Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Stanford's SoCal Raza Readers and Chicana Tributes. Zeta On Screen.

Michael Sedano

Cold reality became a blue-skies brilliantly Spring-like March afternoon for the Book Club of the Chicano/Latino Stanford University Alumni Association of Southern California, who welcomed one of the editors of Chicana Tributes, Rita Sanchez. Joining Ms. Sanchez are one of the collection's authors, Teyana Viscarra, and Sanchez' husband, Richard Griswold del Castillo.

Deidre Reyes, Margie Hernandez, Angelique Flores

La Bloga reviewed Chicana Tributes recently (link), finding the book useful, necessary, and a model that can inspire other communities to replicate what Sanchez and Sonia Lopez created for their San Diego communities.

Editor Rita Sanchez describes the process as Richard Griswold and Felix Gutiérrez listen

The wide-ranging discussion covered the origins and inspirations of the volume, the collaborative
editing process that brought Lopez and Sanchez together, some background the process for selecting women to profile, and recruiting writers. Behind every successful woman often is no one, she's a single parent. That isn't the case here; Sanchez acknowledges her supportive husband, Richard Griswold. Love rules, gente. The couple held hands during the discussion.

Who was left out of the collected Tributes? No one. The 61 are the 61. Certainly other mujeres deserve some light.

Rita Sanchez interacts with Felix Gutiérrez as Maria Gutiérrez ponders. 

Discussion extended beyond the book to the ambiente of Leland Stanford Jr. University back in 1969 and the early 1970s, when the first brown faces began matriculating in noticeable presence at the Palo Alto farm. One shocking disclosure, Stanford finally lifted the quota that admitted ⅓ women to a class of ⅔ males.

Back then the university's mascot was The Indian. "The Robber Barons" was the student body's choice of a new mascot, but those-who-must-be-obeyed opted for the less creative, The Cardinal. Today's students opt for The Tree.

Chicanas and Chicanos integrated Stanford's married student housing when an all-white waiting list spelled "No Vacancy." Felix Gutiérrez, who was an entry-level Dean, and his wife, Maria Gutiérrez, who led financial services, played key roles in the change. It helps to have degrees and "he-who-must-be-obeyed" status, que no? They aren't going to change just because that would be the right thing to do.

Teyana Viscarra 
That's the message of the lives in Chicana Tributes' chapters. Persist, get in people's faces, have skills, have more skills, lead public opinion, get hired, become the name on the letterhead.

Richard Griswold del Castillo, Rita Sanchez, Teyana Viscarra, Angelique Flores. Back LR: Manuel Urrutia, Felix Gutiérrez, Maria Gutiérrez, Margie Hernandez, Deidre Reyes , Michael Sedano, Mario Vasquez

The Rotator Cuff

The poetry circle spotted readers at random intervals around the room. A photographer sat in the center of the Avenue50Studio space, pivoting left, right, spinning around for speakers behind him, then spinning 180º to grab portraits and candids in the opposite direction.

Back in his misspent youth, the man with a camera habitually sat cross-legged on floors, rising with grace and ease by simply straightening his knees. I remember that guy. I used to be him. A fractured knee in Basic Training cured me of scissoring up from the floor.

The reading came to a close and I  held the camera in my left hand. Propping my good right arm on the floor, I pushed myself up. Inside my arm I felt something go pop pop pop then the right arm went numb.

That was December and I got some good portraits. In early February, someone pushed a mask over my face, "gas," she said, and lethe. I went under the arthroscope.

Writing with a temporary disability relegated me to one-handed typing, or using Macintosh's voice recognition feature. If it ain't broke etc. Speech to text needs fixing.

My fingers cannot find all the notes on the piano yet, but I can hit most of the keys on my laptop, and readily fix the ones I mistype. I cannot operate my camera, so Manuel Urrutia covered the meeting for La Bloga.

By July, I'm told, after PT has run its course, the arm should be back to its old self.

And I shall rise, from the floor, scissors style.

Oscar Zeta The Brown Buffalo Acosta: The Film Debuts

Buzz, that's the best noise filmmakers can hear. Not the buzz of an ungrounded microphone but the excited voices of people clamoring to be allowed a seat in the sure-to-be Standing Room Only premiere showing of producers Phillip Rodriguez, Ricardo Lopez, and Alison Sotomayor's magnum opus, "The Rise and Fall of the Brown Buffalo."

Oscar Acosta evicts the teevee crews. (link)
Scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. curtain, that buzz will be growing louder and louder. Early arrival assures a seat at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes near the historical founding site of Mestizo Los Angeles, Olvera Street.

I'm happy to share several fotos I took of Acosta during the 1973 Festival de Flor y Canto. When my fotos flash across the screen, everyone shout "órale!" In exchange, I'll buy you a free taco out in LA Plaza's plaza, where the entertainment and victualling of the crowd will be deluxe.

The Michelada mobile will serve beer in the garden, there will be mole bowls, chips and dip, and both a Chicana DJ collective, Chulita Vinyl Club, and an East L.A. psychedelic cumbia band, Thee Commons, will perform throughout the evening.

RSVP for a shot at a seat at the Premiere. Not to dismay, however. Roberto Cantu will show the documentary during the upcoming 2018 Conference on Chicano historiography and historical novels. (link)


Anonymous said...

Ey, vato, why are burying the lede? You want to build buzz but omit the date!! It is hiding inside the RSVP which is almost not noticeable to this green-receptor-impaired person. And what self-respecting Mexican is going to "réspondez s'il vous plaît?" We ain't gringos, much less franchutes!! Oh, yeah, the date: Friday, March 9, 2018, 6:30 PM - 10 PM. Which sounds odd because that's too little time for a movie and a pachanga, whether Mexican or Chicana, which go hasta que el cuerpo aguante or the cops show up, whichever comes first.

msedano said...

Órale, Anon. If you spoon feed gente they'll never learn to fish. ¿Ves? you dug and caught a live one. Did you SRP? we're riding the gold line and leaving after the film.