I am thrilled and honored to be joining La Prensa Texas as a featured columnist. La Prensa has a special place in my heart and in the hearts of many who have deep roots and call San Antonio home. To many, La Prensa represents a bridge to their cultural identity as a publication where Spanish and English meet and our community’s rich history is celebrated. However, La Prensa isn’t just for Latinos; this publication is truly special as the core of its mission remains to share stories that uplift people of all backgrounds and walks of life through the community’s perspective. Tino Duran, the late founder, would always tell me, “only positive news”. With Father’s Day around the corner, we should pause and reflect on all those figures that have played an important role in our lives as father figures—individuals who have mentored us and pushed us to become the best version of ourselves. One of these men is Tino Duran. His passing has left a tremendous void in our community, as he was a larger than life figure. Tino’s story is inspirational. His dad died when he was four years old, and he grew up in a modest home with his grandparents in the Alazan Apache Courts in the Westside of San Antonio. However, his family and his internal drive did not allow his situation as a child define his future; who knew that the man who didn’t learn English until the age of 15 would have such an important legacy of literacy in our city for future generations. Most people remember his brilliant and jovial mastery of the English language, his good political network, his business strength and faith in God.
Aside from reviving La Prensa with his wife Amelia and his family, before his passing Tino raised and awarded more than $2.5 million in scholarships to over 5,000 young people through the La Prensa Foundation Inc. San Antonio College named the visitor center after Tino and Amelia, a befitting recognition. I couldn’t think of a more jovial and resourceful new leader to carry the torch of Tino Duran than Ramon Chapa Jr., the new Co-Publisher of La Prensa Texas. The Duran family’s spirit for showing the best of our city is carried forward with Tino’s son, Steve Duran, at the helm. Let’s get behind these leaders because, in troubled times like these, the Latino Community, San Antonio, and Texas need to be uplifted with the positive news that only La Prensa Texas provides. While on the subject of founding fathers I would like to celebrate mine. My father, like Tino, is one of our community’s standup men. My father, TC Calvert, has always been a strong presence in my life. When my parents divorced, my father did not also divorce me. He spoke to me like a man about what was happening and told me that he would always be there. He was one of my greatest teachers on the real things I should know in life as a man. He showed me, he was always there, and he gave me a spirit of serving our community. Our relationship grew in a way that I never expected it to grow. He showed me what it meant to be a standup man, a community leader, and a mentor. As a kid, I always idolized my dad’s great oratorical and organizing abilities. I am forever grateful for the father he was to me then and the father that he is to me now. For some, there is no storyline or excitement about the father who comes home from work every day to help their child with math homework and then tucks them into bed at night. There’s no breaking news story to interview a man for doing what he is supposed to do for his family. We unfortunately now live in a time where fatherhood is thought of as an elective duty rather than a parental privilege. These men and many others have given us examples of what fatherhood means—fatherhood in faith, fatherhood in family, and fatherhood in community.
I know many fathers don’t receive the recognition they deserve, but they are not forgotten and will not be overshadowed. Because just like Tino Duran, TC Calvert and so many others we are indebted to you for your sacrifices and loving guidance; for teaching us how to be better people with your wisdom and letting us rise to new heights upon your shoulders. As Father’s Day weekend approaches let’s honor those who have and continue to make a positive impact on the world around them. God Bless you and Happy Father’s Day. Congratulations to Ramon Chapa, Jr. for becoming the Co-Publisher of La Prensa Texas and Steven Duran for keeping the legacy of Tino Duran alive as a newspaper for the people of San Antonio, the State of Texas and the world.