Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Jose Luis Sanchez - Chicano Stories: From the Heart of El Paso and Juarez

I am fortunate to have a father-in-law who not only loves to tell stories, but is equally interested in writing them down. For many years now, Jose Luis Sanchez of El Paso, Texas has been putting pen to paper recording the stories of his youth, family, history, politics and generally musing about anything that grabs his attention. He has a very unique way of presenting the nuances of everyday life in short essays that make for light-hearted and downright fun reading.

His latest work, Chicano Stories: From the Heart of El Paso and Juarez, is a collection of his distinctive essays that are definitely worth checking out. Currently, the book is in digital download form on the self-publishing Web site, Lulu. The web address to the book is:

It’s my understanding there will be a paperback edition of the book coming in the future. Keep checking the Lulu Web site for more details if you prefer a paper version. In the meantime, here is an excerpt from Chicano Stories that describes a performance of the “Passion Play” with a rather unexpected ending. Enjoy!

Jesus loses his cool

I took my youngest son and grandson to witness the yearly passion re-enactment play at the Santa Lucia church grounds when they were about seven years old.

Jesus was played by a young looking fair skinned man and he looked the part, long hair and beard. He was carrying the cross a short way to his make believe crucifixion but the cross was a little on the heavy side so he struggled a bit.

The Roman Centurion played by a hefty dark parishioner followed with his soldier’s uniform and stringy whip which he started to lash on Jesus’ back.

It seemed like the Roman was taking his role too serious and the whip started to annoy Jesus. Jesus started to look back after every lashing trying so say something but the soldier kept up his incessant beating.

Finally Jesus turned and yelled in barrio Spanish; “ya cortale buey”, but the soldier responded “aguanta”, “no te rajes”.

Suddenly, Jesus discarded the cross and proceeded to scuffle with his tormentor. The parish priest jumped into the fracas and looked more like a referee in a boxing match and soon many in the congregation were trying to hold Jesus away from the Roman soldier.

An overweight lady playing the part of Mary Magdalene had the Roman soldier in a fierce headlock.

My kids were on Jesus’ side and wanted to stay and see the fight but I grabbed them and took off for the car then to McDonald’s for a happy meal so they could forget what they had just seen.

Perhaps this is the way history should have ended 2000 years ago.

Jose Luis Sanchez

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