Last week I was prepared to have some fun with the big news from Texas. Governor Rick Perry shared stage in Dallas with Minutemen founder Jim Gilchrist to accept the endorsement from the—pick your label:
Anti immigration group
Volunteers who patrol the U.S.-Mexico border
Perry who once rebuffed the group has been trying to outdo his opponent Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison as the more conservative candidate for the guv’s seat, and border policy is ripe for going mano a mano. A few years ago, Perry sank $2million on installing cameras so folks could monitor border activity and report ‘suspicious behavior’ in a ‘virtual’ civilian patrol. There’s been talk about sending the Texas Rangers to the border. It’s a heated intense emotional affair, this whole border business.
Over the past weeks, I’ve spent hours on the phone with landowners, a former customs official, attorneys- you name it– as I prepare for an upcoming shoot/scouting mission. Admittedly Tell’em Who You Are can get snagged in the vortex of policy debate, the-what’s effective border security back and forth.
On Saturday night a friend, a displaced Angeleno and I rented a zip car and set off, rancheras and nortenos blaring into the night, to Queens. Five hours and many detours later our accomplishment– eating tacos, drinking one beer and setting foot into a taxi dancing establishment—or three. (Taxi dancing-young male often migrants alone in the U.S. pay young women about 2bucks to dance with them). This morning I was treated to his depiction of the events and there, at the end of the post I discovered a nice reminder of the spirit to my upcoming mission.
Yet, roosevelt street, I think, is linked to Mexican male migrants all over the country and throughout the years: expressing and feeling loneliness, melancholy, and friendship via music and with a cervesa in hand.
His is a poignant depiction of a simple shared unspoken sentiment: I have a home. Its essence captured in song, with memory of land and place flickering in heart and minds, shared with strangers by our souls.
It’s the whisper that I struggle to remember, but must– historical and current “events” occur on people’s homes. Their Place, Space and Memories–on the contentious border or Mexico–is a home to some, a symbol with multiple meanings to many others, a region with a bloody history, with political currency.
Yesterday I spoke with a truck driver who leased some land to the federal government to use as a staging site for the border wall. On weekends, he said, his adult kids visit with their kids and they cook up some bar-b-que, there within eyeshot of the bulldozers. “Come over and have some bar-b-que and meet everyone,” he said. He invited me to his home.