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Selena Quintanilla Pérez : The Greatest Woman

     Selena Quintanilla Pérez : The Greatest Woman Selena is the greatest female performer. Her star was the brightest. Her energy was her life, her life was her music. Her presence and passion on stage was her manifestation of all these qualities. Her voice was her lion's roar. Her energy was an explosion. Her explosion was a love for life.  I am 56 years old today. I remembered her when she was alive. I appreciated her then, but I worship her today. We live in declining times, declining cultures. I will not speak negatively of others, only to say that I realize now more so how great Selena is.  Selena was a very strong woman, a very feminine woman, and those go together hand-in-hand. She was a very sexy woman by nature, au natural, with elegance and purity. She became who she became. She was an original. Selena was a self-made woman. She didn't come from famous parents. Nothing was handed to her. She came from a poor family but a very supportive family.    There is no woman l
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PROMISED YOU AMERICA

During the 1980s there was a song called "Promised You A Miracle" but I always heard it as "Promised You America." And that is where my blog received its title from.  In the previous century, after the Second World War, many Europeans sought to immigrate to the United States. America was the promised land. It was a beautiful, safe country. And a free country, there was no welfare state. The immigrants that came to America had to work to survive, there was no alternative.  My father was one such immigrant after leaving Holland after the Second World War. He worked many odd jobs until he became his own salesperson, first selling Dutch chocolate from his VW van to supermarkets in the US, and thereafter, eventually by hard work, becoming a successful fine art dealer.  One of my first jobs after arriving in America in 1983 was that of a busboy at the Bankers Club Carnelian Room. Some people might look down on that but I was looking down upon them as the restaurant was on

ANGELIQUE VIA UTRECHT

It was a typical Dutch gray day. No rain, no sun. The train had just left the Utrecht station on its way to Bunnik. I was now only minutes away from seeing Angelique. The last time I had seen her was over thirty years ago when she visited me in San Francisco. The last time I was in the Netherlands, there still was the Dutch guilder and Dutch freedom. Now returning so many years later, the monetary currency was in euros and the cultural currency was in lockdowns, face masks and QR codes. Dutch sovereignty and freedom had taken a beating. Holland had fallen once again, but this time from within. But we were no longer allowed to make historical comparisons or we would be shouted at.  When the train stopped in Bunnik, my compartment was the farthest from the platform. When I stepped out, I saw a silhouette in the distance waving at me. It was Angelique. She was dressed all in black, with a long raincoat that looked like a cape and with a wide brimmed black hat. For a moment I felt I was in

Coming To America

As a teenager growing-up in Holland, I used to watch numerous American TV shows. The one that I really liked was Miami Vice starring Don Johnson. At this time in Holland there were only two government television channels, and they didn’t commence until 3pm in the afternoon and ended slightly passed 11pm. Another one I really liked was  Magnum, P.I.  starring Tom Selleck. And though Magnum, P.I. was featured only once a week, it provided me with enough inspiration to enter the world of palm trees, white beaches, beautiful women and a red Ferrari. But if not a red Ferrari, I would have gladly settled for the convertible Rolls-Royce Corniche as occasionally featured in my other favorite TV show, Hart to Hart , starring Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers. For me, Don Johnson, Tom Selleck, and Robert Wagner as portrayed on television were the ideal men living in the ideal world. So in 1983, after graduating from high school in Holland, I stepped aboard a KLM Boeing 747 to the USA. It was a o

SHE DROVE A CITROËN SM

SAN FRANCISCO 1983-85: One of my favorite places to go was a place called Dancers located on Harrison and Second Street. Dancers was a large, dark place with many colored lights flashing around as an industrial-beat of music kept breeding an inescapable aura of sexuality. At least this is what it felt like after several beers. At Dancers the libido was liberated and celebrated, and girls were dancing everywhere, including on top of the bar. And it was there that I would meet my first girlfriend, Brishon.  Earlier I had awkwardly asked some of these girls to dance but was rejected every time. And just as I was about to become discouraged, I saw an attractive female standing near the dance floor, leaning against a pillar with her arms folded. She appeared relaxed, confident and very attractive. She looked Mediterranean with her long, curly hair that fell over her bare shoulders. Her eyes were large and brown under thick, manicured eyebrows.  But when I approached her, she too would decli

WHEN SINATRA SINGS

Frank Sinatra and Grace Kelly in High Society (1956) DALLAS, TEXAS: In October of 1986, there was a huge event at the Hilton Anatole Hotel (which was then called the Loews Anatole).  It was the Princess Grace Foundation, and it would become the biggest event in the history of this hotel.  Several days prior to this event, all waiters who were scheduled to be working this function underwent background checks.  Though we weren’t told of any specifics, there were a lot of suits walking around and we suspected they were federal agents. In the afternoon, as we were setting up the banquet tables with wine glasses and silverware, numerous celebrities were rehearsing their presentations for the event later that evening.  As I was wiping and placing the dinner knives around the table, Diane Warwick was sound-checking the microphone from different locations in the back of the Pavilion room.  As a teenager in Holland I often played her LPs on my record player to the extent that my mother o

THE STARCK CLUB -- BEING THERE

Inside The Starck Club DALLAS, TEXAS -- 1985-89: My favorite place that I would frequently visit in Dallas was the Starck Club.  It was located in the old part of town, where the once life-sustaining warehouses were abandoned and crumbling, right past the forgotten railroad tracks of the forgotten Industrial Revolution.  But this one particular warehouse was adopted and remodeled by the French architect and designer, Philippe Starck. The Starck Club was owned by numerous people, and one of them was rumored to be Grace Jones but this may not have been true. Getting into the Starck Club wasn’t easy.  There was always a long line and the club’s doormen were very selective about who they allowed to enter. Since I was in my early twenties with bleached blond hair, I was hip enough to pass.  I also wore black parachute pants while standing in white leather shoes -- all very Duran Duran like. The first time I entered the Starck Club I was in a state of shock and awe.  It wasn’

Meeting Wolfgang Puck and Robert Duvall

Crescent Court Hotel, Dallas, Texas DALLAS, TEXAS -- 1985-89: Luckily, a new hotel had opened-up in Dallas, and I was able to work some banquet shifts there.  It was a 5 star hotel called The Crescent Court Hotel. Its banquet manager, Jorge, had previously worked at the Anatole Hotel as an assistant banquet manager with Charles Lorenzi.  The banquet facility at The Crescent Court Hotel was minuscule in comparison to the Anatole Hotel, but the money was much bigger. Jorge was originally from Bolivia, was medium built and had wavy black hair, which wasn’t bad for a man in his forties.  He also had a big black mustache and a very large oval head that seemed out of proportion to the rest of his body. Before the banquet commenced, Jorge was always nervous and overly serious.  But after serving the dessert and coffee, he became relaxed and charming.  And as a banquet waiter, the money was always very good and so was the employee-cafeteria food.  And I was always grateful when Jorge in