"I Have a Voice", community

I Have a Voice: Danny Thomas Dunne Ruiz

Dunne-Ruiz is a retired police officer from Tracy, author of the Blue Mexican, a novel published in 2009 and currently works as English teacher at San Mary`s High School and the San Joaquin Delta College.

What started as a part time job at the Tracy Police Department, for the young Dunne-Ruiz turned into a police career of twenty years.

“I went from a dispatcher to a patrol man, to detective sergeant.”

Dunne-Ruiz was a police officer during the 1960`s early 1970s a time frame he describes as “turbulent.” “There was a lot of change going on culturally, socially and economically in America,” in America and in small towns like Tracy.

After Dunne- Ruiz retired from the Tracy PD he felt the need to go back to school.

Dunne in front of San Mary`s High School where we works as an English Teacher

Eventually, Dunne- Ruiz completed a Bachelor’s degree and a Master degree in English and Literature at the University of the Pacific.

He was born in Louisiana, but was raised as an army brat in Italy.

His love for literature developed as kid. “We never had a TV and so we were always reading,” added Dunne-Ruiz. “I fell in love with reading and storytelling.”

This is how the ex cop went from preventing crime on the streets to teaching kids in the classrooms.

“Teaching is more rewarding because you are teaching the young and you can help shape some of their values.”

Dunne-Ruiz hopes to inspire hisstudents to love literature and appreciate the art of storytelling as much as he does.

In 2009 Dunne-Ruiz published the book, “The Blue Mexican”

The title of the book “The Blue Mexican” has a double meaning, explains the author, the word blue describes the color of the uniform of a police man, but also sets a tone for the mood of the book.

“Blue, is the things that you had to witness or experience that were hurtful not only to me but to others who were subjects of prejudice and discrimination growing up.”

It took Dunne-Ruiz five years to complete the entire book manuscript; it was not until he discovered a family secret regarding his father identity that he decided to look back at his manuscript.

Dunne-Ruiz always believed he was half Irish because of his father. Later in his life he discovered that the man he thought was his father was actually his step father, and his biological father Mexican like her mother.

“That made me a full blooded Mexican.” It was then that Dunne decided to add his father`s last name Ruiz, to his name.

“When I found out who I was I thought it was time to finish this book.”

For Dunne-Ruiz the message of his book is to, “stand up for what you believe in no matter what the odds are ,” as well as to emphasize the importance of respect, “respect for humanity, respect  for the culture , because  is respect  what is lacking in our society.”

About Dennise Rocha

Journalist with Bilingual Weekly Newspaper


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