Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Rest in peace Mr. John Artero, with an emphasis on the mister, because he showed the same respect to the pauper as he did to the elite of the Hispanic community. My grandmother's home was very typical of the households I used to visit in my youth. They all had a picture of President Kennedy, Pope John, placed just above a recent Artero Funeral Home calendar.
Back in the 60s, it was the trend for teen-age boys to be in a garage type band or form a boy's get together club. I didn't have any musical talent, so together with a few high school friends; we formed a social club. Basically, it was a collective effort to impress chicks. Anyway, our club had meetings, collected dues, and my mother made us Beatle jackets to wear at our social events. We went to dances in Corpus Christi and San Antonio, but we knew our jackets would make us good targets in Houston, so we didn't push it.
One day we decided that we all wanted to be promoters because it had to be easy. We decided to start our venture with a dance at the Club Westerner to promote our club...We knew that we needed a sponsor since we were high school kids. The first person who came to mind was Mr. John Artero. He kindly greeted us with that great big smile and led us to his office. I remember him telling us that he could write us a check, but that would be too easy. He wanted us to write a business plan with a plan A and a plan B, but we also had to commit to sell an X amount of pre- sale tickets...We found out it was a lot of hard work with no immediate benefits. The band we had chosen sold out, so they got their money and the Westerner had the bar sales, so they got theirs but we had to pay the band with very little left over but we still had to be the parking attendants, ticket takers, and janitors at the end of the event...We didn't have time to impress the girls...:-)
I have attended numerous funerals at Artero's (as we affectionately called it), and he would always be at the front door greeting us as if had known us for years. It would always take him several minutes to take his seat at Memorial Stadium because he was smiling and shaking many hands on his way to his seat.
Mr. Artero will be missed, and I can guarantee a very large funeral, and I suspect there will not be a dry eye at the event. It wouldn't surprise me if a street,building or school gets named after him because he had a very positive impact on our community.