“…Perhaps I should address you as Jimbo. Why do you like that nickname? I’m surprised I have never asked you that before. Jimbo has a Southern flair to me. Are you a secret lover of the South? Do you have plans to move to the bayous of Louisiana amongst all the other Jimbos?…”
I can assure you it’s no secret that I love the South. How can I resist? So much history, so much flavor. And yes, a visit to the Bayous would be fantastic; I’ve never seen an alligator in real life. Have you? Perhaps someday we can link up in the Midwest and then just head South. Something tells me we’d both love to meet the people there, and that neither of us would be short on stories.
Speaking of stories, thank you for the piece about the fallen Asháninka leader and his fellow countrymen. It sparked back memories of another urgent report on the state of environmental rights in the world over the last few decades: Eduardo Galeano’s ‘Open Veins of Latin America‘.
Time and again, I find myself advocating for this book the way a professor advocates their course when it’s clear the room’s not going to be jam-packed with eager students. But as I trust that your days are piled with enough reading as is, I’ll share an excerpt with you from the ferocious storytelling of Las Venas:
“The human murder by poverty in Latin America is secret: every year, without making a sound, three Hiroshima bombs explode over communities that have become accustomed to suffering with clenched teeth. This systematic violence is not apparent but is real and constantly increasing: its holocausts are not made known in the sensational press but in Food and Agricultural Organization statistics.”
Galeano published his book in 1976, but it only recently made headlines a few years ago when a certain public figure presented another one with it.
If you get a chance later, I more than recommend checking it out; I aspire to write as brilliantly as Galeano one day, and I’m sure you would too if you were to familiarize yourself with some of his work. As for the matter of the Asháninka themselves, I agree with you that the minimal press coverage is discouraging, but that’s why independent newspapers are the best; they might not reach the masses as the larger behemoths do, but they reach the right people, as this one shows.
And speaking of independent newspapers, thank you for your compliments on JT! Thanks also for your question about my ambitions for it. As things stand currently, I can tell you that the website is only a natural extension of each piece I wrote for The Beat, and The Aggie before it: it aims to create awareness and respect for the current state of the world as I’ve learned about it from the people around me. So far, this has seen me explore a few different avenues of getting the message across, but I want to take three of them in particular all the way to their limit:
1. I want to tell more stories about the community of L.A, to show how people here relate to the world at large. For example, in my piece for Roger King, I connect dots between Roger’s view of L.A.’s progression through the decades with the story of my parents’ journey to the land. In doing so, I paint the portrait of a personal intersection between the city, its people, and the stories which tie these things to one another through history and onto the present. So far, the reception to these portraits has been encouraging, and I’ve got much more ‘to paint’, so I’m really excited to share more with people soon; the best is yet to come.
2. I want to grow my photography of Los Angeles to encompass every end of the city that I can reach; while there’s a lot of great photography of L.A. so far, I’ve walked the concrete jungle for nearly twenty-four years, and view this personal connection to its sprawl as a near-sacred relation, which every photo published under my name will intend to highlight.
3. I want to bring back letter-writing, which is what’s going on here after all anyway, isn’t it?! Of all the “avenues,” this is the one that I think flows the most naturally; it requires the least editing, as it’s just an ongoing conversation with my peeps. Of course, I know you might give me a hard time for publicizing such discussions, but hey, if there’s ever been a time for it, it’s now!
And so you see, then, that my ambition with this experiment is reflective of yours as a journalist; at the end of the day, it all boils down to the writing what we want to see more of out there: intelligent and compelling material that’s worth someone’s time, considering the limited time we have together.
With this in mind, I tip my hat to you for aspiring to make the most out of the daily deadlines for your stories. Five hours for a story is no walk in the park, but it’s clear you view it as an opportunity to polish your craft, and for this, write on! I also think you make some good points about a subscription to the L.A. Times nowadays, but as with so many other things, we’ll have to talk about this further (I trust there’s much more to be learned on both ends).
For now, tell me what else is developing for you over in Fargo. Have you met more folks, and perhaps some that you actually get along with? As for me out in the West, I’m still on the job hunt. While there have been a couple of close deals in the making, they haven’t quite come through just yet. Naturally, however, I’m still working; my projects require fine-tuning every minute of every day; it’s crazy, and it takes me from my sleep, but I know it’s worth it. I know it in my gut!
But what about yourself? What else is going on in Planet Glass-moore? And have you come up with a nickname yet?! Get on it!
Until next time,
Your Friendly Neighborhood Writer, Man,
Jimmy “JIMBO” Recinos
Keep the font of this last letter goin’. It’s a throwback for the ages.