Friday, December 09, 2022

Stories of the Center of Mexicaliq

There are many love stories on the Baja California border, but there are also some that have gone on over the years. The Historical Archive of Mexicali contains the marriage certificate of Rodolfo Valentino, an Argentine actor who lived in Hollywood in the 1920s and who came to the dusty town of Mexicali to marry Natasa Rambova, while on vacation in Palm Spring. had decided to take California decided in May 1922 that his friend and Natasa would accompany him to Mexicali, where they had met in 1921 while they were filming scenes for “The Sheik” in the desert of Yuma, Arizona, Valentino and the film crew of Mexicali. had gone. to refresh.

It should be remembered that in the United States the Volstead Law, known as Prohibition, came into force in January 1920 and remained in force until 1933, certainly favoring the border towns of Mexico and Canada where Americans drink, Went to play and enjoy prostitutes.

Thus Rodolfo Valentino arrived in Mexicali on May 12, 1922, to marry Nathasa Rambova. The story goes that the ceremony was held in a house on Calle Lerdo #544, which belonged to Otto Möller, who was the chairman of the municipality and served as an honor witness to the event that gave Mexicali a map of the world. But, it was nothing. And nothing less than the wedding of the fashionable Latin lover of silent films.

The drought law of the 20s also caused musicians to immigrate to Mexicali, legends like Jack B. Tenney fell in love with women working in bars and casinos, and parishioners attending from the United States sought their caress. offered..

Imagine a 1921 bar in Mexicali, made of wood, parquet floors, a bar, lithographs of Mexicali beer, a piano at the end. “El Nuevo Tecolote” bar, piano played by Jack Tenney. At the time he left “El Nuevo Tecolote” and went to work in “Cabaret Imperial” or “Cantina Imperial”, it was there where he wrote a great melody that Teni was first baptized as El Valls, but It was later renamed “Mexicali Rose”.

Historical versions indicate that this pianist fell in love with the city that trapped the sun, composing “Mexicali Rose”, dedicated to a young woman working in a local bar. Some authors confirm that the young woman was called Rose Erskine, other versions do not mention the name of this young woman who fascinated the musician, but say that she was Mexican from Sinaloa.

Jack Tenney composed the songs for Mexicali Rose, but credited them to Helen Stone. The truth is that the musician composed a piece of music that has been performed by the most iconic bands and singers such as Bing Crosby, Gene Autry and Jerry Lee Lewis, or versions by Billy Vaughn. By the way, Jaime Rafael Ochoa, who was mayor of Mexicali when he was 100, had a CD of “Mexicali Rose” recorded with the work of Jacques Tenney, recordings by different musicians at different times. was done.

The fact is that the current historical center of Mexicali, promoted by Marina del Pilar vila Olmeida since she was mayor of this capital and today as governor, one of the main activities is bars, casinos, cabaret, beer and wine, prostitution and The game was , Tijuana is no stranger to these activities. Next week I will write about the nightlife and prostitution in Mexicali, Altagracia Tamayo, president of Cobina and administrator of a shelter for migrants in the center of Mexicali.

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