They are all around us!!

By Juan A. Sifuentes Jr.
Published on LatinoLA: March 18, 2005


It is Sunday March 7, 2005. The time is 3:45 p.m. I am in front of my cousin?s nightclub in Alice, Texas. I am sitting in my van wondering whether I am doing the right thing by going in there. We are going to play for a benefit for 3 young girls who lost their lives in an automobile accident.

I never met the girls personally. They were from a small community northwest of Alice by the name of Orange Grove, Texas. Rebecca Delgado 16, Danielle Delgado 14, and their older sister Ruby Sanchez 21 were all killed in an automobile accident in Calallen, Texas. I know in my heart that it was for a good cause. There were enormous expenses, medical and funeral, that had to be paid. One good thing that I love about my town is that when we are at our worst of times, it brings out the best in all of us.

Our band was first to play. We would play for 45 minutes. Several other bands would play after us. I am used to playing for benefits and fund-raisers, but this was different. It involved 3 beautiful human beings (now angels) that did not get to live their lives to the fullest. They did not even get to the prime of their lives. They were just getting to know LIFE.

A million thoughts and questions raced through my mind. It was like when you are close to death and your whole life flashes before you in a matter of seconds. How do you motivate the crowd to get up, dance, and have a great time? Our town is mostly Catholic so most people were there just so they could help financially.

I started the first song like I normally do and I just took it like I was there to do a job for a family in need. I thought that I should just do what I do and sing with my heart. One song, that I sang, almost brought me to tears just thinking about the title,? Sufriendo a Solas?. Even though it has nothing to do with death, you could tell that some of the family members were there feeling that. The song title means, ?Suffering alone?.

After we sang our last song I said something to the people thanking them for their generosity on behalf of the family. As we got our things out of the way for the next group something beautiful and unexpected happened. A lady came up to me, shook my hand, and thanked me. Now I have done a lot of benefits but never has anyone ever come up to me and thanked me personally. It felt really nice to be appreciated for your work.

As I started to leave the dance floor a man walked towards me, shook my hand, and said that he was really impressed with my singing. He exclaimed,? I was telling my band members, THAT is a singer. That is a vocalist. That is a segundero!? Me quede sosprendido! This man was about 55 yrs. old and I impressed him? I asked his name pero no se me quedo nada! I was still very surprised. Then I told him my name and he literally said,?Holy Sh_t, no wonder you sounded so good! You come from a very great bloodline. Bienes de buena sangre.?

I left the place early, feeling very good about what I did for the family. I was also feeling great that at least one person, a fellow musician who didn?t know me until then, acknowledged my talent?Then something more Glorious hit me in the head Y en el Corazon. These Angels had already started working. If it wasn?t for Rebecca, Danielle, and Ruby I would not have had this great experience. Even in Death they beautified someone else?s LIFE?MINE?Thank You Mis Hermanitas en el Cielo?Juan

About Juan A. Sifuentes Jr.:
Juan A. Sifuentes Jr. is a second generation Tejano Singer. He is the secretary/board of director for Tejano R.o.o.t.s. the official Tejano Music Hall-of-Fame Museum of Texas

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