Willy Gonzalez, who was born on the island, is a drummer, entertainer and only remaining original member of the band The Line Up. He’s a husband, father, golfer, businessman and serves on the Galveston’s Redevelopment Authority board. He’s also a basketball, baseball and sometimes soccer coach.
If not a musician, then what would you have become? I have always had a love for architecture. I made sure to go straight to college after high school, I was very focused. But once my music career took off, my passion became my business. I’m still planning on getting a degree, but last time I started tackling it, Hurricane Ike hit and I was kept busy helping family members with their renovations. It’s still a plan though, simply so my two boys will see it hanging on the wall next to my wife’s Occupational Therapy degree.
What’s the most recent book you’ve read that made a lasting impression? I just finished “Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High” by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler. I found it very helpful. It basically teaches you to count to 10 before answering in a potentially explosive situation. It has good tips for conversations with kids, your spouse or in board meetings. Sometimes we dread to pick up an important call because of potential unpleasantness. The book helps to erase preconceptions before important conversations.
When was the last time you cried and the last time you laughed? We were driving back to Galveston and passed a motorbike wreck on the side of the road. It obviously was a fatality. I turned back and saw how our boys were both praying for the victim without anyone prompting them. It was a sad occurrence to witness, but I was extremely proud of the children. I laugh with them all the time. No one makes you laugh like your kids, not even your best friend.
An extravagance you can’t live without? We love to send out our laundry. Of course we do our own laundry as well, but nothing beats the way the items return from the cleaners. It’s that perfect fold!
What would a perfect day look like? Waking up to California weather in Galveston. I’d make everyone their favorite breakfast. Then loading up the ’73 Ford Bronco, having total control of the radio, then heading for the beach or some bayside crabbing. Maybe a couple of hours on the golf course. Finally beating Bruce Baird (whom I can outdrive by about 100 yards). I’d love to end the day with a romantic dinner with my wife, Sherrill, most likely sushi. Preferably my sister, Ingrid Gonzalez, will watch the boys. They have such a great time with her, we don’t have to feel guilty leaving them at home.