Isidro Salas is pushing the limits of podcasting by sharing stories and experiences about spending more than 10,000 hours not just making but, more importantly, eating tacos. He grew up working in a taco truck that produced a whole bunch of tacos in the 80s and 90s. This truck was run by immigrants from Mexico who, along with their children, were part of a growing movement to sell as many tacos as they could – not to just survive, but also to be part of the American Dream.

Show Notes

Episode Transcriptions

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ISIDRO SALAS: I believe that when you throw things out there, you know, if they have some intention, some purpose, you never know what good comes out of it. And you’re never going to tie it together to, oh, because I threw this out there in 1982, in 2017, I got this back. No, you know, you know, the goodness doesn’t work that way, you know? And so if you put good stuff out there, good stuff comes back. And you, when it comes back, you have to worry about it, where it came, but you just continue putting good stuff in.

[music]

ROCKWELL FELDER: Welcome to Between Two Mics

ZACHARIAH MORENO: I’m Zach.

ROCK: And I’m Rock.

ZACH: We’re the co-founders of Squadcast.fm. 

ROCK: The best way to record remote interviews at studio quality, like this one.

ZACH: Here on Between Two Mics, we explore the challenges, opportunities, and new ideas with the people who are pushing the limits of what’s possible in podcasting.

[music] 

ZACH: Isidro Salas, thank you for coming on Between Two Mics. You’re-you’re the host of a, of a very different kind of podcast. So 10,000 TACOS. What, what was your, uh, what was your idea for starting that and kind of, where did you get started with podcasting?

ISIDRO: Thank you for welcoming me and I-I’m looking forward to this. This is actually pretty cool. Uh, but uh, my idea behind it was I, I fell in love with the podcast medium back because of the, uh, Serial, right. And I, I enjoyed, like many other people enjoyed the fact that the storytelling of, of that whole saga. Uh, and at that point I started to listen to more and more podcasts and the more I listened to to them, the more I, I just fell in love with how much you could learn from them. And I, I sort of thought that there were more like digital encyclopedias, right? Depending on what you clicked on. And at some point I started thinking: Man, maybe I could launch a podcast. And I kind of was joking in my head, but you know, the more I thought about it. And I was having a conversation with my wife and, and uh, and even though we said, okay, let’s, let’s do it, I don’t know what I’m going to do it on. She threw it out there. Like you’re always talking about tacos. You’re always talking about Mexican food. You’re always talking about how you grew up. And at first I was like, yeah, but you know, everybody’s talking about that stuff and, and little by little, I just realized, you know, there weren’t a lot of people doing that. Uh, and, uh, and then I started believing more and more so that yes, I had a very unique childhood. Not everybody grew up in a taco truck in, uh, Silicon Valley in the early eighties and early, you know, in early nineties. And so, uh, so I decided let’s go, let’s go ahead and do that. And one of the things that I wanted to do is I wanted to interview people like me, restaurant owners…And I didn’t care so much. Yeah, we’d probably talk about the food, but I didn’t, I wanted their stories, but, um, you know…The reason that was difficult is because people in the restaurant business, they worked like 20 hour days and they really don’t have time to sit down with you.

ZACH: Yeah, respect.

ISIDRO: Yeah. And then, well, I mean, people in your industry do as well, so. [laughs]

ZACH: [laughs] Not the same kind of physical work though.

ISIDRO: [laughs] And, uh, and the other part is that I wanted to interview more people like me, you know, the undocumented worker. But I realized that that was going to be very difficult too, because, uh, uh, many of them do not like microphones in their face. And even if they have the time, they’re just, you know, they’re, they’re undocumented. So they can’t. And so then, um, then I, I had already set myself to launch. And, and I said, I’m just going to have to launch it. And I’m just going to have to kind of see if I can talk about whatever, as long as tacos is involved. And, uh, little by little, it just started to morph into a tribute to my parents and my, my upbringing. And then little by little, I started to notice that it was more of a storytelling podcast, and I was telling the story of my parents and my family and myself. And, and now I’m, I’m, I’m falling in love with the storytelling aspect of, of the podcast. And it’s, it’s got a lot of challenges because story-storytelling is not that easy. Um, we live in a world where, oh, you know, post your stories. And, uh, uh, like I mentioned before, stories are similar to tacos, everybody’s effing them up, you know, they’re, they’re losing the genuine part of it. And I want to, I want to focus on the storytelling stuff. See where that takes me, hopefully.

ROCK: Yeah, and I definitely want to dig more into that, but before, like how many tacos have you eaten so far? Are you keeping a tally on that? Uh, you know, is it over 10,000 you think?

ISIDRO: Oh, I’m glad you asked that question. It’s way over 10,000. 

ZACH: That’s what’s up! [laughs]

ISIDRO: Um, I tried to do the math. This is based on how, you know, my, my lifestyle back then. And I did just some general math and, um, I’m probably over like 35,000 now, right. And I, and I, and I get most of that because, uh, we used to sell tacos, uh, at night, during Friday, Saturday, Sunday, we would park in this very busy corner in East San Jose. And it was mostly for the nightclub people. And so it wasn’t always busy. So we would, we would sit there in this corner and most of the time, it wasn’t busy until later in the night. So in between customers, uh, you know, I’d make two or three and we’d probably do that four times a night. And so I was probably eating like 16 a night on three days a week. And, uh, and that’s just that night. During the day was a different story because they, my parents sold throughout the Silicon Valley at, at construction stops, office buildings. And when we would do that, especially in the summers, that was what we would eat all the time. And then we had a taco truck parked in our driveway. So we always had food. I did an episode called “Taco Lotto” where, you know, I tell people I won the lottery. And one of the reasons, because we had a food truck in front of our driveway, so that’s like winning the lottery. So it’s about 35,000, you know, and counting, I just had some today.

ROCK: And for our audience who can’t see, you certainly don’t look like a man who’s had 30,000 tacos. So good for you for, you know, keeping up with your, your love and your habit, but, uh, you know, still staying, staying fit. Cause man, you know, I love a taco as much as anybody, but I could, 30,000 sounds like a lot.

ISIDRO: And it is. And I never really meant to keep track, but uh, at some point I started figuring out. That you, this lifestyle, you, you can’t sustain it. Um, and I see a lot of people on Instagram, on social media that, you know, they love putting it down, and it’s hard for those people that could keep it up. And, and still have the ability to, to, to live an active lifestyle. I put it up for them. And my dad, you know, he was very athletic. He was, uh, uh, a cyclist in his youth. Uh, so by the time, you know, he’s struggling with his health now. Uh, but by the time, you know, he, he, um, he always used to eat the same thing that we did back then and, you know, because of his, the jeans he kicked down, I think that that helps us, but it’s a challenge. It really is.

ZACH: Yeah. And you’re, you’re, uh, you know, telling these stories through the lens of, of growing up in a taco truck, 10,000 tacos. And, and, uh, I know you’ve mentioned this to me in the past, but some background on the title, uh, where does that come from? Other than you, uh, growing up in a, in a food truck.

ISIDRO: The title of the podcast came from the 10,000 hour rule that, uh, Malcolm Gladwell, the author, he wrote a book in 2008 called Outliers. And in it, he makes the argument that he, if you do something for about 10,000 hours, you become an expert. And, um, some people have tried to chip down at that, but, but anyway, I, I, I subscribed to that kind of rule, right. And I didn’t know this. But, I, I know we spent more than 10,000 hours making tacos, and I remember telling my wife, well, I’m certainly not an expert. You know, I’ve, I’ve certainly had more than 10,000. So if you have subscribed to that rule, it, it does…It does say it’s true now. I’ll I’ll can I consistently say on my podcast, I’m not an expert, but people think that I am, uh, and I’m finding out that that’s, that’s a separate set of challenges, but that’s where the title came from. Uh, and it sounds pretty cool too. It’s, it’s, it’s pretty attractive. I, I get a lot of people going, Hey, you know, you don’t, you don’t talk about tacos, but it’s the title that drew them. 

ZACH: Why don’t you think you’re an expert? 

ISIDRO: You know, that’s, that’s a very good question. Uh, I don’t think I’m an expert. 

ZACH: Because if you’re not then who is? 

ISIDRO: It’s a very good question. Uh, my parents are experts. My mom is an expert. 

ZACH: What a son.

ISIDRO: Yeah. And, and so it was my dad, but he, you look at their background. My dad grew up in…He was born in 1936, and, uh, he was born to, um, my grandmother. She was, she had a pretty rough upbringing, but she, she had different partners. So my, my dad had different, he had siblings from different fathers. Uh, and he grew up without his father. And so that my, my grandmother was always like this, survivor. And she, they, they had, uh, a market, a meat market, uh, when he was growing up. So he, he got his experience on how to cut meat and how to identify certain meats. And she was an awesome cook, right? So, so he got that experience from there. And then my mom, on the other side, she grew up in a ranch and she was one of 19 children, and she was the second oldest. So she was thrust into like, she, she, my, my grandmother, well, I have an uncle that’s younger than my older sister. I just can’t picture my grandmother and my mom doing things at the same time. So whether having children at the same time, I know that sounds gross, but that, that my mom just was thrust into being an adult so fast. And I don’t know if you’ve ever heard about this, but like, uh, we talk about technology and who takes advantage of that. Farmers anywhere in the world are the most innovative people. They always encounter problems, and they find ways to, to just do, do things more efficiently. So I think that’s where my mom brought her, uh, her talent. So when, by the time they came to the United States, you know, they just didn’t say, Hey, we’re going to start a taco truck. We already have the experience. All those things kind of blended together. And as a result, then they went on with their journey to, to start selling, uh, and making a whole bunch of tacos. And we went along for the ride as children. Like, yeah, it was, it was hard for us, right? But at the same time, we, that, that was like the ultimate gift of being given. To watch two people make this food, sell this food, interact with people. And, uh, that’s the other thing I talk about in the podcast is how the food brings people together. We hear that all the time. But, tacos man. They make people smile. They make people laugh. They make people cry. It’s, it’s a cultural thing. It’s not just a, a food that’s popular today. It is a big culture. It’s part of the culture. So that’s why I try to bring it to the podcast as well.

ZACH: Yeah. Like what, what else would get, you know, a hundred people to like stand around in a parking lot and like talk and stuff, you know…Put a food truck in the middle there…

ISIDRO: On a rainy night. Yeah. Yeah.

ZACH: [laughs] It definitely, definitely has that community bonding effect. So the, um, the stor-the storytelling angle, like that’s your lens that you’re, you’re telling these stories through. But, uh, having spoken to you in the past, you’re, you’re also very much a student of, of storytelling. And I’m curious, like, you know, where you, how, how you’ve developed as a storyteller since you committed to starting your show. Um, and, and as you’ve, uh, as you’ve kind of grown in, in, um, maturity with, with, uh, production of your show.

ISIDRO: Well, I’ve, I’ve always been told that I’m very good at telling stories and, um. But then I always struggled in interviews, right? When you’re going for a job interview, or when you’re talking to somebody where it matters. And I knew I had a…

ZACH: Yeah, very different.

ISIDRO: Yeah, I had to become a better storyteller. Especially, I mean, when you’re doing an interview, if you could tell a story about your life, that’s what they want to hear. They don’t care about the technical things, right? And, um, I noticed that that was my challenge. So I started looking into ways of how to become a better interpersonal speaker, how to identify links and stuff, or, or just cues from the other person so that you could tell-relay your message. Um, and once I started launching the podcast, when I’d go back and listen to my episodes, I’m like, wow, I, how did I do that? Um, and I, and I started thinking, wow, you know, if I’m, if I I’m already pretty good at that, but man, I think I could become way, way better. Way, way better. And so I enrolled in classes, and I picked up books and one class in particular. I took a storytelling class, um, really opened up my eyes that, this is really an art form and the same professor she also had a class on interpersonal skills. So I knew I was at the right place. Because they go hand in hand. Uh, and since then, I’ve just been drawn more to, uh, picking up audiobooks and publications that talk about storytelling, genuine storytelling. And as I’m looking at how can I apply these skills to my podcast? I still have a long way to go. I feel like I could get so much better. Um, one of the things that I’m hoping that come out of that. You know, I can make a career out of it, and it’s like podcasts. You don’t know where it’s going to take you. But, uh, I have a good feeling that storytellers are going to become…It’s going to become something that’s going to be in demand. It’s already happening in corporate America, right? Some companies will bring in somebody to help their sales team, uh, deliver the message of their brand a little bit better. Or some companies are bringing in, uh, storytellers to help them shape the story of their organization so they could deploy that to their own new recruits or their, you know, their existing dinosaurs, uh, to improve interpersonal relationships. So that’s, that’s where I’m hoping it goes, but, but I’m really drawn to that. I think if if it wasn’t for the podcast, that’s the direction that, uh, I’m going now, if it wasn’t for the podcast, I probably wouldn’t have discovered that. 

ROCK: So you, so you mentioned that you, um, you want to, um, grow your skills as a storyteller, but you also said that you have some natural ability with storytelling. What, what, what do you like about your storytelling skills and then what are you hoping to, um, you know, hone in and get a little bit better?

ISIDRO: I get pretty animated. 

ZACH: I believe that. 

ISIDRO: It’s the hot sauce. Uh, it’s the, whatever they call that ingredient in chilisthat just gets your blood going. So I get animated, and I started doing a lot of movement and my face. So that’s what people would tell me That’s what would draw them in. Because I would get emotional about it and there, and…

ROCK: And they can hear that even if they’re not seeing you, right.

ISIDRO: Yeah. Yeah. They, they could. They, you’re absolutely right. And one of the things that people would tell me is that I, I was too emotional. And I thought now, you know, what’s wrong with that? Women get accused of that all the time. And anyway, uh, and then I, I thought, you know, maybe there’s something there. And so for what I, what I did for uh, about 12 years prior to switching over to podcasting was a, I used to be an environmental health and safety professional, which is boring, right. You’re, you’re known as the safety guy. And people hate the safety guy. Because he brings down the party. So I thought I’m going to bring a different approach to that. When I have safety meetings, I’m going to make them more exciting by including the audience, by taking a, uh, a subject or a topic and create a story around it. And what I found is that most of the time, not all the time, but these meetings were…were pretty, uh, interactive. People would join, especially when I was there giving them live. So I noticed there that I had the ability to attract people and, and, and. But to keep them was another challenge. And that’s where I knew, okay, now that, that I know I’m pretty good at doing that, what are some things that I could improve on? Well, the storytelling aspect of painting a picture, right? With words that’s, that’s an element that’s very important. That’s a skill to hone on. The other one is the sensory effect. Is how are you describing something when they can’t see you? And so I’ve been honing in on that more, right? So when I’m describing my fourth grade teacher, you know, he’s short than he’s five-four, and he smells like cheese, but you know, and his hair is combed to the side. That’s different than saying, oh my fourth grade teacher who was shorter than me. You know, so, so I’m, I’m learning how to do more sensory stuff. Um, and, uh, so, so that’s where I’m hoping to take my game next. And also the voice delivery. I realized that, you know, you got to guard your voice. If you speak too loud then you’re going to, you know, it’s going to be all raspy and, uh, thank god for these mics, man, because then you realize how good your voice is. I always thought I had a regular voice, but I mean, we all sound great with, with these, these mics. Don’t you agree?

ZACH: I do. Yeah. And I, that’s something that I wanted to kind of, um, call out because you know, a lot of podcasters they’ll focus in on, on the technology, uh, to try to improve. They think they can get those improvement gains in any of these different areas, by adding more equipment. Or maybe it’s software, hardware, or software, they’ll buy microphones, they’ll buy interfaces and, and all that stuff. But, you know, uh, how many of those people have taken a class on storytelling or tried to improve, you know, they’re they’re vocal delivery and their, their diction, their cadence. Um, and these, these things that are, that are more skill-based rather than, you know, uh, purchases like, like physical, um, contribution. So I think it’s, uh, it all adds up to a very compelling story and, and, and, and certainly, I agree like these microphones do make us sound good, but, um..The, uh, the, the soft skills of, of how to tell a story well, how to work within that structure: beginning, middle, and end. Have a hero and, you know, uh, and, and have them go on this journey with the listener. So, uh, that is, you know, I think what, what caught my ear when we spoke, um, when we met before, is, is that, um, that, that focus on the soft skills rather than the hard skills necessary for the podcast. And I think that, uh, that our listeners can, can definitely benefit from, from that, uh, that being part of their approach.

ISIDRO: Yeah. Uh, the other thing I wanted to add that a lot of this doesn’t happen without my wife. So that’s part of the connection. Uh, I already knew I had these little things, but she’s the one that threw a lot of, a lot of herself into this to help me along. And, um, it was no accident that we met. I mean, I, it, we’re we, um, we’re an arranged marriage. Um, you’ve heard of those before?

ZACH: I have. Yeah. I didn’t know that though. That’s fascinating.

ISIDRO: Well, the universe told us to get together, so.

ZACH: You got to listen though. A lot of people don’t, aren’t listening to the universe for that one.

ISIDRO: That’s true. See, and, uh, but she, I mean, if you get, you guys could see this, all these books back here. She’s the one that, that, you know, when you talk about soft skills and, you know, emotional intelligence. Uh, it was easy for me to make that transition into that part because she has, had already been practicing a lot. So when I release an episode that has uh, an emotional element. Yes, it’s my voice. And I’m the one that writes it, but without her, it probably doesn’t have that extra, extra ingredient. You know, it’s almost like that nice salsa that you taste where yeah, you could taste the hot, you could taste the onion, but if you could, you know, that one last kick of extra cumin or whatever it is. She, she brings that to the party. So I’m certainly not alone, you know, um, that I wanted to make sure that she, she’s, she’s part of this journey too. Because we all need help. 

ROCK: Yeah, absolutely. And so what made podcasting, um, your vehicle to get this message out, to share your journey? Because you could have done videos or blogs or, you know, there’s other ways that you could have shared this, but what, what drew you to podcasting where this is the way that you wanted to share that?

ISIDRO: I, I didn’t know this at the time, but, uh, I took my voice for granted. Uh, and I knew that video was never an appealing thing for me. Uh, probably because many of us grow up watching television thinking: oh, that’s so, you know, you have to be a movie star. You have to be talented to get in front of the camera. But today it’s so ubiquitous that everybody does it. And I look, you got to look in the mirror sometimes. And when I would watch old videos of me giving a presentation, I had a lot of work to do. And I still do. Uh, and so I was never comfortable in front of a camera, and people would be like: nah, you look pretty comfortable. Like you’re comfortable giving all these things. But I recognized early on that I, I, when it comes to a camera… And I found the same challenges with a microphone, but just became a little bit easier and easier. Uh, but it allowed me to focus more on my voice rather than what I look like and making all these arrangements. I’m not ruling out video at some point. But, uh, the way I want, if, if I’m gonna do some video stuff, I want it to look better than what I can do it-or produce it. And so I’m hoping that in time, if, if the podcast takes off, if my career takes off, then you bring on people that can help you do that professionally. Um, but, but the po-the, the podcast side is just basically that I don’t, you know, it’s I was drawn just by the microphone. I looked at the microphone sort of like the tortilla, you know, it was like, yeah, I could work with that. 

ROCK: And your words are the meat. 

ISIDRO: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. I gotta write that down, man. That’s going to be a “taco-quotes” day. I have “taco-quotes,” uh, at the end of my episode, I try to, and I call them “taco-quotes” cause they’re quotes and I try to incorporate stuff in. So that, that, that might be a “taco-quote” one day. 

ROCK: You have a ton of taco isms. It’s hilarious. The “taco vaquero,” right? Or the “taquerio vaquero.”

ZACH: It’s like the salsa. Um, yeah. And I think that, um, I’m, I’m curious because your stories that you’re telling are through the, through the lens of tacos and food and family. Um, if you, if you have any desire, I know, uh, some podcasters, they eventually are working their way towards getting enough content to do a book. And your book, right, could be more of like a cookbook combo with stories and stuff like that. Is that something that you’ve, uh, you’ve thought of?

ISIDRO: Yes. Yes. As a matter of fact, my wife’s been pushing me to that. 

ZACH: Um, I thought so, yeah. 

ISIDRO: And she, um, uh, I, I have ruled out a cookbook. Uh, and the reason for that is, again, I think my mom’s the expert, right. And I could throw down pretty good. I, I, people have told me they liked the way my food tastes. And that in itself, just because I was raised…

ZACH: So humbled.

ISIDRO: Because I was raised by that taqueros doesn’t mean that you automatically are born with that. I, I have an episode about this called about this called “Menudo Bailout,” where I try to, I try to cook menudo, and my parents had to come and bail me out. Uh, and, and I tell the story how…

ZACH: That’s one of the hardest things to cook though. Let’s be fair. Like tripe, tripe is not a tortilla, right? Like it’s not as…

ISIDRO: No, no. And so I, I, I know how to cook menudo now, but I thought that, oh, you know, this was easy. I saw my parents do it all the time. I’m going to go try it. It was a disaster. My mom had to come and bail me out. And, uh, and so I, I don’t want to do a cookbook because: One she’s the expert. The other thing: there’s so many of those out there. But I do want to do a book that similar to the podcast that is short stories. Because one of the other thing that’s happening with the podcast that I, I, this is what really draws me in. I could, I struggle with episodes because what I want to do is take a time of my life and then translate that or bring it forward to today. And how is that applying to my life today? And, and one of the things that I’m finding out through some of my, uh, audience comments is that they’re, they’re having an impact on them. Uh, and, and it’s really humbling when somebody tells you, look, you know…My son told me about your podcast. And, and you’re saying stuff that I’m trying to tell him, but he won’t listen to me, but he listens to you. And it has, you know, those kinds of things. I’m like, wow, that, that that’s, that’s like the humbleness pie of the world right there. Right. The universe is going, you’re doing something good. So, um, I, I…

ROCK: What are they saying? 

ISIDRO: You know, one was telling me that. It was, and this is hard because again, we were undocumented, and we, we didn’t, we didn’t have the right to be here. And so we, we had to hide a lot. So this one person was telling me that he tries to tell his son that he struggled by being undocumented and because they were born here that they don’t have to go through those same struggles. And the son is at an age where like, I don’t care about that, whatever. But then hearing the stories that I’ve been saying, the limited amount of time that I’ve, I’ve talked about that, drew him back to his dad. Like tell me more about this. And found that they, the stories that I was saying, even though it wasn’t exactly the same, that he could relate to his dad now, like, wow. You know, and, and that, that is, that is a privilege that I hear when people hear you on the microphone, like anybody could do a podcast, but it truly is a privilege to be… When somebody gives you their, their time to listen. Uh, that’s where it kind of just, whoa, it, it, it hits you in the face and goes like you, you have, you have a little bit of a responsibility here. And you want to do the right thing. So that, that, that told me something very powerful. I, uh, one of my wife’s friends, uh, told me that he didn’t know Mexican food the way that I’m describing it and I don’t get too descriptive on it, but he didn’t know that that existed. He thought that you could only get Mexican food through, through a Mexican restaurant. And he course, he didn’t care about Taco Bell. He knew that was fast food, but when he went to a Mexican restaurant, he thought that that was real Mexican food. And he didn’t know that people cook food like that at home. Um, so he’s gotten that through the podcast.

ZACH: That’s amazing. Talk about bringing people together. Right. I was thinking like, you know, through the act of like eating tacos together, but this is like a whole another level of that. Like you’re helping a father and a son be more, be more connected through, through some of those struggles. And your story, uh, shedding some light on that, how, how different ways the generations can can think about, you know, something, so something so similar. So I, I think you’re, you’re definitely doing great work, and I caught before you said, you know, if, if, if your podcast blows up. I would say when, uh, when your podcast blows up. Cause I think it’s something that’s, it’s so unique and, uh, and you are who you are. And a student of, of storytelling. Um, so I guess like, uh, any, anything else that, uh, that you wanted us to cover here today?

ISIDRO: Well, one of the things that I’ve been struggling with that I want to, uh, I want to bring out, and this is probably, this is going to be the first time that I’ll ask. Um, I, I’d like more feedback from listeners, from people like yourselves that that’s, if, you know, where can I do it better, so I could attract more. Because unfortunately in the world we live in, we have to put, uh, naked people or crime scenes in front of something to get attention. And good stories, they’re at the back of the page, uh, storytelling, podcasts, go to the back of the page. You know, you have to have a crime podcast or a, or be named Joe Rogan. Um, and so I don’t know how I’m getting stuck on the, you know, the, the downloads, they increase incrementally, but I don’t know what kind of show I have. And I want to find out more from the listeners. Um, and from strangers, like: Hey, take some time, listen to it. Tell me what it is that I could do better so that I can improve it so that I can start bringing in some revenue that will go to my parents, you know?

ROCK: Yeah. We can, we can definitely help with that and have a few ideas as far as that, but that goes, but I think, honestly, man, you got the hard part down, which is the passion and the heart. And that really shows through in who you are as a person. 

ZACH: Can’t fake that stuff.

ISIDRO: Thank you.

ROCK: Yeah. We’ve, I mean, we’ve met two handful of times now, but you know, from, from the jump you had a warmth. And a magnetic kind of personality about you. Um, I am, I’m wondering though, like what, what do you want the world to know about your parents? 

ISIDRO: You know, that they were hardworking people. That they are, and that they, they did the right thing, whatever manual they subscribed to, it was the right thing. They were humble. They were honest. Uh, they, they didn’t take shortcuts. And unfortunately the world doesn’t care about that sometimes, so they’re struggling. And I, I want, I want people to know that they were good people, um, because we, we need to hear more about people like them, you know.

ROCK: There’s a lot of them out there. So many, man. Not, not to discount your family, but like there’s so many good people out there like them that, uh, that aren’t. I agree with you. It’s it’s uh, it’s touching to hear that though.

ISIDRO: I, I believe that when you throw things out there, you know, if they’re, they have some intention, some purpose, you never know what good comes out of it. And you’re never going to tie it together to, oh, because I throw this out there in 1982, in 2017, I got this back. No. You know, the goodness doesn’t work that way, you know? And so if you put good stuff out there, yeah, good stuff comes back. And when it comes back, you have to worry about it, where it came from, but you just continue putting good stuff in. And my parents’ story, uh, and millions of them. But my parents’ story is special. And I want the world to know it before they pass away. And I, and I’m like in this time clock that I’m like, I I’m running out of time to get it out there before my dad passes away. Um, and, uh, so I, I don’t know what, what, you know, I need to, I I’m in there, like I’m trying to hurry up. How do you make money from this? How do you do that? I’m trying to launch an e-commerce store, but, uh, but I also don’t know how to ask for help, you know? Um, I figured that if I could increase the audience, that even if they donate a dollar a month, you know, something small could help a long way. Because my parents are struggling, and I’m struggling with that. So, uh, I don’t know. I don’t want to end up “wha wha wha”, you know, but, uh, they never did it, so let’s, let’s not that now.

ZACH: No, I think that’s one of the better, or best reasons I’ve heard of somebody, you know, with the reason for telling their stories and doing their, doing their show. I mean, I, I guess my follow-up question is like, do, do your parents know that? Do your parents know that you feel this way and that they are good people and they, they deserve, they deserve to get what comes from that.

ISIDRO: They-they’re very humble. They would like, for example, my dad would have never said he was, uh, an entrepreneur. Right. But he was. Uh, my mom would never have said things like, oh, we’re we’re business owners, but they were. And so they, they don’t, those are tough questions to, to, to ask oneself. You know, and it’s maybe culturally, but my mom knows, my dad, uh, had these mini strokes a few years back, and he almost didn’t make it, but he came out of that a little bit, messed up. Uh, his memory is getting worse and worse almost every day. So he, he doesn’t have an idea of what’s going on. But, but once in a great while you see, you know, a light in his eyes and he, you know, he’ll start talking about, he, he doesn’t remember what happened yesterday or 10 seconds ago, but he remembers 20, 30 years ago, he remembers his childhood. And sometimes when we talk about, you know, the catering truck and he, he’ll just sit there, like he’ll, he’ll tell me more good stuff. You know, he’ll be like, you know what? I, I loved doing that. I didn’t, I didn’t hate… I hated it growing up like that. But when I heard my dad recently say, nah, I, I didn’t, I didn’t love it, but I didn’t mind waking up in the morning to every day. And he used to work 14, 15 hour days. Along with my mom. But, uh, he, he doesn’t remember a lot. And then my mom, she still cooks as if she still has the taco truck. We called it a catering truck back then. So she always has all this abundance of food and people come over. But those days are coming to an end too, because you know, she’s not as young and, and her taste buds are going away. Her, she still cooks like crazy. Like it’s, I hate to compare it, like Stevie Wonder you can’t see, but he, he knows where those keys are at. My mom can’t taste stuff, but she knows how much frickin salt goes on this. She knows, and that’s a magical thing. So, um, they, they don’t know that I’m trying to tell their story, but what I want to do is I, I want to bring them a better life. And this is my way, you know, my other siblings are helping out in their own way, and we all have our own unique things, and we’re all trying to do that. But I feel that this is a, this is what I’ve been charged with. And I want to make this, you know, I want to be able to give their last days or years, um, where they’re, they’re portrayed as heroes. Because they are, they are heroes. They, they fed a lot of people in the Silicon Valley. So.

ZACH: It’s a, it’s a beautiful thing, man. Uh, so I, I love the work that you’re doing, you know, tacos, family. Uh, being heroes. And, uh, and, and celebrating, you know, people who, who work their asses off for other people’s, uh, enjoyment. So I think that, uh, you know, you being, you being about your craft and, and, and doing these stories, justice is, uh, is, is not a common thing that, that we come across, even in this, this, you know, medium and industry of storytellers. So I think you’re, you’re doing something different. You’re doing something right. And wanted to take this opportunity to, to get your story out there, to, uh, to help celebrate that and get, um, get more people listening to your show. Uh, more people helping you out with your, with your show. So, uh, we’re absolutely happy to do that. And, um, where can, where can our listeners, uh, you know, the podcast 10,000 TACOS subscribe to that? Where, where else can they find you? 

ISIDRO: Well, I have a site, uh, called, uh, well it’s 10ktacos.com. So that’s the personal site that I have where I post all the episodes. And I, uh, and I’m also going to be putting some merchandise on that. So again, that’s www. Nobody says www. And that’s how you could tell I was from the nineties, right? 10K tacos.com or the whole word, 10,000tacos.com. Uh, but, uh, we’re, we’re, um, most of the major podcast platforms we’re on Spotify, we’re on Pandora. Uh, we are, um, uh, Apple Podcasts.

ZACH: Awesome. Well, thank you, Isidro. [music fades in] This has been a, it’s been a great interview

ISIDRO: Thank you for welcoming me here. 

[music]

ROCK: This has been another episode of Between Two Mics with Zach and Rock from Squadcast.

ZACH: The best way to record remote podcasts, like today’s, in studio quality,

ROCK: Visit bit.ly/squadpod to check out our resources page where you can download your free remote interview checklist.