Famous All Over Town by Danny Santiago
Famous All Over Town by Danny Santiago
A story of Donny’s struggles of growing up in Barrio. Famous all over town is about a young high school boy named Rudy Medina. He grows up in a Latin, Chicano town called Barrio. He tells us his life and all the struggles he has to face everyday of his life .The family he had was not the perfect family; the mother was having another child that she would then not take care of because she cared more about herself. Lena was a high school drop out who wanted to be free and on her own, the father was a hard worker who tried to give his family everything, and Rudy was the outcast that never quite fit in. With his mother being pregnant and his sister and father always working, Rudy never really had anyone to talk to. Until that one day when he couldn’t take the pain he was feeling in his stomach while his mother was giving labor in the other room. Luckily their was a medic there to loom at him. Then the room went black. Rudy woke up in a hospital bed, and then Dr. Penrose walked in and told Rudy he had a ruptured appendix and was lucky they got to him when they did or else he could have died. When released from the hospital Rudy went home to a totally different family, the sister made her room into Rudy’s new room just for him, the father was actually trying to talk to him like he actually cared and the mother was actually happy to see him and she was taking care of her new born.
Then as soon as everything was good it went bad. The mother took a trip to visit her mother and just decided to never come back; she abandoned her family and her live in Barrio. Then the father got a new girlfriend and moved in with her. Lena got a boyfriend named Armando and moved in together in a tiny little house. While Rudy was up too no good and they didn’t know what to do with me, until they decided he would live with Lena, it was all good until it turned south. Famous all over town was a very inspiring and cultural book. It makes you think about the life you have and makes you appreciate the life you have in my opinion. I personally do recommend this book, the first couple of pages may be slow but once you get past them, you’re not going to want to put the book down. This book is a story of a family that never fit together. Family is supposed to stick together so to read this story it made me sad but made me appreciate the family I have twice as much.
Characters and Descriptions
Famous all over town was full of many character that were different in ever single way. For instance, lets start with Rudy, Rudy is the one telling us his story living in Barrio. He is a very young man who always tired to do his best and he was very respectful. He had nothing but love for his family even thought they never really cared about him or what he did. Rudy is the younger brother and son of the Medina family. He is the most important character of the story because he is the one telling the story its all about his life and what he had to go through and how he lived with his crazy family especially his sister. Lena is Rudy’s older and only sister. She is the feisty and bad mouthed child. She always feels like the parents are bad parents and she hates living in that house. She dropped out of school as soon as she was old enough too. She usually kept to herself because she never really cared about anyone else because they never cared about her. The dad always hit her because she would always speak her mind to him and tell him what she thought. Lena may be crazy and blunt but she is the only one who took care of Rudy when he got out of the hospital and she is the one that takes him in after he goes to juvy because his mom is out of the country and the dad moved in with his new girlfriend.
She disliked the way her parents didn’t act like parents. The father was a man who was a hard worker, and very respected for being such a hard worker. He wasn’t always the best father or husband he had anger issues and domestic violence issues. He hit Lena and his wife, Lena’s mom multiple times for either talking back or standing up for themselves. One thing he always did was make sure they had everything they needed, he always tried to make Rudy the man he wanted him to be. He tried to be the father they wanted it just never worked out, Rudy wanted someone to love and care for him like Dr. Penrose. Dr. Penrose was a doctor at the hospital that Rudy went to when he had a ruptured appendix. The doctor made Rudy feel loved, he would always come and sit and talk to Rudy and make sure he was feeling okay and taught him some information on the bones. He was being the father that Rudy had always wanted. Dr. Penrose was a very nice and loving guy who cared for everyone no matter who they were or what race.
The setting in this story played a very important role in setting up the entire story. Not only did it add character it made even more intense and real in a sense. The setting in my opinion is the most important part of the story because it gives the reader a feel of where they are at and what they wake up to everyday and what they go through. It gives us an inside to another world we have never seen before. For instance in the story Famous all over town, the setting is in a lower class Chicano town called the Barrio. Its one of those towns that people who weren’t from there were afraid to drive by or even go through those streets. The town was full of gangs running a muck, and all most everyone owned a gun. The setting was not the nicest setting to read about but it makes us realize what the characters had to go through everyday and how they grew up.
The setting in my opinion was making me picture a graffiti filled city with dirty little houses, run down cars that made loud and annoying sounds when you started them, and little kids running around the streets because their parents didn’t care what they did. The setting wasn’t described as all bad, they made it sound like a family place because everyone knew each other, so they would all be sitting on their porches talking to each other, or the men would come over to Rudy’s dads house to talk. Barrio was a lower class town that some feared but others cherished it was a home to others and trash to some. Barrio added a sense of strength to the story in my opinion, because you needed to be brave to stay, some grew the courage to get up and leave and others never let. Barrio made the story with out this run down town the story wouldn’t have been the same. Chicano Power, in the Barrio.
“CHICANO POWER,” it yelled. “BROWN IS BEAUTIFUL. FULANO FOR SHERIFF.”(7) Automatically when I read this I thought gang members or drive by, something affiliated with gangs or guns. The introduction starts off with a apparent law-abiding drunk man, cruising down the street. Then it jumps to the kid driving waking up on his birthday and his father handing him his birthday present which is a chicken killer knife. The father says when the son looks confused, “ Fourteen years makes a man, prove yourself.”(8) Just by reading that it makes me think badly about the parenting skills and how they raise their children there in Barrio. I personally think the introduction works. Not saying its okay about what they are doing in the story but they started it with a careless son drunk driving then going home to his father giving him a knife at the age of fourteen. It sets the mood and tone of the story and gives us a hit of how much they really care and how they live and what the people are like. If they would have made it sound like a nice sweet and lovable town, the story wouldn’t have made sense.
The entire story is about a young boy growing up in a run down city and town with careless parents. It sets up the entire story because it already shows us a father let his fourteen year old son drive a car, while drunk and at night time, so it shows us he doesn’t care. Plus it shows us the mother is no where to be found, it makes us wonder if she even knew her son was gone or drunk. Introductions are a very important asset to any story, it sets up the rest of the story and it sets the mood and tone of the story so if the intro is bad then we can expect the rest to be the same. This intro was very well put and introduced the story of Rudy’s life in Barrio very well.
“Those dumb birds.”Lena scolded. “You love them better than your own kids.” “Naturally,” my mother said, “Can you sing? Or fly? What good are you anyway?”(46) One main issue that I have seen arising is the mothers carelessness towards her family and house. She doesn’t really care for her children she only cares about herself, she keeps to herself and doesn’t really care what any one else does. “Meal time,” my sister pointed out. “Not again!” my mother complained. “Don’t they ever fill up?”(47) She cared more for her birds then her own children. Her and Lena never got along because Lena always did everything while her mother just sat around and didn’t do much. She cooked dinners most of the time but complained about it, one time Lena had to grab her and shove her in a chair to sit down and eat dinner with them, because she never ate with them as a family.
The mother was the type of mother who wanted everything and didn’t want to worry about anything. They sold their house so they could move away and live rent free. “Don’t you even care?” I asked her. “No,” she said and signed. She then packed her bags and left saying they will chat soon and have a big reunion. Her son was getting into trouble on his own, he was on probation, got in trouble for defying the bank who bought his house. They tried to find a home for him, they couldn’t send him to his mother because she was in Titalian and she didn’t even care that her son was in trouble. She didn’t win the mother of the year award.
It all starts out with a young fourteen year old boy named Rudy Medina. He was cruising down main street heading home a little drunk. He then woke up and it was his birthday he was handed a knife by his father who was a very hard worker and well respected man. Rudy’s dad thought since he is fourteen it is is turn to become a man and prove himself by cutting the chicken. Rudy had a different idea, instead of being original he decided to grab his fathers gun and shoot the chicken, which scared everyone, because they thought someone died. That wasn’t the best idea Rudy has ever had but it wasn’t as bad compared to Rudy’s mother getting pregnant. Lena, Rudy’s older sister was not so pleased when she found out her mother was pregnant, Lena thought her mother never cared for her children so why keep having them especially when they barely had enough for the 4 they have now. Rudy stared having some random pains that were killing him, but he didn’t say anything because he didn’t think anything of it. So he just kept going to school an usual he just waited it out.
Then one day at school he almost collapsed he couldn’t endure the pain anymore. What luck for him he went home wrapped himself in a blanket and laid on the couch and then his mother decided to have her baby. The father and Lena called the hospital, but the mother kept saying no, because she wasn’t going to pay for them, that just to wait for her to be in pain so they legally have to come and it’s free. The doctors showed up and Rudy or his mother were in pain. Rudy’s father was yelling at him telling him to stop acting stupid. Lena was getting nervous and said what if he is really sick. One of the doctors noticed him and checked Rudy out, he took the blanket off and pulled up his shirt and pushed on his side and Rudy hollered. Then next thing Rudy see is himself in a hospital bed. He had a ruptured appendix. The hospital visit wasn’t all bad he met a new friend named Dr. Penrose. The doctor wasn’t just a doctor to Rudy, he made Rudy feel loved and cared for. He would come and tell him stories and just sit on the end of his bed and talk to him, more then any other patient.
One day Rudy’s father came and got him and all Rudy could talk about was the doctor and his father got a little jealous. When they arrived back home Rudy was pleasantly surprised to see that Lena had remodeled her room to make it more comfortable for Rudy to sleep in. She had painted it black and whiten and cleaned it just for him. He felt a little loved for once. That soon changed because Lena and his mother started arguing like usual. They were arguing about all the dirt all over the floor because the mother never cleans and that how the mother loves her birds more then them. The mother started getting tired of everything even the baby. The baby was ready to be fed and she got a little upset because she said they are never full. Rudy offered to do it and she looked at him like it was a miracle. Then bad news hit after all that commotion, the hospital rang about the phone bill, they owed 178 dollars for pills and medication, Lena and Rudy offered to work to help pay it off but the father said no. Then even more news troubled some, Dr. Penrose called and said he had taken care of their hospital bill but the father considered it as charity and wasn’t going to except charity.
Then later on after bigger news came that would shake things up. The parents decided they were going to sale the house and move away to be free and have no worries. While that was going on Lena had moved out and moved in with her Armando her boyfriend, and Rudy was still getting into trouble. Lena was living her own live and Rudy was basically doing the same. One day the father had great news, but it wasn’t good news to everyone. He announced they had sold the house and that they had to go to the bank and pick up the check. They went to the bank and received a check for 1,000 dollars, the only happy ones where the parents they were excited to get out of Barrio and move and live rent free.
The mother had packed bags and was ready to leave they drove to the bus station and without any hesitation they got on and said they would chat, they would get together and have a reunion. They left their children with no care in the world. Rudy was very upset he decided to take it out on the ones who made this happen. The bank was his target he got some chalk and crayons and wrote in his finest writing his name across the banks wall so ever would know who he was. The cops showed up and realized he was the one who has been defying public property and arrested him. They then need to find a home for him to go to. They couldn’t send him to his father because he was living with his women, they couldn’t send him to his mother because she barely wrote from Titalian, so the final decision was to let him live with Lena, it was all good until it went south. That was the end of Famous all over town.