María in 2004, photographed by Dave's Latin professor and longtime friend Christian Smith, at the book signing for Dave's Backtracking, at Barnes & Noble in Austin at the bookstore's University of Texas location.
María's 105 albums that she compiled of Dave's and her life together (1967 to 2013). Although María lived until January 4th, 2020, she had stopped writing and collecting memorabilia by 2014 after her memory had begun to fail her. Many of the images and documents in this website come from María having preserved them in her albums.
Dave's poem on María's albums is included in his collection María's Book of 2016, but it originally appeared in Dave's Backtracking of 2004.
Dave and María's son Darío and daughter Elisa, circa 1980.
Dave's poem about Darío, who was born in Hobbs, New Mexico, in 1968, was written in Cholula, Mexico, in 1976. Included in Dave's The Pilgrimage: Selected Poems, 1962-2012, the poem alludes to the faculty strike that ended Dave's teaching position in Creative Writing when the administration of the Universidad de las Américas eliminated his department and fired many faculty members in the humanities. After earning a B.A. degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Darío would return to Mexico with his wife Jennifer Moreno and study as a medical student. The couple would have two children while in Mexico, Amaya and Donasio. In high school Darío was a member of the National Youth Orchestra, traveled to Germany and Austria with the Austin Chamber Music Ensemble, and played in the University orchestra for four years. He also played soccer. Travel, photography, and reading are his current and longtime interests. In addition to living in Mexico and Puerto Rico, he has visited Africa, Europe, the Amazon, Belize, Guatemala, Chile, Peru, the Dominican Republic, and much of the U.S.
Dave's poem for Elisa was written in Austin in 1977 and is included in his Footprints, 1961-1978. Born in 1972 in DeKalb, Illinois, Elisa was five at the time of her gift and it was an early indication of her great generosity and loving nature. She has always been kind-hearted, thoughtful, and eager to be of help to anyone she meets and greets. During her public school years, she was active in several extracurricular activities: she ran track, took ballet and danced in the annual Nutcracker, played piano, wrote for the high school newspaper, and worked part-time for a veterinarian. She and her husband, Newton De Faria, met when they were on the same round-trip flight to South America, Elisa on her way to Chile and Newton to Brazil. They have two daughters: Isabella and Annabella. After Elisa earned her degree in education from Eastern Connecticut State University, she taught elementary school in both Spanish and English and is fluent as well in Portuguese. Elisa's computer skills have made possible this website that she has created during the pandemic in order to keep her old dad active; she sees that he walks in the neighborhood for at least 45 minutes a day.
Dave and María's granddaughter Isabella was born in Austin in 1996 but lived during early childhood in Brazil. After the family moved back to the States in 2001, Isabella began public school, and after graduation she studied industrial design and architecture at an arts school in Savannah. A lover of animals, she presently works as a trainer for PetSmart and has created ingenious housing and devices for her cats, mouse, and hamster. In her youth she enjoyed riding, caring for, and grooming horses. Her curiosity about how things work was clear from an early age. She and her sister Annabella take after their father, who is a biomedical engineer.
Dave's poem for Isabella was written in Cedar Park, Texas, circa 1997. The poem is included in Dave's The Pilgrimage: Selected Poems, 1962-2012.
Dave and María's granddaughter Annabella was born in 1999 in São Paulo, Brazil. She and her sister Isabella sing beautifully together, in both English and Portuguese. Annabella plays the piano, guitar, and flute, and was a promising, medaled gymnast before having to give up the sport after an injury. Following in her father's footsteps, she is studying biomedical engineering at the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Dave's poem for Annabella was written circa 2007, when she was about eight. The poem is included in Dave's The Cowtown Circle.
Dave and María's granddaughter Amaya was born in Guadalajara, Mexico, in 2004. She excels in music and in swimming, as well as in her academic studies. Amaya has consistently received 1+ ratings for her piano performances from university judges, and has won medals at Oklahoma state swimming tournaments. In addition to knowing Spanish, she takes French classes at her high school and looks forward one day to visiting Paris.
Dave's poem for Amaya was written circa 2011 when she and her family were living with Dave and María in Cedar Park. She began piano lessons at that time and showed a natural talent that she has developed under the guidance of her excellent teacher in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Dave's poem is included in his The Cowtown Circle.
María with Isabella, in Santiago, Chile, 1999. Elisa had taken her daughters, Isabella and Annabella, to visit her aunt and uncle, María's sister and brother-in-law. Dave and María also were visiting on this occasion.
María with Annabella in Santiago, Chile, in 1999.
María with Amaya in Guadalajara, Mexico, 2006. Dave and María were visiting Darío and Jennifer for the birth of their son Donasio.
María with Donasio in Guadalajara, Mexico, where Darío and Jennifer's son was born in 2006.