Preserving the History of Dallas' Mexican Americans

~June 2016 Newsletter ~


Date:                                       Saturday, June 25
Time:                                     9:15 a.m. Meet at First Presbyterian Church, 1835 Young St
                                              9:15-10:00 a.m.: Tour of Encore Park, 508 Park
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.:      BOD Meeting at Encore Park Conference Room

Please note change of venue for the June Board of Directors meeting. The Board will meet at the First Presbyterian Church located in downtown Dallas (on the corner of Harwood and Young) at the Church parking lot on the Young Street side, followed by a tour of Encore Park, (across the street from the Church) .  The Board will have a regular monthly meeting at Encore Park immediately after the tour.  All DMAHL members welcome.  
ENCORE PARK - A history and future of Dallas!
Encore Park is an innovative outreach project of The Stewpot and the First Presbyterian Church of Dallas located along Park Avenue south of Young in downtown Dallas. Through its purchase of the property at 515 Park and 500 South St. Paul, The Stewpot provides opportunities for partner organizations and its own programs to grow. Through renovation of 508 Park and the building of an amphitheater it will bring music back to the neighborhood where famous recordings occurred. This project will give second chances to a neighborhood, to buildings, to services, to people.

DID YOU KNOW? Encore Park is the site where 114 songs were recorded in 1938 and 1939, by the following Mexican American bands:
Los Trovadores Alegres
Lolo Cavazos
Los Tres Manueles
Orquesta Vocalion
Hermanas Fraga
Gaytan Y Cantu
Los Camotes
Encore Park is currently under renovation.
At the invitation of Preservation Dallas and the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, DMAHL President Juanita H. Nañez participated in a panel discussion regarding preserving Dallas' cultural history on May 19 at the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture on Routh Street. The discussion was facilitated by David Preziosi, Executive Director of Preservation Dallas and J. Larry Allums, PhD., Executive Director of the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture. Other panelists were Debra Polsky, Executive Director of the Dallas Jewish Historical Society, and George Keaton, Founder of Remembering Black Dallas. This first-time event in Dallas was well-attended and DMAHL Board and members had a strong showing. The panelists discussed their organizations' events and activities to preserve their community's cultural history and shared ideas.   Ideas were also shared on what the City of Dallas can do to preserve cultural history. The participating organizations are continuing the conversation on future collaborations.
As an aside, the location of this event was one block from where President Nanez' grandparents lived in the early 1900s in the northern Little Mexico barrio, now the Uptown area.

Telemundo featured 10 veterans' photos and bios provided by DMAHL in their televised Honor y Patria news segment on June 2 and 9 at 5:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.   Veterans featured were: Cpl. Guillermo "William" Suarez, U.S. Army, WWI, and sons, Guadalupe "Wallace" Suarez, U.S. Army Air Force, WWII and Pete Suarez, U. S. Army, Korean War; PVT Joe M. Nañez, U.S. Army, WWII, KIA; LCPL. Oscar H. Palacios, Jr., KIA; SP4. Noe Tamez, U.S. Army, VN, KIA; PFC Eladio Martinez, U.S. Army, WWII, KIA; SGT Rudolfo Rocha, U.S. Army, Vietnam, KIA; SGT C andelario Garcia, U.S. Army, Vietnam; and PVT Jose Gutierrez, U.S. Army, WWII, KIA.

In 2014 SGT Candelario Garcia posthumously received the highest military honor, the Congressional Medal of Honor, by President Obama, for his heroic acts of bravery in the Vietnam War. On Memorial Day, 2016, the City of Corsicana honored their hometown hero in a military ceremony unveiling his statute in front of the Navarro County Courthouse. Sgt. Garcia was part of DMAHL's 2015 military exhibit and more than 30 DMAHL members and Board honored Sgt. Garcia by attending this beautiful event.
- Speaking of music!

The Joker Band, 1962
Featured from L to R: Jesse Ponce, Charlie Vasquez,  
Danny Contreras, Julian Alcantar, Richard Franco

Band History 
The Joker Band was formed by a group of N.R. Crozier Tech alumni around 1960. In 1962, Richard Franco (Yes DMAHL board member Richard Franco.) became the band leader. In the beginning, the band played mostly rhythm and blues. Under Richard's leadership, the type of music they played expanded as more members were added to the band. 
Throughout the years, they performed at birthday celebrations, quincea ñeras, and weddings. Some of the venues at which The Jokers played were prominent in the history of Dallas. Gone and existing only as fond memories are places such as the Baker and Statler Hilton Hotels in downtown Dallas, the Hilton Hotel at Central Expwy and Mockingbird Lane, and the Marriott Hotel on Stemmons Frwy. Nostalgics from all the Dallas barrios danced to, and still swoon to the dreamy songs of yesteryear such The Joker Band's hallmark songs, "Talk To Me," and, "In The Still Of The Night."
After more than 50 years of providing wonderful music Richard Franco still leads the now nine-member band. Sadly, The Jokers will be performing their final VFW Father's Day dance June 18 at VFW # 6796 at 9179 Garland Road. The dance starts at 8:00 p.m. and tickets are $15.00 each or may be purchased at the door. For further details call 214-827-0923.

2015-2016 Winnetka Elementary School Robotics Club - Dallas ISD
DMAHL acknowledged and congratulated the Winnetka Elementary School Robotics Club students at the April Board of Directors meeting for their big wins in 2016 national competition.  Although an elementary school, they competed in the middle-school category and brought home first place in Programming, second in Coding and third in Leadership/Teamwork against 143 teams across the country.  Education Committee member, Rosemary Hinojosa, addressed the group and spoke to them about the importance of knowing and honoring the history of their heritage.  A reception for the students, parents and school leaders followed.
For membership information, please email Membership at: 
Our membership dues are $12.00 annually for individuals or $300 lifetime; students $5.00 annually; and corporate memberships are $500.00 annually.
Juanita H. Nañez
Albert González
V ice President
  Sara Quintanilla
F rank Valtierra
T reasurer
Janis Bergman-Carton, Ph.D.
Frank Bravo
G loria Cantú
Conchita Franco
Richard Franco
Trini Garza
Frances González
Rosemary Hinojosa
Bessie Landin
Pauline Marceleno Laws
Robert Martinez
Mike Plattero
Lydia Delagado Simpson
Nellie Tafalla
Delfino Valdez
Jo Ann Valentin
Albert Valtierra
Dorelia Valtierra
Susan P. Vega
Eloy Zamora 

Executive:  Juanita H. Nanez 
Membership:  Frances Gonzalez
Communications:  Susan P Vega
Exhibits & Programs:  Albert Gonzalez
Finance:  Albert Gonzalez
Education:  Frank Bravo
Nominations:  Conchita Franco
2016 Cataloging/Archiving Project: Frank Valtierra
Barrio Historians:  Jo Ann Valentin, Gloria Cantu
Pike Park Preservation:  Albert Valtierra
Eagle Ford Preservation:  Rosemary Hinojosa

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