JANUARY 1961

REDONDELES DE MEXICO

"BORDER INCIDENT" 
San Luis, R.C. 

by George E. Geisler 
January 1961

27 November

 

Matadores Jaime Bravo, Jose Ramone Tirado, Jose Gomez. The crowd was sparse, about 300 - 350 persons, possibly because of threatening weather reports. The sky, however, was clear but weather was windy and quite cold. Bulls were of Presillas, generally small and manso. The paseo started a full half hour late, and the corrida proper can be dismissed. it seemed that none of the matadores were interested in risking a cornada before so small a crowd, and with such unworthy bulls. The real excitement developed on the last bull, that of Jose Gomez. Gomez allowed the novice torrero, Walter de la Brosse "El Guerro" to perform a few lances with this bull, to the grudging admiration of the crowd. When the oles started, Gomez interrupted and waved de la Brosse out of the ring. This immediately triggered much protest from the small but vocal porra, who set up a chant of "Gue-RO!" which persisted and grew all during the succeeding tercios.

It seemed that at first, the chanters wanted to see the fair-haired one get himself tossed. Then it became obvious that they were berating young Gomez for slighting the Americano. When this became apparent, El Guerro made himself as inconspicuous as possible in the callejon, but to no avail. he was visibly embarrassed at thus having distracted the crowd from Gomez' faena, which was his best of the day. After the drag-out, the chant was resumed with greater vigor. The porra demanded that the Norteamericano be given a go. Since de la Brosse was unannounced on the cartel, the spectators just naturally adopted "Guero" (Whitey) for their adopted one.

The chanting persisted for a full fifteen minutes after the corrida ended. Finally, after a montera was passed in and out of several boxes and the barrera seats (the well-known aficionado Dr. Gustavo Arevalo of Mexicali started this), and after much dashing back and forth in the callejon a calf was sent out for the young novice. Since the peones had departed, several aficionados in the seats handled the capes for de la Brosse. Jaime Bravo demonstrated real finesse as he removed his jacket and coached Guero in the terrains, all the while avoiding giving any hint of patronizing or condescension.

The capea delighted the porra, as the calf proved to be more than willing, and El Guerro acquitted himself quite well. One of the calf's donors, a portly Mexican of 40 plus delighted and amused with a series of well-executed chicuelinas, executed in street clothes. The capote, draped across the expanse of this peon's bay window made an inviting target for the stubby horns.

After the calf was returned to the corral, the crowd departed into the gathering dark of the Rio Colorado Delta mostly, it is hoped, with a feeling of warmness for his neighbor across the border. Once again the Mexico good humor had prevailed.