There used to be an ad campaign, back in pre-history when the classified sections were the cash cows of newspapering, “I got my job through the New York Times.”
Our guest today, journalist and author Joe Tone had a job, editing the award-winning weekly Dallas Observer, when one day, reading the New York Times be found a story – an investigative report by my old friend, and former HERE & THERE guest Ginger Thompson, of how the infamous Zetas, the most blood-thirsty of the Mexican drug cartels had penetrated, from the bottom to the very top, the great American sport of quarter-horse racing. In Ginger’s story, Joe Tone found 3 key elements of the sub-title of his new book BONES: Brothers, Horses, Cartels and the Borderland Dream.
A couple of years of deep reporting into Thompson’s story enabled Joe to flesh out the portraits of the brothers Jose and Miguel Trevino…the latter also known as 40, the one-time kingpin of the Zetas…the horses, including big-time quarter-horse champions like Tempting Dash and Mr. Piloto…and the Cartels, especially the Zetas.
And then, there’s the borderland dream…of sudden fame and spectacular wealth won through cowboy country’s favorite betting sport.
There are also the borderland nightmares that permeate the story of BONES…of drugs, and murders and corruption and bigotry, where race and national origin play as big a role as guilt or innocence in determining a man or woman’s fate.
And then, there’s today’s dominating American and global story: of inequality, of the ever-increasing disparities of wealth…of laws … that convict and sentence everyday criminals but negotiate mutually comfortable settlements for the rich, the powerful and the corporate.
Joe Tone, a former editor of the Dallas Observer, has written extensively about sports, crime and immigration, among other topics. His writing has appeared in the Village Voice, LA Weekly and the Washington Post. Tone is a graduate of Santa Clara University and holds a Master’s degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Tone’s new book is BONES: Brothers, Horses, Cartels and the Borderland Dream.