May 29, 2009
By Lyn Sherwood
First, it was David Silveti, then Manolo Martinez, followed by Alfredo Leal, Antonio del Olivar and Pepe Lopez Hurtado. Some of Mexicos greatest taurine figures have left us, in recent years. The latest to join that list of greats is Manuel Capetillo.
Capetillo, who performed frequently in Tijuana from the 60s through the 80s, was celebrated as the greatest muletero in Mexican bullfight history. He died May 5, at 83 years of age. He left three sons, matadors Manuel and Guillermo, as well as Eduardo.
The senior Capetillo also headed a musical group, featuring himself and his sons, two of whomManuel Jr. and Guillermowere also stars of a popular Mexican soap opera.
The elder Capetillo made his debut in La Plaza Mexico on Aug. 8, 1948. He received his doctorate of matadorship Dec. 24 of that year. His sponsor was Luis Castro El Soldado, while the witness was Antonio Velasquez.
Capetillos retirement performance was celebrated Sept. 20, 1981, in Zacatecas, where he performed with Manuel Jr. and Guillermo.
In spite of the controversy that it always causes, bullfighting continues to attract new aficionados, every year. There are 13 aficionados clubs, stretching from Chula Vista to New York City. And, this coming June 13, Los Aficionados de Los Angeles will celebrate its 60th anniversary with an elaborate dinner party at The Quiet Cannon in Montebello. Those wishing to attend to should contact Jimee Petrich, at 1-310-474-0188.
The annual convention of the National Association of Taurine Clubs (USA) will be held Aug. 16-22, in Malaga, Spain. It will be sponsored by the New York club. The convention price will be $2009, which will include hotel accommodations and one corrida de toros. Interested fans should send an e-mail to email@example.com.
San Diego area fans who wish to join a club should contact Club Taurino de Chula Vista, by calling (619) 422-4361.
And while we are on the subject of fans north of the border, a series of three bloodless bullfights will be celebrated, beginning Sept. 14, in Las Vegas. El Zotoluco will alternate with Alejandro Amaya and “El Cordobes”.
Tijuana Season Opener
Tijuana opened the 2009 summer season, last Sunday. Gaston Santos and Pepehillo each cut two ears and left the plaza on shoulders.