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Actual Polish and/or Mexican Content « Ted's Polish-Mexican Page


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Published on: August 1, 2016

One of the frustrations with maintaining a blog these days is the amount of automated spam that comes your way. I’ve got Akismet, which means you never see most of it. However, I get dozens of phony posts advertising Viagra and, for some reason, Old Navy that are put into an “approval” cue where they wait for me to get approved. Sometimes, I don’t have time to go through what can be up to eighty of these ridiculous comments a day.

That means that once in a while there is a real comment from a reader that gets buried and doesn’t show up. I found this one that was posted in April to my “about” page.

Greetings my fellow Polish-Mexican friend! I thought my family was unique but it appears that there are others from Arizona that share a similar cultural blend. I enjoyed your historical accounts of AZ history as well. I wish you and your family health and happiness.

Stephen Tylutki
Tucson, AZ

Gracias and dziękuję, Stephen.

Hasta la proxima. Do zobaczenia.

Belated Father’s Day post

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Published on: June 20, 2016

As many of you know, my dad was in the Air Force for long enough to retire as a Chief Master Sergeant. He worked in life support, which put him in charge of making sure that planes were properly equipped should a pilot have to eject, and he also trained pilots in survival techniques. He was also involved in accident investigations and, when he was stationed in Southeast Asia, rescue. His job was basically to make sure that our pilots survived.
I don’t hear him take offense at slights about his military career, and he doesn’t exhibit excess pride over it. For example, he casually gave me an A-10 model one day. It sits on my desk at work. He d35600_429465131788_5360695_nidn’t tell me for years how he got it. He packed the first life support kit in an A-10, and Fairchild Aviation presented him with it. No big deal, he acted like.

Sometimes, a bit of that pride he had in his former career comes through.

His movie watching, like many ex-military people I’m sure, is an exercise in finding mistakes. Odd combinations of insignia, improper protocol, bad terminology: he’ll see it all instantly and let everyone know. But, he was particularly incensed one day when I caught a bit of 2008’s Iron Man with him. There’s a scene when Shellhead collides with an F-22 and the pilot ejects. Sure enough, chute fails and the pilot has to be bailed out by Iron Man.

This sent him into a rant. Why does the chute seem to always fail in movies, he said. He never saw that happen. He’d never admit it, but he talked as though his own career and professionalism was called into question. It pissed him off.

It seems he had the right to be.

Hasta la proxima. Do zobaczenia.

Pimalteño Gathering

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Published on: September 2, 2014

Saturday was Big Jim Griffith’s annual party, dubbed the Pimalteño gathering. The food included some impressively sized prickly pear fruit. These things were the size of oranges. Good sized oranges.

Of course, the big reason why people go is music. There were three gatherings of musicians on various parts of the property, plus Tom Walbank by himself with his harmonica. I managed to get some video from two of the gatherings.

Outside, there was a cluster of folks playing a mix of cowboy flavored fiddle music and rancheras. I made the mistake of sitting near the grills. They had been cooking food on them all afternoon, but they were done by the time evening came around and I was there. Still, people thought I was some sort of grill attendant and wanted to know when they would be cooking again, or if I had any extra carne asada.

I don’t know the name of this song. The young fiddle player is the daughter of the older one.

Long time local character Bobby Benton with a take on the children’s song “Yo Tenia 10 Perritos” that he claims was “The way the sang it in Barrio Anita.” Note the final verse.

Other musicians in that circle include John Jensen and John Ronstadt.

John Ronstadt and Bobby Benton cooperated on “Cancíon Mixteca.”

I don’t know the name of this song.

Tom Walbank entertained the kids on Big Jim’s back porch.

Inside, Big Jim played banjo with several musicians. I didn’t stay long in there. Even with his sizable living room, the place was crowded.

Back to School

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Published on: August 27, 2014

I registered at Pima College to finally finish up a couple of credits I’m missing. Yesterday was the first day of a class on the history of Mexican-Americans. It’s the instructor’s first time teaching, so we’ll see how creaky things are.

Given my involvement with the community, I’m already familiar with the topics. Yes, the class won’t be “easy,” but if I don’t get an A, it will be a personal failure of epic proportions.

When I got back to work, Mary wanted to check out the text book, Mexicanos by a fellow named Manuel G. Gonzales. She looked through the photos and checked the index for names she’s met through LULAC. A quick perusal of the index and I found that the author seems to know that the chicano movement happened in places other than Southern California and Texas.

One class session will be a viewing of the movie Selena. What, no Zoot Suit?

Hasta la proxima. Do zobaczenia.


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Published on: September 23, 2012

I don’t know about the rest of you, but my fondest memories of my Nana’s house involved those days when she made the Tacos Locos.

I’d come over to the house and she’d hand me some money and tell me to go to the Circle K and buy two bags of Doritos. “And, mijito, don’t buy the Cool Ranch this time,” she’d scold. I don’t think she ever forgave me for that time I accidentally bought Jumping Jack Monterrey and ruined a batch she was making for my uncle’s birthday.

Then we’d crush the Doritos. Oh, the smell of the MSG and maltodextrin would waft over the whole house. You knew that you really made Tacos Locos if your fingers turned orange from that unique combination of yellow 6, yellow 5 and red 40.

Oh, take your tamales and chimichangas. I will always remember the Tacos Locos.

Every time I see the ad, I get a little tear in my eye.

Hasta la proxima. Do zobaczenia.

¡Kurwa Mać, Cabrón!

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Published on: October 20, 2011

So, a Twitter pal pointed this lovely thing on the right out to me from a Tumblr site called Breanie’s Word Vomit (as usual, click to make it bigger).

Is that enough internet sub-referencing there?

Anyhow, it’s one of those get your neighbor kind of features in the local paper in Hazelton, Pennsylvania, kinda like the Weekly’s Nine Questions, I suppose. As a matter of fact, it’s called “Know Your Neighbor.”

The guy featured is a named Richard Yanoski, and he seems proud to not like his Hispanic neighbors. I don’t know what they call them in Pennsylvania, but around here we call these folks racist jackasses.

Before you seek the guy out, it seems that there are two other Richard Yanoski’s from the area that have gotten a lot of grief for what this baboso said.

Still makes me wonder: why did this paper, the Hazelton Standard-Speaker, publish what this guy said? The little piece on him seems to have been taken down.

What would this guy do with me? I’ve got the right last name, but…

It shouldn’t surprise me, really. There are relatives on my Polish side from that area that never accepted my Mom. Luckily, these were rather distant relatives both genealogically and geographically.

One thing you learn in Pennsylvania: redneck can still be redneck even if you spell red “czarny.”

Hasta la proxima. Do zobaczenia.

We Are Everywhere

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Published on: May 1, 2011

See that? Right there behind Jimmy Nielsen. It looks to be a Polish-Mexican flag.

I got a bit excited about this, so I went ahead and looked through the game video at the MLS site to see a good shot of it. It turns out that it is actually a Mexican flag with the eagle displayed sideways so the flag can be hung. For some reason, the green part of the flag was pulled up and couldn’t be seen. It can be seen at other times though.

Oh well.

Hasta la proxima. Do zobaczenia.

Quickie Music Reviews

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Published on: January 6, 2011

I was at Surly Wench Pub last week and spied a poster for a band called Piñata Protest. The poster featured a bunch of chicanos (the band, apparently) standing around a paleta cart.

I decided that these were my sort of guys.

I looked them up on the internet and found out that they are from San Antonio, so they are people who know what picante sauce tastes like. I downloaded their album, legally, of course. I guess the best way to describe their sound to the uninitiated is to imagine that a band like the Dropkick Murphys or Flogging Molly grew up listening to Flaco Jiménez and Los Tigres Del Norte rather than the Chieftains. It’s punk infused Norteño.

They will be playing with the Assailants and local rockabilly favorites Last Call Brawlers at the Surly Wench on the 14th.

When I heard Corin Tucker was going to release a solo album early last year, I got really enthused. Of course, when October came around and she actually released the darned thing, I put off buying it. I finally bought it last week.

I love it.

Those of you Sleater-Kinney fans out there hoping for some more of “I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone” or “Little Babies” will be gravely disappointed. As much as I am in abject worship of S-K, I’m glad that Tucker has decided to do something a bit different. People who have worn out their copies of The Hot Rock might be happy with hints of Kinney-dom in songs like “Half a World Away.” For the most part her vocals are a lot more subtle on this one, you don’t hear those menacing screams that became her trademark over the last decade or so.

I’m all for this. Now, when is she playing in Tucson?

Hasta la proxima. Do zobaczenia.

Damage Last Night

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Published on: November 13, 2010

Geek Game Night was last night at my house, and most of the usual crew showed up (no Eric Lybeck, which left my Neapolitans without a possible valuable ally), plus the addition of Blake Morloch, late of the Tucson Citizen, anc Curtis Dutiel.

Also, we had four “observers,” go figure. And as usual, Caitlin Jensen won. She did that with Florence, usually the weakest country on the map.

On to the survey of what “damage” was done:

1554 Enlightened Black Ale – 6 Bottles
A-1 Pilsner – 6 Bottles
Alaskan Amber – 3 Bottles
Bohemia Clásica – 1 Bottle
Boylan’s Black Black Cherry Soda – 2 Bottles
Cock n’ Bull – 1 Bottle
Dos Equis Lager Especial – 4 Bottles
Guiness Extra Stout – 1 Bottle
Okocim O.K. Beer – 2 Bottles
Pacifico Clara – 1 Bottle
Samuel Adams Boston Lager – 1 Bottle
Samuel Smith’s Nut Brown Ale – 1 Bottle
Tecate – 6 Bottles
Żywiec – 2 Bottles

In addition, a bag of Tostitos and popcorn was ripped through far quicker than I had imagined. Note to self…more snacks next time.

From Off the Streets of Cleveland…

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Published on: July 12, 2010

American Splendor was easy to describe to friends, harder to describe why you’d read such a thing. “You mean a comic book about some guy’s own boring life?” Yep, occasionally as self indulgent as it sounds, but also brilliant. It was a concept that, thankfully, has not been imitated by lesser talents. We’ll miss you, Harvey.

Harvey Pekar’s hometown paper has a remembrance here. For comic geeks, the Cuyahoga County Coroner is named Frank Miller.

Worth seeking out is the 1989 film Comic Book Confidential. My highlights are Pekar and Jack Kirby (also gone) reading their own material in slightly gruff, quivering voices.

Hasta la proxima. Do zobaczenia.

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