October 3, 2019
Author: Chilton Williamson

A couple of decades ago when I was living in Las Cruces, New Mexico I met a Mexican-American gentleman named Sócrates Villa, a former illegal alien who had got himself and his family legalized,  become a great patriot, run for State Representative as a conservative Republican, but been defeated by the Nueva méxicana candidate from Albuquerque. Shortly afterward he moved his family of four back to Ciudad Chihuahua. Sócrates had many interesting experiences during his nearly two decades in Los Estados Unidos.  He used to recount them for me while we sat drinking whiskey with shots of tequila in his local taberno. Later I wrote them up, lightly fictionalized: the truth, mainly, but with some stretchers, as Huck Finn says.  He was delighted with the result,  requesting only that his given name be changed from Sócrates, which he found embarrassing. I suggested Héctor, a choice that delighted him. He is a direct descendent of Pancho Villa, so the heroic implications of  the name seemed appropriate to us both.  The book found a publisher shortly after the Villas returned to Ciudad Chihuahua, but  Sócrates came north to New Mexico for the book launch in Santa Fe, where he made a big hit. (We have a sequel prepared, which is looking for a publisher .)

                               We kept in touch  for years before losing contact for a time. I heard from him next in 2016 when, as a Mexican national with joint citizenship who’d been a vocal supporter of George W. Bush among the Mexican-American community in the borderlands, he was campaigning across the region for Donald Trump. 

Following Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton, Héctor had high hopes for a position in the administration.  Unfortunately these came to nothing and again he dropped out of site until the day before yesterday, when I had a phone call from him after he’d discovered The Divide. Sócretes is living in El Paso now.  He worries about the Democrats’ impeachment campaign and the President’s prospects for reelection. Anxious as always to help, he’s busy trying to organize a chapter of Los Muchachos Orgullosos–in English, The Proud Boys–from among the male Latino population in and around the city and plans to run for State Representative once he has established residency in Texas. His aim is to run against Beto O’Rourke after Beto is forced out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination on a skateboard by his more politically talented opponents in the field.

Sócrates is an intelligent, amusing, endearing, and highly energetic man, and a great American. I wish him well with his political ambitions and expect to comment now and again in this space on his doings and give him whatever support I can. I suppose I’ll have to send him some money sooner or later.

October 3 2019