Saturday, June 19, 2010



by f.g.lopriato y lopez

Fray Marco Niza and Estebanico, accompainied by a contingent of Native Mexicans bearers, traveled North, along the western coast of New Spain. (Mexico) and then northwest through the desert of the what is now Arizona, until they reached the Zuni Mountains, in what is now west-central New Mexico.

Estebanico seemed to have a plan of his own. The further they traveled into the "Cibola," the more he took on the mannerisms of a native celebrity dressing like an Indian; shaking his featured gourd and demanding tribute of turquiose and women from tribes along the way.
Diaries kept my the marooned survivors of the Cabeza de Vaca document the practice of tribes raiding eache others encampments. Honors bestowed on "healers" seems to suggest that Estebancio was practicing what was already an accepted way of life among the northern tribes. In the Cabeza de Vaca diaries, tribal raids are made to seem like games. One tribe would raid the othe camps site and make off with everything they had them that tribe would raid another and do the same to them and so on.
One writer states that songs and legends of the Zuni indians tell about, "the death of the Black Mexican from the land of eternal summer," but either those songs were not beleived or the writer just dreamer it up. The truth is that no one really knows.
As for Fray Niza, he did accompany Coronado as he explored what is now The Great American Southwest, and he became a laughing stock as his report proved to be false. What made him emerld-studded houses is also a mystery, but it did give rise to the saying, "el Goloso y El Hambriento, solo en la tortilla pienzan." (The glutton and the starving man think only of food.) In other words, Spain's lust for gold was so great that they saw gold even where there was none.
History does make Fray Niza the fool of the Spainish Conquest of New Mexico, until recently, when public radio mentioned that the Coronado Expedition would not have been at all were it not for Fray Niza. However, the good friar is held in hugh esteem in the Wopajo community because he may just be the first Italian to set foot in the Land of Enchantment.
Marcos de Nizas is the Spanish spelling for Marco di Nizza. During Fray Marco's lifetime on royalty and nobility had last names. Commers were identified by their occupations or their place of birth. Nizza is the Italian name of a city in France. You may know it as Nice. It belonged to the Italian city of Sardinia. Sardinia cede France in 1796, long after Fray Marco died. It reverted back to Sardinia in 1814, then went back to France in 1860, after a plebiscite.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Cabeza de Vaca


by f.g.lopriato y lopez

The marooned party wandered around what was to tbe the Southwestern part of what is now Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, for almost ten years. Sometimes as slaves and sometimes as healers in the primitive system of curing illness in the wild. Today, it would be know as "faith healing." Consisting of the healers' breathing mouthfuls of smoke on the patents affected areas and reciting prayers. Apparently, the placebo effect favored the black member of the group, Estabanico, and he was awarded a feathered gourd rattle which singled him out as a full-fledged "Medicine-Man."

Estanico also learned several tribal dialects during his nine year sojourn, giving the froup VIP proviliges to travel at wiill. and thus making it back to New Spain. (now Mexico.)

The Northernmost outposts of New Spain was Campostella, fifty miles north of Mexico City, in what is today Culiacan. Everything north of that point was wild, uncharted territory and know as "Cibola." Cibolo, with an "o" at the end mean "buffalo" in Spanish. To 15th century Spaniards, the wildest, most vicious, strangest, most dangerous animal in creation. And since the word for land, "Tierra" is feminine noun meaning "land," this unknown territory was called "Cibola." (a female buffalo.) Metaphorically speaking, Cibola means "the wild, untamed land."

The "Fountain of Youth, "El Dorado," etc were all incentives that appealed to the gold lust of, not just Spanish soliders, but of every mercenary and adventurer in the Holy Roman Empire, that could beg, borrow, steal, or flim flam enough money to get to America and cash in on every man's dream of eternal fame and unlimited riches. Now another fable began to make the rounds, that of the Seven Cities of Gold, somewhere in Cibola. The fables cities were were really a marriage of two ancient legends. The Aztec legend of a starnge, bearded race thay came from seven caves in what is now the Four Corners area of the United States, and an old Spanish legend about seven bishops that took their individual wealth and crossed the Atlantic where they founded the seven districts.

If Spain was not planning to invade Cibola, she certainly gazed longingly Northward, as Cortes and Pizzaro vied for the new conquests. Peru had been the feathe rin Spain's war bonnet when Pizzaro took it, but Cortes checkmated him in the taking of Mexico.

For all the wealth Pizzaro has accumulated, his chances of increasing his gains now became limited to Peru itself. The land between Peru and Mexico was already claimed and pillaged, but Cortes looked Northward and dreamed of expanding and finding Cibola. With more riches than he had found in Mexico? Yes! Yes! Yes! A New Mexico!

Coincidentally Spain was massing forces in Mexico, so many that they posed disciplinary problems and coincidentally The Viceroy of Spain made Mexico City the seat of Governement.

When Cabeza de Vaca and his companions refused to return to civilization, their tales of Cibola stoked the Viceroy's fire and he quickly organised an exploratory mission backtracking de Vaca.

The two Spanish survivors refused to return, bu the black Moor slave had no choice. Coronado was leading the main party but before that Estebanico would accompany Fray Marco de Nizza back over the trail that he and de Vaca had blazed. (to be continued.)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Boot Prints in the Sand of Time

Boot Prints in the Sand of Time
by F. G. Lopriato y Lopez

For better or worst, New Mexico's past in firmly rooted in the Italian boot. The deeper one digs into the hard Caliche clay of The Land of Enchantment, the more evidant that indesputible fact becomes...
One has but to scan the pages of history of the Queen Mother City of the state, Albuquerque, to see that the pllars of her community are names such as: Domenici, Mattuecci, Franchini, Schifani, Brunachini, Bonaguidi, Dinelli, Giomi, Del Frati,
lecioni,Pucetti, etc and more Italian family names than we can list here, but the Rozzi's and De Blassis will remember.
Twice in its history Albuquerque has proudly numbered foreign born Italian immigrants as most prevalent in its census. Italians have been second only to Mexican foreign born immigrants in the city.
Why is it that first generation Italians faired so well in New Mexico? All kinds of conjectures have been handled every time that question is asked. From, "because everyone here is an immigrant in their own right" to " the Spanish culture, language, religion and temperament are similar." Youwould be closer to the truth if you choose the latter. The former has no basis in fact or in practice, but that is only part of the story.
First generation Italians didn't come here to colonize and exploit New Mexican society wit the intention of taking everything of value that was not nailed down and returning to their own home ground. No! They came here to be part of the society. To help it grow and to evolve together, improving as the society improved.
Oh Yes! There were many who came to line their own pockets. Some did just that and went back home, but most remained and became the best citizens in their town, county and state. Their children and grandchildren are now achieving national and international fame, Napolaone and Domenici for instance. By not resisting assimillation, Italian immigrants to New Mexico were able to slide into the vacuum created the the change in the state culture of New Mexico. Acting as a bridge bewteen a society that was undergoing transition from an agricultural society to an industrial society to a business society and from a Spanish speaking society to an English speaking society, from one system of education to another, and from one set of state values to another.
Was it Chance? The Will of God? Fate? Destiny? Or the experience of an older way of life that had already overcome similar conditions in the Old World? We'll never know, but one thing for certain is that Italian immigrant to New Mexico, even before the 1880's, rose higher and faster than Italians immigrants who chose Eastern states in which to settle. Italian immigrants to New Mexico may have been aware, but were not personally affected by Anti-Immigrant sentiments of the Nationalists Movement elsewhere that forced many Italians into isolation in "Little Italy's" seeking the aid of criminal organizations that expolited their own people.
You be the judge as we present the story of The Real Architects of New Mexico, in what promises to be last and longest series that the Wopajo Cry has ever undertaken.
The first Europeans, to set foot in what is now the Great American Southwest, were three survivors of the ill-fated Spanish expedition of what is now the State of Florida. What had begun as a sizeable force made up of several nationalities had been rebuffeted by the defending Indians of the peninsula, malaria and hunger which thinned their ranks. After killing their horse and eating the meat, they used the horse hides to fashion boats hoping to escape to Mexico via the Gulf, but the skins had not been allowed to cure enough and the boats sank in mid-sea. Three Spaniards and a black Moorish slave survived. (to be continued.)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

ADIEU Gene Franchini, Nostro Caro Geno!


by: f. g. lopriato y lopez

As great as all those post-mortem accolades in the mainstream media are; No one can fully appreciate Gene Franchini unless one knows where Gene Franchini came from and why it was so important that he fulfill the American Dream and become a role model and an inspiration to the community.
In the old days, when a death would occur in the Colonia Italiana di Albuquerque, families would gather to console each other and in doing so they would relive the person’s life, but then they were the first generation and “life” for them started when they arrived in the United States. Anything before that was said to belong to another era, in a different compartment, between which there was a door that closed. “Una porta che si chiude, e si apre mai Piu,” and is opened no more.
The first Italian immigrants to New Mexico were few, so back then everybody knew everybody else’s story, Gene was “second generation” more numerous. There was no door between them and their values. Everything they were, needed, or wanted was here. Still they lived in two worlds, the old world values of their family and the Italian Community, (La Colonia) and that in which they were building for themselves in their own country, completely aware that they were the role models and inspiration that would make all the difference. As Gene himself once put it; “All of us, meaning all second generation Italians in New Mexico, had some very big shoes to fill. Our parents had been the first generation anywhere to rise from poor immigrants to be the leading ethnic class in all sectors of New Mexican Society.”
The Franchini Saga of Hard Work and Courage begins with Ettore Franchini’s arrival in New York, from Pistoia, Italy, in l899, at the age of nineteen. The year was l899. He could not speak a word of English but somehow he made the officials in New York understand that he had an Aunt living in Albuquerque. They gave him a basket of food and put him on the train. His food ran out before he got to Kansas City and he found a grocery store close to the station and with more sign language got himself something more but that did not last either. He was famished when he arrived in town on May 4, l899.
The first thing he saw as he got off the train was a policeman of whom he inquired; “Bachechi?” To La Colonia, these words are equivalent to “The Eagle has landed a few short steps for Ettore, a giant step for the Franchini Clan.”
The cop pointed across the street to Oreste Bachechi’s office, where the aunt Oreste sought was employed. The rest is history, The Real History of Albuquerque and it only tells a bit about one Italian family. We have tried to honor Gene Franchini by honoring what he honored most, his family and his community. We are certain that the entire Franchini Saga, from rags to riches will be covered by the mainstream media and we have to put this on-line before Gene’s death is recognized and sent to that place where eternal heroes dwell.
We also want to thank readers such as Emily Sei, for making it clear to us that the future of the Wopajo War Cry depends on the history of the Italian People here in New Mexico, therefore we have decided to specialize only on that subject. ////fglyl

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Antonio Domenici ran the Montezuma Grocery with his brother Cherubino. This picture was taken in front of his home at 407 North Fourth Street.


by: f. g. lopriato y lopez


Bedsheets wear out when you use them enough. The women in Old Town during the 1930's did not have electric washing machines. They heated their wash water in pots, on a wood burning stove, in the winter, and outside in a galvanized tub and scrubbed everything on galvanized washboards. Whites faded, and very fast colors were boiled and scrubbed, inspected for wear and patched. Socks were darned and dingy colors bleached out and readied. If the sheets were still serviceable, the holes would be repaired or reboiled and rebleached for further use, often as curtains or dish towels. Lye was an indispensable household item. Sometimes bedsheets would be repaired and folded, both halves sewn together for reuse.
Flour came in cloth bags. Most people bought large quantities: twenty five, fifty and hundred pounds sacks, depending on how large a family they had to feed, and white flour tortillas were the fare three times a day. Corn tortillas were also used but not as regularly as wheat, sopaipillas were served at special meals. Besides that, flour was also used to thicken gravies, sauces took starch, chicken, cutlets, pork chops, each made better eating if breaded with white flour. The cloth bags in which the flour came was probably more sought after than the flour itself. With a little boiling, bleaching, and dying, those bags became beautiful dresses and blouses for little girls, shirts, a hanky, slips, and panties. Cloth, not gold, was the big thing to most Old Town women. Most women could sew. The luckiest had pedal operated machines, but most sewed by hand.
A man's suit could become clothing for his children, and the same went for women's clothing and when they had served their time, the same thing might end up as part of a patchwork quilt or a throw rug.
Homemade laundry soap, and homegrown almost everything, even the dyes that they used made the need for money not as pressing but a hell of a lot more work for the women of Old Town in the 1930's. Little did they realize it was just basic training for what was ahead and that some day those who survived would look back on those days with nostalgia.
FDR's WPA Projects did a lot of good, despite the fact that the managers of those funds used the bulk of the money to feather their own nests first and then saw to it that those who could do them more good, socially, politically and financially got what they wanted, but, when those funds finally got down the common people. Any job was better than none in a money hungry world that, at last, found a way to make Old Towners need money. As I said before, we were as self-relying for most of our necessities and financial needs were kept at a bare minimum.
Now, you tell me if what they came up with does not rate, at least an E for effort on the confidence game of politics. There were just over a hundred thousand people in all of New Mexico, the CCC camps did a lot of good planting trees, and dressing up the landscape, there were jobs there for many people and most of them trying to make the transition from farming to business or something that would enable them to fit into their changing world.
There were no roads in the entire state, the WPA built several large dams, in fact most of the dams you see now in New Mexico are WPA projects, and Highway 66 from one end of the state to the other was a WPA project, there were many jobs there, but most of these jobs were being filled by people who were brought in to do the work. New Mexico was high on FDR's priority list. but New Mexicans were joining the armed services and the National guard in order to help their families make ends meet. Someone noticed this and made a fuss about it.
The next thing Old Towners knew, "Singing Teachers" were making the rounds weekly to teach grade school students songs that were already part of their folklore. And the Plaza in Old Town was having a very imposing and out of place stone wall built around the plaza in Old Town. It did not last long, and for the short time that it stood, it cost more to maintain than anything else. Other than being used as an emergency makeshift rest room by migrants who could not make it to a real rest room, it was cleaned up and maintained once a year at Fiesta time. Other than that it was avoided even by church goers who would walk around it rather than cut through even on cold days. Even the stone mason who built the wall hated it, but could not talk his supervisors into doing what the Old Town Plaza has now.
The project that really took the cake, was the WPA Outhouse Brigade. Old Towners didn't live beyond their means and their means were not very demanding to begin with. They made conscious efforts to minimize them more all the while they also made a show of their better materialism to put up a prosperous front. This tempted the controllers to reason that if they could not control the intake they would control the output. The WPA brought in the Outhouse Brigade. Everybody had to have a New State of the Art outhouse, built by "El Diablo a Pi‚. " They made it sound so official that some still think it was a felony not to comply. The city was expanding and Old Town would be incorporated making "City Water " and indoor plumbing mandatory, the new outhouses did no more than tear down the old outhouse and replace it with a prefabricated one of their own, over the existing hole, but, at last, someone had pulled something on Old Town. The word for outhouse used in old town was "Comun" pronounced "Ko MOON" from Commode." The Outhouse Brigade was called "Los Communistas." (The Communists.)
The 1930's were lucky years in a lot of ways for Old Towners. Mainly because of the Italian influence in the town. Italians had been the real leaders in the community, and why not? They don't make a big hoopla about themselves or their accomplishments, no matter where they end up. The segment of Italians who chose New Mexico as their new home left indelible footprints in the sands, not just of this state, but in states surrounding New Mexico and as far as Washington, D. C.. Not just lately, but historically. If walls could talk, they'd do it and be fluent in Wopajo. (all languages) ////fglyl

Surviving the 1930's in Albuquerque-Italians #2

Surviving the 1930's - ITALIANS IN NEW MEXICO - #2

by: f. g. lopriato y lopez

Ma l'anima nel cor si fa pi£ buona.

Come il frutto maturo. Umile e ardita,

sa piegasi e resist; ferita, non geme;
asai comprende, asai perdona.
Dileguan le tue brevi ultime aurore,
o Giovinezza; taacciono le rive,
poi che il tonante vortice dispare.
Odo altro suono, vedo altro baglore.
Vedo in occi fraterni ardere vive lagrime,
odo fraterni petti ansare.
Gabriele D'Annunzio (1863Ä - 1938)
There are still a lot of Old Towners alive today that remember playing hopscotch, skipping rope, (single and double), making their own scooters with pieces of discarded lumber and two halves of one roller skate, guns out of two pieces of wood and a close pin, strip of rubber cut from old inner tubes. From a garage, we could accumulate some sheets, blankets, window curtains or drapes and anything we could find that would accommodate an audience's rear end would make a theater. Admission was one or two wooden matches. Adults and children alike came to enjoy Old Town's "Summer Playhouse Productions."
There are still Old Towners who wake up to the sound of church bells, whether they ring or not, and say their morning prayers. They still cross themselves (their hearts) when they pass a Catholic church, and bow their heads reverently when they mention the name "Jesus." They still kneel in the isle before taking a seat or a pew. The men still do not enter a church without wearing a jacket, if not also a fresh shirt and a tie. The women wear dresses, not mini skirts, cover their heads, and kneel to receive communion.
Church bells no longer ring at noon and at six, if they do they are not heard in the din of traffic and the sound of "progress." If they do, and if they are heard by Old Towners who were around in the 1930's, either they cross themselves or consciously prevent themselves from doing so, such is the power of religious programming.
New Mexicans are not aggressive or competitive by nature. Every book written and every course in American Culture mentions the fact that the Hopi, and the Navajo, had to be taught to compete in their games and races. This writer has also experienced the same behavior in Pueblos. It is less prevalent today than it was back in the 1930's. The worst thing "Mexicans" or Native Americans could be accused of was "thinking of one's self as being 'better' than anyone else," all but the Spanish Blue Bloods and many Newcomers.

One local talk show host, with an Italian last name, by the way, to emphasize the superiority of his upbringing in Ohio and those of the locals, ends his petite rampages with, "I guess they were not raised like me."
When a Navajo wanted to point out rude or unacceptable behavior he would say; "he/she acts as if he has no kin/family/or relatives. "Mexican" and Italian speakers put down in New Mexico are either; "Que mal educado! or just plain, "Mal Educato!"
Still, it's a long way from the 1930's when one didn't race to be better, or win prizes, or play games to win but just for the sheer joy of being part of your group at fun time.
As the business district grew, more and more new people came to New Mexico and set up shop, homesteaded. Others simply squatted on private land and on land grants that that was already set aside as legal town sites ear marked to be developed into townships became choice targets. Determining who was, and who was not, a rightful heir to a land grand became the most lucrative practice of law in New Mexico, and it lasted for decades.
There were those who began their careers in law and retired wealthy years later, having only worked one case, "The Land Grant Case."
Newcomers insisted that because Spain had lost the territory, (to Mexico) Spanish grants were no longer valid and Mexico had lost the war with the United States, the land was free for the taking. Some Texans still believe everything East of the Rio Grande, (in New Mexico ) belongs to Texas, and act as if it did.
Injustices flourished on both sides. Some legal heirs lost out to squatters that somehow had managed to pay taxes on that to which they had no papers and ended up with hundreds, if not thousands of acres, and some legitimate squatters and homesteaders lost out to Eminent Domain after they had lived up to all the rules and regulations imposed on them by everyone concerned. Italians are known for their record keeping, as are the Spanish. It's a hold over from Empirical days when it meant nothing if it was not documented. Italian families everywhere keep family journals, photos, letters, diaries, newspapers clippings, birth certificates, passports, steam ship and airline tickets. The Spanish liked to wear their entire family histories like a suit of armor, a custom that is not non as common, but at one time, one could tell who was who by just the name alone. Still there are some, like Fernando C De Vaca. ////fglyl

San Ildefonso potter Maria Martinez sitting next to a row of pots.
ajo women weaving blankets. N
genous peoples. parades and processions
First American Pageant, Central Ave, Alb., 1928.


Albuquerque businessmen and politicians, c. 1930


by: f. g. lopriato y lopez
(Please Note: Indians-in this article refers to Native Americans)
To Albuquerque, the 1930's should be a very special decade. The railroad shops were going strong. New businesses were starting up and long established companies, such as Sears, Montgomery Ward, Kress, J. C. Penny were expanding and hiring workers. Bars, theaters and restaurants were opening up, and general stores were selling everything from animal feed to clothing, hardware, seed, meats, and even livestock. Oh, Yes! Right smack in the middle of the great depression...
At the top of the local business ladder, were Italian, Jewish, Greek, Armenian, and Lebanese businessmen. They hired family first and locals next. Albuquerqueans were helped to make the transition from an agricultural society to an industrial society by those immigrants who had already experienced the difference in the their old home countries. Most immigrants had come here to escape poverty and understood the plight of the people.
Bars, general stores, and wholesale liquors were the owner by Italians while prepared food businesses were mostly Greek owned. The Lebanese liked marketing almost everything you can dream up. Jewish businessmen tended to go with the new market, created by the Fred Harvey chain. Indians; Indian Lore and Indian Crafts.
It was mainly the Harvey chain that sold tourists the idea to take bus tours out to the pueblos and reservations to see Indians in their natural habitat, and consequently, gave value to Indian jewelry, blankets, even the way Indians dressed and interest in Indian art; sand paintings, their dances and their pottery.
New Mexico was also very culture friendly, because of the Archaeology school at UNM. Grade School teachers who attended UNM (University of New Mexico) made their students aware of Indian culture and their rightful place in New Mexican society long before it became popular to be Indian friendly elsewhere. Jewish merchants established trading Posts that bought and sold Indian craftsmanship and hired Indians to works in their shops and homes. They moved into Indian country to be closer to the source of their income and were so accepted by the frienmdly culture that one Jewish man became the chief of a tribe. Another became governor of New Mexico.
The Italians reigned in the business district of Albuquerque though. Their children went to UNM and became business, social and political leaders, teachers, lawyers, doctors, nurses, etc. All immigrants were welcomed with open arms by the people. The same people who became the consumers and a labor force.
Ideas were exchanged between the immigrants and the populace except for a few individuals in other immigrant groups. It was only the Italians who spoke the language of the state fluently, and could also do business in several dialects spoken by the tribes. Jewish businessmen had the Indian trades in silver and artifacts but more than that they prided themselves in mastering Native American languages.
One Lebanese man ran a grocery store in Isleta Pueblo. He married an Isleta Indian and fathered two beautiful daughters that made quite a name for themselves later in life.
All in all, you could say that Albuquerque survived the 1930's by scratching each others back. Unfortunately others, (non immigrants) did not come here to be part of the town. They came like an occupying army, to change, to take over and be in charge, and by the 1940's Albuquerque was beginning to change. They played the game of "divide and conquer." ////fglyl

Champion Grocery, operated by Alessandro and Amadeo Matteucci and located on the corner of Seventh Street and Tijeras avenue, was one of the largest Italian-owned grocery stores in Albuquerque.

Jubilee Parade. Horsemen passing down Central Ave., near Second St. as crowds look on; business enterprises visible at left; ca. 1930.

Unidefied mem Albue's Italian-American community posing for a photograph on a hunting trip south e city
falo dancers, Tesuque Pueblo, New Mexico

UNM Footbal Team, Albuquerque, NM 1930

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Union Bakery and Saloon, Albuquerque New Mexico,
Courtesy of Zimmerman Library, UNM
Surviving the 1930's in Old Albuquerque
by: f. g. lopriato y lopez
Chapter Four - Union Bakery
I close my eyes and visualize the Union Bakery on South First Street... I smell the sweet yeasty perfume, its freshly baked bread and taste that special mixture of vanilla, lemon, and cinnamon on the giant rolls and hear the echo of Italian voices, happily singing, joking, and planning their week-end and conversing in the most poetic language this side of heaven, Italian, as they end another work week.
Not everyone has a safe, secure place to which they can retreat when life gets as hectic as it is today. The lucky few that do will not go mad with worry over the economy, the political mess, and a million other things that are really beyond our control.
My safe place is an island in time. The l930's, right in the middle of that churning, angry ocean of despair, the Great Depression. It was the worst of times for the rest of the country, including many parts of our state, but for Old Towners, and Albuquerque, as a whole, it was a time of real hope, and they were better off than they had ever been. The city was growing. Grocery stores began popping up in almost every neighborhood, and in the business sector, General Stores, that carried every type of merchandise you can imagine, dry goods, feed, groceries meats, and poultry products, wholesale and retail.
On the 300 block of North First alone, from Tijeras to Marquette street, Franchini and sons, Dino Bonaguidi, M. Vaio and Sons, the Tartaglias, the Masaglias, and The Bachechi's had large general stores but throughout the entire town, Italian names were prominent in businesses ranging from Ferraro's cigar store, to Bachechi's Paris Shoe Store. Bars, Pool halls, Service Stations, Garages, hotels, bars repair shops, and more were all owned and managed by Italians, and staffed by their families, who advertised in Spanish to attract a Hispanic clientele, whom they served in the Spanish language.
If Albuquerque had changed it's nickname from "The Duke City " to "La Piccola Italia," in the 1930"'s no one would have objected. It was an Italian Town. The Priests were Italian, teachers were Italian, Politicians were Italian, businessmen were Italian, Nurses were Italian and Italians began to come here as patients because of the high and dry climate.
A more complete history of the Italian Community is forthcoming when we get to the series dealing with La Colonia Italiana di Albuquerque, right now, the important point we want to make is that both Albuquerque and New Mexico survived the great depression without too much permanent damage by cooperating with the immigrant populations. The Italians were not the only first generation of immigrants to New Mexico, there were others, but not as numerous and not as motivated as the Italians.
The Jewish community, who also had a dog in the fight, because of the Jewish roots in the Spanish community, for instance, and it's difficult to tell about the Greeks, Lebanese, etc., but this writer is more familiar with the Italians than any of the rest. Jewish immigrants also fared better in Albuquerque, and, like the Italians treated the Natives and the Hispanic Communities differently, partly because of the already established Spanish-Jews, and Jewish owned trading posts, and pawn shops catered to "Indians" both on and off the reservation and bought from or hired Indians as their silver smiths and to do various other jobs. One full-blooded Jew even became a tribal chief. Pawn Shops and Indians had a different kind of business going for them, Silversmiths would pawn their work to a shop, who would store it and, with the craftsman's permission sell whatever would sell at a commission. The craftsman would pay interest on the pawn but could use it for special rites and return it, secure in the fact the jewelry he left at the pawn shop would not be stolen but it was, it was insured. Costs that the average craftsman cannot afford.
The Town and the Town in Old Town grew closer and closer, now there was not only a linguistic and cultural tie to the Italian Priests but a genealogical relationship developed. Families that been assumed to be Spanish or Mexican were traced back to Italian origins. Italian priests and monks who became extra curricular MENTORS and advisors of boys who actively sought out their and companionship in hopes of some day becoming priests or monks themselves also helped them to find not only themselves., but long forgotten family roots that led them to Sicily and other Italian cities and towns. Many of these young Old Towners grew up and served in the armed forces during World War Two, and found information about Italian history after the fall of Rome, the Unification, Geribaldi, and Southern Italy, useful to both their own interests and those of the United States.
Because of its isolation New Mexico was the last of former Holy Roman Empirical bastions to fall, and since Spain owed both it's rise and fall to Catabolism, the l930's saw the last desperate struggle of Bishop Lamy's struggle to maintain Roman Catholicism in the center of everything in New Mexico. The railroad had come in, and with it Protestantism had invaded Catholic territory, New Mexicans who had existed for centuries without the need of money and luxuries now had need of both. ////fglyl

Above: Alvarado Station, Albuquerque, NM c. 1930 Below: Italian American Shopkeepers, Albuq., NM c. 1930

Above: Paris Shoe Store Interior, Albuquerque, NM c. 1930 Below: Super Service Station, Albuquerque, NM c. 1930

Historic Photos Courtesy of Zimmermann Library, UNM Albuquerque, New Mexico

Fair Doctrine

The Wopajo Says . . Fair Doctrine

by: f. g. lopriato y lopez

The First Amendment Is Not A License To Abuse.

No one wants to do away with Right Wing Talk Radio and censorship is out of the question. We had to have it during the Second World War, but Real Americans detest censorship and will not have it, on just a whim, as has been proven every time a language has been forbidden in the United States.

Why then, are we in such an uproar about Right Wing Talk Show? Why, for the very same reasons that we do everything else in a civilized society, of course! Breaking Wind on the radio for three consecutive hours each day is nothing of which anyone should take pride, least of all those Icons of the American Political, and religious Right.

A fart by any other name stinks just as bad. It matters not what perfume you use to hide it. One of our texts in Language School was "Language and Mind, " by Naom Chomsky. The school opened and closed two years later with one of his quotes." The meaning of those words encompassed everything that had been crammed into our brains those twenty-four months of non-stop instruction. "When we study human language, we are approaching what some might call the 'Human Essence,' the distinctive qualities of mind that are, so far as we know, unique to man." With that in mind, consider that, by their own admission, Right Wing Radio Talk Hosts, and their listeners are the most intelligent, the reverent, and better educated human being on the face of the earth, if not so gifted with talent so great, that can only be loaned not given by THE CREATOR, HIMSELF. Why do they choose to Hiss, and Bark, and make other hate filled sounds belonging in the realm of the most vicious of the lower species?

Dropping a few four--bit adjectives into that pile of two-bit rhetoric is tantamount to spraying a very large, angry group of skunks with a cam of cheap room deodorizer and trying to pawn them off as black and white flamingoes.

We, the Wopajo, are in the trenches, in the battle to eradicate, not Right Wing Talk Radio, but what they really are: an unruly mob of anarchists disguising as "American Patriots," when nothing can be further from the truth. Patriots do not propagandize against their own government, nor against their own compatriots.

The GOP is in shambles now, not because of the party itself, but because the party was infiltrated by factions that had, have, and will never have either the party or the party's fundamental interests at heart. Each of those factions have now shattered the unity that made the GOP unique. Now those same factions are infiltrating all the other parties, like those refugee rats that desert a sinking ship but these bunch is carrying a Political Plague. There is no law that forbids them membership in any Political Organization, but there is also no law that forbids you from accepting Right Wing Philosophy.

Authoritarian governments, such as Religious Government emphasize Authority, such as The Authority of the Organization, and its hierarchy, and recognize none but their own authority, a deadly dose of Political Hemlock for any Democracy. Christs advice to his disciples to "Render unto Caesar, the things that are Caesar's, and unto God." The things that are God's is the fairest doctrine by which to abide, in a democratic government, Why do God's representatives want to change it? What else will change, by changing that one factor? The very things that religions stand against would be, not under God's infallible justice, such as abortion and homosexuality would no longer be matters between God and ............. but a matter between ...... and his, her's or their government, as if the clergy did not trust God to apply His own Fairness doctrine to the matter. //// fglyl

Monday, September 7, 2009

Surviving the 1930'3 in Old Albuquerque-Library

Surviving the 1930's in Old Albuquerque - Chapter Three - Library
by: f. g. lopriato y lopez

The WOPAJO WAR CRY'S Historical Library is crammed full of pictures of Albuquerque as it was in the 1930's. These pictures show Old Town as people who remember the "Great Depression" and who lived in New Mexico remember. The rest of the "City" was not very much better. The main "Business "district included Central Avenue from about Arno or High street, to about Seventh or Eighth Street, with no more than about three or four blocks of spill over on either side of Central and the rest, for the most part was unpaved. Running water, phones, electricity, indoor plumbing, garbage pick up, and public transportation was very limited and very few people had cars. The business district, "New Town, or "Uptown,"as it was called, had all those things and more. Bars, paving, side walks, several five and dime, and department stores, cafes and a few restraints, offices, one big one-the El Fidel, and several movie houses, an opera house. The Armory doubled for so many other community activities that to list them here would take most of one column, but the octopus that was to become a city was just starting to spread it's tentacles.

We knew that progress would make life more expensive, but with progress would come jobs, people, and earning opportunities with which to rise to the challenge of new expenses. If other parts of what is now the city were wanting, Old Town was in the doldrums. Not only didn't we have the modern convinces, but there was absolutely no hope of obtaining them in the near future, progress was putting a false front, a veneer, on the more visible parts of town, those that were new comers and tourists were more apt to see and get to the rest as finances and available resources COMMANDED.

After the boom that the railroad had brought in the housing, the railroad shops, stores, bars, theaters, etc., business showed up but still, Albuquerque did not fold up during the depression. With the railroad depot close by, and being at the cross roads of Highways 66 and 85 that helped. Cross Country traffic stopped here long enough to buy food, drink, souvenirs, clothing, and many of the necessities of the road. Motels and Hotels for a night's rest, filling stations, and garages could count on some business from people who migrated from East to West and Visa Versa, but Old Town had only the Blueher Farm and the Saw Mill . The Saw Mill staggered badly, but it didn't go down. Blueher's truck farm did bite the dust, and Old Towners, lost their jobs.

Much Later Navajo Trucking moved in there, the mansion became what is now La Hacienda Restaurant, and the shops behind it. but in that was years later, in the 30's and forties, even into much of the 40's what you see now as Tiguex Park and the Museum directly east of La Hacienda, was deserted and dead. A care taker family lived in part of the property but other than that, to our knowledge, that, and the Mann Farm North of Tiguex Park were the two greatest losses Old Town suffered. The Saw Mill was not in Old Town, but it was one of the best paying jobs within walking distance of Old Towners.

The Mann Farm and Pefle's Apple Orchard, were both big businesses in Old Town, and both stopped operating but later, in the l940's, the Wopajo does not know if it was a direct victim of the depression, it's after effect, or they decided to call it quits and do something else, the Sheraton Old Town and it's parking lot now occupy the former site of the apple farm and what used to be the Mann Farm is just east of the museum famous for hosting Mayor Marty Chavez, Phallic Symbol missile for so many years. ­ Hasta Luego! ////fglyl

Entrance to Tiguex Park, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Surviving the 1930'3 in Old Albuquerque-Part2

"Fearlessness may be a gift, but perhaps more precious is the courage
acquired through endeavor, courage that comes from cultivating
the habit of refusing to let fear dictate one's actions."

Aung San Suu Kyi

Chapter Two - Community VS Materialism

Today we measure success by how much money we have in the bank or in stocks, how large a house, or how many houses you have, how your own house is furnished, and what kind of a job you have. If you are between ..... say, sixty-five eighty years old, and lived in Albuquerque during the 1930's, you will recall that those things were not considered. You identified yourself with your community and your community identified itself with you. You were an individual, but a cog in a greater wheel, a parish, (Campanella) that in turn was a part of a still greater works, ad infinitum.

In a crisis, the herd instinct automatically took over. Survival depended on those you knew and trusted. The choice of leadership, and dependability had been made long before the crisis came, because everyone knew everyone else and their capabilities and limitations. If you know your community, you already know whom to choose for what job in any given situation. It was easier to know who was who in the 30's, because we were a community. Since then, countless factors broke up that unity.

Only the Wopajo tribe remains true to the old traditions. Look around you. It wasn't always as you see it now. Americans were not always haunted by a sense of scarcity. Somewhere along the line, American people changed. Now they have to have more, in case they lose some, or if someone takes some away from them. Fear of losing material things created monsters that they perceived were out to rob them or to take them for everything they have. That attitude creates greed, and greed creates paranoia. Paranoia is an invitation for real con-artists to move in. The daily news is full of stories about people who have been taken for hundreds, thousands, and even millions of dollars by scam artists. Very few of the victims are lilly-white-innocents themselves. Most of them thought they were going to get more than what they were investing, or something for nothing. The victims that are really innocent are the trusting souls who thought they could trust family members or other trustees to handle their financial affairs.

It's commendable to be cautious, but Paranoia? Fear is natural, it is your survival instinct warning you that something is amiss, in you, around you, or somewhere in your immediate vicinity, but panic is your enemy. It binds your mind and makes you act irrationally. In a panic, you become your own worst enemy, like a deer caught in a spotlight, or a person about to drown.

Wopajos are never alone in a personal crisis, and act as a group, but never identify ourselves as such in a collective crisis. Fear does not control us, we control fear. . . Courage, on the other hand, is not the absence of fear but the control of fear. The Wopajos are unique in that we are not materialistic. We also believe that inch by inch "everything's a cinch." We are, after all, natives of THE LAND OF POCO A POCO. Manana is still good enough for us. So many other people work themselves to death amassing fortunes and die before they can enjoy them. If they live, it's with ulcers or some other chronic illness that robs them of a full life or they lose, or have most of what they sacrifice themselves for taken away one way or another. We pace ourselves and live within our means, ending up no better and no worst than anyone else. When we have abundance we share, and when we don't other tribal members share with us. We believe that abundance is not in what you have but in how many relationships you can claim. The abundance we share is not just material, it is companionship, ideas, and a helping hand doing something that is difficult for one person to handle. We believe humility is a virtue, and that arrogance is a defect. We try not to fail, and when we do, we understand that humans fail, societies fail and countries fail, failures are human and just as inevitable. The higher up you are in the cultural pyramid, the harder the fall when you land. No one in the tribe has failed as much as myself, and no one has fallen so far from so high and landed so hard as have I, but no one has had as many help him up onto his feet again as many times as have I.

What used to be New Mexican humor is almost dead now. The Wopajos still rely on it to break up the tension, but outside of our own little group one rarely finds anyone who understands it. At times it is pitifully misunderstood. It is a play on words where "Charley Mann" the store keeper, became emperor, "Charlemagne, and "Krushchev," beacons "Cruz Chavez."

In New Mexico, the word "chivo" meant a male goat. "Chiva," means a female goat. "Chivato," from whence comes "Vato," means a guy. Rascally boys used to be said to be chivatos. "Chivata," a shepherd's staff. The difference in the new, incoming, Spanish to this state translates "Billy, the kid," obviously meant to mean "Billy, the rascal" as "Billy, the child... " All we can say about it is, BISOGNA! to new Spanish. (it sounds close to 'Piss On Ya!):

“I have found no greater satisfaction than achieving success through
honest dealing and strict adherence to the view that, for you to gain,
those you deal with should gain as well.”

Alan Greenspan

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Surviving the 1930's in Old Albuquerque


Chapter one - Las Campanellas
by: f. g. lopriato y lopez

The sound of the bells of San Felipe di Neri church, in Old Town was the uniting factor. Anyone within their radius understood their language, and heeded their every word. Like a large, very obedient, family heeds a domineering mother. Together, we were La Campanella. Loosely translated, it means "Brotherhood Of The Bell." Martineztown had it's own Campanella, So did Barelas, as did all church parish societies. like all family units, we identified with our church, and like all family units, we worked, played, fought, feasted and intermarried. Within those family units, one could find both the good and the bad characteristics of any family, but we remained united in sickness and in health, whether richer or poorer, from our birth, to our death, and it was this unity that helped us get through the hardest part of the 1930's.
Albuquerque owes most of its survival to these Campanellas, not just in the 1930's but from its very beginning, it was the church bells that warned us of imending dangers, and the unity that developed at having to band together to confront a mutual enemy, or help each other in any crisis.
The depression was just another one of these crisis and the people were already programmed to act at the sound of their own church bells.
The bells of San Felipe didn't ring when the stock market collapsed in 1929., but those bells had created a parish unity that transcended all social and political barriers, just as sure as if the crash had been a fire, or an earthquake.
In the 1930's New Mexico was still relatively isolated from the rest of the United States, which is why we were the last to let go of the rules set up by the Holy Roman Empire., and Spanish knighthood, commonly known today as chivalry, but is really no more than common civility.
In a crisis, a gentleman protects the old, the sick, the weak, and helpless animals. " In Old Albuquerque, the animals came first. Even today, New Mexicans reason that animals are more apt to panic, most humans do not.
Feed for our domestic animals was mostly home grown, adobes were made right on the premises, using your own clay and straw to make them. Meats? we had our live stock, plus goats and cows for milk. Telephones and electric lights not a problem, we didn't have either, so we didn't know what they were.
Everything at the store was dirt cheap, but no one had any money. Movies were as little as five and ten cents, and as much as a quarter, but only an occasional treat to us, and only very special movies. dances,sandlotbaseball , kick the can, red rover, jacks, hopscotch, blind man's bluff, hide and seek, treasure hunts, board games were just a few of the games that kept the young ones entertained, visiting each other and family get together at Baptismals, Confirmations, First Holy Communions, Weddings and Birthday parties at each other's homes were festivals, tons of food, all home grown and prepared by the women of the families.
Anyone who remembers Church Fiestas, Las Maromas, (Medicine shows without the snake oil spiel.) will agree that the things that mattered most were not how much money you had in the bank, how big a house or how many houses you owned, but the relationships that you had in the Las Campanellas that mattered.
So much has changed since then, family members don't even know each other unless one is in a political position to important enough to be importuned, then everybody is related. ///fgyl

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Today's Political Picture 2-Old Albuquerque

Old Town Plaza, Albuquerque, New Mexico - circa 1920's
(Courtesy of Zimmerman Library)

THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN; is populated by forgivers. THE REALM OF THE DAMNED By those who refuse To forgive, themselves.

Today's Political Picture 2 Con't - OLD ALBUQUERQUE

Old Town was surrounded by small farms, open fields and networks of acequias rich with vegetation and wild life. It was possible to walk along the banks and spot such things as asparagus, of La Acequia Madre, (Mother Ditch) and find aspargus, beets and radishes, growing wild at the base of tall willow hedges that served as property boundaries and crop separators.
It was not uncommon to find turtles, minnows, cat fish and sucker fish, even an occasional trout in the tributary waters. Giant bull frogs and, of course toads.
The most common animals were chickens and dogs as part of every household, rabbits, hogs, goats, cows, horses, cats, of course, are necessities in farming communities where adobe bricks are the greater part of the architecture but some people still maintained non poisonous snakes that did a more through job of riding houses of unwanted varmints .. while remaining out of sight.
Bird life was plentiful too, hawks, and eagles were not uncommon, Spotted owls, bats and other varieties of insect eating birds from common sparrows and swallows, robins etc .. Some people kept unusual or semi exotic birds such as canaries, guinea hens, some peacocks, and parrots.
Wild pheasants, and roadrunners. were also abundant., so were grasshoppers, homed toads, lizards and butterflies.
Albuquerque was self sufficient in the food and housing departments since most farms were owned outright by families. The farm that were in trouble were commercial truck farms such as the Blucher farm, or garden. It was the largest farm in Old Town and the employer of more people.
As the depression worsened, Old Towners reverted to the most ancient methods of making ends meet, the barter system.
Many people were employed at the saw mill, the railroad shops and in the new businesses that had sprung up in New Town, but that included people from a!most everywhere in New Mexico, plus many Old Towners, but many farming families felt more secure doing the work that had done for generations. and, many did have other jobs, they never really left the farm. The chores still went on when they came home.
Produce, livestock, arts, crafts, were exchanged for dry goods or services, be it chopping a truckload of wood, drilling for water, helping to build or plaster a house, relocating an out-house repairing and mending saddles, harnesses, or helping out at a mantanza.
Matanzas were community affairs, since there was no refrigeration, meat had to be disposed quickly, and most of those hogs weighed five-hundred pounds or more.
The squeals of the pig that was to be slaughtered was an invitation for everyone within hearing distance to show with their dish pans of assorted kitchenware, plus knives, whetstones and bell­like shavers to dress the kill, returning home with a load of pork for the family table.
Most pork was quickly consumed, although everyone knew of methods to preserver the meat, most people did not trust it, Carne Adovada and home-made sausage were the only two exceptions. Even so, the chile marinated of highly spiced, seasoned and salted pork, even in winter when the cold weather kept things longer. Most people did not own an ice box, and electricity was still some twenty years away. Perishable food was kept in a screened box like affair with wooden slats for shelves, To get to the food one had to either go outside or, if the cooler was built onto the outside of the kitchen window one simply reached out to get what one needed.
Beef, goat, and mutton could be made into jerky, smoked, or pickled, by the way, so could pig's feet, but only the Italians dared to do the same to pork. This writer's father did well for himself selling squabs, aged steaks, italian sausage and prociuto to the Harvey House Restaurant. Matanzas were planned according to the seasons. Hogs were usually slaughtered in the winter time, other livestock, in the spring or summer. Chickens, and rabbits had no season, wild fowl, deer and there was some fishing, but not enough to say that Old Towners were avid fishermen. summer kill could be preserved to eat in winter. Every part of the animal was utilized, especially the organs, skin and bones .the economy did not affect New Mexico. as much as the droughts that hit the state about the same time that Oklahoma disowned its people. Stay tuned. ///fgyl

Albuquerque Street car 1920's-Courtesy of Zimmerman Library

Albuquerque, Old Town, Kids riding Burro circa. 1890's
Courtesy of Zimmerman Library

Albert Congregation 1899-Courtesy of Zimmerman Library
The erecting of a church was a commuvent, Jewish or not.

Los Griegos, Albuquerque before the depression era. circa 1899.
Courtesy of Zimmerman Library

Today's Political Picture

The Plaza, Old Town, Albuquerque, New Mexico

II diavofo no e diavola per essere diavolo, e diavolo perche e vecchio.

Today's Political Picture

Today's Political Picture is reminiscent of the death scene in Zorba, The Greek.
In the movie Zorba's wife is dying, her friends and neighbors drop in to take her meager belongings on the pretext of "visiting" her, while Zorba attempts to comfort her in her final seconds of life.
Our economy may not be dying, but it is seriously ill, yet everybody and his or her special interest is trying to capitalize on the bailouts. Including New Mexico.
For instance: If Albuquerque is in financial striates, it's because Mayor Marty and the Municipal Mafia fell for The Texan's BS. Time and time again they went out and did things on Bush's promise, complaining about unfounded demands from upstairs but digging us deeper in the hole on the promise that the check was in the mail. "No Child Left behind" promised so much. Where is it? How about the money for all the cameras, and a host of too many other things to list here but are well known to all of you. It would seem that anyone smart enough to win political campaigns would be smart enough to see through a scam after falling for it as many times as this gang has, but all Bush had to do was to promise and they believed it and spent it before they got it to live beyond their means, all the while they were telling the people that there was a war going on and that they should tighten up their belts.
The people did that, but they went on spending like a bunch of power-drunk republicans. Surely we can do without things, such trolleys until we dig ourselves out of this financial mess, or do you anticipate a more complete melt-down of Wall-Street and want to ride in style when we all go to the poor-house?
The exploitation of government, religion, and race for monetary, political, or social personal benefit is rapidly becoming a thing of the past, like the old time filling stations, the field became too overcrowded for small timers to keep up with the competition.
More and more only the fittest of the fit survive, and fittest are playing for Billions, while small-fry are selling their souls for a few hundred thousand and even less in many cases. The financial crisis is much worst than what the public is being told, and it's going to stay that way for a lot longer than any of the other financial messes to which greed always leads.
Omnipotent Kaffe Klutch Klique KaLLers to Konservative radio Koncure that the bank regulator fell asleep at the wheel, and didn't enforce the regulations. WHAT REGULATIONS!
During the Great Depression of 1929, FDR enacted a series of laws called "The Depression Laws, " to insure that it would never happen again. Ronald Regan, in his wisdom, tossed all those laws out, doing away with our safety nets. Today the very same entities that inspired Regan to trash them and cheered him on when he did are lamenting what we, who went though it once knew was inevitable if banks were not subject to "regul atuib," Many depression busters were utilized to stave the wolf from our doors in the 1930's, most of those methods have been outlawed , privatized, politicized, or otherwise rendered ineffective since then, and some fell due to legitimate progress. Let's go back and review some of these things and you decide if doing away with them was justified or not.
First of ail, you have to picture Albuquerque as it was then., not as it is now. New Mexico had just become a full-fledged status in 1912, but already, the joy and enthusiasm that went with the new status had already suffered it's first major disappointment when the bottom fell out of the market in 1929.
Old Town had been the center of social, commercial, and political; activities, not to mention the religious aspects of the community until the railroad came, after that Old Town had been abandoned and, except for the church, Charley Mann's general store, the post office and one little cafe, a home for unwed mothers it remained a neglected ghost town that was not long in deteriorating. The proper name for Old Town then was Old Albuquerque, and it's limits were from what is now Mountain Road, to about what is now Central Avenue, and from where the roads now split to form Old Town Road and Mountain Road, to the East side of what you now know as Rio Grande Blvd. What had been the Territorial Fair became The Society Hall, a dance hall that drew people from everywhere within what you now know as Albuquerque but then identified themselves as independent villages, Atrisco, Barelas, Armijo, Los Tomases, Duranes, Los Griegos, Corrales, Alameda, Martineztown, etc.
Going North from the Society Hall there were two houses and then Old Town School, then residences still referred to as El Rancho de Albuquerque" although, as the families often grew and married, those ranchos had been divided and sub­divided so much that what had originally started as land grant that had to touch the mountains on one end and the other had shrunk down with barely enough room to accommodate a house and, perhaps a small garden. The villages mentioned above also started as grants hence the names, (to be continued.) II/ fglyl

Saturday, May 2, 2009

De Propaganda Fides

De Propaganda Fides

by: f. g. lopriato y lopez

Propaganda is a Latin word. Originally it was used by horticulturists to describe a method of propagating plants. The Catholic church adopted it to describe the method by which to propagate the Catholic faith. The method could create an attitude toward any individual, organization, or ideal by influencing opinion... It can be religious, cultural, or political, and it is used in all the means of communication, as well as the arts. It plays a large role in internal, as well as external relations, The Voice of America, and The U. S. Information, for instance. Propaganda can be a very effective both as a tool or a weapon, in the hands of experts but a loose cannon in the hands of non professionals. All you have to do is tune in any call in show to see what I mean. It's all Negative or Positive propaganda. Positive propaganda praises a sponsor's product or service and negative propaganda condemns, demonizes, insults, slanders, and all but cuddles an opposing political party, religion and anyone associated with the ideal, belief, or proposition. Positive propaganda is handled by a professional propagandist, while Negative propaganda is left up to the caller, that is because the radio station must not get too deeply involved in the negatism or it may be held liable. The talk Master can control the conversation by allowing station sanctioned negativism and cutting short opposing callers. Incidentally, never assume that call in radio is about the caller's freedom of speech, it all about the station's freedom of speech. Talk-shows do not represent one view-point or another because of their profound belief and commitment to "the cause." Most of the stations are part of a greater corporation that depends on a Special Interest of some sort for most of it's funding.; Their corporate offices are lobbied by deep pocket bag-men just as aggressively as they lobby politicians, and should you be under the spell of talk-shows and think that these lobbyists are committed to the ideal of better their services broadcasting, better government or better unity of any sort, guess again. They are mercenaries, their loyalty is for hire to the highest bidder. Talk radio has the means by which to reach thousands of listeners, and for a price they will deliver the client's message. If it is an honest message it is Positive Propaganda, if it is not, it is Negative Propaganda. Sales Propaganda has to be phones, or the FTC would come down hard on the station. In other cases the intent of the perbetrator is taken into account. Not in sales propaganda, ignorance is no defense when it comes to defrauding in sales propaganda, the intent to defraud does not have to be there to obtain a conviction. In other cases, the perpetrator's familiarity with the product is taken into account, but not in sales propaganda. None of this is true about Political Propaganda. Physical contact is about the only thing that is forbidden in political propaganda. That is why candidates, radio talk-show hosts, and callers can get away with what they say. Not because Talk Masters, Networks, or individual radio stations protect the callers freedom of speech . The Constitution does that. What talk-radio does for your freedom of speech is to make you jump through a dozen hoops before you are allowed to practice it on certain shows and if you get passed the screamers and on the air, the host can still hang up on or give you the bums rush so that you cannot fully express yourself then spend the next half hour criticizing what they think you were going to say. I won't paint all talk-masters with the same wide brush. There are some that air both sides of an argument, but most let it happen only if the criticism is what they would say themselves. Once again I ran out of space before I got to my main point.