"Dirty Dancing," Luke Turf, August 2
What were those women thinking? I cannot believe the people in Luke Turf's "Dirty Dancing" waited so long to complain about Chas Gale. If a dance "teacher" exposed himself to me, I'd make sure the next step led directly to jail.
Once upon a time, not so long ago in a faraway village, when a person acted irresponsibly, he or she was placed in the center of the village, alone and unfettered. All work ceased, and every, man, woman and child from the village gathered in a large circle around the accused. Each person would then speak to the accused, one at a time, about all the good and positive things this person had done in his or her lifetime...all the positive attributes, good deeds, strengths and kindnesses were recited carefully and at length. The ceremony often lasted several days. At the end, the circle was broken, a joyous celebration took place, and the person was symbolically and literally welcomed back into the tribe.
Imagine Angela, Lucy, Martha, Chas Gale, Luke Turf, each one of us, having a turn in the middle of the circle, and truly receiving the love each so desperately seeks. But then Luke would be out of work as a tabloid writer for Westword, and psychotherapists would have to learn how to refocus their work from perpetuating the stories of victims to helping people stop trying to kill their own pain by hurting other people.
Separate from the abusive dance-teacher issue, I was pleasantly surprised at the breadth and depth covered in the well-researched presentation of tango's history. (I am a founding member of Tango Colorado.)
"Vendor of Loaf," Josh Tyson, August 2
Sigh. A group of us made an excursion today out of trying to locate Eric Bachmann, the Cuban sandwich vendor featured in the current issue of Westword. We even asked folks at the library and the museum if they knew anything. What we found out is where he usually is located — and that he has not been seen. Do you know if he has relocated or might be out of town? We are so eager to try him out. Do you have a way of checking and letting us know?
Editor's note: For Jennifer and all the other Cuban sandwich fans who called regarding his whereabouts, Eric Bachmann has indeed left his post at the corner of 13th and Broadway. The musician got a last-minute call to go on tour, and he's now on the road with his band — leaving Denver hungry for more.
"Ask a Mexican," Gustavo Arellano, July 12
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This is in reply to the idiota who wrote: "Really, how much Mexican history can there possibly be in Denver that's not related to illegal immigration?"
Most of Colorado was once a part of Mexico. It has a wealth of Mexican heritage. My ex-husband's family is from Trinidad, and like most of that part of Colorado, they claim their heritage as "Spanish." This was done because when the U.S. "bought" this land from Mexico (which is another messy story entirely), the Mexicans were promised that they could keep the land they owned, but they would now be a part of the U.S. Well, the U.S. government did not want a Spanish-language state, so it began working on bringing in squatters (white settlers), who would park on a plot of land they liked and start building. If a Mexican owned it, the ownership wasn't recognized. In order to keep what they had and quit losing more land, the Mexicans started touting their Spanish heritage — we're white, too, our families came from Spain, not Mexico. This eventually worked, although not across the board. The majority of the Mexicans began teaching their children only English and really began to differentiate themselves from "the Mexican." It is still pervasive in Colorado, this distinction. And it's sad, because when a person denies a piece of his/her heritage/history/culture, he/she loses a piece of his/herself.
Also, the majority of the names of our cities and counties are Spanish. No white person would name mountains "Sangre de Cristo" or a county Huerfano! Colorado is full of a Mexican heritage that both whites and Latino/as need to recognize.