Who signs up for the Beer Mile where you have to drink a lot of beer while running a mile? 81-year-old Elvira Montes from El Paso, that’s who!
It’s actually her second time running the FloTrack Beer Mile World Championships, but she didn’t enjoy the first time because “I’m not a big beer drinker,” Montes said. “I like beer when the weather is real hot and there’s nothing else to drink. I’m really a scotch drinker, Chivas if it’s available. If it was scotch we were drinking instead of beer, I would have run a lot faster.” There’s an idea.
Just seven weeks after the massacre at an El Paso Wal-Mart that took the lives of 22 people and injured 24 others, the border city is still recovering from their tragic losses. Though the victims have been laid to rest and the survivors are working towards healing, the city is still feeling the effects of the life-shattering experience.
As national news has moved on from the tragedy, the minds and hearts of local El Pasoans are still with the embattled town.
With that in mind, a new mural created by a pair of talented street artists has been created to celebrate the power of the Texas town.
Twitter / @AlyssaCBS4
El Paso brothers, John Ramirez and Jamie Hernandez Jr., worked hard to craft this graffiti style mural. Reading “El Poderoso Tejano,” the vast wall painting is located between Ascarate Street and Valencia Place on the United States side of the border city. The mural was sponsored by local tee-shirt company, OG Family. The company will be selling tee-shirts of the mural design and all profits from their sale will go to the victims of the El Paso assault.
“It shows that everybody came as a community,” David Barbosa, co-owner of OG Family said of the mural. “For one purpose. That purpose is to show that we’re united no matter what happens. At the end, El Paso is united.”
The mural will also be featured in a music video for local El Paso record label, 915 Records Familia. The rap video will be filmed on September 28th. During the video shoot, a local car show will also take place at the mural’s site — bringing together El Paso’s car community, rap community and street art community all in one spot.
In a video first promoting the mural, the brothers were not named as the artists. Instead, they were called “unlikely artists” and “former gang members.” Thankfully, Cassie Hernandez, a family member of the two artists, took to Twitter and credited them for their amazing work.
In response, Twitter applauded the Ramirez Brothers’ craftsmanship and celebrated the spirit of El Paso’s survivors.
Twitter / @braydenbern
This Twitter user called out the attention to detail the artists put into the piece and also credited their commitment to graffiti-style art. The street art style came into popularity in the 1980s with the emergence of hip-hop culture. Cholo-inspired graffiti script especially became a calling card of Latinx communities and their street artists. While street art was once looked down upon, it is now celebrated for the unique and bold art form that it is.
Many supporters were offended on the Ramirez Brothers’ behalf for the dis by local news.
Twitter / @angelitaaaxo
The original news story definitely did a disservice by leaving out the Ramirez Brothers’ names and by calling out any speculative former gang affiliation they might have had. Instead, their work as amazing artists and dedicated members of their community should be commended. There’s nothing “unlikely” about their talent or their love for El Paso.
This mural joins others that have recently gone up in El Paso to honor the victims of mass shootings.
Tweet / @thedailybeast
A mural honoring Joaquin Oliver, a victim of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre, was unveiled the day after the tragedy in El Paso. The mural was planned before the Wal-Mart attack so the timing made the new addition to El Paso even more heartbreaking. Local artist Gabe Vasquez also created a mural reading “El Paso Strong” dedicated to the spirit of the border city.
The El Paso community is still recovering from the violent and senseless shooting at a local Wal-Mart. The shooter confessed that he was only there to kill Mexicans. One victim, Margie Reckard, has left an indelible impression on the community as her husband, a survivor, Antonio Basco mourns the loss of his only family member. The El Paso community has shown their strength and love by the way they have honored Reckard and Basco during the darkest moment in his life.
Recently, Antonio Basco’s car was stolen just hours after his wife’s funeral adding insult to injury.
Basco had been living in his car after the shooting to be close to the memorial, which included a cross for his wife. Just hours after he buried the last living family member he had, his car was stolen and wrecked. The horrific incident not only affected El Paso community members, but it also angered them.
People immediately flooded the post of his stolen car asking how they could help fix Basco’s situation.
Basco invited anyone who wanted to attend his wife’s funeral. Thousands of people showed up to mourn the death of Margie Reckard and support a man who lost everything on Aug. 3. The car being stolen after was another blow for a man already mourning.
El Paso had rallied around Basco, even repairing and cleaning his car before it was stolen.
Casa Ford Lincoln learned about Basco and his situation and gave his car a full-service treatment for free. The car was cleaned and repaired so that it could be the best it could be.
Casa Ford Lincoln decided to do one better after hearing that Basco’s car was stolen and wrecked by giving him a brand new Ford Escape.
Casa Ford Lincoln hosted a ceremony just for Basco for him to receive his new car following the news that his was stolen and crashed. The crowd that gathered offered Basco love and support during and after the ceremony as some passed him notes and patted the man on the shoulder.
Ronnie Lowenfield, the general manager of Casa Lincoln Ford, spoke to the crowd and Basco offering words of condolences and love.
“Tony, we just wanted to bring you here and, first off, offer our condolences,” Lowenfield said. “We can’t imagine the hell that you’ve been through in these last couple of weeks. We just want you to know that we love you and this is on behalf of all of us here at Casa and essentially all of us here in El Paso.”
The car is more than a car but a sign of El Paso’s love and support for its community members.
“This is what we do here in this city, is care for each other and we’re very sorry for your loss,” Lowenfield continued. “We know that you’re a Ford guy and we know that you had a blue Escape. … Fortunately, we had one here so we are going to turn over the keys to you.”
People on Facebook flooded the comment section of the post with love and appreciation for the gesture from Casa Ford Lincoln.
Casa Ford Lincoln customers celebrated the company and gushed about how thankful they are to do business with a company that follows their moral compass.
The El Paso community came out in support of Basco for his wife’s funeral and there are several videos and pictures that the love he received.
He claimed to not have a family but the city of El Paso proved to be the family he didn’t know he had. The outpouring of emotion and love from the El Paso community at large was a special moment in the city’s darkest hours.
El Paso is a strong community and the way they took care of Basco shows just how connected the community is.
“Amy just sent me this photo from El Paso. This is outside the funeral for Margie Reckard. She was killed at Walmart in El Paso on August 3rd. I met her husband Antonio at the memorial a few nights after that,” Beto O’Rourke wrote in an Instagram post. “The whole crowd at the memorial hugged him and comforted him, everyone giving him love and strength. Earlier this week the funeral home published a notice for Margie’s funeral that said that they didn’t expect anyone to come to the funeral because neither she nor Antonio had family in El Paso and that therefore the community was invited. Amy texted this with the photo from her funeral tonight: ‘Line wraps around the building multiple times. Been waiting 40 minutes and a long way to go. So beautiful.'”
Watch the video of Basco getting his new car below.