SAN BENITO — Small and standing in front of a large screen with her father’s face on it, she began to speak.
Tammy Huerta is the daughter of the late legendary musician Freddy Fender.
Huerta stopped by San Benito High School yesterday to talk about her new book, which is a biography of Fender and touches on the pair’s relationship.
“Wasted Days and Wasted Nights: a Meteoric Rise to Stardom,” goes into depth about the musician’s home life behind the music.
Huerta said it was important to start her tour in San Benito, the place where her father grew up and where she spent the first part of her childhood.
“This is the most significant place; this is where I belong,” Huerta said. “There is nowhere else that I could have tried to launch this book or talk about it than here in San Benito.”
The book begins and ends with San Benito, Huerta said.
She began the presentation talking about how her father never completed high school and had to drop out after his freshman year because he was a migrant worker who couldn’t afford to stay in school.
“It’s important that I start here because education was so important to him,” Huerta said.
She went on to read the preface of the book and talked about her father attempting to write his autobiography during his life but was never able to finish it.
In her book, Huerta said after his passing she felt a calling to finish what he started.
Fender’s life is split up into two different books.
The second book will be released later this year.
“The first book is 40 chapters,” Huerta said. “My dad just did so much with his life. He sang at inaugurations and he had the biggest celebrities with him and he traveled the world.”
Earlier in the year, students from the audio-video production class contacted Huerta to interview her for a community project they were working on for SkillsUSA that won gold.
Huerta saw it as a sign and her way to connect with the schools and the community that was home to her father.
She contacted librarian Esther Quintanilla to talk about setting up a book reading.
Quintanilla said she often tries to bring authors and poets to the school to talk about their work and Huerta’s presence was a welcomed addition.
“I was told that she wanted to come and do a book reading. I gave her the dates and we scheduled it,” Quintanilla said. “It all happened really quickly.”
After visiting the high school, Huerta continued to Frank Roberts Elementary where she used to attend.
Book one “Wasted Days and Wasted Nights: a Meteoric Rise to Stardom,” is currently available for sale.
Visit www.tammylorrainehuerta.com for more information on the book and its sequel.