Alfonso Texidor bridged together the Mission’s many communities. On Sunday we celebrate his memorial. Photo by Angelica Ekeke of El Tecolote
A man that didn’t complain — that is how most people would describe poet, translator and community figure Alfonso Texidor, who died of lung cancer at 68 years old on Christmas Day, 2014. He was a revolutionary artist that had roots in Puerto Rico.
This Sunday at noon more than a hundred people plan to gather at Café La Boheme to celebrate the life of this Mission veteran with poetry readings, Aztec dancers, music and stories.
“What is interesting about Alfonso is that he kind of bridged together all those different communities, which are connected in Mission. He was surely grounded in the Puerto Rican and the Latino community, but I guess people would call an him an internationalist. He sort of embraced all from all countries and all walks of life,” says Georgiana Hernández, Executive Director at Acción Latina.
In the 70’s, Texidor hung out a lot in the Haight, but he started gaining prominence in the Mission throughout the early 80’s. Hernández met Texidor in 1981 when he worked as a translator and calendar editor of the bilingual newspaper El Tecolote.
“Even before I knew him I remember seeing him around walking,” says Hernández, who describes Alfonso Texidor as a very elegant guy: tall, well dressed with a button-down shirt, a tie and a Fedora hat. Sometimes he walked with a cane.
“He was just this iconic figure in the Mission. You would see him walking around and hanging out at Café La Boheme, have coffee or a beer, get together. He was always walking, probably because he didn’t drive. [He was] very old-school, if you will. But that was part of him connecting,” Hernández says. “Even after he was in a wheel-chair he was very visible.”
A memorial wall was put up in front the newspaper’s headquarters. People have been coming by every day to honor the name of Alfonso Texidor and to get more information about his memorial.
“He was an iconic figure in the Mission District. It has been really neat to see people coming into the office… people who live in the neighborhood or people who he just knew from being on the street,” Hernández says. “I think people will remember him as a beloved figure. He will stay in our hearts forever.”