When Selena wheeled the Charger onto 18th Street in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood, the throaty rumble of the big engine turned the heads of young men in tilted White Sox caps. In the air, Norteño bands playing plaintive corridos on button accordions competed with the thump-thump of quebradita, a blend of North Mexican banda and Aztec punk rockers singing in Spanglish. Like Julia Alvarez once said in a poem, Selena felt her Spanish blood beating.
There’s so much here that I can’t recall all the places I drew from. Let’s see: Google maps gave me a view of the Pilsen neighborhood, an Internet search gave me the proverbs (‘dichos,’ very important in Mexican culture) and interviews – mostly – gave me the other childhood details. General research made me realize how important Our Lady of Guadalupe is to the Mexican community, and, in fact, She is a minor character – sort of – in the story.