Knowing a group of people such as Willie Nelson, Billy Joe Shaver, Lil’ Joe Hernandez, Pauline Reese and James Randall is something not every man can experience in his life. Dee Herrera, a Texas native and Dallas-raised man of Hispanic origin, lived a life filled with these famous people along with many others.
“I’m a Mexican, Not a Mexican’t,” a book written by Herrera’s sister, Coni Herrera, commemorates Dee’s life and recalls the experiences he had until his death in early 2006. The book is, in large part, Dee’s memoirs compiled by his sister. It will be featured in a book signing on Saturday, Dec. 12 from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday at Hastings in Brownwood. She will hold another signing from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 13, at Hastings in Round Rock. The commemoration of her brother’s life, as Herrera puts it, is an inspiration.
“The overall theme of the book is that you can be anything you want to be,” Coni Herrera said.
Dee, who was an amputee, missing both of his legs, was able to accomplish a lot in his life coming from Dallas to traveling all over the country with the famous people he met including the aforementioned, Poodie Locke, Willie Nelson’s stage manager, and Billy Bob’s Texas stage manager, Robert Gallagher. Dee also had the experience of being a bartender for Coach Landry of the Dallas Cowboys.
More than 18 chapters the book are a cursory biography with each chapter being about an experience Dee had with various famous people he met.
“There are over 100 lyrics in the book, some written by Dee, a couple written by myself and also photos of the artists,” Herrera said.
Among all of the people he considered friends, Dee also had the opportunity to meet Charlie Daniels, Bob Dylan and several others.
“This is a very encouraging book to fans of these top artists and many others,” Coni Herrera said.
But not only was Dee Herrera able to meet several famous people, he also was highly involved with helping the community.
“My brother worked with the Dallas Amputee Network and helped those who had diabetes and who were amputated be aware of the help that was out there for them,” Coni Herrera said.
Dee Herrera was a patriotic soul, according to his sister. He had American flags on his prosthetic legs and had Texas spirit considering a lot of his lyrics talked about bluebonnets and Texas.
Coni Herrera, who has family in Brownwood, said she wanted Brownwood to be the first place to present her book to the public.
“This is the first time I have written, published and distributed. I am glad that I can do this and be able to encourage a lot of people,” the author said.
The book, which Herrera is delivering on Wednesday to Hastings, will be for sale there and the Hastings in Round Rock and will also eventually be featured on the Web sites of the famous artists who became Dee Herrera’s friends.