My name is… Floyd Gonzales

Lakewood resident and musician

Joseph Rios
jrios@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 2/11/20

About me I was a member of the National Guard for a few years during the Vietnam War. It was that or get drafted. The day after I joined, I got home, and my draft notice was in the mail. Growing up …

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My name is… Floyd Gonzales

Lakewood resident and musician

Posted

About me

I was a member of the National Guard for a few years during the Vietnam War. It was that or get drafted. The day after I joined, I got home, and my draft notice was in the mail.

Growing up in Wyoming, I would go to church on Sundays. My wife caught my eye at church. It took me a year and a half to get to sit in the same pew with her. I would sit in the closest seat I could to her. Once I finally got to sit next to her, I held her hand, and that was it. From then on, she had a grip on me. We've been married for 52 years.

In 1969, we came out to Denver for the first time for the Denver Pop Festival. My wife had just graduated from high school, and she got money from some of her relatives. She blew it like any 17-year-old girl would on tickets for the festival. At the time, I was managing a clothing store, and I hadn't had a day off. We had been married over a year and hadn't had a honeymoon. When I asked for time off, my boss fired me.

We decided to stay in Denver, even though we didn't have a place of our own. We were homeless for several weeks, and we slept at Barnum Park in Denver. It gave me a big insight into the homeless issue. I'm kind of grateful for that. It's so easy to become homeless that you shouldn't be judgmental about it at all. It can happen to any of us — a blink and a wink, and you can be homeless. It was a formative time, and it was good to have gone through that. It made me appreciate my life more.

Finding my way

Since I had this clothing background, I became a manager at a store called Fashion Bar. I worked about 65 hours a week and made $300 to $400 a month.

You're always trying to find a way to better yourself and prove yourself. That's the life cycle of a person. As I was doing that, I talked to a guy who knew somebody at the University of Colorado that could help me with admissions and grants. I applied for a grant, got help and that got me in school.

I graduated with a degree in marketing, but I never got a job in that field. I got a job as an auditor for the federal government. I enjoyed it. I learned to learn, and I became confident that I could learn anything I wanted to.

In auditing, they taught us how you develop a finding. You have to have criteria, condition, cause and effect. If you have those things, you'll have a finding. You have an important story. It's powerful, and I think it's fascinating.

A love for music

I've always been into music. As a little kid, I remember strumming a banjo. It woke something up in me. From that point on, I was just in love with all instruments.

I picked up the guitar at about 18 or 19. It took me a year to tune it. Right around that time, I started to write love songs, but I really wasn't good at it.

I ended up investing in some recording software, and I decided to learn how to do it. I taught myself to do my own recordings. When I write songs, I like to work them out with my guitar. Then the lyrics come together. What amazes me is that I can do all this without reading music. My music is on streaming platforms. Commercially, I'm a failure, but life is a journey.

If you have a suggestion for My Name Is... contact Joseph Rios at jrios@coloradocommunitymedia.com

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