Credit for mambo The Associated press article about the death of Cuban pianist Bebo Valdes contained an inaccurate piece of information I would like to correct (“Cuban pianist Valdes dies in Sweden at age 94,” Nation & World, March 23). It states that Valdes and rival bandleader Perez Prado developed the mambo sound. Actually, the mambo sound was originated in 1937 by Orestes Lopez, Antonio Arcano and Arcano's first cousin, Jose Antonio Diaz. Arcano's infamous orchestra, Orquesta Radiofonica, introduced El Danzon mambo in 1938. The sound was further cultivated in later years by Orestes Lopez's brother Israel “Cachao” Lopez. The word “mambo” was invented by Orestes Lopez when he wanted to improvise runs on the piano and would say “vamos a mambear.” There is no doubting Bebo Valdes' iconic place in the history of Cuban music, but the credit for the mambo sound belongs to Antonio Arcano, Orestes Lopez and my grandfather, Jose Antonio Diaz.
Simon M. Canasi
Just getting started Son of a gun — look what happened while we Republicans were looking elsewhere: Will Weatherford has turned out, so far, to be a serious, operational big “C” conservative. While others were trimming their sails, he took on the big-picture issues of state employee pension reform and the worst of the Obamacare-mandated new state expenditures. Stumbles, he has taken. His role in constructing the lengthy list of social policy-laden constitutional amendments on the November ballot was no help; it hurt the GOP among independents. But he is, we can wish, just getting started, while the cluster of Democratic candidates warming up to take a shot at Gov. Rick Scott look increasingly like denizens of a turkey farm just before Thanksgiving. And additional strong conservative voices from Pasco County are always welcome.
Peter Whittier Date City Contributing to America In reference to George Clamp's letter posted March 25 (“Scared government,” Your Views). I once again marvel at the enormous gall of some American business owners who continue to put down Spanish-speaking workers they hire. Clamp criticizes these workers, who are probably working for minimum wages and at jobs that English-speaking Americans would not work in. I am sure Clamp's idea of a good paycheck is slightly exaggerated. These men and women work very long hours, under hard conditions, for people who couldn't care less about their welfare. Some are often abused by business owners. These immigrants shouldn't be put down because they do not have the time or opportunity to learn a second language. It is kind of hard to work two or three jobs and have time to go to HCC and pay for English lessons. I am a third-generation Spanish/Cuban American, and one of my grandmothers rarely spoke English. I once asked my father why she refused to speak English. My father said that when she did try to speak English when he was a child, the Anglo-Saxon people would make fun of her, and she would get very embarrassed. So she spoke English with only people she trusted would not ridicule her. Though she rarely spoke the English language she understood all of it. She was also smart enough to learn how to communicate in Italian, French and Portuguese with her neighbors, who never made fun of linguistic efforts. I wonder if people like Clamp would complain about my grandmother's language skills if he knew what her children and grandchildren became: doctors, pharmacist, business owners, professors, preachers, teachers. And that her grandchildren became engineers who worked with the government on the space program, the Polaris missile guidance systems and helped develop computer languages. By the way, in all my communications with my immigrant friends or with any second- or third-generation Hispanics, I have never heard a word about changing the American way of life. They always asked how they can contribute more to their adopted country. I wonder if people like Clamp complained about us when we sent our children to war to defend this country. Look at the name of the dead in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf wars and Afghanistan.
Roy G. Valdes