Recently Juan and I were honored to be asked to play a few songs at the velorio (wake service) for a gentleman who used to come to our performances with his wife.  His name was Mr. Flores.  It was the first for us to play at a funeral home.  We played traditional “funeral” songs (Te Vas Angel Mio, Un Dia a La Vez, Adios O Virgen) until his son came up and asked us to play the polka “Viva Seguin”.  He caught me by surprise, because I never expected to be playing a polkita at a velorio!  This gentleman loved to dance and would go to our gigs or to the flea markets to here Conjunto bands all the time until his death.  So to honor his memory and the request of his family nos arrancamos con la polka!  I could see tears along with smiles, some people tapping to the beat.   Even the deacon who was there for the rosary liked it!  It struck me that death, just like life, is a celebration; because death is our entrance into heaven.  Mr. Flores is alive! Our faith tells us that death is not the end.  Sure we are saddened by the loss of our loved one, but his memory lives on and I think that, by playing the polkita, it brought consolation to his family.  It was a privilege to see how Conjunto music was able to comfort his family.  I hope they play polkitas at my funeral – it is the best way to go!  I am sure Diosito has a section in heaven where the angels drop their harps and pick up a bajo sexto y acordeón!  That’s where I want to be – with Mr. Flores, my dad, my tios, abuelitos, and all my familia!  Que viva la fe, la familia, y la tradición!


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