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San Antonio Collectors and Their Collections

January 19, 2015

By the 1920s collecting as a hobby was becoming commonplace in San Antonio.  It was no longer just a pursuit for the wealthy, but for anyone with the time to acquire objects and a place to store them.  Local newspapers discovered this activity as a good subject for an occasional brief feature, usually accompanied by a photograph.  Some of the collectors were prominent citizens who acquired museum-quality objects with the intention of someday sharing them with the public.  But most were ordinary people who gathered inexpensive items purely for their own satisfaction.

These are some of those photographs, dating from the 1920s to the 1960s, that were taken by the San Antonio Light newspaper photographers.   All are included in our San Antonio Light Photograph Collection (MS 359).

 

Gillie Turk with her collection of thermometer keys from each of the 46 cities in 38 states that she has visited, October 1939  (MS 359:  L-2258-D)

Gillie Turk with her collection of thermometer keys, keepsakes from each of the 46 cities in 38 states that she has visited, October 1939 (MS 359: L-2258-D)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charles O. Neumann, photographer and avocational entomologist, stands with cases of insects that he began collecting at age ten, December 1936.  (MS 359:  L-1521-B)

Charles O. Neumann, photographer and avocational entomologist, stands with cases of insects that he began collecting at age ten, December 1936. (MS 359: L-1521-B)

 

Mrs. Albert Friedrich rings two bells from her collection composed of over a 100 examples from all over the world, many purchased during her travels, April 1940.  (MS 359:  L-2435-C)

Mrs. Albert Friedrich holds two bells from her collection of over a 100 from all over the world, many purchased during her travels, April 1940. (MS 359: L-2435-C)

 

Mrs. Ernst Schuchard examines a ceramic duck figurine from the collection in her home on King William Street, February 1942.  (MS 359:  L-2907-G)

Mrs. Ernst Schuchard examines a ceramic duck figurine from the collection in her home on King William Street, February 1942. (MS 359: L-2907-G)

 

Bob Grimsinger in his “home arsenal” with guns he began collecting after inheriting an antique one, July 1941.

Bob Grimsinger in his “home arsenal” with guns he began collecting after inheriting an antique one, July 1941.

 

Mildred Fields with examples of the many bottles she has collected since she began the hobby at age ten, November 1937.  (MS 359:  L-1696-F)

Mildred Fields with examples of the many bottles she has collected since she began the hobby at age ten, November 1937. (MS 359: L-1696-F)

 

Thomas J. Mullihan plays a Stradivarius from his collection of 125 violins, most located by listening for violin music as he traveled along local streets, September 1925.  (MS 359:  L-0394-N)

Thomas J. Mullihan plays a Stradivarius from his collection of 125 violins, mostly located by listening for violin music as he traveled along local streets, September 1925. (MS 359: L-0394-N)

 

Vennette Hamel, manager of Schaper’s Food Market, dusts collection of souvenir plates in her home on East Schley Street, January 1954.  (MS 359:  L-4639-C)

Venettie Hamel, manager of Schaper’s Food Market, dusts a collection of souvenir plates that has overtaken a room in her home on East Schley Street, January 1954. (MS 359: L-4639-C)

 

Mary Templeton stands in a specially-built room to house her collection of over 1500 pitchers, primarily gifts from friends or tradesmen, August 1941.  (MS 359: L-2807-B)

Mary Templeton stands in a specially-built room to house her collection of over 1500 pitchers, primarily gifts from friends or tradesmen, August 1941. (MS 359: L-2807-B)

 

Henry Willis displays some of the Coca-Cola bottles from his large collection, each embossed with the name of a different city where the drink was bottled, August 1939.  (MS 359:  L-2224-G)

Henry Willis displays some of the Coca-Cola bottles from his large collection, each embossed with the name of a different city where the drink was bottled, August 1939. (MS 359: L-2224-G)

 

Mrs. A. L. Ernst sits next to her display of 155 pairs of salt and pepper shakers, most given to her by friends, December 1940.  (MS 359:  L-2626-C)

Mrs. A. L. Ernst sits next to her display of 155 pairs of salt and pepper shakers, most of them  gifts from friends, December 1940. (MS 359: L-2626-C)

 

L. Harold Shugart, shipping clerk at the Texas Company, with his collection of mechanical advertising pencils, some with a sample of the company product mounted in the top, January 1941.  (MS 359:  L-2645-G)

L. Harold Shugart, shipping clerk at the Texas Company, with his collection of mechanical advertising pencils, some with a sample of the company product mounted in the top, January 1941. (MS 359: L-2645-G)

 

Mrs. Sam Fields with baskets made of various materials and from countries around the world, February 1941.  (MS 359:  L-2672-J)

Mrs. Sam Fields with baskets made of various materials and from countries around the world, February 1941. (MS 359: L-2672-J)

 

Monroe Nowotny, taxidermist, holds a rock in the shape of a dog and another in the shape of a rose from his collection, weighing 40 tons, that he intends to install in his own museum, March 1948.  (MS 359:  L-3532-C)

Monroe Nowotny, taxidermist, holds a rock in the shape of a dog and another in the shape of a rose from his collection, weighing 40 tons, that he intends to install in his own museum, March 1948. (MS 359: L-3532-C)

 

Fire Chief J. G. Sarran poses with his antique weapons, hunting trophies, and an assortment of odd curios that are displayed in his special room that is reminiscent of the European Wunderkammer (“wonder-room”), November 1932.  (MS 359: L-0332-F)

Fire Chief J. G. Sarran poses with his antique weapons, hunting trophies, and an assortment of odd curios that are displayed in a special room that is reminiscent of the European Wunderkammer (“wonder-room”), November 1932. (MS 359: L-0332-F)

 

Marion Koogler McNay stands next to a self-portrait of Paul Gaugin, one of the many significant works of art in her home that later became the McNay Art Museum, May 1942.  (MS 359:  L-2953-C)

Marion Koogler McNay stands next to a self-portrait of Paul Gaugin, one of the many significant works of art in her home that later became the McNay Art Museum, May 1942. (MS 359: L-2953-C)

 

Robert L. B. Tobin, a major collector of theater arts, shows some of his rare volumes, etchings, and engravings, later housed in the Tobin Wing of the McNay Art Musuem, April 1963.  [MS 359:  L-6076-D]

Robert L. B. Tobin, a major collector of theater arts, shows some of his rare volumes, etchings, and engravings, later housed in the Tobin Wing of the McNay Art Musuem, April 1963. [MS 359: L-6076-D]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Acquisitions for December 2014

January 15, 2015

Manuscript Collections

New:

  • MS 430.  Beinecke (Bridgette) papers, 5 feet (6 boxes) of historic preservation research files compiled by architect Bridgette Beinecke

Additions:

  • MS 428. Gene Elder papers, 1.5 linear feet of photographs, correspondence, exhibit documents, artwork, and AV materials.
  • MS 421.  Brown and Lane Family papers, 1 linear foot of Lane famil
    y correspondence.
  • MS 67. Hattie Elam Briscoe papers, 1 framed photograph and program (.5 linear feet).

Rare Books: 32 Titles [December Title List]

Press and the People on the Importance of a Southern Line of Railway to the Pacific and In Favor of Government Aid to the Texas and Pacific RailwayHighlight:

THE PRESS AND THE PEOPLE ON THE IMPORTANCE OF A SOUTHERN LINE OF RAILWAY TO THE PACIFIC AND IN FAVOR OF GOVERNMENT AID TO THE TEXAS AND PACIFIC RAILWAY. Philadelphia: McLaughlin Brothers’ Book and Job Printing Establishment, 1875. 9 1/4″ x 5 7/8″ in printed wrappers. 72 pp., index. Colonel Benton’s speech in favor of a Southern Pacific Railroad; Message of Governor Porter of Tennessee, on the Texas and Pacific Railway; Resolutions of the National and State Granges; list of the various commercial bodies which have appealed to Congress to help the Texas and Pacific Railway; views expressed by Calhoun, Clay, Douglass, Polk and Sumner; statement showing the amount expended by the government for public works and railroads in each state and territory of the Union; subsidies to Pacific Railroads; the snow blockade on the Central Pacific; various newspaper extracts from various states showing support for government aid to the Texas and Pacific Railway; etc. The Texas Grange supported state aid to economic development as indicated in a quote by W.W. Lang, master of the Texas State Grange, in which he endorsed state aid to the Texas and Pacific Railroad. He felt that the railroad would provide protection against the Indians and help meet the needs for commercial facilities and avenues of trade in the “poverty-stricken South.” [description provided by bookseller]

The Digital Future: A look back from our Fall 2014 intern

December 29, 2014

During the Fall 2014 semester UTSA Libraries Special Collections was delighted to host Angelique Kelley as an intern working with our removable media and born-digital materials.  She has contributed the following post about her experience working with us:

As part of a Certificate in Digital Curation program offered at the Johns Hopkins University, I was required to complete a 13-week internship during the Fall 2104 semester. The goal of this internship was to gain valuable first-hand experience in digitally preserving collections within cultural institutions. I was fortunate enough to be able to complete my internship with the UTSA Special Collections department, during a time when the UTSA Libraries were exploring various options for the long-term preservation of their Manuscripts collections. The digital preservation process is still ongoing, but the support I was able to offer during my internship should help provide the foundation from which the department can build upon and move forward.

Chart of all media types found in Manuscript Collections during Fall 2014 inventory.

Chart of all media types (A/V and computer) found in Manuscript Collections during the Fall 2014 inventory.

The project I worked on consisted of several stages. During the first stage I performed a physical inventory of the removable media objects within the Manuscripts collections. This task consisted of searching the libraries’ online repository using finding aids to locate possible media and then using the department’s Access database to locate the physical location of each collection in the stacks. From there I updated a spreadsheet that had been previously created during a prior attempt to inventory removable media, annotating the number and types of removable media discovered. In the end, over 1,600 removable media objects were identified within the collections, consisting of twenty different media types. The information gathered during the inventory process was later used to write a report for the second stage of my project.

In early 2014, Special Collections participated in the Society of American Archivists’ Jump In Too/Two initiative, a project designed to encourage archives to take the first steps in digitally preserving their collections. During UTSA’s participation in this project they examined the University Archives collections, and upon completion of the project they were required to submit a report outlining the processes used, the equipment utilized, and their results. This report served as the basis for my own report which discussed the findings from the inventory I performed within the Manuscripts collections.

The final stage of my project involved the creation of workflow proposals for digitally preserving the inventoried removable media. Prior to my internship, UTSA had acquired access to BitCurator, an open-source digital forensics software program, as well as authorization to participate in the Archivematica + DuraCloud beta testing, a hosted system designed to aid in the ingest and long-term digital preservation of archival and museum collections. With these two programs as the focus, I created three possible workflows that examined how the various tools within these software packages might be utilized to effectively ingest, process, and store digital assets from within the libraries’ collections. These workflows will later be tested using a representative sampling from the collections with the goal of determining the overall practicality of the proposed workflows.

I went into this internship not quite knowing what to expect, as my primary focus has always been on museums, not archives, but I found my time with Special Collections to be invaluable. The first-hand knowledge I gained working with the various software packages, in addition to the inventory process, offered valuable insight into typical archival practices. Furthermore, this internship allowed me to explore the difficulties all cultural institutions face in trying to move forward with digital preservation. I have taken away so much from my time with Special Collections and I look forward to using my new found knowledge as I move forward with my personal career goals.

Angelique Kelley

Angelique Kelley, Fall 2014 intern at UTSA Libraries Special Collections

Lesbian Romantic Fiction now available in Special Collections

December 22, 2014

In 2014, UTSA Libraries Special Collections received a donation of twelve lesbian romantic novels written by two San Antonio authors. Eight of the works of fiction are from Peggy J. Herring and four were created by author Frankie J. Jones. Both Herring and Jones were members of the San Antonio WomanSpace collective, a women’s group dedicated to keeping San Antonio’s women’s community informed and engaged through the creation and distribution of WomanSpace newsletter (1988-2007). WomansSpace provided an early platform for Herring and Jones to find their creative voice; both went on to have their work published nationally.

Front cover of Once More With Feeling by Peggy J. Herring, 1995

After eight years, Laura’s relationship with Mavis has collapsed, as much from its decreasing weight and passion as from Mavis’s casual infidelity. Taking temporary refuge with close friends Jolly and Wanda, Laura begins to put herself back together, her first step a brief but erotic interlude in Hawaii. But the most healing person she knows seems to be her own solitary self, and the most healing place, her own house. In the meantime, ex-partner Mavis is busy charming other women. But still she is a presence–an intrusion, feels Laura–in Laura’s life, bringing over her newest partners, prevailing upon Laura to widen her horizons, to continue their love as loyal friendship. Then Laura meets appealing, enigmatic Robin . . . and suddenly finds the possibility of a new relationship. A possibility that intrigues Laura. And completely flabbergasts Mavis . . .

Front cover of Beyond All Reason by Peggy J. Herring,  2002

Front cover of Beyond All Reason by Peggy Herring, 2002

Trina knew, from the instant she first saw Rosalie, that she should stay away from this woman, her brother’s fiancee. Rosalie knew, from the instant she first saw Trina, that she wanted to be her friend. After being rejected by her homophobic family when she was a teenager, Trina slowly established her place in the family–a family that loves her but does not understand her and struggles with accepting her sexuality. And despite years of therapy and the determination not to let her painful past control her, Trina finds she is unable to completely trust anyone. Ignoring Trina’s reluctance, Rosalie pursues a friendship with her future sister-in-law. One step at a time, she gradually begins to gain Trina’s trust only to lose control of her own heart . . . Rosalie realizes that Trina is the one she wants to spend the rest of her life with.

Front cover of Calm Before the Storm by Peggy J. Herring, 2000

Front cover of Calm Before the Storm by Peggy J. Herring, 2000

Don’t ask . . . Deeply closeted to protect her career, Colonel Marcel Robicheaux has limited her love life to discreet flings with no strings–until the brazen, but not entirely unwelcome, advances of beautiful young Lieutenant Jordan McGowen send the seasoned officer running for cover.

Don’t tell . . . Saved from disaster by a timely transfer, Marcel is looking forward to retiring from the military. Just when she thinks she can finally let down her guard and ease out of the closet, Jordan suddenly reenters her life–only now she’s a general’s wife. While her marital status may have changed, her intentions toward Marcel have not.

Front cover of Rhythm Tide by Frankie J. Jones, 1998

Front cover of Rhythm Tide by Frankie J. Jones, 1998

Despondent after years of abuse, Clara Webster decides to end it all and swims out into the deep waters of the Texas Gulf. Totally exhausted, she surrenders to the relentless pull of the tide–only to feel strong arms wrap around her. Struggling to free herself from her would-be rescuer, Clara nearly drowns the woman and ends up saving her instead. The woman, reclusive artist Randi Kosub, invites the distraught Clara to stay with her for a while. With nowhere else to go, Clara accepts. As Clara strives to get her life together, the women grow closer and begin to fall in love. With Randi at her side, Clara realizes that her life is indeed worth living . . . When Clara’s youngest son is seriously injured in an accident, she rushes home–unwittingly putting herself in the power of her vengeful husband, who has no intention of letting her go. Caught in the swirling crosscurrents of past and present, Clara is forced to make a devastating choice . . .

Front cover from Captive Heart by Frankie J. Jones, 1999

Front cover from Captive Heart by Frankie J. Jones, 1999

Money can’t buy happiness . . . but it can sure rent a lot of it. And with her rich daddy paying the rent, twenty-eight-year old CJ Riley lives in a world of fast cars, willing women and zero responsibility. Attractive, arrogant, charming when-she-wants-to-be, CJ is used to getting what she wants, when she wants it . . . until she is pulled over for speeding by San Antonio Police Officer Lois Franklin. Intense and by-the-book, the tall, tanned cop is not impressed by CJ’s wealth or her advnces. Never one to resist a challenge, CJ sets out to add Lois to her conquests–unaware that a shocking chain of events is about to unfold. Events that will forever change her life–and her heart.

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For a full list of titles by Peggy J. Herring held in Special Collections click here.

For a full list of titles by Frankie J. Jones held in Special Collections click here.

New Acquisitions for November 2014

December 18, 2014

Manuscript Collections

Nacho Guarache strip from January 6, 1987 , MS 429

January 6, 1987 cartoon, MS 429

New:

  • MS 429. Leo Garza Political Cartoon collection, 7 linear feet of Nacho Guarache cartoons

Additions:

  • MS 83. Planned Parenthood of San Antonio and South Central Texas Records, .5 linear feet of annual audits, reports, publications, and assorted materials.
  • MS 22.  Women’s Overseas Service League records, .5 linear feet of materials collected by Edith Stout.
  • MS 331. San Antonio River Authority records, 17 linear feet of SACIP Mission Reach project files, real estate files, and engineering photographs.
  • MS 31. San Antonio Fair, Inc., .5 linear feet of materials from Alfred G. Vazquez, a member of the Executive Committee for HemisFair ’68.

University Archives

New:

  • UA 04.03.01.02 UTSA. Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Vice Provost Downtown Campus, one digitized copy of a scrapbook of photos from downtown campus opening, loaned from Vice Provost Jesse Zapata.

Rare Books: 7 Titles [November Title List]

Highlight:roof

IN THE ROOF OF YOUR CHOICE CHARM AND DURABILITY. John-Manville Corp. 1923. 3 pg. double foldout, color illus of 10 homes with the many syles and many colors of their roofing. [description provided by book seller]

Santa Claus Comes to San Antonio

December 15, 2014

 

Men impersonating Santa Claus have thrilled children in San Antonio for well over a hundred years. The San Antonio Daily Express, December 6, 1901, describes an early visit–perhaps the first—when Santa Claus came as a guest of Joske Brother’s Department Store. Thousands of his fans crowded around the store, creating traffic jams along Commerce and Alamo Streets. Finally, a curtain was lifted from a display window revealing Santa Claus and a large Christmas tree surrounded by a large assemblage of toys.   The article notes that “his reception was as brilliant and his success as pronounced as that of a Napoleon returning from a conquest.”

By the 1920s, Santa Claus was making annual visits to the city. One of those visits is documented in articles in The San Antonio Light in early December 1928. There was a welcoming ceremony for him, including a speech by Mayor C.M. Chambers and the presentation of the keys to Alamo Plaza. Santa then proceeded to a special area set up in front of the entrance to the Alamo. It included an igloo for him and a pen for his reindeer. Here, Santa demonstrated toy-making and gave samples of this work to the children.

These are some of the images of Santa Claus from The San Antonio Light Photograph Collection (MS 359) and San Antonio Express-News Photograph Collection (MS 360).  They illustrate the expanded role of Santa Claus from a department store toymaker, to also a benevolent character involved with charitable and philanthropic activities. The photographs also show the evolution of the Santa Claus suit from the homemade versions to the factory-made one that has become his standard attire.

 

Santa Claus poses in the alley beside the San Antonio Light Building on East Travis Street, 1926.  The photograph was published as an altered image showing Santa Claus climbing out of an amphibious aircraft that brought him from the North Pole to San Antonio.  (MS 359: L-0720-N)

Santa Claus poses in the alley beside the San Antonio Light Building on East Travis Street, 1926. The photograph was published as an altered image showing Santa Claus climbing out of the amphibious aircraft that brought him from the North Pole to San Antonio.  Jack Specht/The San Antonio Light (MS 359: L-0720-N)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Santa Claus hands Raymond Jones, manager of the Princess Theater, a copy of the movie “Santa Claus,” 1926.  The film, documenting Santa’s activities at the North Pole from one Christmas to the next, was featured daily for one week at the theater on Houston Street.  (MS 359: L-0720-I)

Santa Claus hands Raymond Jones, manager of the Princess Theater, a copy of the movie “Santa Claus,” 1926.  The film, documenting Santa’s activities at the North Pole from one Christmas to the next, was featured daily for a week at the theater on Houston Street.  Jack Specht/The San Antonio Light  (MS 359: L-0720-I)

Santa Claus stands outside his igloo in front of the Alamo, 1928.  His reindeer are partly visible on far right.  (MS 359: L-0720-M)

Santa Claus stands outside his igloo in front of the Alamo, 1928.  His reindeer are partly visible on far right.  Jack Specht/The San Antonio Light  (MS 359: L-0720-M)

Santa Claus pauses from his toy-making demonstration to visit with Roger Martin and Eloise Jones, 1928.  (MS 359: L-0720-A)

Santa Claus pauses from his toy-making demonstration to visit with Roger Martin and Eloise Jones, 1928.  Jack Specht/The San Antonio Light  (MS 359: L-0720-A)

Santa Claus joins Jack White (left), manager of Plaza Hotel, and Fire Chief J.G. Sarran as they plan an event to acquire toys to distribute to needy children on Christmas Day, 1935.  (MS 359: L-0845-C)

Santa Claus joins Jack White (left), manager of Plaza Hotel, and Fire Chief J.G. Sarran as they plan an event to acquire toys to distribute to needy children on Christmas Day, 1935.  (MS 359: L-0845-C)

Charles Malven and Mary Reams are frightened of Santa Claus (W.D. Taylor) and his ten-gallon hat, 1947.  (MS 359: L-3494-A)

Charles Malven and Mary Reams appear to be frightened of Santa Claus (W.D. Taylor) and his ten-gallon hat, 1947.  Mel Koenning/The San Antonio Light  (MS 359: L-3494-A)

Santa Claus (Floyd Arnold) takes a break from his job in a department store, 1948.  (MS 359: L-3681-C)

Santa Claus (Floyd Arnold) takes a break from his duties in a department store, 1948.  (MS 359: L-3681-C)

Harry Jersig, president of Lone Star Brewing Company, and Santa Claus (Jimmy Faulkner) with Christmas gifts to be distributed at the annual dinner for the local newsboys, 1948.  (MS 359: L-3628-F)

Harry Jersig, president of Lone Star Brewing Company, and Santa Claus (Jimmy Faulkner) with Christmas gifts to be distributed at the annual dinner for the local newsboys, 1948.  (MS 359: L-3628-F)

Santa Claus listens to Christmas wishes in a suburban neighborhood, 1988.  (MS 359: L-7172-45-23)

Santa Claus listens to Christmas wishes in a suburban neighborhood, 1988.  Villafuerte/The San Antonio Light  (MS 359: L-7172-45-23)

Santa Claus visits with a Blue Santa, a member of the San Antonio Police Department program that distributes Christmas gifts to needy children, 1990.  (MS 359: L-3681-C)

The Routers Car Club Santa Claus visits with Blue Santa, from the San Antonio Police Department program that distributes Christmas gifts to needy children, 1990.  (MS 359: L-3681-C)

Santa Claus and Pancho Claus bring gifts for students from Storm Elementary School, 1989.  (MS 360: EN1989-12-15-24)

Santa Claus and Pancho Claus bring gifts for students from Storm Elementary School, 1989.  Joe Barrera, Jr./San Antonio Express-News  (MS 360: EN1989-12-15-24)

Santa Claus arrives at East Side Multi-Service Center for “Santa’s Soul Day,” a Christmas event for disadvantaged children, 1987.  (MS 360: EN1989-12-15-24)

Santa Claus arrives at East Side Multi-Service Center for “Santa’s Soul Day,” a Christmas event for disadvantaged children, 1987.  John Davenport/San Antonio Express-News  (MS 360: EN1989-12-15-24)

Santa Claus (Juan Esparza) distributes gifts on Christmas morning at La Villita, 1990.  (MS 360: EN1990-12-25-21)

Santa Claus (Juan Esparza) distributes gifts on Christmas morning at La Villita, 1990.  (MS 360: EN1990-12-25-21)

 

Charro Claus and the Tejas Kid

December 10, 2014
Charro Claus and the Tejas Kid book cover

Charro Claus and the Tejas Kid book cover

Xavier Garza is an author, artist, storyteller and teacher whose work focuses primarily on his experiences growing up in the small Rio Grande Valley border town of Rio Grande City.  Garza has stated that all of his books are based, one way or another, on childhood memories. He recalls his abuela (grandmother) telling him stories while she made tortillas around the stove and has held on to these cultural memories that serve as inspiration for his work as an author and an artist. In 2009, Special Collections acquired a collection of materials from Garza, including typescript manuscripts, pencil and ink sketches, acrylic paintings and newspaper and magazine articles.

For the upcoming holidays, Special Collections would like to highlight Charro Claus and the Tejas Kid.  From a 2008 interview Garza explains that “Charro Claus and the Tejas Kid is basically the story of Santa’s Mexican cousin. He is helped by his nephew Vincent to deliver presents to each and every child that lives on both sides of the US/Mexico border.”

The publisher, Cinco Punto Press, describes the book as follows:

Let’s welcome Santa’s newest helper: his cousin Pancho, a farmer living down in South Texas who is so smart he speaks Spanish and English. Back in the day, Pancho was a mariachi singer with a whole lot of style and a fancy sombrero. But as the years passed, Pancho got, well, a little older and a little wider all around. Then one night his primo Santa Claus showed up. Santa needed some help! Pancho volunteered. And then, poof, Santa transformed Pancho into the resplendent Charro Claus with his incredibly Flying Burritos. And Charro Claus, it turns out, even had his own surprise elf—his nephew Vincent!

All Christmas Eve, Vincent and Pancho deliver toys to the boys and girls on the border. Neither rain, cloudy skies, wire fences nor concrete walls keep them from covering every inch of their newly assigned territory. And they don’t forget a single town or city. How could they? The border is their home.

The process to create and publish Charro Claus and the Tejas Kid took about two years to complete. Garza spent about 10 months developing the story together with Lee Byrd at Cinco Puntos Press and then another 7 months to get all the illustrations pulled together.  The materials donated to UTSA include quite a few early sketches and illustrations from the book – take a look:

 

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Sources:

  • Cinco Punto Press: http://www.cincopuntos.com/products_detail.sstg?id=144
  • Interview with Author/Illustrator Xavier Garza. La Bloga. http://labloga.blogspot.com/2008/12/interview-with-authorillustrator-xavier.html
  • Interview with Author Xavier Garza. Worlds of Words: http://wowlit.org/blog/2009/11/02/interview-with-author-xavier-garza/
  • Xavier Garza – Artist-Author-Storyteller in Residence at UTPA Library June 29-30. Bronc Notes UTPA: http://www.utpa.edu/broncnotes/bulletin.cfm?ID=6727
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