Tuesday, January 28, 2014

...And Honoring a Legend

Kate and I accompanied cousin Raina and her husband to a special event at the American Legion Post, Number 41, but we took a short detour to an historic site near the Post in Phoenix.

This is the Duppa Homestead.
Darrell Duppa explored Arizona four years before coming here with Jack Swilling's party, pioneers whose irrigation canal first opened the Salt River Valley to farming in 1868.

A well-traveled Englishman and a scholar of the classics, "Lord Duppa," as he was commonly known, was the most scholarly man in the Territory of Arizona. He was a linguist and could read readily the ancient classics in the original, besides several of the modern languages.
Born in England in 1832, he left England in his teens, going first to Paris, where he graduated from one of the highest institutions of learning. From Paris he went to Madrid, Spain, and from Spain he took ship on a sailing vessel for Valparaiso, South America, but nearing that port a fearful storm struck the vessel, which was wrecked and every soul aboard drowned but Duppa. After his miraculous escape from drowning, Duppa wandered over the greater part of South America. Leaving South America he went to New Zealand, and after a time to Australia, then to California, and, finally, to Arizona in the 1860s.
Lord Duppa is credited with naming Phoenix and Tempe. Phoenix was founded in 1868, and the name proposed by Duppa related back to the story of the mythical Phoenix's rebirth from the ashes. The basis being the rebirth of a city of canals, rebuilt on the site of the ancient Hohokam canal systems that dated back to about 700-1400 AD.
In 1871, he homesteaded 160 acres of this land, qualifying for one of the first ten land grants in the territory. This adobe, built after Duppa sold the land, is restored with cottonwood-branch, mud-roofed construction typical of the earliest houses in Phoenix.
Unfortunately, we were not able to see the interior of this interesting homestead.

It was a short walk to the Legion Post where a dance was being held to benefit The Chapito Documentary, a documentary film directed by Paige Martinez recognizing Arizona musician and band leader Chapito Chavarria whose music united Arizona Latinos for over 60 years.
Raphael "Chapito" Chavarria (Chapito is Spanish for "Shorty") began playing with family and friends in the 20's and 30's. Like many young men ended up in the military serving in the South Pacific. Post World War II, Phoenix saw the growth of the valley's Mexican-American population. This was when Chapito's career took off playing at clubs like the Calderon and the Riverside Ballroom in South Phoenix. The men would wear their suits & ties and the women would dress up in their fine jewelry and gowns. They would be ready for a night of ballroom dancing.
Chapito Chavarria's Tropicana style songs were precursors to the Mambo, Cha-Cha-Cha and the Bolero in the valley during the 40's and 50's. Chavarria provided cultural cohesiveness for Hispanics in Arizona at a time when many establishments openly discriminated against them. He was a Rock star in the valley's Latin community. So much so that couples would plan their weddings around his availability. They didn't want to get married without having his band at their reception.

Chapito's band was the first to bring the green dance (Dollar dance) to the wedding reception. The Bride & Groom would dance with the guests. Men with the Bride and women with the Groom. You could give any amount of cash, but it was usually a dollar. The men would pin the money on the Bride's gown and the women on the Groom's tuxedo. The band would play Boleros until they felt they had enough money for a wedding gift.
At age 99 he is spry, but not nimble. and still has a great sense of humor. At the concert he leaned over to Jesse and said "I still owe you a case of beer!" Jesse's father is Chapito's uncle, so this was a special day for Jesse as well as Chapito.
Jesse (left) and Chapito

Paige Martinez is a film maker here in the valley who has dedicated her time and effort to bring this story to life about Chavarria, who has made such a difference in the Mexican-American culture.
Paige Martinez (right) talking with one of the women at the dance

Raina, Chapito, and Jesse

The dance, with music provided by an orchestra of Arizona’s finest musicians, was a joyous celebration in honor of a man who had a great influence on the music of his culture and on the valuing of the Mexican-American culture.

And the icing on the cake, so to speak, came when Jesse and Raina won one of the raffle prizes.
The happy winners


eyad ammar said...

شركة تنظيف بالطائف شركة الهدي افضل شركة نقل عفش بالطائف كذلك هى افضل شركة رش مبيدات بالطائف
شركه الهدى
شركة رش بالطائف
خدمات الطائف
شركة تنظيف بالطائف
شركة تنظيف فلل بالطائف
نظافه عامه بالطائف
شركة تنظيف منازل بالطائف

eyad ammar said...

شركة تنظيف شقق بالطائف
نقل عفش بالطائف
بالطائف شفط بيارات
تسليك مجارى بالطائف
تنظيف خزنات بالطائف
رش مبيدات بالطائف
نقل عفش بخميس مشيط
شركة عزل اسطح بالطائف

eyad ammar said...

ان اردت نقل عفش منزلك بالدمام ابيات الشرقية من اهم شركات نقل العفش بالدمام والخبر والجبيل والقطيف والاحساء
شركة المتحدة
شركة نقل عفش بنجران
شركة نقل عفش بخميس مشيط
شركة نقل عفش بالطائف
شركة نقل عفش بمكة
شركة نقل عفش بينبع
شركة نقل عفش بابها

eyad ammar said...

شركة نقل عفش بالرياض
شركة نقل عفش بجدة
شركة نقل عفش بالدمام
شركة نقل عفش بالمدينة المنورة
شركة نقل عفش ببريدة
شركة نقل عفش بالقصيم
شركة نقل عفش بتبوك