Monday, January 9, 2012

La historia de los dos treintas - Pancho & Lefty

Butch Giddens, Casey Kelley and Dave Giddens give Townes Van Zandt's classic "Pancho & Lefty" a workout at Tokio Store. Listen to the story of .30-30 carbines, banks, outlaws, land reform, revolution and betrayal in these lyrics. It's the real deal, straight from El Rancho Grande. - The Legendary

On Friday, 20 July 1923, Villa was killed while visiting Parral. Usually accompanied by his entourage of Dorados (his bodyguards) Pancho Villa frequently made trips from his ranch to Parral for banking and other errands. This day, however, Villa had gone into the town without them, taking only a few associates with him. He went to pick up a consignment of gold from the local bank with which to pay his Canutillo ranch staff. While driving back through the city in his black 1919 Dodge roadster, Villa passed by a school and a pumpkinseed vendor ran toward Villa's car and shouted Viva Villa! – a signal for a group of seven riflemen who then appeared in the middle of the road and fired over 40 shots into the automobile. In the fusillade of shots, Villa was hit by 9 dumdum bullets in his head and upper chest, killing him instantly. He was found in the driver seat of the car, with one hand reaching for his gun.

While it has never been completely proven who was responsible for the assassination, most historians attribute Villa's death to a well planned conspiracy, most likely initiated by Plutarco Elias Calles and Joaquin Amaro with at least tacit approval of the then president of Mexico, Obregon. At the time, a state legislator from Durango, who Villa once whipped during a quarrel over a woman, claimed sole responsibility for the plot. Barraza admitted that he told his friend Gabriel Chavez, who worked as a dealer for General Motors, that he would kill Villa if he were paid 50,000 pesos. Chavez, who wasn't wealthy and didn't have 50,000 pesos on hand, then collected money from enemies of Villa and managed to collect a total of 100,000 pesos for Barraza and his other co-conspirators. Barraza also admitted that he and his co-conspirators watched Villa's daily car-rides and paid the pumpkinseed vendor at the scene of Villa's assassination to shout "Viva Villa!" - either once if Villa was sitting in the front part of the car, or twice if he was sitting in the back.

The young junior officer depicted in the snapshot above peering over General "Black Jack" Pershing's left shoulder is George S. Patton, who in his later career became the Commanding General of the highly mechanized Third Army, an awesome fighting force that used various General Motors products throughout its armored divisions.

If you will click here, you will get a chance to hear his real voice and gauge his affect in authentic news footage of an actual war-time speech he made in his home town of Los Angeles, in contrast to the Hollywood depiction of his more fierce characteristics of diction and demeanor, as popularized in motion pictures and penny press articles.

(click here for an insurance investigator's estimation of how such "left turn" accidents are often staged for various fraudulent purposes)

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