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Sunday Comment
Page 3-H

The Sunday Express-News   July 4, 1982

Touring the Anglo ghettos in the year 2500

[5 columns]
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"All fantasy should have a solid base in reality." - Sir Max Beerbehm

SCENE: It is the year 2500. A bus from the Low Rider Municipal Bus Company is parked outside the Hotel Patlan which rises 100 stories in the air above the Alamo. Tourists, all Mexican-Americans, have boarded the bus.
They are going on a tour of the Anglo ghettos of Bexar County, mostly incorporated bedroom communities like Shavano Park, Castle Hills, Alamo Heights and Terrell Hills. It is a tour to be taken much in the same spirit Anglo-Americans exhibited when they visited the Coushatta Indian Reservation at the national park in East Texas, long, long ago around the year 1982.
Beneath the Patlan Hotel, on the grounds of the Alamo, strange-looking blue-eyed people with blond hair are selling trinkets. The Mexican-Americans pay scant attention to them while the tour director of the bus, Albert Pena XV, takes in hand a microphone and begins to talk in Spanish. With that, the bus pulls out into Gus Garcia Plaza, once known as Alamo Plaza.
Although only a few people speak English in San Antonio anymore, your friendly columnist, in a spirit of bilingual democ- [[/column 1]]

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[[image - photograph]]
Maury Maverick

racy and as a courtesy to San Antonio's Anglo minority, has translated today's column about San Antonio in the year 2500 into the English language.

"MY FRIENDS, this is your tour director, Albert Pena XV, speaking to you. Please give me your strict attention as our tour begins.
"On your right as we go out Henry Guerra Avenue, formerly Broadway, you see Carlos Cadena Park, formerly Maverick Park. Cadena, a fine man, was the first Mexican-American Chief Justice of the San Antonio Court of Civil Appeals, and a profound intellectual. Because of Cadena, Maury Maverick Jr. was the only Anglo lawyer in the United States in  1954 who was co-counsel on the great Hernandez case where the U.S. Supreme Court ordered that Mexican-Americans have the right to sit on juries. But then late in life Maverick went bad. He became a Sunday [[/column 2]]

[[column 3]]
columnist for the San Antonio Express and proved the wisdom of Speaker Sam Rayburn's wonderful old saying. 'The higher a monkey climbs up a flagpole, the more you see his...'
"We are now at the 50-50 Restaurant in Alamo Heights. In the distant past, Anglos used to go to Mi Tierra Restaurant at El Mercado on the Westside of San Antonio  where they would eat enchiladas and listen to loud and oppressive mariachi music. Now, as you can see from your bus window, the 50-50 Restaurant is filled with Mexican-Americans eating clabber and listening to Anglo musicians playing songs like 'Ida Red, Ida Green, Prettiest Girl I Ever Did Seen.' It is very chic to go there.
"We have come to the Northeast Independent School District. You will note that the students are virtually all Anglo. Years ago this school district was set up in such a way that as a matter of geography virtually no one but Anglos went to school there as was significantly the case in Alamo Heights. Many first-rate educators and sociologists have said, time and time again, this is a silly thing and thoroughly shortsighted since more than three-fifths of the world is colored with black, brown, red and yellow people, a world that these Anglo students will have to face some day. By the way, the teachers of the Anglos believe in bilingual education. That is to say, they want courses taught in the English language through the sixth grade. Isn't that silly?
"We are now back within the old city [[/column 3]]

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limits of San Antonio and passing the home of Walter McAllister, one of the last mayors of the Good Government League. Whatever his motivation, some say it was good, others say it was bad, McAllister used to tell incorporated bedroom cities, 'Quit this business of being Castle Hills or Alamo Heights or Terrell Hills. Disband those communities. Come into San Antonio and participate in its political life. You can't have it both ways anymore.'

"WELL, DEAR RIDERS, those bedroom municipalities didn't heed his advice. Now they are dead ghettos in this year 2500. We need people like Patsy Steves XIII to be voting residents of San Antonio with other good folks already living there with respected names like Munguia and Sutton so that it will be a truly multi-racial community of brotherhood and good will. 
"But enough of that. We have come to the Bernardo Gutierrez de Lara Art Museum on Jones Avenue, once a place where beer was produced. You can see that the paintings of da Vinci, Ben Sahan, Michelangelo, and Mel Casas have all been put in the Linda Hardberger Memorial Broom Closet. But look at the magnificent art work hanging on the walls of the museum: 5,000 bullfight scenes, all red and blue, painted on black velvet. You see, as we Mexican-Americans became the establishment, we turned conservative as all establishments eventually do. That's why we put the paintings of Mel Casas, although a Mexican-American, in the broom closet [[/column 4]]

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next to Ben Sahan since on occasion he would make waves.
"We are now passing the headquarters of COPS, a one-time vigorous organization that did a lot of good and stood for progressive ideas, but it became mossback like the American Federation of Labor. It needed to reach out for new ideas such as opposing a military draft where Mexican-Americans were disproportionately taken off by draft boards and killed in banana wars. Archbishop Patrick Flores of those days was a warmhearted man, but he was slow to grasp the meaning of an undemocratic draft. 
"In front of COPS you will see a 10-foot-high statue of Ernie Cortes, the organizer. A bright and patriotic man, he comprehended the volatile forces in this world and understood that the Eastside of San Antonio should have a black face on the City Council and in the Legislature. Just look at Ernie. Isn't he handsome wearing those battery commander boots like he did at Texas A&M University! 
"Bus riders, we are now back at Gus Garcia Plaza and the Hotel Patlan. For your pleasure, we wish to recommend the cocktail lounge at the top of the Patlan where our guitarist, Bob Sawtelle IX, sings the forgotten folk songs of Terrell Hills.
"This now concludes our tour. Muy buenos tardes."

Maury Maverick is a former university instructor in political science and a former Texas legislator.
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