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Daniel “Danny” Chavez, Sr. was born in San Antonio, Texas, the third-oldest of thirteen children. He didn’t complete high school and says he never missed having a formal education. It’s not that he’s opposed to higher education, quite the contrary, as he adamantly stresses the need to learn all you can, while you can. Looking back through bifocals at thirty-five years in heavy and dangerous construction, he now realizes it was an excellent education. “If you’re not going to finish high school, you certainly need to learn about life.” He figured the best way to do that was to risk his own life, which he did many times, in performing dangerous jobs. “Brushing up against the grim reaper builds strong character and an appreciation for being above ground instead of six-feet under it.”
Around 1980, Danny quit traipsing around the country and settled in Nashville, Tennessee. He had learned to play the guitar and write and arrange original songs; so it seemed only natural to dabble in Country Music. After building a home recording studio, he began making music. Chavez admits he didn’t take music as seriously as he should have. Having to produce new material and working upwards of ninety hours a week at a car manufacturing plant eventually took its toll on his nerves. He did, however, love his time in Nashville, the many friends he made, and being surrounded by countless great singers and musicians. Currently, his sister plays many of his songs in an online music room, and she reports that folks enjoy hearing them. Danny says he finds it rather comical that folks enjoy hearing his original music that’s old enough to vote.
In 1994, Danny relocated back to Kansas to help his older brother who was suffering with a terminal illness. He soon learned steady work was difficult to find, and going back on the road was no longer an option. He had spent years as a welder/pipefitter foreman, a construction boss installing grain handling machinery, and as a maintenance technician. No longer able to do physical labor meant it was time to put his brain to work. He began writing poetry, screenplays, took up photography, learned woodworking, did some leatherwork, then made bows and arrows. Bored, and with a burning desire for something more challenging, he was anxious to chart a new course.
One day, one of his younger brothers who was a university student, asked if Danny had any ideas for a literary project he could work on. After providing a detailed outline for the project, his brother was so impressed, he recommended to Danny he should write the story. Hell, why not? Danny thought.
The “why not” became apparent immediately after dabbing a pencil to his tongue. It took Danny a long time to learn how to stop his adjectives from agitating his nouns. Then came the battle of learning how to construct a legible paragraph. Eventually, mastering the craft of writing, his persistence finally paid off. Ten years later, “Marcelino and the Curse of the Gold Frog” joined his collection of completed works.
Danny now resides in central Kansas.