The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Selena fan shares memorabilia at library

 

Malinda Montgomery

Many of the items on display this month at the library came from Corpus Christi, Texas, which houses Selena's gravesite and museum.

CLOVIS - For the rest of this month, locals can experience some of the Selena fandom without driving all the way out to Corpus Christi, Texas. That's because one of her Clovis fans has already made that trip several times over in the past couple of decades, and is sharing some of her collected memorabilia in a display at the Clovis-Carver Public Library.

By all accounts, the exhibit behind three trophy cases at the library entrance is already proving to be a popular one.

"It's had more eyeballers so far than any we've had," Reference Librarian Michael Lijewski said. "She's like Southwest Elvis."

In terms of a larger-than-life, nearly mythic legacy in the public imagination, the Elvis comparison is apt. Selena Quintanilla-Pérez has also been dubbed the "Queen of Tejano Music" and the "Tejano Madonna" for her influence on music and fashion.

Comparisons aside, for many she is simply Selena - the standout Mexican-American performer who reached national acclaim in the first half of the 1990s before being shot dead March 31, 1995, in Corpus Christi by a former fan club leader. She was 23.

The items on display through the end of this month celebrate her successes in life and her legacy's endurance after death, including records, figurines, t-shirts, hats, show posters and post-humous newspaper articles, books and cosmetics.

The collector behind the exhibit said she found the artist inspiring for her style, music, and achievements as a minority in the music industry. Selena in fact played at a few Clovis venues during her lifetime, said the collector, but that was before she became a fan herself.

The collector said her favorite item of those on display this month was a figurine of Selena accepting her 1994 Grammy award for Best Mexican/American Album, wearing a glittering white dress.

The collector requested anonymity in the interest of guarding her substantial home inventory of Selena memorabilia, of which the library exhibit is only a portion. Her husband, a library patron, told The News that Selena's music played regularly at their home and that's he's become a fan himself.

"Everything (Selena) sang is gold," he said. "She's got me so used to that music, it's so good."

Regarding the meaning of one of Selena's famous verses, "Bidi Bidi Bom Bom," he shrugged.

"I think it's just a cool riff," he said.

 

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