Uvalde, Texas, One Year Later
When Mary Lyn Maiscott told me she wanted to go to Uvalde, Texas, I said, "You want to go where?"
Uvalde was the scene of a school shooting last year. On May 24, a deranged teen with a legal AR-15 held the good guys with guns at bay for more than an hour while he slaughtered 19 fourth-graders and two teachers, and injured 17 others, at Robb Elementary School.
Inspired by a drawing made by one of the victims, Mary Lyn wrote "Alithia's Flowers (Children of Uvalde)"; it's about 10-year-old Alithia Haven Ramirez and some of her surviving classmates.
St. James Infirmary, a show on college station OWWR, chose "Alithia's Flowers" as 2022's song of the year. For the first anniversary of the "incident," as it's known in Uvalde, Mary Lyn was invited there to sing the song.
I went with her, ignoring official warnings for outsiders to stay away.
I need more time to fully examine what happened to Mary Lyn and me in the four days we spent in Uvalde. I will say we felt welcome and met a number of extraordinary people, including Alithia's parents, Jess Hernandez and Ryan Ramirez; Anthony Medrano, a mariachi musician who performed with his band in the town square and co-wrote "El Corrido de Los Angeles de Uvalde"; and Adam Martinez, the father of a boy who attended Robb Elementary and was there the day of the shooting.
Adam is now an activist demanding accountability from local officials who refuse to answer basic questions about the shooting and would like everybody to forget about Robb Elementary and the absurd gun laws of Texas. One of the places Mary Lyn sang "Alithia's Flowers" was on Adam's podcast, Karma Korner. Adam accompanied her on guitar.
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