al martinez

Fire in the Wind, Heroes in the City

Posted on 05/8/2013 by | Latino Life | Comments

Your LifeIt is raining this morning, May 6, over greater Los Angeles. It began tapping at our rooftop shortly after midnight and was still coming down as night blossomed into a gray and gloomy day. I felt like cheering. The rain, with its accompanying low temperatures and high humidity, meant that a fire that had burned through almost 30,000 acres of brush and timber in the mountains 40 miles west of the city had been beaten. We had come through another …

Time to Transubstantiate?

Posted on 04/23/2013 by | Latino Life | Comments

Your LifeIt’s not enough that Latinos are primed to “take over” California,  the United States and America’s institutions of higher learning by the sheer growth of their numbers, now they’re threatening to take over evangelical Protestant churches. Sort of. My earlier blogs have noted that Hispanics have become the largest ethnic minority group in the nation and that by next year, we will outnumber California’s Anglo population for the first time in history. Well, add to that a report by the …

Ruben Salazar in Art and Reality

Posted on 04/10/2013 by | Latino Life | Comments

Your LifeI never intended a visit to the Museum of Latin American Art to revive memories of an old friend whose stature as an icon of courage began rising the moment his life was ending. In fact, the gallery in Long Beach was filled with far more compelling work than the simple portrait of Ruben Salazar by the noted Mexican muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros. But only Salazar’s image managed to stop me in my tracks. It was personal. He was a …

When it’s All in the Family

Posted on 04/4/2013 by | Latino Life | Comments

Your LifeWe had a family gathering last Sunday to observe the advent of spring, the second anniversary of our daughter’s death, and the 65th anniversary of my first date with Cinelli. We greeted them all with noise and laughter. It didn’t feel like spring. It was raining on our town in the Santa Monica Mountains and the sky was as gray as steel . But the peach trees in our yard had blossomed into shades of white and strawberry pink and …

Days of Laughter, Days of Grief

Posted on 03/27/2013 by | Latino Life | Comments

Your LifeA lifelong friend received the worst kind of news not long ago when he was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer and given a matter of a few months to live. It had spread to his liver and lungs, and because of its total involvement with his liver it was considered inoperable. They gave him chemo and test trials of various possible cures but nothing worked.  The “Big C,” as he put it, could not be stopped. “I am being …

Magic and Struggle in Ultima’s World

Posted on 03/19/2013 by | Latino Life | Comments

Your LifeIt isn’t the best movie ever made and it wasn’t the best book ever written, but there is something about “Bless Me, Ultima” that makes the story of a boy’s journey through the magical time of his youth a rich and compelling tale. Underlying the dark and spiritual nature of this odyssey of the soul dwell the conflicting realities of good and evil, told against the somber background  that characterized the era of little Antonio Marez y Luna and the …