Bagpipes and Low Riders


I am a frequent contributor to the Story of Texas - a history project of the State of Texas Museum. It's a great collection of stories from throughout the state. They are always looking for stories and if you're an essayist, you should consider sending in your story.

Here's an excerpt of my most recent essay:

...

On the cool desert mornings every fall, the bagpipe division of girls—because clearly no Hispanic boy would be caught DEAD in a kilt—would fill their plaid bags with air and the cry of the bagpipes would climb above the desert floor. The sound would bounce off the concrete stadium and enter with full intensity into my bedroom. I'd feel the strain of the notes— at first interrupted so often that it was more like a chorus of demented car horns than music. But slowly the band director would coax the song from the breath of Latinas, girls who would listen to ranchero music on the way home from school, cruising in low and slow Chevys and Fords. I'd wake up from my confused dreams, trying to figure out why in my sleep I was bounding through rolling green hills when I lived my waking life amid yucca and sand. The bagpipes would pull a yearning from me for a place I'd never seen, a place whose music slipped into my childhood like a lost leprechaun wandering into a circle of mariachis.

...

You can read the whole essay here.


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