Residence: Midland, TX
Date of Performance/Collection: 1//20/18
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s): Spanish
The following story was relayed from a cousin during a night at home in south Texas. On frequent occasion during family gatherings, cousins will gather on the porch following dinner to share cocktails, beers, cigarettes, and conversation. When the night has progressed for a few hours more, the conversation shifts into each member of the conversation sharing humorous anecdotes and stories one-by-one.
The cousin who told the story works and lives exclusively in south Texas, and being out of college is more privy to hearing the bizarre ramblings of local radio stations in the coastal areas surrounding Corpus Christi. The labor culture that exists in this area is predominantly a mix of English and Spanish-speaking idiosyncrasies, drawing from distinctly Hispanic and Anglo modes of speech.
On the night of documentation, the cousin in question told a story of a particular AM radio station known as ‘104.9 Magic’, operated by a 60-something Hispanic man named Lolo Aguilar. As described by my cousin, Mr. Aguilar’s sessions on the radio center on no topic in particular and extend for sometimes a matter of hours consisting entirely of him simply speaking into the radio from whatever is on his mind, with the only interruptions coming in the form of homemade commercial breaks celebrating the popular basketball team of the San Antonio Spurs.
One of Mr. Aguilar’s daily ramblings proceeded as follows (to be read/imagined in a Hispanic-American dialect):
“Today I thought I’d talk about presidents. Couple good topics the last couple days, but I figured today I’d hold off on having people call in and just talk about a few things that’ve been on my mind lately.
Now, you know…the thing about presidents, and we have a lot of good ones too, throughout the years. There was Ronald Reagan. Theodore Roosevelt, uh…Abraham Lincoln. George Washington, he goes without saying. And not just them by themselves either, we had too many good ones. And people normally talk about a few when they’re talking about things like that.
But you know who was, maybe, perhaps the best president that nobody talk about too much like the others is Franklin Delano Roosevelt. They call him FDR. He was president during Worl’ War Two, and also, he was president The Great Deprechon [Depression]. And you know, he was in office for four times. Which was the most terms of any other president. He had a lot of really goo things going for him in these time. But the thing is, he die. So he could not be president no more.”
What particularly stands out to me from my cousin’s story, later tuning in myself the next day to wind up listening to a ten minute discussion on Crayola’s success being measured in how many colors they offer in crayon boxes, is his encapsulation of perhaps not the exact words of Mr. Aguilar, but undoubtedly the spirit with which he carries his day-to-day personality on the airwaves. The most important notion for my cousin to capture and feed our complete understanding (as an audience to his own recollection) depends not on perfectly remembering every comma, pause, and word, instead relying on a sensory recreation of what it feels like to listen to this man on the radio.