Thursday, September 19, 2013

Before Manos

 Everybody has their stuff..  This isn't about "look at my stuff, it's worse/better/more interesting  than yours".  And you may already be asking...What has this got to do with Manos?  In my life, it all has an anchor in Manos.  Bear with me as I take you there with the expectation that something here may resonate in a meaningful way in your life.  Your journey of my words may be as linear or random as I myself am as I transgress this world.  The Manos story.  Past, present and future of Manos is and will be here as you choose to discover it.

When I was born in  Fort Worth, Texas in 1959, my father loved me very much.  My parents both went to Texas Christian University and my dad was a young Christian minister.   When my parents brought me home after birth, mom left me with dad and went to the University library to study.  Her education was paramount.  She loved me, I know, and she did all the proper things to raise me to be healthy but she wasn't the emotionally nurturing type.  Dad was.  He took the time to show me the magic of the world and when he tucked me in at night, would sing a little song that I still know.  He was my whole world and when I was 3, he disappeared for what seemed like forever.  Mom cried and told me he had left us.  When I was 4, he sent for us and we moved to El Paso. Mom became a teacher at Ben Milam school on Fort Bliss and dad became Director of the South El Paso Boys Club.  We bought a 100 year old adobe house just three miles from the Rio Grande River and Juarez Mexico.  You could see the border from our porch.  At night, the Rio Grande was a dark ribbon that separated the soft yellow lights of Juarez from the brighter white lights of El Paso. We lived in a neighborhood where no one looked or acted like my family.  We were a different color and my parents were progressive, artistic, bohemian types.  I was an oddity from the start.  I spent my entire childhood trying to figure out why no one liked me and I re invented myself regularly. I understand discrimination.  My happiest times were hanging out watching my dad paint, sculpt and create in his studio with powerful music playing.  My happiest times today are in my studio, creating with powerful music playing.  My soul soars.  I sought out other ways to be with him throughout my childhood, like helping him run lines for a play or just being at the theater during rehearsals and set building.  I was nearly 7 when he asked if I wanted to be the little girl in a movie he was doing.  I didn't hesitate long before realizing the opportunity it provided to having more time with him, so I said "OK".  I have so many sharp memories of the making of and the premiere of  Manos: The Hands of Fate because it was the best summer of my life for family togetherness.  It all truly fell apart after that.
Jackey Raye and Tom Neyman
April 1964