Trippin' to Texas - Part 2

Journey thru Aztlan spreading music and cultura

By Frankie Firme
Published on LatinoLA: November 19, 2005

Trippin' to Texas - Part 2

As the sun rose above the beautiful countryside of Belen, New Mexico, the location of the Chavez Ranch on the outskirts of Albuquerque, this city vato was awakened to the unfamiliar sounds of chickens cock-a-doodle-dooing, horses winnying, dogs barking, and NO familiar sounds of police sirens & helicopters overhead.

(...tell me...am I spoiled or what?)

Bidding our farewell to the Chavez family (Steven's Uncle & Aunt), we headed back on the Highway 40, heading east for the lone star state and further adventures.

To start our morning commute off towards Texas, we put on the radio to check out one of the local radio stations we had visited, and lo and behold, "At last" by Bertha Oropeza and CHICO was playing loud & proud, thanks to brother Steven Chavez and his unrelentless push of California Chicano music. "I gave them a ton of music the artists kicked down to me, and they promised to play it...and THEY ARE!" Steven proudly proclaimed.

I started getting a twinge of homesickness when my beautiful golden haired Lady called me to send some love and wish us a safe trip. Man was MY day made! As if on cue, Steven & Pepe also got calls from their Ladies wishing us all well, making us all smile.

Brown women sure got good timing! Glad I got me a good one!

Needless to say, Highway 40 became a blur as we ate up the road like speedway tourists. Along the way, we touched bases with our "Commander at firebase L.A.", Abelardo de la Pe?a Jr., to give him an update. He laughed as we told him of our adventures so far, and wished us well. He also expressed his regrets that he couldn't come along, but somebody has to man the fort in L.A., tu sabes. (Sorry, Abelardo..next time, homie!)

After making pit stops in Adrian, Amarillo, Wichita Falls, Fort Worth and Dallas (where Steven managed to talk to EVERYBODY he met about our mission and Chicano music), we finally landed in the land of "The Godfather of Tejano Soul", Waxahachie, Texas.

As we pulled up to the Hernandez home, Chuy was waiting outside with one of the biggest smiles you ever saw, that was visible from a block away!. Exchanging handshakes, hugs and plenty of hearty laughs, we were invited into his home that is a combination home, radio station, and Dallas Cowboys museum (Pepe was quick to change out of his L.A. Raiders shirt! Ha!).

As if it were Christmas, Steven and Chuy quickly made each other gifts of music and memorabilia, and we chatted for a couple of hours about the Tejano Music R.O.O.T.S. Hall of Fame Awards Ceremony and the 40th Anniversary of West Coast Chicano Rock & Roll, while the sweet sounds of musica Tejana played in the background. Chuy has one of the most extensive music collections I've ever seen, and he had no problem keeping the air filled with beautiful music, while he gave us a virtual tour of the world of his beloved Tejano music.

Vato knows his stuff! You got a jewel here, Texas! The Azteca Goddess of Ritmo smiles down upon you all!

A few hours went by like minutes, and after awhile, Chuy's lovely wife Janie and his son Beto arrived, also welcoming us like long lost familia. In less time than it takes to
play a CD, Janie prepared us a good old fashioned Chicano gourmet home cooked meal that left us full, content and feeling right at home.

Brown women know how to make a house a home, and Janie Hernandez is a great example of how it's supposed to be done! Thank you ever so much, Mrs. Hernandez!

After digesting for a minute, a quick shower and change of clothes, we headed for Dallas, where we met up with Chuy's lovely daughter Jessica, who gave us a personal tour of the greater Dallas area. Dallas at night is a beautifully lit up paradise, and the people are out there, making the night life happening similar to L.A. Jessica was a most gracious host, and gave us her night despite having previous plans! Thank you, Mija!

Leaving Steven off at Plano, Texas, where he would spend the night visiting relatives, we headed back to the Hernandez home, where we ended the night listening to classic Tejano boleros and enjoying the cool Texas evening breezes while The Royal Jesters played softly in the background. We got a call that evening from L.A. homeboy Ruben Molina , who was flying into San Antonio that Saturday for a reunion of the Royal Jesters at the home of musician & music collectors Robert & Dolores Gonzalez, and we both exchanged envy that we couldn't be in two places at the same time.

Tejas was the place to be on this week~end!

As Chuy, Pepe, & I ended our evening talking about the days ahead of us in San Antonio and Alice, our excitement lead to a dreamy state of well being...and after another 800 miles on the road, some more well deserved rest!

Part III : San Antonio and Alice...here we come!!

About Frankie Firme:
Frankie Firme's website: http://www.frankiefirme.50megs.com

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