As I entered the library, I had arrived early to grab a good seat. I have never been to a book signing before so I was excited. I enjoyed that it was a different crowd then what I was used to, I saw a lot of old Caucasian people who seem very educated and well off. The crowd started forming as it began I especially enjoyed Mr. Martinez, the “hype man” in the beginning gave a very good introduction.  He explained how a driver’s license can take you far but a library card can take you farther. He started by saying some people don’t like Mexican people but love Mexican food. He introduced Gustavo as a professor, book writer and editor of the OC weekly.

To begin the speech the professor by calling out a black Honda who left there lights on, and to his students to make sure they email him papers. Off the bat his speech was very free flowing unrehearsed and naturally connected with the audience. He began with some adventures of where his book had taken him, like some Mexican tater tots he tried in South Dakota, a really good burrito in central Kentucky. “Mexican food is a hybrid of all food”, he explained and at one point a story about a neo Nazi sting where he found them eating at a local Del taco after a meeting.  Why did he write the book?  because he loves Mexican food and very few know the history of Mexican food. He stated he loves unknown history and is giving credit where credit is due. Like the origin of taco bell, burritos, chimichangas, nachos, one fact that was surprised to know was that the Dorito was invented at Disneyland. The tamales in 1890 America went crazy and for chili con carne which dated all the way back to1880’s. I didn’t know that it had been in America that long. The Braceros brought the first burritos and on 1880’s the taco was given its name. It felt like a food history lesson and I was amazed. I enjoyed how he used humor and Mexican food to glorify Mexican culture.

At one point I laughed when he spoke of white washed Mexican restaurants  like Mexi-casa, I overheard some old white lady in the background whisper hey I love that restaurant. He offered many good recommendations and I liked that he brought his whole family onstage. He is a great man who values family, questions authority, teaches to think outside the box and loves his Mexican food and his Hispanic culture. He is breaking stereotypes by using food and humor to bring people together.

After the speech I interviewed three gentlemen to see what they thought about it

Wally

Why did u come here today?

I was invited by a friend

How did you hear of the event?

Same friend had invited him

What did you think of the event?

Interesting the history of Mexican food there is so much to know

Is this your first book signing?

yes

What is your favorite Mexican dish?

Burrito with everything on it and very spicey

Adam

Why did u come here today?

His step dad shoots video for the OC Weekly

How did you hear of the event?

From his dads work

What did you think of the event?

He liked the stories about the Doritos

Is this your first book signing?

Yes first one

What is your favorite Mexican dish?

He said a muleta cheesy meat in a tortilla

Ricardo

Why did u come here today?

Cus of a friend

How did you hear of the event?

Same friend

What did you think of the event?

Funny informative and his personality

Is this your first book signing?

yes

What is your favorite Mexican dish?

Burrito

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About ocbarrios

Professor for Cal State Fullerton's Barrio Studies class for Fall 2011 semester

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