Saturday, June 08, 2002

Selena and Me: Two Degrees of Separation

In 1995, Grammy winning Tejano singer Selena was shot to death by her fan club president Yolanda Saldivar.
A movie was made about Selena's life and death, starring Jennifer Lopez and her fabulous butt. Most of it was filmed right here in San Antonio, the nearest big city to Selena's hometown, Corpus Christi.
I hadn't heard much about Selena until she was killed, I just knew she was some kind of Latin music singer and had a fashion boutique on Broadway with girly girl clothes in the window.
By the afternoon of her murder, several low rider-type cars in town had messages written on car windshields in white shoe polish. One said, "Selena will live on in our hearts forever."
My curiosity was piqued.
Yolanda Saldivar was a squatty little troll-like woman who'd been embezzling money from Selena's fan club and boutique. When Selena's micromanaging daddy Abraham Quintanilla demanded records, Saldivar flipped out and ended up killing Selena in a Corpus Christi motel parking lot.

Jacala's Mexican Restaurant is about two blocks from my house.
It's been around since the 50's, and so have many of its waiters. One of them, a little troll-like man named Frank used to be one of my favorites. He was very sweet, like a little Mexican leprechaun.
Turns out he was Frank Saldivar, Yolanda's daddy. Yolanda looked exactly like him.
When Yolanda was convicted, the hatred toward her in South Texas was palpable.
Old Frank had to take a leave of absence, that's how high the heat was.
He finally returned to work several months after Yolanda's conviction. But his heart wasn't in it anymore, he couldn't take the stares and whispers. He retired after nearly 40 years of service.
So, if Selena knew Yolanda, and Yolanda was Frank's daughter, and Frank used to wait on me at Jacala's, that makes two degrees of separation.
Weird, huh?

No comments: