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Life and Arts

On the Town: Latino association hosts mixer to collect school supplies

Glendale Latino Assn
Alicia Tamayac, Glendale resident and Glendale Latino Assn. board member, shows off the school supplies that will be donated by the group.
(Ruth Sowby Rands)

Members of the Glendale Latino Assn. kicked off the new school year with their school-supply mixer last Wednesday.

The stage at the Glendale Central Library was filled with donated school supplies. Composition books, colored markers, pens and pencils galore glittered under the bright lights of the auditorium.

Albert Hernandez, the association’s president, estimated that about $500 to $1,000 worth of supplies had been collected.

“We’re doing more than just cutting checks. We’re partnering with schools,” Hernandez said.

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Daily High School in Glendale is at the top of the list. “As a continuation school, it is often forgotten,” according to Hernandez.

Association members will go to Daily High, meet with principal Lonny Root and stock the school shelves with supplies.

“Daily has touched our hearts,” Hernandez said.

Daily High serves approximately 200 to 250 students. The school’s small size and the small class sizes available there allow teachers to provide more individualized attention to students.

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Glendale Police Chief Carl Povilitis spoke at the mixer. “The Glendale Latino Assn. is so supportive of the community. They support our ‘Cops for Kids’ holiday toy distribution,” Povilitis said.

Association members present included Amy Navarrete, the organization’s past president, Mercy Velazquez, advisory board chair, and board members Alicia Tamayac, Miryam and Lou Finkelberg, as well as scholarship drive supporters Glendale City Councilwoman Paula Devine and her husband, Art.

Also attending were Susan Crancer Hunt and Camille Levy, who is executive director of Wellness Works. She said she’s looking forward to her group’s “Not on Our Watch” event in September, bringing awareness about military veterans’ high suicide rates.

Glendale Latino Assn. mixers provide scholarships to local students. The mixers also promote activities that improve education and bring together businesses and professionals.

A little-known museum, which is a hop, skip and jump from Glendale, is the Martial Arts History Museum in Burbank.

Since the 1960s, museum owner Michael Matsuda has been interested in all forms of martial arts.

A happy pairing brought together Susan Jekarl, museum volunteer and Glendale resident, who had met Apache Indian Robert Redfeather at the museum.

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Robert Redfeather
Glendale resident Susan Jekarl tries to persuade author Robert Redfeather to sign a copy of his book.
(Ruth Sowby Rands)

Redfeather, who is 61 years old, teaches Apache knife-fighting to law-enforcement agencies, the U.S. military and personal training.

He became Jekarl’s instructor for an Apache knife-fighting seminar.

“What can I say, I was curious,” Jekarl said.

A Whittier resident, Redfeather was recently inducted into the museum’s Hall of Fame.

On Saturday, outfitted in traditional Apache dress, Redfeather made an appearance at the museum to sign a book he wrote and self-published with Stace Pitts called “Fight Like the Wind, Apache Knife.”

Jekarl had spread the word on social media, and about 35 combat fighter fans showed up.

They were there to learn about Redfeather’s life and his various careers, including bounty hunter, bouncer, U.S. government contractor, rodeo rider, teacher, actor and, of late, stand-up comic.

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Redfeather can’t read because of a brain trauma from rodeo-riding accidents.

“My computer talks to me,” he said. That’s how he did research for the book. Currently, he’s planning to write his autobiography with Pitts, who does the reading for him.

Whenever Redfeather has questions about his heritage, he talks to his relatives “on the rez” in Arizona and New Mexico. He will weave their tales into the upcoming book.

A question-and-answer session following Redfeather’s presentation helped clarify what Apache knife-fighting is all about. The goal is disengagement.

“Apache knife-fighting does not teach you to stand your ground and fight but to be fluid like the wind,” Redfeather said “Apaches believe that life is precious. We’re a loving people.”

Redfeather’s book can be found on Amazon.

Ruth Sowby Rands may be reached at ruthasowby@gmail.com.

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