to selena with love

Edgar Chose Selena Quintanilla Perez For His Social Studies Project: We’ve Got Material For That!

selena quintanilla perez social studies project juanofwords

Se los prometo that he made the selection entirely on his own!  En serio.  For reals.  No, but like for reals.  Yesterday when I got home the first thing Edgar told me when I got off the truck was “guess who I picked for my social studies project?”  I was a little confused and wasn’t entirely sure what he was talking about.  “Selena.  Selena Perez!  I picked Selena Perez,” he shouted excitedly smiling and looking directly at me to evaluate my reaction.

“You mean Selena Quintanilla Perez,” I responded slyly.

“I know… I forgot the Quintanilla part when I put her name down on the sheet,” he responded.

I’m not even gonna try to front.  My immediate reaction – ya saben in my panzota – was excitement!  Immediately I thought about how relieved I was that he had not said Selena Gomez instead.  Y’all know what I’m talking about.  There are actually kiddos walking around right now thinking that Selena Gomez is the biggest Selena there ever was.  That’s just wrong!

“Selena was named after Selena Quintanilla Perez, mijito!”  That’s always my reaction to such an offense.  The kids just kind of stare at me blankly like “what?…”

My brain started working, and churning, y dando vueltas y vueltas.  “I interviewed her widower last year,” I bragged to Edgar.  He didn’t really understand the significance of that.  Later on Anjelica told me too who Edgar had selected for his school project.

“You have that Selena doll,” she says to me.  It’s true I do.  It’s a collector’s item.  Don’t laugh at me!  “He can take it to school…”

“NOOOOOOO!!!!! Not my Selena doll,” I yell.  Then I kind of embarrassingly retract and explain more calmly and “logically” why there ain’t no chance in hell my Selena doll is walking out of the house and into a school full of curious and careless huercos!  Who knows what those kids would do to my 17 year old Selena doll that’s still neatly stored away in her original box.  I also have tons of magazines from when she first passed away that I collected.

ADM!  I am ridiculous!

Oh well, at least Edgar knows Bidi Bidi Bom Bom has absolutely nothing to do with Selena Gomez!

Now to make his social studies project Reina del Tex-Mex worthy!

Quintanilla Family Approves of ‘To Selena, With Love’

quintanilla family approves of to selena with love

The Quintanilla family.

Remember a couple of months ago I told you about Chris Perez’s new book, To Selena, With Love?  Well, since then it has been all over the news and apparently it is selling quite well también.  But, for me, what still was kind of a topic of curiosity, more than anything else, was just exactly how Selena’s family actually felt about the book.  Last week, at the Billboard Latin Music Awards I had the chance to interview A.B. Quintalla and asked him precisely that: how does the family feel about Chris Perez’s new book?  I also asked about how he felt about the tribute to Selena at the awards show.  Here’s what he had to say:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Nop2i1mxO0]

Lady Gaga Gives Props to Late Tejano Queen Selena

At least it appears that way.  Unless the Queen of Little Monsters around the world – yes Lady Gaga herself, she with the 22-million-plus Twitter followers – meant the other now also very famous Selena.  The not so little anymore Selena Gomez.

Whom coincidentally, in fact, was named after the slain Reina del Tex Mex.  Yes folks!  Either way, all roads lead back to Selena Quintanilla Perez.

lady gaga wears selena t shirt

Lady Gaga is a fan of Selena it seems.

It appears Lady Gaga might do “anything for Salinas!” as well.  Her tweet this week very simply stated: Leaving for Korea in less than a week!!!!  Wearing my favorite t shirt today.  It might be the raddest ever.  The below picture accompanied the tweet.

lady gaga wears selena t shirt

This is the t shirt in question. Pretty cool!

Which Selena she was talking about, the Born This Way songstress did not specify, but I’d bet good money Lady Gaga was talking about our Tejano Queen in that tweet.  That deserves an ¡Ajua!

Good for you Lady Gaga!

A big thanks to my friend Mariluz for turning me on to this tweet. 

Remembering Selena

Remembering Selena

Selena at her throne: the stage.

Tomorrow marks the 17th anniversary of Selena Quintanilla Perez’s death.  For many of us, especially here in Texas, it’s an occasion to remember her music and her life.  While this date never goes unnoticed for me, this year, I do feel a little more purpose in celebrating Selena’s memory.  I’ve been reading her widower’s book ‘To Selena, With Love‘ and am really enjoying getting to know the Selena he knew and loved behind the scenes.  At the same time, I can’t help but remember what Chris Perez shared with me about her during our phone conversation.

His continued love for her is really quite touching.

I have not yet pulled out my personal collection of Selena memorabilia, but that may not be too far behind.  For the moment, I would just like to share some of these unforgettable Selena moments and hits.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrw5MtD9UpQ] [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vaxa8l6ObqQ] [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eahXBq5DI1Y]

Como dice la canción, literally in this case, ¡vivirás Selena!

Q&A: Chris Perez on His New Book “To Selena, With Love”

All of 17 years ago, in the immediate aftermath of her death, Selena Quintanilla Perez’s husband, Chris Perez was the one person we rarely saw anywhere, making any comments on behalf of himself or the Quintanilla family about her passing.  In fact, until his 1999 studio album with the Chris Perez Band it was sort of like he had disappeared all together.  Even when he did come out to promote his new music he rarely said much about his late wife.  In his new book, To Selena, With Love, released this month, Perez explains that in a lot of ways he had sort of disappeared into himself.

'To Selena With Love' by Chris Perez

The book tells the story of Selena and Chris from Chris’ perspective, in what he hopes will shine a new light on the legendary Queen of Tejano Music as a woman.  The woman that he fell in love with, married and lost.

I had the chance to talk with Chris over the phone about his life with Selena and the new book.  While I’m still in the process of reading the book myself, as a huge Selena fan, I am grateful that Chris has given us the opportunity to get to know who she was just a little better.  Chris was very friendly and polite during our 30 minute conversation, even when pressed with some of the more delicate questions:

Juan:  Why did you feel now was the right time to share your life with Selena in such a public way?

Chris:  What makes it so surprising to a lot of people that I actually did it in the first place is because I was the one that always said… “I’m never going to do that… I’d never see myself doing this” …but then it’s true what they say, I guess, about time kind of healing.  I don’t know if we can ever heal 100 percent from something as tragic as what happened, but with time you do start to see things in a different light and things change.  I’ve been through a lot in life after her death that it just kind of… I felt like I had suppressed a lot of memories in thinking it was helping me deal with it, with the loss of her… it’s one thing to lose your wife in the way that it happened with Selena, but it’s also another thing to be in the same industry that she was in and to be surrounded by her image, videos and music all of the time… I couldn’t go to work and escape it so to speak.  It was overload for me.  I think that’s one of the reasons I kept everything sealed up… In a way this is kind of my way of me dealing with everything.

Juan:  I can’t even begin to imagine how difficult those first few days afterwards must have been like for you, can you tell me anything about that time in your life?

Chris:  It was almost like going into shock.  It’s not that you don’t feel anything.  It’s more like you just sort of go numb… As corny as it sounds, things are just not the same after that.  The colors aren’t as colorful as you thought they were.  The food doesn’t taste the same as you thought it did.  Things don’t feel the way they did before… It kind of shook me down to the core.  The best way I can describe it is numb, going numb… it’s too much you know… Looking back on it now, I lived a lot of my life after her passing with blinders on.

Juan:  In the immediate aftermath of Selena’s passing her family was at the forefront of communicating with the media.  We didn’t see you for a long while.  Where were you during that time?

Chris:  I locked myself up.  I couldn’t even take the trash out.  I had the Porsche, her red car, in the garage and it was surrounded by plastic bags full of trash.  I couldn’t take it out.  I would have to wait until four in the morning when friends of mine and I would load up pickup trucks with bags and go and dump them off at the dumpster where nobody could see us, and that was pretty much the only time I left the house…  From March 31, 1995 until the following year in November I was that hermit… for that whole time I didn’t move anything of hers.  It was like she still lived there.

Juan:  How did you find out about what had happened to Selena that day?

Chris:  I didn’t find out as soon as I should have because that afternoon she had taken my truck and my phone.  She had a really bad habit of just leaving her keys wherever, as well as her cell phone… but that day, with everything that had happened with Yolanda, she got up really early… I didn’t even know that she was leaving.  I woke up as she was leaving and didn’t even ask her where she was going… so she had my phone and there was no way to get a hold of me… I was with my father running errands and nobody could get a hold of me.  I came home after everything had happened… When I got the call, her aunt told me that she had been in an accident.  I assumed it was a car accident and she was in the hospital.  I asked what happened and she said she was shot two times, which wasn’t true… she got shot one time.  After that we just ran out of the house and went to the hospital.  Never once thinking that what had happened was possible, that she wasn’t going to make it.  As a matter of fact, I already had my speech for when I got to the hospital to get after her for going by herself and not telling me to go with her… I kind of walked in sort of with a half smile thinking “where is she?, let me at her”, and that was when Abraham just looked at me and told me that she was gone.  You can imagine, it was like a ton of bricks falling on you.

Juan:  Do you feel in writing this book, that this is sort of like letting her go or moving on with your life after all this time? 

Chris:  It’s not letting her go.  That will never happen.  I just felt it was really important for her fans to get to see another side of her.  It didn’t seem fair to me anymore that she was only known as this great entertainer, performer… She was the one that loved the everyday things in life.  She didn’t need a lot.  She didn’t ask for a lot.  She was normal in a lot of ways…

Juan:  Are you still in love with her?

Chris:  Yeah, I always will be.  Of course!  To this day – I mean I’ve said it before – I’ve never met anybody like her.  She was definitely one of a kind.

Juan:  And inevitably people are going to think that maybe this is about making money, above all else, what would you say to these people? 

Chris:  Well they can say that.  I don’t even need to respond to that.  They’re going to say that.  It’s inevitable and I knew that going into it.  And there is nothing I can say that would change their mind.  In other words if I have to explain it to them, they’re never going to get it.

Chris will be in Houston tomorrow signing copies of his new book. 

FTC Disclosure: Juan of Words received a free copy of the book from the author as part of a Penguin Group (USA) Inc. book tour. Juan of Words was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own.

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