For the past month, I’ve been training our new salesman at the box factory, David Gingerich. He’s not a Roth, but he’s darn close. His father and my father grew up together (though Dad was closer to David’s uncle, John). David went to school with my brother, Tony.
David and his wife recently returned from a two-year mission trip to Ecuador. I love to hear his stories of life and culture in South America. As we drive around Portland looking for people to buy boxes, we have many fine conversations about immigration politics, theology (though I’m atheist now, I’m proud of religious roots), and, of course, Latin music.
When I was young, I made fun of “beaner music”. (“Are kids still racist like that?” I asked David today. He didn’t know.) The oom-pa sound of the songs the Mexicans listened to while picking berries was easy to mock. When I went to work for Dad after college, I was dismayed to find our Mexican employees preferred this sort of music.
But you know what?
I actually grew to like certain songs. In fact, several years ago I made an entire CD devoted to my favorite oom-pa Mexican songs. (I borrowed CDs from Jose, Jesus, and Sabino.) Sometimes I’ll be driving along an sunny day and the mood will strike me to listen to my Mexican mix. I don’t understand a word they’re singing, but I love it.
This afternoon as I started cleaning the house, I wanted some upbeat background music. I wasn’t in the mood for classic rock, though, and the dance station on XM was just too chipper. What I really wanted was Mexican music. Did XM offer any? I looked at my channel card…
Sure enough! For the past hour now, I’ve been listening to XM 92, Aguila! (“Regional Mexcian” it says on the channel card.) I still don’t understand a word they’re singing, but somehow I don’t care. It’s the perfect music for my mood.