Yesterday, State Rep Joaquin Castro, spent an hour with us as he narrated this original story on the life of Willie Velasquez for children. Based on the stories the Velasquez family has told me, especially the late Mary Louise Velasquez, Willie’s mother, who was buried the week before (Que Dios Te Bendiga, Sra. Velasquez). Celeste Guzman, a poet, had told me that Joaquin was in debate with her at Jefferson HS, and that he could do this. The combination of his political achievements and his growing up in San Antonio, made for a potent read that is very smart, very American, and for reals. When I ask children what heroes do you know? They answer Tim Duncan and then — Joaquin Castro (sometimes they mix Julian and Joaquin). Rep. Castro told us that he was not quite 14 when Willie Velasquez passed, and I heard his voice change when he said “Su voto es su voz,”
Jimmy Klein, the son of Victoria Zapata and Javier Klein, San Antonio, is the voice of Willie. He was signing in the audiobooth on the day we taped him.
I think that Willie would be very proud of both Jimmy and Representative Castro.
Credit: “Hand” by visual artist Debora Kuetzpal Vasquez