Eydie Gorme y Los Panchos Perform Sabor A Mí
- I was born on the top floor of Holy Cross Hospital, across the street from Holy Cross Cemetery. The hospital building was destroyed in the Sylmar earthquake. Now the place of my birth is fifty feet in the air.
- I was the last of seven pregnancies for my mother; she was in labor for less than an hour. There was no time to prep her, so she gave birth to me and pooped at the same time.
- Both my parents were late-in-life babies too; all four of my grandparents were born in the 1880’s. Both my grandfathers died before I was born.
- I first met my grandmother when my father took me with him on a trip to Chicago. My abuela scared me because she didn’t speak English, and I didn’t speak Spanish. Even though she was very old, she held on to me tight and I couldn’t get away.
- The principal of my elementary school was Sister Pancratius. She took the name of a Roman boy who was martyred in the fourth century. His decapitated head can be venerated in a small basilica just south of the Vatican. He is the saint you pray to if you have a headache. Parts of his body were taken to England by Saint Augustine.
- My sister changed her name from Mary Alice to Mimi. She was classmates at my school with Richard Marin. He took the name Cheech to alliterate with his partner Tommy Chong; he also renamed Pancratius Sister Mary Elephant.
- In fourth grade, Sister Regina told us that without faith, we would burn in hell. At night I would worry that I was going to spend eternity in hell, because I could’t believe the stories I was being told.
- The church next to my school was Saint John Baptist de la Salle. My confirmation was performed there by Cardinal McIntyre. It was the only time I’ve been touched by a cardinal. Years after his death, McIntyre’s body was moved to Our Lady Queen of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles.
- It was in the bushes next to the church that I received my first blow job.
- I’ve been a great fan and champion of oral sex ever since.
- During an evening catechism class for my confirmation, we were shown The Cross and The Switchblade. Erik Estrada played a junkie and Pat Boone was the priest. Some boy I had never seen before invited me outside. He asked me if he could kiss me and I said OK.
- When he stuck his muscular tongue in my mouth, I swooned.
- For my confirmation name I chose Peter because I had a crush on a boy named Peter.
- My father was my sponsor; he had his hand on my shoulder while the cardinal put oil on my forehead.
- I took a cross-country road trip with my friend Konrad in his 1962 Cadillac Coupe de Ville. Later, when we shared a duplex in Silverlake, I would find the car’s carburetor in the kitchen sink, being rebuilt.
- We visited his family’s farm in Indiana, and stumbled upon a small cemetery with a huge tombstone with his family name, Kemper, on it. I took his picture next to the tombstone. After he died, I found out that he wanted his ashes scattered on the farm.
- My father’s given name at birth was Ysidro Gilberto Buitrón, because he was born on May 15th, the feast day of Saint Isidore the farmer. He later changed his name to Gilbert Buitron. In 1969 the Catholic Church changed May 15th to the feast day for St. John Baptist de la Salle. He is the patron saint of teachers.
- The last time I saw my father he told me he regretted never returning to Mexico.
- I brought CDs by Perez Prado and Eydie Gorme on that visit, which were albums he played when I was a child. Eydie Gorme sang Sabor a Mi:
Sin negaras mi presencia en tu vivir
bastaría con abrazarte y conversar
Tanta vida yo te di
que por fuerza tienes ya
Sabor a mí
- We both expected that it was the last time we would see each other. We acted stoic (because that’s how we are) but we both cried when we hugged.
- A month later Konrad gave me an airline voucher that was to expire in a few weeks. I used it to fly to Mexico. While the plane was flying over Mexico, my father died. When I returned, the funeral had already taken place.
- When the Cathedral of Our Lady Queen of the Angels opened, I went with Konrad and some other friends to hear Mozart’s Requiem played by the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
- While sitting on the front porch on a warm summer night, Rogaciano Zavaleta told me that Sabor a Mi should be my theme song, because he’ll never forget how I tasted when we kissed.
- My father’s body was moved from Oregon to Holy Cross Cemetery, across from Holy Cross Hospital. On a hot summer day I attended the reinterrment with my family.
- I no longer worry about hell, except as psychologically detrimental confabulation of Roman Catholicism.