“Eddie V. on the Silver Screen” published with Superstition Review

My great Uncle Fernie as Chico alongside John Wayne in the movieTycoon

I’m thrilled that my story “Eddie V. on the Silver Screen” has been published with Superstition Review. This story is a culmination of a few varying interests and events in my life.

My great uncle Fernie (Fernando Alvarado, if you wish to read about his filmography on IMDb), much like the titular character Eduardo Vásquez of this story, was a child actor in the ’40s. He recently passed away, and after talking with my abuela (his sister) about his life, I became fascinated with telling a story of a child actor of Mexican descent in the Golden Age of the Hollywood western. Also similar to Eddie V., Uncle Fernie stopped acting after his teens, for reasons that are unknown to me, as I never quite had the chance to ask him about his acting life, so I don’t know if he felt as Eddie V. feels about why the roles stopped coming, but one thing was clear to me in talking with my dad and my grandma: they were proud of him. And they view his short-lived career in the movies with such high regard. To see him on their TV is almost to have him back in their lives and to remember him.

I’ve only recently felt comfortable with identifying as a Latino. It’s taken me 30 years to feel OK doing that.

If you’d like to watch a movie with my great uncle Fernie, my dad’s favorite movie of his is Tycoon, in which he acted alongside John Wayne.

The man pointed at a little boy in the corner of the poster wearing a straw hat and looking up into the sky, and he said, “This is you, no? You’re Eddie V.

I’ve also been intrigued with Latin American folktales, from early colonial legends to current-day fables. And I wanted to tell this story as a morality tale, as an old abuelo telling this story to his grandchildren, as stories were often told to me. So you’ll find orality is a major component of this story. This story had been accepted by a couple of literary journals, both of which I would have been thrilled to publish with, but I ultimately went with Superstition Review because there was an opportunity to record myself reading the story and that appear alongside the piece. Although I am somewhat uncomfortable with my Spanish-speaking abilities, I believe that hearing this story orally is how I intended, and it felt right that it be published in that way.

Finally, for years I’ve wrestled with being a Latino who speaks little Spanish. As a result, I’ve often felt some distance from my culture and heritage, as though I’ll never be fully embraced because of some apparent lack of authenticity. I’ve been interrogating these feelings, and have been fascinated by racial communities and their generational differences, differences which are largely exacerbated by the dominant culture’s attitudes. There are figures, in Portland and elsewhere, that seem to want to gatekeep Latino/a/x/e identity and who would assert that if you don’t do things a certain way or that if you don’t speak a certain way or that if you don’t live a certain way, you are not authentic in your identity. I’ve always felt that this sort of denial from within what I’ve always felt was my community hurt the most, and it still does. I’ve only recently felt comfortable with identifying as a Latino. It’s taken me 30 years to feel OK doing that.

This story was important for me, as a way of feeling authentic in my identity and remembering my great uncle Fernie. And I am truly grateful that the story has found a home at Superstition Review. Many thanks to Ximena Keogh Serrano. She is an assistant professor of Spanish and Latinx studies at Pacific University, and her thoughts and edits were crucial to this story.

Read “Eddie V. on the Silver Screen” here. Learn more about Superstition Review here.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: