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               Fotos de Laredo TX 1940's


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Mark & Gabbie (email)Ortega's Dolores TX; Photos taken in 2001


----- Original Message -----
From: Neodance @ aol.com
To: docrio45 @ gmail.com

Sent: Saturday,
December 22, 2007 5:01 PM

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 ! 



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 naci." 

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 midst. 

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 Gammy-nominated album. 

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: 


(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. Contact neodance@aol.com) 


DR.NEO GUTIERREZ ITINERARY DEC. 26-30, 2007 L. A. RES.: 323-655-6364 


1. Wed., Dec. 26---Flight # 2015--Conf. # KWK 7PH 

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 


3. FRI., DEC. 28 --1-3 PM OLD GYM NIXON HS 





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laredoview01.jpg (90961 bytes)Laredo has been under the rule of seven flags--one more than the rest of the state. The seventh was the flag of the Republic of the Rio Grande, a short-lived confederation of the northern Mexican states of Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon and Coahuila. They lost their bid for freedom from Mexico on the battlefield in 1840. laredosaint.jpg (22257 bytes)
laredoplaza.jpg (61201 bytes) St. Augustine Church. Campus of St. Augustine High School when I was attending Tarver School. laredoplaza02.jpg (75500 bytes) La Posada Hotel, on the bank of the Rio Grande in Laredo was used during the 1940's for a public school by the name of Tarver School.
josevaldez.jpg (199409 bytes)Jose Valdez & Fam. City Councilman Laredo TX The men who worked "Las Minas" at Santo Tomas, Canel Coal Mine, and Dolores TX.
To travel from Dolores TX to Columbia Nuevo Leon, we went by canoe. In Dolores, we used either: Mexican or American money. Remember the Indian Head pennies? churchstagustine.jpg (576235 bytes) San Agustine Church

cresiente.jpg (62954 bytes) cresiente04.jpg (60672 bytes)

cresiente05.jpg (90363 bytes) Notice where the natural rock wall ends and the barbed wire fence begins. It actually was constructed into the Rio Grande River. ftmcintosh02.jpg (97517 bytes) FORT McINTOSH established by the U.S. Army in 1848 immediately following Mexican War, the fort was in continuous use until May, 1946. It was originally among series of border forts guarding again Indian attacks and was base for border patrol. Laredo Junior College now on grounds. The old guardhouse, chapel, warehouse and commissary remain. One is used by the college's art department.
  The "maquiladora" industry is a recent addition to this border city. It is a binational manufacturing system where U.S. Products are assembled in plants on the mexican side, it is prominent in Laredo and Nuevo Laredo Mexico.

LAKE CASA BLANCA INTERNATION STATE PARK A 371 acre park near eastern city limits on U.S.hiway 59. Picnic facilities, camping, rest rooms, dump stations, boat ramp, and fishing pier. The 1,656-acre lake is among the state's best for black bass fishing.

NUEVO LAREDO MEXICO It was founded in 1775, "New Laredo" across the Rio Grande is a bustling city. Bargain hunters find shopping fantastic in Nuevo Laredo at El Mercado, a traditional marketplace two blocks from the international bridge. On seasonal basis, bullfights are staged at the Plaza de Toros La Fiesta bullring about six miles from the bridge.

cresiente06.jpg (64518 bytes) All these pictures were taken with a box kodak camera, the film size was 120.
cristobaluna.jpg (51436 bytes) Cristobal Luna retired from the USAF and lives in San Marcos TX.
elporoso.jpg (36996 bytes) The only thing that is missing from this photo is all my pimples!
eriojaseal.jpg (49275 bytes) When I was young and in my prime! Viva SEAL Team TWO!
Erasmo Riojas atop the Ft. McIntosh solid rock fence which was built in the 40's by the W.P.A. The brink wall ended about 100 ft. from the river but they placed barbed wire fencd from there on down to the river's edge. Zuniga on our home-made diving board at the Rio Grande about ten feet from the end of the Fort McIntosh fence.
store bought photos of the Laredo TX flood 1948. rochariojas.jpg (22341 bytes)Christmas 1948 in Laredo TX, Rocha was already an old salt stationed aboard a ship, I was out of boot camp and going to Pharmacist's Mate Class A School.
sammyswitzer.jpg (92529 bytes) Sammy Ward and I used to like to draw ugly cartoons. Switzer was All State Football laredomuseum.jpg (177438 bytes)
curioshop.jpg (41370 bytes) laredohighdch.jpg (81292 bytes)Martin Tirza High School without the "prison look" that they gave in the 1960's? ....70's? I don't remember.
We beat San Benito 50 to "nada!" and this bus came under a rock attack by the angry valley students. These were the First Team Tigers. I understand Richard Ochoa went on to be a very good college football player.
Barrio "La Ladrillera" football action. Please visit this link because it clearly shows how wide the Anna Ave was. It was a small plane runway used by the US Army and later The Border Patrol. I was closed around 1946. We used it to play baseball, football, and this is where we celebrated "Los Matachines y La Santa Cruz" dancing.



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