Maria Hinojosa of Latino USA has a wonderful interview with Xavier Garza about his new book Charro Claus and the Tejas Kid. Xavier is truly himself--puro americano, puro fronterizo--and Maria is delighted. She gets it, she loves it. Xavier talks about growing up in Rio Grande City and his father taking him Christmas shopping. They'd see Santa Claus but he'd be wearing a big wide sombrero. Who is that, Xavier would ask his dad? His father would laugh and say, Why, that's Charro Claus, Santa Claus' Mexican cousin! And just like that the seed was planted in Xavier's heart and mind to some day tell the origin story of the one and only Charro Claus.
And of course in Xavier's story Charro Claus, with his nephew Vincent as his faithful companion and a herd of burros pulling the wagon through the night sky, doesn't have trouble crossing back and forth across the border, no matter how tall they build the fences and walls.
Do you live near the border between Texas and Mexico? Well, don't be surprised if you happen to look up in the sky one Christmas Eve night and see a wagon being pulled by a pack of flying burritos. If you listen closely you might even hear Charro Claus and his sidekick the Tejas Kid calling out for all the world to hear:
“Ándale, Rigo! Go, Jaime! C’mon, Freddie! Dale gaaaaaas, Little Joe! Step on it!”
But on a side note that speaks of the tribulations of Independent Publishing, we've heard from a number of folks that they've had an impossible time finding the book in time for Christmas. In Austin, for instance, the stores were sold out even before the show aired on KUT. This is one more example of book buyers still underestimating Latinos' (especially Mexicans and Mexican-Americans) hunger for books that speak of their roots, their own part of the great American quilt. Not to worry though. We filled plenty of orders through our website and our storefront. Of course, folks in El Paso didn't have to worry. Bookstores here, especially the two B&Ns, called back for more. And of course Charro Claus will have long legs. We don't think we'll even have to wait until next year. We'll be selling the story of Charro Claus all year long!