‘Taquache Nights’: City of San Benito used as setting in anthology

SAN BENITO — An old San Benito native continuously followed by a gang of possums who then maul to death a greedy land developer?

It all comes from the mind of local author David Robledo.

Luckily, for San Benito, the short story is pure fiction.

“Taquache Nights” is set in San Benito, and it’s one of several stories in the anthology “Road Kill: Texas Horror by Texas Authors,” released this month by Eakin Press.

It chronicles the conflict that arises when positive efforts are interfered with by corrupt and greedy South Texas politics.

Written by Robledo, “Taquache Nights” also celebrates the conjunto music that was born in San Benito.

The story follows community activist Kiki who attempts to promote the conjunto music and culture that was made famous by legends like Narciso Martinez and Valerio Longoria.

“Conjunto is alive in San Benito. Sometimes it is the only place where you can find it,” Robledo said.

Tensions arise when the local Conjunto Hall of Fame is put on the chopping block by greedy “gringo” land developer Gurvitz and the corrupt city council.

“That night the city had gone too far, voting to close the doors of the San Benito Conjunto Music Hall of Fame and to close the space to private interests,” the story stated.

Instead a restaurant would be built in its place. The building would be spearheaded by the “greedy” Gurvitz.

“The city council members selling their souls was one thing, but watching them sell the soul of the community itself was quite another,” the story says.

For the characters, Robledo delved into his past reporting history. As a journalist at one time he was exposed to city and county politics which were not always in line with what the community wanted.

Without getting into specifics, Robledo said Kiki and Gurvitz are based on characters he has encountered over time.

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