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Funded in part by a grant from TexTreasures and by the UT Arlington Library.

Lico Reyes


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(31 pages)

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Biography:

Frederick 'Lico' Reyes legally changed his name from Federico Reyes Blanco to Frederick B. Reyes in 1966 when he became a naturalized U.S. citizen, but prefers to go by 'Lico' Reyes. A professional actor and entertainer, he was born in 1946 in Canatlán, Durango, Mexico but attended the Sacred Heart School in El Paso as a young child while still living in Ciudad Juárez. He lived briefly in Chicago, Illinois, but returned to El Paso and graduated from Jesuit High School in 1965. He studied for the priesthood at the Jesuit seminary (under St. Charles College) in Grand Chateaux [sic, Coteau], Louisiana, and graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics in 1978. He has campaigned unsuccessfully for both city councilman and mayor of Arlington, Texas and served as a Democratic precinct chair. At the time of the interview, he was a resident of Arlington and employed part-time as a staff representative for the Texas Public Workers Association, a member of Texas State Senator Royce West's criminal justice advisory committee, and the owner of his own entertainment business.

Interview Summary:

Frederick 'Lico' Reyes begins with his personal and family background and talks about his education and childhood. He discusses his work with the Texas Public Workers Association (TPWA) and his civil rights activities through the League of United American Citizens (LULAC). He hammers the Arlington Chamber of Commerce for alleged discriminatory practices and relates his struggles in obtaining Chamber statistics through the open records act. He shares his involvement with the newly formed LULAC International and elaborates upon several incidents of civil rights violations which he investigated for LULAC locally. He relates the time when he himself was falsely arrested and assails Arlington Mayor Richard Greene for comments made when Reyes ran for city council against incumbent Paula Hightower. He recalls his investigation of civil rights violations in Tulia, Texas and vents about his failed efforts to have the city of Arlington team up with a sister city in Mexico (under Sister Cities International). He refers to his participation in the ROTC program at the University of Texas at Arlington and his service in the Texas State Guard during the Vietnam War. He divulges his reasons for repeatedly running for public office in Arlington and points to numerous problems with crime, gangs, and dropouts, and the solutions he has suggested as a concerned citizen. He quotes the opinions of newspaper columnists Allan Saxe and O. K. Carter and shares the key to his style of humor which brought about his entertainment business.

Locations of residence or activity:

Arlington

Interview Date:

3/6/2003