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Alone Among Iowans

Things took quite a different turn during my time in Iowa City: After playing a great house concert at the incredibly beautiful appartment of our friend Mark Moen, Tish got on an airplane and flew back to Texas to play at a benefit concert for her old friend and musical companion Troy Wells. Troy played with Tish in New Mexico in the 80s (he was the one who replaced Dave Magill) and then again from time to time in recent years. Presently he is facing some serious health problems, so the concert was meant to help him pay his medical bills.

Tish and Troy, ca. 1982

In the meantime, Tish’s old friend Bob Vanderbeek was kind enough to host me in his appartment on the ninth floor of a swanky highrise in downtown Iowa City. I had been looking forward to finally meeting Bob on this trip, and I sure had a wonderful time with him and his two dogs. Iowa City is a  pleasant and interesting college town, so my three days spent there further improved my already positive view of Iowa.

With friend and part-time flatmate Bob Vanderbeek. But frankly speaking: Who cares about the guys in this picture, with Tish looking sooooo gorgeous?

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Alone Among Musicians

Rehearsing at Tish’s apartment. From left to right: Marvin Dykhuis, Glenn Kawamoto, Chip Dolan, Arturo Garza, Tish Hinojosa.

Since Tish will play a show with the full band in Grand Prairie, TX this Saturday, she had the guys came over today for a little rehearsal (and some Mexican food). As always, it was a huge pleasure to watch these great musicians doing their work.

Alone Among Cops

This was one of the most bizarre experiences of my life: For two hours I was one of maybe a few hundred civilians in one room with 3000 or more policemen, all in their most ceremonial uniforms, with guns and all. The reason for this was the funeral of a APD (Austin Police Department) officer, who had been killed on duty a few days earlier. Somebody involved in the organization of the funeral asked Tish if she would sing a song at the  service, probably because Jaime Padron, the officer killed, was of Mexican-American origin. So Tish agreed and sang Violeta Parra’s song “Gracias a la vida”. It was very surprising, almost disturbing, to see the enormous efforts that everybody was making in order to honor Jaime Padron, that poor police officer (who, by the way, seems to have been a really nice guy).

After the funeral, there was a three miles long parade of police cars going through the whole city of Austin and then on to Padron’s home town San Angelo, with people standing along the streets, waving from bridges etc. It’s hard to imagine even a tenth of that attention and compassion given to a killed police officer in Germany. I guess to most Germans, and that certainly includes me, the death of a policeman on duty is no more (or less) a sad event than, say, the death of a construction worker on site. Nonetheless, overdone as this funeral seemed to me, it was actually touching to see everybody’s reactions to this  tragedy.

Here’s a news article on the funeral, in which Tish is briefly mentioned. She also has a short appearance in the video on that site.