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The Ravel Films, no. 3 - Rita and Jerry Going Western

Benita Ravel Neumann

Silent | 1950s

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  •  Family bringing new baby home 
  •  Children dressed in Western cowboys apparel  
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This home movie from El Paso's Ravel family captures scenes of Rita and Jerry Ravel participating in what looks like a Go Western Day in the community. The kids pose for the camera in their boots, jeans, and cowboy hats.

Dr. Vincent Ravel was a lifetime El Pasoan born to two Jewish Lithuanian immigrants. He graduated from El Paso High School before attending medical school at Baylor University, doing post-graduate work at the University of Pennsylvania, then returning to El Paso to become one of the first radiologists in the region to be certified by the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners. He also served six years in the U.S. Navy during WWII. He was a pillar of the El Paso community at large, as well as a Jewish community leader. He was a member of B'nai Zion Synagogue, a director of radiology at two El Paso hospitals, and served on the boards of the El Paso Symphony, the El Paso Museum of Art, Liberty Hall, and the El Paso Coliseum. He donated a large collection of Judacia to the University of Texas at El Paso, which remains one of the most prominent Judacia collections in Texas.

Ravel's father, Joseph Ravel, opened a pawn shop with his nephew, Sam Ravel, in 1904 where they once sold guns to Pancho Villa. That and other rich stories from the Ravel family's early days in Texas can be found in this oral interview from the UTEP Library's Special Collections.