hiroshima, Japan, to play his
ﬂ 6 M w t i i
S p ﬁ v p h t w h m w s t h t S w h b c t y
ﬂute to the cranes at the August 6th annual Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony to pray for world peace, and speciﬁcally at the Children’s Peace Memorial, in honor of Sadako Sasak (see inset) and the cranes. As Sazón and I talk about Sadako, and his own healing process through the peace he ﬁnds focusing on cranes, his voice changes from the strong patter of a man who knows how to sell his works of art to the halting manner of someone who has deﬁnitely been hit hard. He sorrowfully told me of a young man in his 20s who turned out to be a cancer survivor. His father had been to the studio before and told him about the ﬂute music, so the young man wanted to hear Sazón play. He told Sazón he wished he’d had his music to help him through the painful bouts of chemo and recovery. Having heard his music, especially the sample of the composition Sazón is working on for Hiroshima, I know there is a gently wistful tone that can help to calm and center one. Just the right music to focus on when you’re coming out of something painful, I am certain. “It hits something deep. It hits a nerve. I’m no virtuoso, OK? I’m no ﬂutist. I play by the feel, like the blues, American blues. I do call myself a little blues man. I knew when I played harmonica, how that made people feel, you know? A lot
of people love that sound, but when I play that ﬂute? I’ve gotten reactions from that ﬂute that just blow me a way. I’ve seen people react to it in a way that just is heartfelt and sincere, and when you hear someone react to it who has gone through real pain, that’s where it has really hit me.” Let the music and the majesty of the Whooping Crane hit you too. Check out Sazón’s work via his website, Sazonandthewhoopingcranes.com, or stop in at his studio – 114 North Austin Street, Rockport TX. It’s a journey worth taking, and you just may ﬁnd yourself ﬂoating away with the cranes.
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