By Lyn Sherwood
The sounds of buckets of iced beer bottles, clinking against each other. The palpable aroma of excitement in the air. The anticipation. The music of pasodobles. The guessing which bulls will be the best and which toreros will be the most triumphant. The greeting of old friends, once again united by their mutual passion for the most deadly and beautiful of all performing arts.
It’s all getting ready to happen, again. The summer bullfight season will get under way, May 4, in Plaza El Toreo de Tijuana. And, the card is outstanding. A herd of bulls from Bernaldo de Quirozowned by retired matador Javier Bernaldowill be presented for senior matadores Eloy Cavazos and Jorge Gutierrez, plus comparative newcomer Fermín Spinola.
Cavazos, the so-called “Little Giant,” has already retired, a couple of times. But, he keeps coming back, and he continues to inspire his supporters. The truth is, when Eloy is inspired, when he really turns it on, there are few other matadores who can compete with him. And, when he limits himself to his whirling dervish style, he at least pleases the majority of the hedonistic crowds. But, when he raises the sword, the serious and the easy-to-please all united and become silent. For, the 5’-2” Cavazos is one of the finest swordsmen in Mexico.
Another interesting story is Jorge Gutierrez. There are those who consider him to be the most competent matador in Mexico, and they may be right on target. Gutierrez is the consummate professional, a torero who can handle any bull and do with style, grace, artistry, and technical knowledge.
Little is known of Fermín Spinola, except that he has recorded some very impressive triumphs. It will be interesting to note how effective he can be, competing with the likes of masters such as Cavazos and Gutierrez.
But, for many aficionados, the season will actually begin on Saturday, when the annual party is celebrated, with plenty of food and fun. There will also be young fighting cows, offered to anybody who wishes to prove his mettle, either in triumph or black and blue marks. Those who wish to step into the ring must first receive the approval of Egren Beas, the Director of Public Relations for the plaza, whose e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Then, on Sunday, in addition to the corrida de toros, the Fourth Annual Tijuanan Taurine Summit will be held for members and friends of California bullfight clubs. The members will assemble at the noon sorteo, and then proceed to Roberto’s Restaurant, at La Sierra Motel, for a no-host lunch. Then, following the corrida, the club members will re-live the afternoon at the Hotel Palacio Azteca.
And, speaking of bullfight clubs, the next meeting of Los Aficionados de Los Angeles will be celebrated on Wednesday, May 7, with a no-host dinner beginning at 6 p.m. The evening’s program will celebrate the life of the late matador John Fulton, who passed away, five years ago. Additional information can be obtained by e-mailing Jimee Petrich, at Jpetrich@aol.com or Art Diaz, at email@example.com.
Naturally, La Prensa San Diego as it has for the past 30 years will, throughout the summer provide news and reviews of Tijuana and other Mexican bullfights.