|----- Original Message -----
From: Neodance @ aol.com
To: docrio45 @ gmail.com
Sent: Saturday, December 22, 2007 5:01
Subject: NEO G COLUMN IN DEC LARE DOS MONTHLY
NEO NOTE: I will be offline from Dec. 26-30.
Pls hold emails during that period. THANK YOU ! And JULIA VERA
tells me that maybe Rogelio Ramos will be at Dr. Chale's RecRm
luncheon. Rogelio, a Laredo actor in Holllywood, is the cop in
the SPIDER MAN 3 movie !
COL. 20--DEC 2007--NOTES FROM LALA LAND BY DR. NEO GUTIERREZ FOR
DR. CARLOS VALLE JR LAREDO'S NEWEST PH.D.
Drumroll and lots of bannered trumpets, please!
Enter Dr. Carlos Valle, Jr., Laredo's newest Ph.D., now on the
TAMIU staff as teacher of Urban Studies and History in the Dept.
of Social Sciences. On Dec. 14 he walked the graduation walk at
The University of New Orleans. His dissertation topic: Urban
Growth Without Prosperity: The History of Public Housing in
Laredo, Tx. 1938-2006.
On Dec. 27 Dr. Chale will be celebrated in Laredo at a special
luncheon in his honor by Norma Adamo and myself, as we and 70 of
his closest friends also celebrate the 6th Annual Laredo
Cyberspace Barrio Pachanga at the lobby restaurant of the Hol
Inn Civ Ctr. Later that afternoon I will do an in-depth
interview with Dr. Chale for Laredo PAccTV, to air 3X in Laredo
in January 2008. Watch for it!
He was born Feb. 15, 1947 at the original Mercy Hospital of
Laredo, now the site of the Housing Authority's Senior Citizen
Home. From grades 1-8 he attended Our Lady of Guadalupe
Parochial School, and from 9-12 he was at St. Joseph's Academy,
where he graduated in 1965. A registered radiologic
technologist, he graduated in 1967 from the Mercy Hospital
School of Radiologic Technology. He passed the national registry
exam in the top 2nd percentile. From 1967 to 1973 he served as a
Staff Sgt., 474th Medical Service Flight (USAF Reserve) at the
USAF Hospital at Laredo AFB. By 1975 he had received a Bachelor
of Radiologic Science degree from Incarnate Word College. He
became director and instructor of radiologic technology at
Laredo Comunity College in 1975 till 1999. In 1985 he received a
Master of Education degree in Secondary and Higher Education
from East Texas State U., followed by a Master of Arts in
History from TAMIU, in 1995, where he was been on the teaching
staff from 2001 to the present.
Dr. Valle explains: I wrote the dissertation in an attempt to
shed light on the topic of providing decent housing for
low-income residents of my hometown. I was a resident of the
Colonia Guadalupe Housing Project for the first 21 yrs. of my
life, so there is this strong drive to give back to the
community where I was raised. I admire and give thanks for his
generosity to our community to Abraham Rodriguez, Executive
Director of Laredo's Public Housing Authority. His vision,
drive, and a tempered judgment has helped Laredo's
underprivileged residents in so many ways for decades. In his
own quiet demeanor, he has been a strong advocate for the people
who have the least voice in today's society, the poor. I
couldn't believe I was doing most of my archival research a half
block from the four units where my parents raised us from 1947
to 1969. I was home.
Dr. Valle continues: I chose teaching as a career, or maybe it
chose me. I could have stayed in San Antonio back in 1975, but
after living in Houston and San Antonio, I was bugged by a
strong, persistent yearning to return to my hometown to attempt
to help others. All five of my siblings left Laredo in their
teens and made their careers successfully in the Air Force, in
Dallas, California, Austin, and McAllen. I returned and , except
for some educational leaves, remained "en la cuna en que
Then I developed a nagging urge to finish "the big
one," the doctoral degree. I had finished all the required
courses for the Ed.D. at East Texas State by 1990, but I didn't
return to Commerce due to a family illness. Being attracted to
desert and mountains, I surfed the internet for Ph.D. programs
that would fit my needs in the southwestern part of the U.S.
Never did I imagine that I would wind up at the University of
New Orleans. I had never even heard of it until I came across it
on the internet in 1999. The Dean of UNO's College of Urban and
Public Affairs (CUPA), Dr. Bob Whelan, asked me to write a
500-word essay on what I would be doing as a doctoral student. I
got carried away and wound up with a 700-word essay describing
Laredo and some of its many problems. In it I just described
Laredo in a critical manner, explaining that I needed to somehow
bring attention to an area that seems to be neglected: improving
the quality of poor residents of Laredo. The Ph.D. would be in
Urban Studies, with a concentraion in history. I wound up taking
urban history courses, which seem to have evolved from
sociology. Little did I know that Dr. Whelan would wind up being
my dissertation committee chairperson.
I just defended my dissertation successfully recently at UNO.
Now that I am officially a "Doctor of Philosophy in Urban
Studies," it hasn't sunk in. I'm in a daze thinking of what
I'm supposed to do now. I am grateful to the persons who gave me
my education: My grandmother, Soledad Valle, who taught me to
read, speak, and write Spanish correctly, the Ursuline Sisters,
the Marist Brothers, the good teachers at Laredo Jr. (now
Community) College, East Texas State U.(now A&M at
Commerce), TAMIU, and the Univ. of New Orleans.
I have returned to New Orleans on occasion since I left in 2001.
I miss it and the friends I made there. It was heavily damaged
by Katrina in 2005, but it has a chance for recovery. My former
landlord asked me if I would return to help them rebuild the
city. He knew how much I had gotten to like it there. NOLA had
grown on me, I suppose. I miss the good food and good people
there, but las tortillas de Laredo kept calling me home. Asi es
que aca ando en la frontera que me vio nacer. There's so much
work to do. I told some students here in Laredo a couple of
years ago: I just want to finish my dissertation so I can do
some leisure reading and begin traveling again.
Dr. Chale notes: My graduation gift to myself will be an airline
ticket to Spain. I have painted a mental picture of returning
there, so I guess seeking pleasure through travel remains a
driving factor in my life. There's so much to learn yet, y como
dice Vicki Carr, "aun me queda lena pa' quemar."
And that's how "El Chale del Siete Viejo C/S" closes
his note. Dr. Chale, indeed, is truly an inspired and
inspirational leader. How fortunate Laredo is to have him in its
The Ph.D. bug has been much in the air, as I heard from Gaby
Mendoza Garcia, formerly of the TAMIU staff and director of the
folclorico dance company on that campus till May 2007. She
writes: I am attending the University of California at Riverside
to pursue a Ph.D. in Dance History and Theory. Finally my dreams
have come true ! I received a $53,000 fellowship. I have had a
wonderful experience as an administrator and faculty at TAMIU
for 12 yrs. Of those 12 yrs., I have been director of the TAMIU
Ballet Folclorico for 11 yrs. As you know, the TAMIU Folclorico
is the first performing arts organization to have been formed at
TAMIU. I am expecting to return to Laredo with my family the
summer of 2011. I hope to continue teaching at TAMIU upon my
return. I can see no better university to work at. In so doing,
I hope to utilize the knoelwedge learned in graduate school in
California to advance the TAMIU dance program and the folclorico
group. (Riverside, btw, is about 50 mi. from L.A.)
Bitsy Lugo of San Antonio, mother of outstanding singer Leslie
Lugo, tells us about Leslie's recent activities and her Laredo
roots. She writes: while on her recent radio promotional tour of
S.Texas, Leslie was in Laredo promoting her CD at Z93 Radio.,
During her interview, Leslie mentioned her deep Laredo roots
since both her parents, Raul and Bitsy (Garza) Lugo were former
Laredoans. Leslie was amazed at how many calls came into the
station from listeners who remember the Lugo and Garza families.
They wanted to share memorable stories with her. Several callers
remembered that Raul, Leslie's father, played lead guitar (requinto)
in a trio when he was young. It's wonderful to know that old
friends still remember our family so fondly and can share those
memories with our daughter so many years later. Btw, Raul was a
1961 grad of MHS, and he received his BS in Engineering from St.
Mary's U. He currently works as an engineering consultsnt for an
oil company in Houston. I graduated from MHS in 1963 and was the
youngest sister of the late consultant engineer Paul Garza.
Btw, Joe Posada, Latin Grammy nominee, through his label in San
Antonio has just released the 5th CD on his label, the
self-titled debut of singer Leslie Lugo, who scored a hit a year
ago with their duet "Caen Porque Caen" from his
"Amor y Fuego" CD which was nominated for a mainstream
Grammy. Leslie also sings background vocals on Marez's Latin
A fun note from Bill Mayo, ex-Laredoan now of New Braunfels, who
tells usm: Took Sara Puig Laas and Senator to see "Tuna
Does Vegas" at the Paramount in Austin. I will be in Vegas
next week-end at the Venetian. Did I tell you I won $100,000 and
a new Mercedes in Atlantic City over the Labor Day weekend? AUA!
And why was I not surprised to hear that in the latest US Census
count, Smith pops up at the most common surname in the US. And
for the first time, two Hispanic names (Garcia and Rodriguez)
emerged at the top of the 10 most common names in the nation.
According to the Census analysis, the number of Hispanics living
in the US grew by 58% in the 1990's to almost 13% of the entire
population. Possible moral to this story: maybe Hispanics need
to watch more television at night.
And as I write this, the "Dancing With the Stars"
finale has just finished, and Helio, the Brazilian NASCAR
driver, and partner Julianne Hough (Mark Ballas Jr.'s adopted
sister) have won. For Julianne it's her 2nd win in a row, the
lst time being with Apolo, the ice skater. It was gratifying to
see Mark Ballas Jr. and Sabrina bring the house down with
applause when they did their solo during the finale. At the end
of the program, however, Mark was sent to the hospital in an
ambulance because the night before he tore a ligament on his
shoulder. Yet, he danced, pain 'n all, like a true trouper. And
Marie Osmond finished the contest with a bizarre doll routine
which one of the judges said made her look,like Baby Jane or
Bride of Chucky. But businesswoman till the end, she wanted to
publicize her doll designs, which she sells on tv. And on that
note, it's time for, as Norma Adamo says:
TAN TAN !
(Dr. Neo in LA is a Ph.D. in Dance and Related Fine Arts, Senor
Internacional de Beverly Hills 1997, and MHS Tiger Legend 2002.
DR.NEO GUTIERREZ ITINERARY DEC. 26-30, 2007 L. A. RES.:
ALL AIR TRAVEL BY SOUTHWEST AIRLINES
1. Wed., Dec. 26---Flight # 2015--Conf. # KWK 7PH
DEPART LAX 1:35 PM ARRIVE SAN ANTONIO 7:15 PM STAY AT LAREDO TX
HOL INN CIV CTR
1-956-727-5800 Conf. # 67284955
2. Thurs., Dec. 27
11 AM - 1 PM--6th ANNUAL LAREDO CYBERSPACE BARRIO LUNCHEON--Hol
Inn Civ Ctr Lobby Restaurant
1 PM - 7 PM--ON CAMERA LAREDO PUBLIC ACCESS TV STUDIO near Hol
Inn ON GARDEN ST. 1-956-721-2050
3. FRI., DEC. 28 --1-3 PM OLD GYM NIXON HS
39TH ANNUAL NEO GUTIERREZ DANCE WORKSHOP 2007 with Star Teacher
ROGELIO RODRIGUEZ OF HOUSTON assisted by MINA GUTIERREZ HACHAR
PRODUCER: MRS. CYNTHIA HAYNES RAMIREZ
4. SAT., DEC. 29 -- AHHHHH--REST AND FUN
5. SUN., DEC. 30-- DEPART LAREDO 7 A.M. BREAKFAST IN COTULLA TX
FLIGHT # 531 DEPART SAN ANTONIO 12:40 NOON ARRIVE L,.A. 2 PM
MERRY CHRISTMAS, HAPPY HANUKKAH, HAPPY KWANZAA, AND HAPPY NEW
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