Hooking Horns with my Nostalgia for TexasFriday, June 21, 2019
In was almost 20 years ago that I realized something that should be self-evident to most. This is the fact that nostalgia is a longing for a place you are not presently in when you feel it.
And so from my home in Vancouver, I have worked on photographs about my nostalgia for my boyhood and adulthood in Buenos Aires and the same for Mexico City and Mexico.
But of late my nostalgia is for five years that I spent in Austin, Texas that were formative in my teenage years.
While living with my mother in Nueva Rosita, Coahuila (a mining town run by American Smelting and Refining Company) the American-based school finished with the 8th grade. The nearest school was the Catholic boarding school, St. Edward’s High School in Austin.
I was there for five years until 1961. It was there where I had my first girlfriend and had the annoying problem of having to squeeze pimples at night before bed. It was there where I listened to music that would remain indelible in my brain.
It was there where I experienced Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet at the University of Texas all in a nasal and terrible Texan accent.
It was there that I experienced chomping on a Texas-sized steak on a metal plate that was so hot that it splattered grease on my shirt while listening to Bill Black’s Combo.
It was there where we took girls to make out with at the tower of the University of Texas Library Tower before anybody thought of going up there to shoot people below.
It was there where I witnessed my first Cotton Bowl.
A few years ago I went to Austin to visit my old friend and mentor Brother Edwin Reggio, C.S.C. When I deplaned at the Bergstrom Austin Airport I spotted some young women wearing skirts and cowboy boots. I kind of new I was home.
In 1991 I photographed Bonnie in my Vancouver studio. She had an amazing resemblance to Brigitte Bardot. I took many photographs never feeling an ounce of nostalgia for Texas.
That has changed.