In Memory

Cesar DeFlores

go to bottom 
  Post Comment

07/10/14 11:57 AM #1    

John Erbes

I never really got to know Cesar that well until after graduation. Frank Ford and Cesar were closer friends, and I got to know Cesar through Frank. The most memorable experiences were in the late 1960s, when Cesar, I and others often accompanied Frank on his trips to race his enduro kart at various sports car tracks in the Midwest. On one particular trip to either Indiana or Ohio, Frank had an accident in the race that severely bruised a very sensitive part of his anatomy that he was quite partial to, causing him a great deal of suffering and pain. After dragging Frank out of the hospital, we had to make the trip back to Milwaukee where we managed to get completely lost in the middle of Gary, Indiana at 2 AM, with an orange moon shining brightly down upon us. This miserable trip was further enhanced by Cesar's renowned inability to properly digest certain fast foods. Much of the trip was spent with the windows frequently rolled down and all the passengers (except Cesar) with their heads out the windows gasping for fresh air like stranded fish.

One thing Cesar and I did have in common is that we both played bass guitar in rock bands in the late 1960s. Cesar was quite an accomplished musician and his band did quite well.

One memory I have of Cesar is of going to his house and riding around in the old woody station wagon that he was intending to restore that he bought for a couple of hundred dollars. It was driveable, but just barely. It was loud, as the exhaust was mostly rusted away, and you could see the pavement through the rusted floorboards as you drove along as there wasn't much left of the floorboards either. I don't know what happened to it.

Cesar was an accomplished artist and well known in the Milwaukee area for his graphic art skills.
He died December 13, 1986.

09/05/14 04:49 PM #2    

Fred Silver

I did not know Cesar very well in high school, but I had the chance to work with him for seven summers in a unique inter-arts program called Summer Street Studio.  Cesar ran the graphic arts workshop, so I saw him on a daily basis for six weeks for each of those summers, as well as at various staff meetings during the year.

I really liked Cesar.  He had tremendous energy and an incredibly positive outlook.  He related extremely well with his talented high school artists, encouraging them to explore their own creative ideas and express those ideas with imagination. 

Cesar also worked well with the other professionals in the program, which included some of the top visual and performing artists in the metro area. There was an inter-arts component to the program that required both co-operation and collaboration among students in the various arts groups.  Cesar's ability to encourage his students to break out of their comfort zones and work with dancers, actors, and jazz musicians in various collaborative inter-arts proejcts was a key to the program's success.

Cesar also had a wonderful sense of humor.  He had the ability to find not just the bright side, but also the light side, whenever he or his students faced difficult challenges. Cesar also had a kind heart.  He was extremely generous. 

I gained a great deal of respect for Cesar during those seven summers, and I was shocked and truly saddened when I learned of his death and the circumstances that surrounded it. Milwaukee lost not only a creative spirit when Cesar died; it also lost a kind and generous spirit. 

go to top 
  Post Comment