Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories

Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories
By Patty Castillo Davis

Decades after my Grandmother Lorenza Rombout, aka “Little Grandma,” passed away, an interesting narrative of her social life came to light. One of my maternal aunts unabashedly spoke of my Grandma working in a cantina as an entertainer. My Grandma had a mischievous grin and a way that she would side wink at you when giving a cautionary tale of boys and parties or insinuating that Loretta and Conway, indeed, must have something going on. I could see that in today’s world, she might be the type that would have a small group of friends who would enjoy karaoke and a Salty Dog. I remember her love of Country music and how she had her hair set. I can still smell her setting powder and have never been able to pull off that rouge-peony shade that she put on her lips from the gold metal tube. I am grateful daily for the stories she left behind for us of having drinks with Merle Haggard and the nights of “Honky Tonky” she would enjoy with her Comadre. I see those parts of her in my Mother, especially in my Sisters and I. We have never been shrinking violets regarding social events and live music.

My Grandma gave me Hank Williams Sr. during my egg, spam, and frijole breakfast, served with a little bit of orange juice in a tiny shrimp cocktail glass. She would let me pick the stack of vinyl to be played on the big stereo console in the dining room. The talks we had evolved with my growing up but always included details about her. She was a single Mom with seven children who worked back-breaking hours at a job in the cannery for decades and physiologically had the proof to show for it. My Little Grandma did not whine about her past. She just gave and gave; hers was an open house. She kept her family fed, and everyone else’s too- neighbors, friends, kids of friends. The heart for giving and stewardship was passed on to my Mama and me, and I try to make my ancestors proud. My Grandma sure had a thing for Merle.

This month is Women’s History month. There are many ways you can observe this time and celebrate women in your family and at your workplace.

Consciously support women-owned businesses.

Help your female colleagues find balance.

Host an event to celebrate women.

Understand that Transwomen are women.

Set up a team-building event.

Support a woman’s nonprofit.
Post and repost on social media to spread awareness of Women’s History Month.

Be aware of the issues women still face today.
Until everyone demands that women artists be booked equally as event participants, females will continue to be overlooked, paid less, and ghosted.

Workplace inequality in the local music scene is a perpetual reality.

Underrepresentation is pervasive and unnecessary. Both subtle and overt misogyny from bookers, sound engineers, and some male peers exists.

Like a broken record, I will continue discussing this and working toward reform until it changes substantially. It is up to you. Put your efforts beyond retweets and putting men on the defensive. Have conversations. Do not accept that- “It is what it is.” I understand that it’s not that there is no awareness. I don’t think anyone was keeping a tally as I have been. BOOK MORE WOMEN.

Check out the calendar of events for a lineup of female and non-binary artists at shows near you. Thank you for your support.

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