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Expecting Emilio

By JR Ortega
Sept. 11, 2010 at 4:11 a.m.

Four hours before the start of Emilio concert Saturday night at Riverside Multiplex, the crowd already was waiting in line for the door to open.

Emilio Navaira may have not taken the stage until 12 a.m. Sunday, but his fans on the other hand, well - they lined up four hours ahead of time.

People dressed in kicker hats, cowboy boots and big belt buckles shared similar thoughts on honoring Crossroads law enforcement and Tejano music - both are not done enough.

"It's perfect," said . Garcia, of Victoria. "They should have something like this more often."

The doors opened at 8:30 .. and the first two bands to perform were Llueve and Soledo, two other Tejano bands.

Theresa Salazar and her husband, Alfred, waited toward the back of the line excited for Navaira, a well-known Tejano performer.

"He's a walking miracle," Theresa Salazar said.

Navaira has not performed a full concert in more than two years.

The Grammy-winner had serious head trauma in March 2008 after his tour bus crashed.

Diana Garcia, Senovio Garcia's wife, was the first in line.

She owns a lot of Navaira's music, she said.

"When he had the wreck, it was a setback," she said.

Several reports on Navaira's condition seemed grim shortly after the accident and losing him would have been devastating, she said.

"He's like the John Lennon of the Tejano community," she said.

Solido, a Grammy-nominated Tejano group, was also opening for Navaira.

Lead singer Benjamin De Leon said it's an honor to open for Navaira and knowing the were celebrating several local law enforcement figures and Navaira's return is great

"It's been a while since we're played here in Victoria," De Leon said.

As the doors opened, Tejano beats and flashing lights promised Frank Cano and his wife, Nancy, that the night would be one to remember.

"There's really different reasons (why we came)," Frank Cano said. "We're honoring the people that are being honored - we agree with that. And we want to see Emilio. It's a miracle that he's still with us."

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