Anytime I speak with someone that can recall the late 70's and early 80's in Laredo, the name of Aldo Tatangelo always brings a big, warm smile to their face. He is touted by many as the "chosen one", a golden and heroic figure that "brought Laredo into the twentieth century". His local legacy is that of a hard-working man that helped to modernize Laredo and break up the stronghold of the "Old patron Party". To really understand how backwards Laredo was in the mid 70's, one simple tidbit can suffice. According to Time Magazine and a Wiki Article, up to 75% of Laredo's streets were unpaved, dusty mudroads as recently as the early 80s. Talk about WTF moments! It makes you wonder how the citizens of this city put up with the bullshlitz and shenanigans of Mayor Martin and his poltical croonies.
Hanging out downtown by St. Agustine Cathedral this morning, I spotted the parkway named in Mr. Tatangelo's honor and it made me realize that I do not know much about the history of my fair city, so I decided to do some reading and learn as much about the "Old Patron" party and the events that led to their mayoral defeat in 1978. I began to try and track down a book by Fernando Pinon titled, "Patron Democracy" and I want to also get a video copy of CBS News Reports 30 minute segment by Bill Moyers on the scandal of JC Martin. It is sad but interesting learning so much about the history of my border city. As long as we keep going forward Laredo, progress is just around the corner.