Friday, March 16, 2012

On the Road with the Wet Books – Alburquerque Preliminary Report

Michael Sedano

Don Rudolfo Anaya

I edited Rudy Anaya today. Actually, Don Rudy, Jesus Treviño, and I brainstormed for a word in one of those, “ok, what’s a better word for our purpose? How about…or…and...ok go with that.”

Along the frontera. El otro lado is one country that doesn't ban books

We quit El Paso with one early stop in Mesilla before hitting the road to Alburquerque, passing in convoy along the border fence.

Tragedy nearly put the kibosh on the whole thing, however. Jesus Treviño was videoing an interview when the bus driver hit the brakes hard. Treviño looked out the windshield and witnessed a four-car collision. As one of the cars spun wildly against the rail, my tocayo the driver swerved into an open lane but then a second spinning car headed in the bus’s direction.
Librotraficantes, AKA the wet books, march from the zócalo to Mesilla Cultural Center

The community of Mesilla turned out to greet the book smugglers at Denise Chavez’ bookstore and cultural centro. 
Denise Chavez greets Dagoberto Gilb, Tony Diaz surrounded by news media and townfolk

Denise arranged a special way La Bloga readers can join Ms Chavez in supporting the contra-book banners. She has on sale a number of signed first editions of banned works. Contact Chavez for a booklist. Proceeds go to Librotraficante.

Michael Nichols, driver extraordinaire, modestly accepts congratulations, and displays his red vinyl bracelet that reads “I save lives daily.” He saved the Librotraficante Movimiento today.
Michael Nichols saves lives daily

Anaya is a giant. He knows this. The LA Times Book Fair knows it. The Times celebrates Rudolfo Anaya’s career achievements, awarding Don Rudy its highly respected Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement.

If you attend the Times Book Fair awards fête this year, you can enjoy the speech Rudy recorded with my coaching in rehearsal—that is so cool to write, for this old speech teacher—and our collective efforts to replace that one word.

Then the Librotraficantes arrived.
Anaya contributes two cases of Bless Me, Ultima for smuggling into idea-free Arizona

Love, joy, respect were the emotions of the moment. Those, and awe. Awed at being in the writer’s home. Awed even as one stands with Mr. Anaya for a photograph. “Oh, please now me!” Awe as some  eavesdrop on Rudy and Dagoberto Gilb, who sit around a table chatting about book-banning pendejadas and the number of times Bless Me, Ultima has been banned.

Rudy and Dago enjoy a chat

Tequila, Anaya pointed out as he proposed the toast, has traditional values so don’t abuse it.  With the toast, lunch, and just hanging around, los wet books smugglers received the blessings of Don Rudy. I don’t have a foto as I was drinking tequila at the time.

La Bloga will save its full report for next week on the Standing Room Only floricanto that evening at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. I exposed 340 frames and that's a ton of editing. I have only an ounce of energy and a strange hotel bed beckons me with a come hither soft look in its sabana.

Banned book foto op


Librotraficante said...

Gracias, Michael for saving the Libroraficante Journey as an archive, for saving the history of how the other Michael saved us-literally.

We are blessed by both of you, and so many others.

You don't simply write great prose, but you are the carrier of the sacred context of the sacred texts.

Tony Diaz
El Librotraficante

Teresa Tenorio said...

Hi Michael Sedano!

I'm so glad to have found your blog. We have a Bless Me, Ultima movie fan page recently launched on facebook and I would love to feature some of your pictures of Anaya and the Albuquerque event. I would prominently credit you and link your blog site.

The Librotraficante Movement sounds awesome and I will be following it more closely. I added it to our fan page likes.

Please visit the page

Thank you!
Teresa Tenorio
Admin, Bless Me Ultima Movie fan page

msedano said...

Teresa, you're welcome to use them as links to fotos from La Bloga.