They say

A life came to an end early yesterday morning on a lonely stretch of road on the way to Del Rio, a town on the border some 90 miles from here.
She was a distant cousin (granddaughter of one of my mother’s half-brothers), one of the numerous relatives I have never met. I don’t even know her name. Word has it that she drove her car under a tractor trailer. No one knows what she was doing out there. But the fact that no one knows doesn’t prevent the speculation. It only encourages it.
News and rumors still travel in a small town the way they have for decades. An early morning phone call from a family member who is in law enforcement brings the first bit of news, the basics. A series of calls, to relatives and friends, begins to fill in the details.
Everyone, it seems, knows someone who can provide a bit more information to fill in the blanks.
“Dicen que…,” is how every conversation starts. They say that …
And soon the anonymous “they” becomes the authoritative source.
Everyone is eager to provide background information about the dead person’s life, much the same way reporters do, as if the information of how a life was lived will give us an answer as to how and why she died. The fact that the details are based primarily on speculation matters little and soon the story emerges as complete, as more fact than speculation, simply because it has been repeated so much.
The incident happened after the local weekly’s publishing deadline but it wouldn’t have mattered: the local paper rarely provides any real news and is about reliable as “they.” Maybe less so. So, it is likely that no one will ever know what happened and why. And everyone will know.
Dicen que…

About juanzqui7

Former Texas reporter, columnist and editorial writer.
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