Monday, April 16, 2007

David Garza (et al) at Hecho en Tejas

You know, few things fill me with more dread than a tornado siren. The sirens went off right as I was picking up my daughter from school, and the radio was reporting a tornado heading basically right for my wife's office downtown. Not a fun few minutes.

Even though the Haltom City tornado missed the dealer where my car was, the baseball sized hail didn't. Bottom line was about $2200 worth of damage, but I guess it could have been worse. What's the saying, once is tragedy, twice is farce? All I could do is laugh at that point.

Anyway, I didn't let the weather or the circumstances keep me from the Hecho en Tejas book signing at the Rose Marine Theater. Unfortunately, the crowd was pretty sparse. I saw David coming in the door and talked to him for a few minutes. His brother, Joel, is moving back to town from Houston and I'm happy to have another buddy around. Joel told me I needed to get a better picture of David for my blog. "He looks like he just got out of Gitmo," he said. David and I watched Tony Diaz and Daniel Gomez from Goodwin for a couple of songs. "Wow," David said. "These guys are pretty good." He was right, those guys are pretty good. You can catch them at the Moon on May 11.

Dagoberto Gilb, the editor of Hecho en Tejas, was up first. He's got this great East L.A. Chicano accent that is wonderful to listen to. He read a funny short story about a young guy trying to pick up girls. Christine Granados from El Paso followed him. She's the author of the short story collection Brides and Sinners in El Chuco. Her reading was about a woman who goes on a job interview with her entire family and along the way reveals major differences in the Anglo and Chicano way of looking at life, work and the world. Fort Worth's own Tammy Gomez was the biggest surprise of the night for me. Her poetry borrows a lot from music -- especially hip hop and country. Her images are strong and her voice confident.

Then came David. When my wife and I talked about it later, she said the same thing I was thinking. When you meet David, he is so quiet and unassuming. But get him on stage, and his charisma fills the room. It's like he becomes another person. He's got "it" -- whatever "it" is. He played three songs, the last one was one of Dagoberto Gilb's works that he set to music and it was fantastic. "I hope I can be as cool as this guy one day," David said about Gilb.

Had to take off after that. I had been a bad dad and I didn't feed my daughter before we went. If anyone caught the last part, let me know how it went. Also, what was the deal with the woman who was ironing? Sorry about the crappy photo. I've been having some issues with my camera. It's called user error.


Joel said...

Great post, man. I'm catching the launch in the motherland (i.e. in McAllen). I'll let you know how it goes.

Bernie said...

Man, I'm sorry I missed this. It would have been great to see David again.

a.k.a. sunlit doorway said...

Thanks for the kind words about our show on the 13th. I shoulda known better than to schedule something on friday the 13th. I'm such a nontraditionalist...

I'll be in McAllen too. Saturday and Sunday.

Wish I could play the geetar, so I could put music to my poems. One day, tal vez.

Feeding children is good. Glad you left when you needed to, for your daughter's sake. The ironing lady was making HECHO EN TEJAS t-shirts, with an iron-on that I had made earlier that afternoon. Thought it would be cool for Natalia to iron onstage, but I forgot to give a mention @ the mic. I was a bit ruffled by things that day, not the least of which was the tornado element...

Sorry i didn't get to meet you.