FRANK SIFUENTES – A REMEMBRANCE BY FRIENDS
Frank “Kiko” Sifuentes passed away on Monday, October 8th, 2012. Writer, educator, mentor, and community activist he touched many lives. Following are personal remembrances by a few of his many friends and people he helped in finding their life purpose.
OSCAR CASTILLO (PHOTOGRAPHER, aka OSCURITO” AND‘PINQUINO.)
Frank Sifuentes was a true friend, a great human being & talented writer. His short stories
and “Cuentos” were taken from his life experience of growing up in Austin, Texas and allowed the reader a feeling of the Chicano experience. Frank’s pen name, and as the staff of Con Safos referred to him, was “Pancho del Rancho.” He was always ready to help guide his friends and share his knowledge with others. In 1996, Frank told me of a photography job opportunity in the city of Pico Rivera. I was hired there as a photographer and have been there for fifteen years. Thank you Pancho, we will miss you & our great stories.
SERGIO HERNANDEZ (Artist Con Safos Magazine, Arnie & Porfi Cartoon Strip)
Frank Sifuentes had a pivotal and profound effect on my life. Our paths crossed when I was 19 yrs. of age when I joined the Con Safos editorial group. Had I not met Frank I wouldn’t have attended college, met and married my wife Diane and followed my passion for art. Frank was a talented Con Safos writer and story teller, but his real talent was spotting potential in a young people and encouraging many including myself to pursue their dreams. He was the unofficial “Talent scout” of the barrio. Frank was not rich man yet he helped so many people financially. I know that I am not alone when I say that Frank has a place in many hearts including mine.
MICHAEL SEDANO (Writer and Columnist La Bloga)
Frank Sifuentes is one of those “Unknown Heroes” of el movimiento. When USC admitted one hundred eleven Chicana Chicano students and launched El Centro Chicano, Frank is the guy who did the legwork and the recruiting. Those hundred kids–and the thousands who’ve followed those trailblazers–walked in las huellas de Frank Sifuentes. Let Frank’s legacy be known, celebrate Frank Sifuentes’ life achievements.
SALVADOR “QUESO” TORRES (Artist and Community Activist)
“La verdad no peca pero incomoda!”
From the time I met Frank Sifuentes, “El Mero, Mero Con Safos”,
At Mr Magu’s, menudo dada
Panchito shall always remain
“Ese Vato Del La Calle Ancha”.
Cuentos about Canicas, Rucas y Lechusas.
He was El Capitán Del Centro Joaquín Muretta, LA, Califas
He recruited hundreds of students to colleges & universities,
Y El film maker, revolutionary activist, “Johnny La Chingas Parsons.”
Frank was our Flor y Canto, faithful to our Chicano Movement;
Helping many of us as a mentor, & fine social critic. Based on the census.
Panchito, I will always love you. Our cuentos, chistes y laughter we shared
Echos gloriously en mi memoria, in our writings. You are now truly on course !
“Con Safos! Free and Unimpeded !” As you sail away.
Frank Sifuentes, “De La Calle Ancha”
A guiding spirit of our beloved Aztlan!
Bless your familia who also love you dearly
Beloved husband, father, grandfather & great great grandpapa
El Queso (Salvador Torres)
RAUL VARGAS (Director-USC Alumni Association, Retired)
I had the pleasure and honor of working with Frank during his stay at USC. I was sorry to hear of his passing. I always found Frank to be a calm, dignified and committed gentleman. On campus he always demonstrated his dedication to our students I always appreciated his referring students to our scholarship program at SC. I know there are young people who attended the university due to Frank’s persistence in encouraging them to pursue their educational goals. Not only was he a mentor , he was a very good friend to many of us. He set a very good precedence for many of us. He will be missed.
JESÚS TREVIÑO (TV director and Writer)
After working for more than forty years first as a documentary filmmaker and later as a television director, few people know that the person that set me on my filmmaking path was Frank Sifuentes. In the summer of 1968, I was a recent college graduate. I had been turned down by all the graduate schools to which I had applied and was facing the draft and Vietnam. I attended an Eastside fundraiser and while on the dance floor, I accidently knocked Frank Sifuentes onto the floor. I helped him get up and instead of being angry, he was surprisingly friendly. He offered to buy me a beer. Over beers, he was soon he was telling me about a film school for minority youth that was recruiting students–Frank was one of the community advisors to the project. Frank encouraged me to apply and, I’m sure with his help, I got in, and before long I was on a course that would lead to my life work as a director and filmmaker. Only recently have I learned of all the other people Frank helped in his lifetime. The fictional character George Bailey in “It’s a Wonderful Life,” is shown how his life has affected so many people positively and how sad a world it would be without him. I think of Frank in the same way. I can’t imagine what the world would be like without Frank having been here to help, befriend and guide so many of us. Thank you, thank you Frank!
To hear Frank Sifuentes reading more of his “cuentos” visit the podcast: http://nuestrafamiliaunida.com/podcast/oral_history.html