Who Is Joe?

I wrote Joe’s obituary while we were simultaneously writing this show. Never has art imitated life in such a peculiar, painful or beautiful way for me. His obituary included portions of the following, based on the information I was able to cobble together over our 14-year friendship. 

Narciso Allala, long known as "Joe Lightfoot Gonzales" or, endearingly as "Indian Joe", passed away Friday, August 15, 2014 at the age of 68 in Waco, Texas. A memorial service will be held Friday, September 19, 2014 at Mission Waco’s Friday Morning Breakfast at 6 AM. "Joe" was born on March 18, 1946 in Robstown, Texas to Dominga Allala, a Choctaw Native American. His father was of Hispanic decent. With his older brother and sister, he moved to Los Angeles, California, where he lived for many years. Joe only completed the 7th grade, but had his Master's Degree in street smarts, living many of his 68 years intermittently on the streets across America.

He lived in New York City in addition to Los Angeles, as well Ohio, Nevada, Colorado, Illinois, and throughout the state of Texas, taking his infectious laugh and no-nonsense attitude with him. He worked hard when he found odd jobs, operating by the motto, "Don't take no wooden nickels." Joe also loved the outdoors, to walk for hours uninhibited, keeping himself strong and full of fight. Joe had a Robin Hood heart, was fiercely loyal to some, and polarizing in most all respects. His sense of humor, however, was unmatched, as were his civic and social opinions on government, poverty and racial equality…

He's survived by many on the streets throughout the country with whom he crossed paths, friends and supporters in Waco, as well as many Baylor students and faculty who loved to take his wisdom and perspective with a grain of salt. He's also survived by his unofficially adopted daughter, Elizabeth and her family, Jordan, Frank, Melody and Jonathan. Lastly, he is survived by several relatives with whom he had little contact, but hoped to see again.

Elizabeth A Davis