Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Man

Today we feature a photograph of the Man himself, Mr. Pancho Villa. It was taken around 1910. I hope you all will indulge me a little longer, as I would like to spend a little more time on these "bandit" type pictures. I have found that I have become fascinated with them. I sit around listening to old Freddy Fender music, looking at pictures of bandits, and dreaming of Old Mexico. I am in search of the quintessential bandit picture. What I like about this picture of Mr. Villa is he is wearing two bullet belts . . . one over each shoulder, in proper bandit fashion. The hat is properly tilted back, but I would have liked it to have a little bit larger brim. Also his clothes are a little too neat for me. The biggest drawback in this photograph is that he does not have any weaponry showing. I have the perfect picture of a bandit in my mind, but have not been able to find that perfect picture.

[WARNING: Politeness policy expired last night at midnight. Viewer discretion is advised]

Wow, I had a lot of fun yesterday with the contest. I must say it was the best contest ever. When I posted it, I thought that it would not be that hard. About two minutes after I posted it, the evil Nate Maas put in his first entry, and it was very close. He guessed Mrs. Pershing, when it was in fact Mrs. Villa. Pershing and Villa were the leaders of the two different sides. My heart sank, and I knew he was on the right track, and was anticipating that he would put a quick end to the contest in the next two minutes. I had even started queuing up a second contest. Then Nate, the bumbling idiot that he is, got off on all this touchy feely stuff about manners and Mother's Day. At first I had thought that he had gotten up early for the contest, but then realized he had probably just gotten home from a night of debauchery and lasciviousness.

Once Nate got off on the politeness angle, like mindless lemmings, most of the rest of you followed "The Great Nate Maas" right over the edge of the cliff. I was just sitting their chuckling my evil laugh watching Nate squirm.

By about lunch time I was pretty sure I was going to win. No one was getting even remotely close. Plus, my plan to distract you with details of domestic unpleasantness was working like a charm. Then along comes Ross from Maine. I note that Ross has won several contests in the past, and I am now concluding, like Nate, he is just trying to make a mockery of the contest, and humiliate and embarrass me. I think there is little doubt that he is working in concert with Nate to destroy me.

Oh yes, somewhere along the way Nate mentioned that he had seen "somewhere" on the Internet a grainy picture of Mr. and Mrs. Villa. The only place on the Internet that I am aware of that the picture is up is on the Wikipedia. Please, tell me no, Mr Mass . . . you are not using the Wikipedia as a primary source!?! Tell me it is not so. No wonder our public education system is in such a mess.
Next week will be different . . . oh yes, it will be different. I will destroy the evil alliance between Nate and Ross. I will defeat them. I will defeat you all.


  1. Thought this might be of interest.
    Pershing stomping bandits. aa/pershing/aa_pershi...

    Once again, Great game yesterday.

  2. Wrong link. Sorry about that.
    Hope this one works.

  3. I've following your pictures and comments for some time now and I must tell you how much I enjoy your wit as well as the contestants. Very funny! Carol (Canada)

  4. I am happy to inform you all that Mr. PJM took the flags down last night, as instructed, and made a nice Mother's Day breakfast. 21 years of training have not been in vain.
    Mrs. PJM

  5. It was a good contest yesterday, but at 8:50 I guessed the wife of Benito Juarez who was the (one of many)president of mexico who essentially funded Santa Anna for the war with the US. So close yet so far.

    I assume your Mother's Day went well since you are able to put up this picture. Pancho was one bad mexican. I had an uncle in Sierra Blanca who, in 1959, introded me to a very old rancher whose father had told stories of Pancho's reign of terror along the border. The old family home had a 4 foot wall around it for protection against the comanches and Pancho's army.

    The tales were a bit fuzzy due to age, but fascinating to hear from someone who actually lived it.

  6. I know a guy, friend of my parents, that looks exactly like Villa. Except the bullet belts and hat.

    The other exception is that instead of him terrifying the others, usually he is the terrified one. Biggest and funniest was when he bought a house and inherited a goat together with it. Next thing, in 1 week the whole family got Scabies.

    Not to mention that all the cats and dogs of the other friends use his shoes as toilet whenever they can.

  7. Happy Mother's Day, Mrs. PJM! Thank you for loaning your husband to inspire, educate, and entertain us.

    PJM, Thank you for this week's posts. I have truly enjoyed learning more about Mexico and it's history through the pics, your commentary, and the observations of your followers. I will never be able to go to Mexico (health reasons) and my heritage is European; so, I haven't had much opportunity to explore this venue of enlightenment.

    Thank you also, PJM, for your good nature. Hope you know all my ribbing yesterday was in absolute jest. Your intent of distraction became evident to me early on, but my research into every "Mother of..." was failing, so I entertained myself with your ploy. However, my appreciation for my blessings was highlighted to me as I responded to your foil. Ultimately, YOU increased the enjoyment of MY Mother's Day as I remembered just how fortunate I am. Clearly, Mrs. PJM is lucky, too.

    Thanks again, oh witty one.

    ps. I will keep my future comments to less than five lines. ;o)

  8. pps. Happy Mother's Day to PJM's mother, as well! She certainly is beautiful!!! ...and looks no worse for the wear of raising her own little bandit.

  9. Impressive looking character. Too bad I work on Saturdays, would like to play the game.

    Funny how the picture I had of Villa was quite different than actual.

  10. Quintessential bandit photo? Although it's not from the time period, might I suggest the photo of Colombian drug lord, Pablo Escobar, posing as Poncho Villa. (see: ). Seems as though like Villa he had an image to project.

    Other good period photos of Mexican bandits include:
    and Villa's Army on the move

    As I teach in California, I have many Mexicans and kids of Mexicans in my classes. Because of this, I often spend a little longer talking about America's interaction with Mexico. One of my favorite anecdotes about Poncho Villa is that at his death he was still very concerned with his image. His last words were, "Don't let it end like this. Tell them I said something."

    Regarding the contest, jolly good fun, PJM! Although the change in personality was rather unnerving. I almost thought it might be a coded plea for us to call law enforcement (perhaps he was being held hostage and we should know something like an encouraging nemesis is really code for "call 911).

    And yes, your sudden change in personality threw me, much the same your Thursday surprise contest threw me earlier.

    At first I knew it had to be the wife of someone involved with the Mexican Revolution. Outfit seemed to be sometime between 1890s and 1910s. She seemed too young to be a mother of a famous person, I was figuring wife. I did a quick search for John Pershing's wife and found this photo which I thought might have been our Mystery Person:

    I was dismayed when it wasn't her, so I did a quick Internet search for Pancho Villa's wife and couldn't figure out if he really had any legitimate marriages or which ones weren't valid at what time. It appears as though he married (or at least the women thought he did): Petra Espinoza, Maria Luz Corral, Juana Torres, Soledad Seanez, and Austreberta Renterta (etc., etc...). I started doing quick searches and unfortunately passed up Luz Corral because she had no surviving children and you were by then on a Mother's Day kick. Interesting note that the Mexican legislature in 1946 officially recognized Soledad Seanez Holguin as Villa's real wife. Other wives of Villa looked more like this:

    The politeness also through me. Like other's I did my stint looking for early images of Emily Post and the like. I was not happy when I noticed that talk at moved to Fireproof and tractors. My fear was that PJM would vanquish us. ¡Viva Ross de Maine!

    Finally regarding pictures of Maria Luz Corral, obviously once you know who she is, it's easy to see her in other photos, but from the image that was posted it was hard to determine who she was. Other photos of the same woman on the Internet (not on Wikipedia - although I do like Wikipedia, just not for my doctoral work):

    Happy Mother's Day to Mrs. PJM! Glad the Flag Conflict Ocho of Mayo has been peacefully resolved.

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  12. Hmm... links didn't all come through perfect. I'll post the links again.

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  16. 2nd bandit link, second attempt:

  17. Villa's Army on the Move:

  18. Pershing's wife:

  19. Photos of Luz Corral (not on Wikipedia):






  25. Once again, the same mistake from the MB in English; It should read "sitting there", not "sitting their". "Their" is a posessive adjective and is never correctly used to refer to location. "There" refers to location or situation, whether specific or abstract.

    "Once Nate got off on the politeness angle, like mindless lemmings, most of the rest of you followed 'The Great Nate Maas' right over the edge of the cliff. I was just sitting their chuckling my evil laugh watching Nate squirm."

    I absolutely love your blog; I check it each and every day. I do not wish to offend by pointing out your boo-boos, but I just cannot sit by and do nothing while the English language is blatantly mis-used. Worse yet, no one has ever commented on your fax paus. It was time to stand up and say something.

    If it is any consolation, I have done so many, many times on other websites. I like your blog so much that I have put it off for many months. It is amazing to me that we find poor grammar, incorrect useage and juvenile sentence structure and concepts on even the most professional sites. Even literary sites are not immune. We live in a sad day where mediocrity is accepted as the standard. In most cases the culprits are young, and obviously poorly taught. It bodes ill for the future of our language.

    We are both from the same generation, and I know you are a man of good calibur. For this reason I am sure you will not take offense at this message, but will instead edit your work more accurately before posting. I will, of course, gladly accept any criticism you may send my way; there are certainly errors in my post that can be pointed out.

  26. But of course, you probably made the same mistake on purpose to see if I was still checking in.

  27. This is the way to always remember how to correctly use 'there' and 'their'. Now listen up!
    "Their" is posessive and is never correctly used to refer to location. it has an 'I' in it, that means it is a person. "There" refers to a location . it contains the word 'here' so this is a place, not a person. Another terrible mistake, probably the worst is the use of 'me' or 'I'. 'Joe and me are going to town', leave Joe out and see how it sounds. (me is going to town). Or, 'thank you for the card you sent Joe and I' Wrong wrong wrong! Leave Joe out and it sounds stupid.(thank you for the card you sent I) I learned this in 4th grade and when I hear these words misused, I know Miss Preston is turning over in her grave.

  28. George:

    Once again, you have made an error in your most recent tirade on proper grammar and useage. The correct term is CALIBER, not CALIBUR.

    I am not the author of this blog, but I do have an MA in English along with other academic degrees.

    Although I wholeheartedly agree with you concerning the dreadful misuse of spelling, grammar, and vocabulary in our society today; I really do not think that this blog is the proper forum for airing those concerns.

    I am probably about the same age as (or slightly older than) both you and PJM, and most of our spelling/grammar errors are the result of typing too fast or from incorrect "spell check" replacements.

    Of course, that excuse does NOT apply to the students being graduated from public schools today. That's why I sent my daughter to a private school, where she learned to diagram sentences in the third grade.

    I strong suggest that you sign up to teach a grammar and writing course at your local community college, which would be a significantly better and more productive way to vent your frustrations.

    I'm sure your contributions would be be welcome.

  29. George,
    Corrections noted. Please be aware that I am severely dislexic. When I was a child, I could not read until I was about 10 or 11 years old. Reading is still difficult for me, and in reading a book, I have to use a pencil to point at each word, or my eyes jump all over the page. This has made writing very difficult for me. I was very good in math, but struggled immensely in English and Grammar. In my first professional job, I had a very good secretary who was able to "fix" anything I wrote before it went out. I was good enough in Math, Analysis, Strategic Thinking that I moved up the corporate ladder. As this happened, I was always able to have people work with me to make my grammar/spelling/sentences good. As far as the blog goes . . . I have a full time job, and have several businesses that I manage. I enjoy old photographs, so each morning spend about 5-10 minutes creating the blog post. I never advertised, marketed, or invited people to read it . . . I just put it up as a hobby. I simply do not have the skill or time to make the posts perfect. In effect, you get what you pay for. The site is simply my form of relaxation in the morning, and is not intended to be anything other than that. Each of us has certain skills, and certain weaknesses. Telling me to write better is like telling a blind person to see better.

  30. George,

    Okay, as soon as the topic turned to grammar, I had to jump in. I agree with SmartGirl 1953.

    You are an inspiration! I love the fact that you are dyslexic and are not deterred by this in writing your blog. I say keep up the good work, and don't worry about your grammar mistakes. Like you said, the blog is your hobby.

    This is coming from a teacher whose hobby is grammar and sentence diagramming.

    :) Elizabeth

  31. George:

    Congratulations on your many accomplishments.

    Apparently, you did not read my previous post carefully enough.

    I am not suggesting that you write better, I'm merely suggesting that you should should stop correcting the author's grammar on this blog. The purpose here is to comment on the photos on the blog.

    Instead, why don't you channel your grammar obsession into something more productive, such as teaching a desperately-needed class in same.

  32. Now that everybody slaps George, me has to intervene meself :)

    In French, it is "faux pas", not "fax paus". Or, at least, I've never heard of such an expression. Maybe it is purely American, a language I do not master very well.

  33. Thanks for the free entertainment,history education and laughs.I hope the grammar police don't dampen your natural God given sense of humor.I think it just ads more "spice and flavor" to the gumbo pot.
    It looks like it could be a real shoot-out.
    Where are the Mexican Banditos, when you need them?

  34. Yeah, well, I have a big gun and a big mouth, to boot.

  35. To smartgirl 1953
    Thanks so much for your comments. I do understand that this is not a good venue for my comments. However, I make it a practice to point out errors on sites whenever I find them. I do this because I sincerely believe that our written communication must be effective, concise and accurate. To allow even the smallest deviation to become standard practice invites grammatical catastrophe for future generations. Putting all that aside, however, I do accept the explanation from PJM for the errors. I will slip quietly into the background from whence I came, and trouble the readers no more concerning grammar. And as for my errors; perhaps you noticed that I invited PJM to point them out with each post. Those errors were seeded within the post for a variety of reasons: to see if they would be found, to give PJM a suitable glove with which to metaphorically slap my face and make his comeback, and to avoid becoming the offensive all-knowing bore who thinks himself beyond reproach.
    Frankly, it did not occur to me that others would get involved as well. It has been fun, and while I will no longer make my grammatical contributions, I will continue to visit each and every day. So long for now, and remember; I am here...watching.

  36. My grandfather lied about his age, enlisted in the Army under
    pershing to chase Villa out of the US and ended up getting shot in the butt at 15.

  37. Villa might have crossed into history as a bandit...

    ...however, his troubles began after he remained loyal to his friend Francisco I. Madero and wanted to avenge his dead which was planned and executed by Mexican General Huerta and US Embassador Pete Wilson.

    After that he did not have many friends on either side of the border.


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