Land Often Wrongfully Gained

Tony Abdo aabdo at
Sun Aug 13 01:41:36 MDT 2000

Norm wrote...
very interesting history. since i'm ignorant of Tex-Mex economic
history, can you cite sources for becoming educated on the subject?
Norm, I got to admit that I'm no expert on this subject.      Not at

The way I first came across this history of the Balli family's struggle,
was via my Mexican father-in-law.     He wanted me to know that I was
accepted into the family though I was Anglo, but that it was an equal
relationship.      He also wanted me to know that he was a self educated
man, despite his rough youth, since he had been in prison.

So he told me about how Mexicans had once owned Padre Island, which lies
off the Texas coast south of Corpus Christi to Brownsville.      And I

Later, I was to discover that The Balli family story was a story well
known amongst the Mexican families in the Rio Grande Valley and across
the river in Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon.      All the older folk saw the
Ballis as representing their own struggle.       Almost all had lost
contact with their own families historical claims in South Texas, but
they all knew how the Balli family had been robbed of what was now,
prime real estate loaded with resort hotels and condominiums.

The literature is very scattered and mixed in quality about South Texas
history.      And it is not readily available.       Much of it was
written with a dry academic slant.     Now, there has been a kind of
mini explosion of literature about the US/ Mexico Border.      You might
want to check out a new book (1999) by John Annerino, called 'Dead in
Their Tracks'.    But it is about undocumented Border crossing in the
desert, not across The River.

As about more specifics to the Texas situation.      Roughly, one can
draw a line from Dallas-Fort Worth to Monterrrey-Saltillo.       Make a
triangle at the north, adding in Houston, and you have a regioal economy
being constructed, even as it was in the past.

Originally, San Antonio was THE Mexican city in Texas.     Now, it stays
that way as a Tex-Mex capital, but is not exploding with new immigrants
from Mexico, as Dallas and Houston recently have.      San Antonio grows
with Mexican-Americans of multiple generations arriving from South Texas
towns.     Houston and Dallas are exploding forward with imigrants
arriving from Mexico itself.

Of note, is that San Antonio is kind of a mni, and unknown Nashvilelita,
of Tex-Mex music.      As such, it has attracted even Colombian musical
groups who are trying to make it in the US.    Apodaca, a suburb of
Monterrey is a mini musical capital of Mexican ranchera, and other
styles also.     So there is a flow of artistic talent that moves
between Central Texas (Austin, too) and Monterrey.

The historical interflow between Monterrey and San Antonio has waned, as
the business flow (and worker flow) is more towards Houston and Dallas,
instead.     Numbers?     I believe that both Dallas and Houston are
about 1/4 Hispanic population now,  in the Metro areas.       San
Antonio is about 55%, but more from second, third, and fourth generation
US residents.

Eric, do you have any suggestions on good literature to read on this
subject?      Maybe others on the list are more well read on this topic?
Otherwise, just try the Big Three of Books to point out possibilities
for sources of info.


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