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Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Music: Chris Pérez never saw it coming. “All I ever wanted to do was play guitar,” he told the Current. “I never thought I’d be the subject of an interview... By Enrique Lopetegui 8/28/2013
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Chris Perez, husband of slain Tejana icon Selena, tells of romance, suffering

Chris Perez, husband of slain Tejana icon Selena, tells of romance, suffering

Arts & Culture: In one of the final chapters of his book To Selena, With Love (out March 6), Selena's widower Chris Perez mentions that Abraham Quintanilla, his former father-in-law, once... By Enrique Lopetegui 3/7/2012
A Look Back at SA\'s Homebrew History

A Look Back at SA's Homebrew History

The Beer Issue: Homebrewing is a foundational American virtue. Not just Sam Adams smiling back from the bottle that bears his name—virtually all the... By Lance Higdon 10/15/2014
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Texas Book Festival — San Antonio Edition

Interview with Glenn Frankel

Photo: Courtesy photo, License: N/A

Courtesy photo


As I watched the John Ford films, and the way Indians are depicted in his films over time, I began to wonder what Ford’s feelings were about Native Americans, and our relationship and legacy with them. Then I read in your book about how he was presented with a sacred deerskin by the Navajo on the set of The Searchers, and he considered that to be a higher honor than even winning his four Oscars, and that was really telling, I think.

Yeah, I agree, and he really meant it. I talked to Harry Carey, Jr., who was a supporting actor in the movie, and I said, “Did this mean a lot to Ford?” and he said “Oh yeah, this was real.” Ford was really smitten by this. He treated the Navajo in Monument Valley, where he shot these films, very paternalistically. He made sure they got paid, and they got fed. They were happy to have him come out there, because it meant work, of course, but it was very much a paternalistic relationship, of almost the Great White Father handing gifts to his native subjects. Ford was a man of his time. It’s pointless to say that there wasn’t some racism involved, that there wasn’t paternalism. That’s just the way that people were. But he had this beautiful way of being able to sort of give you that, and at the same time, he knew there was more to it. He killed a lot of Native Americans in his Westerns. They’re not treated so well in The Searchers. The Comanche are largely killers and rapists, for that matter. Eventually he makes his final Monument Valley western, Cheyenne Autumn, which is much more of a mea culpa if you will. It’s much more told form the Native American point of view, and it’s fascinating to see. I would not put The Searchers in that category. The Searchers is much rougher on Native Americans. Ford both appreciated who they were, he had a great respect and admiration for the Navajo who worked with him...at the same time, he used Indians as the sort of evil ‘other’ at times, in order to fit the stories that he was telling.

Finally, I think that it’s pretty amazing that this horrible event happened in 1836, and as you write in the book, just before The Searchers was written as a novel and released as a film, after all these years of history had gone by, there was a meeting between the Parker families and the Comanche descendants of Cynthia Ann’s son, Quanah Parker. Now over the years, they’ve come to where they have family reunions, and they even attend each other’s family events as your write in the book. That’s really pretty amazing.

It’s a great American story. Early on I got to go to one of the Comanche family reunions in 2008, and they were so generous and welcoming, and they held pow-wows, they did various things at a place called the Star House, which was Quanah Parker’s home, and is still standing in Cash, Okla. Right away you could see form their point of view how much they venerated their ancestors, both Quanah and Cynthia Ann. And then they go to the Texas reunion a couple of weeks later, and you’re right, there were emissaries back and forth. They trade a silver bowl every year... They share these ancestors, and they share this story, and they tell it slightly differently, but nonetheless they know that this is what grounds them and their family in American history. I’ve gone back three times to reunions since then. It really becomes a contemporary event with meaning to this day, because how was America built after all? Out of this terrible war, out of these terrible struggles, and yet today we are one nation. We have a president who comes from two different backgrounds in the same way the Parkers have one foot in the Comanche world and one foot in the Texan or the white world. That kind of blend is what America is all about, and I find it to be very resonant about who we are, and how we got here.

Texas Book Festival — San Antonio Edition
  • The Texas Book Festival starts a chapter in San Antonio San Antonio sometimes gets knocked for not being literary, or even literate, enough for such a big city with such grand “creative class” ambitions. | 4/10/2013
  • Interview with Char Miller At War Over the Environment: Two Experts on the Politics of Parks and the Natural World with George Bristol and Char Miller | 4/10/2013
  • Interview with Lawrence Wright In his newest book, Going Clear, Austin-based journalist Lawrence Wright profiles Scientology, a new American religion that, while ubiquitous among the... | 4/10/2013
  • Interview with Glenn Frankel You know what they say, writing about filming is like painting about mixology, or something. By many accounts Pulitzer prize-winning Glenn Frankel has reversed... | 4/10/2013
  • Interview with Hipolito Acosta The Shadow Catcher: A U.S. Agent Infiltrates Mexico’s Deadly Crime Cartels | 4/10/2013
  • Interview with Ricardo Ainslie Ricardo Ainslie frequented Juárez during its most violent years, as war between the Sinaloa and Juárez cartels raged and soaked the city in blood. | 4/10/2013
  • Interview with Laurie Ann Guerrero Laurie Ann Guerrero’s collection Tongue in the Mouth of the Dying won the 2012 Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize and was published February 15 by University of... | 4/10/2013
  • Interview with Nan Cuba You Can’t Go Home Again: Fiction about Family Secrets with Nan Cuba and Andrew Porter | 4/10/2013
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