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El Paso, City by the Rio Grande (1976)

Sun Bowl Association

Sound | 1976

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  •  MUSIC: (singing) From 30,000 feet above the desert floor I see there below. A city with a legend—the West Texas city of El Paso. Where long ago I heard a song about a Texas cowboy and a girl. And a little place called Rosa's where he used to go and watch this beauty whirl.  
  •  MARTY ROBBINS: Ah, yes, Rosa's, you know this old place brings back a lot of memories about another song that happened a long, long time ago. Remember this? (singing) Out in the west Texas town of El Paso, I fell in love with a Mexican girl. Night time would find me in Rosa’s Cantina, music would play, and Felina would whirl. 
  •  You know, places like Rosa’s, they’re a part of the legend of El Paso. It’s a legend that began 400 years ago when the early Spanish explorers first made their way through the fabled Pass of the North. 
  •  Led by the promise of gold, silver, and new territory for Spain, men like Cabeza de Vaca and Coronado came to the Southwest in the late 1500s, 200 years before the declaration of independence was signed. In 1598, Don Juan de Oñate was led by Indians across the Rio Grande at the foot of Mount Cristo Rey, and today the statute of Christ at the top of the peak is visited by thousands of pilgrims on religious holidays.  
  •  The Tigua Indians were the first permanent residents of El Paso, when they established the Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo in August of 1680. It was the first permanent settlement in Texas. Today, the Tigua still follow the ways of their ancestors, baking bread the way they did 500 years ago.  
  •  The Tiguas are also famous for their pottery, weaving skills, colorful kachina dolls, leather craft, and handmade jewelry. A visit to the Tigua Indian reservation in El Paso is a must for every visitor.  
  •  The Tiguas helped build the first Christian church in what is now Texas in 1682, one of the oldest on the North American continent. And one of the original walls still stands in this building. Two other missions built in the same period are located just a few miles away along the Rio Grande, at Socorro and San Elizario. A hundred and fifty years after the missions were established, one Maria Ponce de Leon built the first house on the north bank of the Rio Grande, and he paid only $80 for 500 acres that is now downtown El Paso.  
  •  In 1848, the US Army established Fort Bliss on the banks of the Great River, and El Paso and the big military post have grown up together. Today Fort Bliss is the home of the Army Air Defense Center which couldn’t have been have been imagined by the horse soldiers who lived in barracks like these. 
  •  MUSIC: (singing) The singer sang about a jealous cowboy and the way he used a gun to kill another cowboy, then he had to leave El Paso on the run. 
  •  ROBBINS: You know, El Paso had its share of bad men in the early days, names like Billy the Kid, Pat Garrett, John Wesley Hardin, they’re all immortalized in the legend of El Paso. And right about this very spot on April the 14th 1881, four men were gunned down in less than 20 seconds. It happened during the murder trial of Johnny Hale, a gunman and a cattle wrestler.  
  •  Enraged at the translation of testimony, Hale killed the Court Interpreter, going into action, City Marshall Dallas Stoudenmire killed a bystander with his first shot and killed Hale with his second. With the third bullet, the Marshall killed George Campbell, a friend of Hale’s who had John’s gun. 
  •  John Wesley Hardin was the most feared gunfighter in El Paso during the 1890s. They say he killed 40 men before he was shot to death in the Acme Saloon by Constable John Selman on the night of August 19, 1895. John Wesley Hardin is buried here in Concordia Cemetery in the shadow of a busy freeway interchange. Other strong men came to the Pass of the North, men like the Mexican bandit, Pancho Villa, and the General of the Armies, John “Black Jack” Pershing, who commanded Fort Bliss shortly after the turn of the century.  
  •  The bad men of legend gave way in the early 1900s to a bustling city, one of Texas’ earlier schools of higher education, the College of Mines, was founded in 1913. Today, the University of Texas at El Paso, with its striking Bhutanese architecture, is one of the largest in the University of Texas system. A Sun Bowl, home of the third oldest postseason football classic in the nation, is located here just a few blocks from downtown El Paso. 
  •  El Paso has never forgotten its colorful past and it shows in its architecture, like the beautiful Civic Center which combines a style of Mexico with the sweep into the future. Information about El Paso and Juarez is available at the Convention and Visitors Bureau right here in the Civic Center Plaza.  
  •  El Pasoans and visitors alike have discovered this spectacular aerial tramway. You travel in a glass-enclosed cabin over the canyon below, and in just three minutes you step out on the observation deck at the top of Ranger Peak more than a mile high. There, the view covers 7,000 square miles and you can see three states and two nations. 
  •  A few blocks from the aerial tramway is the McKelligon Canyon Amphitheater, where pageants, outdoor plays, and concerts are held year around. 
  •  Even in the winter months, the golfer can hit the links in El Paso, and you never know who you might see.  
  •  Because of its warm climate, El Paso is paradise for tennis buffs. When other parts of the country are shivering in their wintery blast, you’re likely to hear the challenge of ”Tennis anyone?” in the El Paso sunshine. 
  •  There is nothing like an invigorating hike in El Paso’s easily accessible mountain areas, or spending a few quite moments along the flowing Rio Grande.  
  •  Of course, the ever-popular, year-around past time of a dip in the old swimming hole is another favorite El Paso activity.  
  •  The whole family can enjoy a ride in the sun across EL Paso’s desert area, and top off the day’s fun with a real western meal—Mhm, now that’s good eating. 
  •  As the sun sets over the Pass of the North, El Paso and Juarez become a jeweled carpet of lights spread across the valley of the Rio Grande.  
  •  From the dining room of your downtown El Paso hotel, you can enjoy the spectacular view of two nations. El Paso and Juarez are there below waiting for your night on town on both sides of the border. 
  •  The music of the Mariachi sets the tempo for a night out filled with the sights and the sounds of the border.  
  •  Every visitor to Juarez has to try his hand at drinking wine from a flask called a porron. It takes a steady hand and a good eye.  
  •  And then it is on to the most elegant race track in the Americas, the Juarez race track. The greyhounds run all year, and the dog track expands to accommodate thoroughbreds and quarter horses during the summer months.  
  •  Sunland Park, tucked in the corner of New Mexico just five minutes from downtown El Paso, features thoroughbred horse racing from the fall through to spring. 
  •  El Paso has always been one of the busiest ports of entry in the United States, with more than 40 million border crossings a year. But it’s easy for the US or Canadian citizen to visit Juarez, the largest city on the US-Mexico border, because no passports, visas, or tourist’s permits are required, and the person visiting Juarez can either walk across the international bridge, take a taxi, or he can drive his own car. 
  •  A walk along Juarez avenue is filled with the sights and sounds of old Mexico, with quaint curio shops, street vendors, and the ever-present cantina along the way. 
  •  Skilled Mexican craftsmen using techniques perfected in the fifteenth century create beautiful figures from molten sand at several hand-blown glass factories in Juarez, and every piece is an original. 
  •  Any visit to Juarez would be incomplete without a stop at the Pronaf Center. The huge artisan center contains a large variety of handmade wares and the Mexican Museum of History displays artifacts dating back thousands of years. 
  •  And on a Sunday afternoon, a moment of truth comes when a man, standing alone, faces a half a ton of thundering beef at the Corrida de Toros. 
  •  The legend of El Paso, a story 400 years in the making. From the Spanish Conquistadors, the potters who walked the king’s highway, the friendly Indians who were the first residents of Texas, the early settlers, pony soldiers, gunfighters and the border bandits, to the more than a million people of El Paso and Juarez who live, work, and play here today, that legend is still alive. There’s a spirit, a flavor, a zest for life here in the Pass of the North that you won’t find anywhere else, so come on, amigo, see it for yourself.  
  •  MUSIC: (singing) From 30,000 feet above the desert floor I see there below. A city with a legend—the West Texas city of El Paso. Where long ago I heard a song about a Texas cowboy and a girl. And a little place called Rosa's where he used to go and watch this beauty whirl. I don't recall who sang the song, but I recall the story that I heard. And as I look down on the city, I remember each and every word. The singer sang about a jealous cowboy and the way he used a gun to kill another cowboy, then he had to leave El Paso on the run. El Paso, city by the Rio Grande. El Paso city... 
  •  Titles and intro - aerial shots of downtown El Paso, overhead views of scenic drive and the Chamizal Theatre 
  •  Marty Robbins singing the famous opening lines of his country western ballad "El Paso" 
  •  Ysleta del Sur Pueblo, Tigua Tribe - Traditional Pueblo drumming and dancing at the Tigua Indian Reservation 
  •  The Mission Trail: Ysleta (exterior and interior) and Socorro missions and the San Elizario Presidial Chapel 
  •  Ric Ervin, one of the fastest guns in the west, portrays Marshal Dallas Stoudmire. 
  •  Jim Rowley directed TV's "Barney and Friends" 
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Presented by The Convention and Visitors' Bureau of El Paso, this promotional film imparts the legend of El Paso that began in the 16th century with the early Spanish explorers and continues to the present day (1976). Country Music Hall of Famer Marty Robbins walks around El Paso, guitar in hand, stopping at historically significant sites to tell their story. He also highlights El Paso's cultural, tourist, and natural attractions, such as: The Tigua Indian Reservation, Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo; McKelligon Canyon Amphitheatre; and year-round trail riding. And of course, one of El Paso's major draws is its immediate proximity to Cuidad Juarez and all that city just over the border has to offer: mariachi, a highly-regarded dog racing track, fine local handicrafts, and bull-fighting. Transcribed by Adept Word Management™, Inc.