Heritage, Volume 5, Number 3, Autumn 1987 Page: 30
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beyond the Cadillac Bar and the dog
tracks in Nuevo Laredo, and to get a
little better understanding of a very
volatile region. Weisman and Dusard's
La Frontera is a personal document of
the border, where narrative and photographic
images work together to capture
slices of life. They present a series of
encounters with border people, from
drug runners in Ojinaga to border patrol
agents in Rio Grande City, Texas;
from vaqueros in Sonora to miners in
Coahuila; and from a group of conceptual
artists in Tijuana to a velvet painting
dealer in Juarez. They spent a year
traveling along the border, and established
rapport with an impressive
variety of people. They worked with the
mayor of Juarez; talked with curanderas
as well as medical doctors; and portrayed
the concerns of environmentalists
and industrialists and pobres Mexicanos
each from their own points of view. The
book is a tribute to the empathy and
compassion of the authors, and their
ability to draw out these personal testimonies.
While Weisman's text stands on its
own as a capable narrative of lifehistories,
Dusard's photos add a documentary
quality to the book. They work
well with the text, complementing the
descriptions, and they make the encounters
concrete...real. The text, in turn, is
an amplification of the photos, and is
imagistic, specific. The book is not a
deep analysis or social study. It
realizes its limits, and offers few
syntheses that don't come from the
Dusard's photos, on their own, aren't
unique or compelling. They work as supplements,
but don't command attention
on their own. Dusard's subjects stare
awkwardly at the camera, rather than
openly toward the photographer. Poses
are stiff, and composition is flat and
prosaic. Dusard lacks a fresh vision of
landscape, but he gives us competent
documents, and occasionally something
extraordinary. The cover shot, of the
wasteland betwen Tijuana and southern
California, is a Kafkaesque vision of the
no-man's land between the two cultures,
tracks leading off helter-skelter, indocumentados
waiting listlessly beside the
The book works best when Weisman
sticks to the personal. When he
strays into commentary, history,
archaeology, he often writes beyond his
knowledge. He disregards accuracy of
detail for the flourish of his generalizations.
Even so, it's an entertaining read,
full of good anecdotes, and what it
lacks in breadth of analysis it more than
makes up with its depth of empathy and
its variety of portraits.
Review by John Peterson
Ancient Texans: Rock Art and
Lifeways Along the Lower
Ancient Texans: Rock Art and Lifeways
Along the Lower Pecos. By Harry J.
Shafer; photographs by Jim Zintgraff;
Texas Monthly Press; $35.00
Long before anyone stuck a line
between Texas and Mexico, back in the
prehistoric dreamtime of the border
lands, the area around the lower Pecos
and the Rio Grande was the center of a
thrifty lifeway that has been preserved
in the rockshelters and arid landscape
of the region. Fibre sandals and matting,
mummified burials, twine neck
December 5 & 6, 1987
Saturday, 10 am to 10 pm
Sunday, 10 am to 8 pm
_ For one special
weekend each year,
you can step back
in time, back to the
days of horse-drawn
carriages and hot
wassail, to the land
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for a magical pre-Christmas
Dickens on the Strand is jugglers,
mimes, magicians, singers, dancers,
musicians, and merriment at every
turn. It's a festive, fun and
Images of Christmas past are
brought magically to life on
Galveston's gaslit Strand.
Costumed vendors line the streets
to hawk their wares and treasures
fill the festive shops and carts
along the historic Strand.
There's sumptuous food for every
taste, from plum pudding and hot
roasted chestnuts to funnel cakes
and tea time treats.
The spirit of Dickens
beckons with special
Packages at n '
Call now for
or (713) 488-5942.
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markers for indoor-outdoor use.
7" x 10" .. ........ . $90.00
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* Bronze - raised oval letters with
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Or send for FREE BROCHURE:
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90 W. Montgomery Avenue
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Discounts for historical societies.
Other styles and dimensions
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Please allow 6 to 8 weeks for delivery
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 5, Number 3, Autumn 1987, periodical, Autumn 1987; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45439/m1/30/: accessed April 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.