Tag Archives: South Texas

Soto’s impressionistic folk art and homespun stories a must for any Tejano’s library

Manuel Andrés “Andy” Soto has had a lifelong fascination with art. He has also had a deep appreciation for his Tejano roots in South Texas.

SotoBackCoverHe chose his love for art to express to his son his love for his cultural roots as a Tejano son of the soil. Soto was raised in Edroy, Texas and went on to earn a PhD in Coastal Sciences from the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory at the University of Southern Mississippi and is now an Associate Professor of Biological and Health Sciences at Texas A&M University-Kingsville.

This book is about his art, his family, and his culture. Soto uses mainly acrylic paints and pine or cedar planks to create his impressionistic folk art. His subject matter focuses on various aspects of Tejano culture. His inspiration is his childhood growing up in Edroy, which was no more than a colonia. Many colonias are located on the border with Mexico, although they can and are found in many other counties throughout South Texas.

While Soto’s neighborhood may have been lacking in amenities, his home provided a solid foundation. Like most of their neighbors, they did not have financial riches, but their immediate and extended family and neighbors more than made up for the lack of money. They had a roof over their heads, warm clothing, plenty to eat, and most of all a never ending source of love. Soto has returned to his rural roots, although in many ways he had never left them.

SandiaBarataFINALWith the publication of this book, the rest of the world can indeed enjoy Soto’s extraordinary gift. Those who grew up in South Texas in the 1940s through 1960s, whether in a colonia or in a small town or out in the country will quickly relate to his art and the short vignettes that accompany each piece. Who can forget their outhouse? Or going to the pizcas atop of the neighbor’s large troca. Or eating sandia on the porch and spitting out the seeds. Or taking your asadon to go to the desahije. Or getting some queso del condado. So many memories, so much joy.

Fortunately, everyone can now partake of this joy. With the publication of his first book, Soto has generously provided us with reproductions of his paintings that will bring back a rush of memories to his readers. You will have something you can sit down in your recliner to show you grandchildren and tell them about their ancestors and how they lived, or take outside to your patio and enjoy it with your own sons and daughters while you have something en las brasas, or take it to the ranch to share with your aging parents.

And if one or more of the paintings strikes your fancy, you can order a print from the artist at rockinsart.com. Truly, Andy Soto has captured not only history but personal memories shared by a wide range of people with Tejano roots. It is yet another important addition to your Tejano book library to preserve our South Texas history and culture.

La Voz de Amor is now available at an online bookstore near you

La Voz de Amor, released in September 2016, is a book of Spanish poetry written by Servando Cárdenas. The poet looks at love from a romantic, familial, patriotic, cultural and spiritual perspective and provides great insights into Tejano culture.

The book is also a labor of love for co-editor Alfredo E. Cárdenas, son of the poet. His co-editor, Javier Villarreal, PhD is a recently retired professor of Spanish from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. Continue reading La Voz de Amor is now available at an online bookstore near you

La Voz de Amor nearing release, Summer 2016

MCM Books will soon release its second book. La Voz de Amor is scheduled for release later this summer, perhaps as soon as the end of July. The book is a collection of Spanish poetry written by Servando Cardenas, mostly in the 1930s although several date to the 1940s and at least one to the 1970s.

Continue reading La Voz de Amor nearing release, Summer 2016

Holiday reading list proved enlightening

The Christmas holidays offered me an opportunity to do some reading, a luxury I don’t find time for during my regular days. I had the opportunity to read two books on Tejano history, one with direct ties to South Texas and the subject of my book Balo’s War.

Continue reading Holiday reading list proved enlightening

New Web site, new look, new books in the works

Welcome to our new Web site. It’s been a year since we launched MCM Books. How time flies when you’re having fun.

In the last year we launched our first book, Balo’s War, A Novel About the Plan of San Diego, and have been on a whirlwind tour of South Texas holding book signings. We started in San Diego for the centennial celebration of the Plan of San Diego and went from there. We have been in Laredo, Hebbronville, San Antonio, Corpus Christi (twice), Mission, McAllen, Pharr, and Alice.

Continue reading New Web site, new look, new books in the works