From Seattle Weekly to Texas in the '80s

Back in the day, Domingo Martinez was a funny, witty colleague at Seattle Weekly, but one who didn't actually write for the paper. Instead, he worked in the production department, designing ads, but also occasionally helping those of us in editorial with Spanish translations and slang. My imperfect recollection is that I assigned him a few short calendar items to write, but they appear to be lost to the Web. But since leaving SW a few years back, Domingo has applied himself to memoir writing, recounting his '80s boyhood in Brownsville, Texas, and the subsequent life journey that brought him to Seattle. Now his talent has come to fruit: His first book, The Boy Kings of Texas: A Memoir, will be published next summer. And he'll be on public radio this weekend...

Tonight and on Saturday, Domingo reads a chapter from his memoir on This American Life for a segment called "Middle School," about those awkward early teen years (schedule here). His stand-alone chapter is called "The Mimis," Mimi being the WASPY name two of his older sisters adapted in the wealth-besotted '80s. He writes,

"First, they dyed their brown-black hair blonde until it turned the color and brittleness of hay, then they began dressing in Sergio Valente and Gloria Vanderbilt fashions, then and finally, to cap it off, they decided to call each other, simply, 'Mimi.' The Mimis made a conscious decision and agreement that they would be--and act--rich and white, even if their family wasn't."

To that end, his sisters spoke in character, rocked Jordache jeans and Esprit sportswear, and wore headbands out of Flashdance--anything to assimilate into the culture of Dallas or and Knots Landing. (Though they, like Domingo, were U.S.-born.)

Look for the book next July (perhaps after we run an exerpt). And you can visit Domingo's website here. In all, the The Boy Kings of Texas represents the happy case of a guy who had to leave a newspaper before he could become a writer.

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