Rubirosa

Episode One: Haunted

[Ambient street noises, car sounds are heard in background.] 


CHRISTOPHER RIVAS: Come on, I’m excited. Let’s go people! 

ABIGAIL KEEL: [laughs] How far is your building from here?  

CHRIS: Oh, it's right there. This is it. Everything is exactly the same. The colors are the same. 

ABIGAIL KEEL: This is your school?

CHRIS: This is PS 175, this is my elementary school. And then Halsey, my junior high, is across the street the other way. I was still late to school. That is where my dad worked. That's the basement. This is where my dad would sit for lunch… [fades down]


CHRIS: I grew up in Queens NY, at 10217 64th Rd. My Dominican father was the building's super. I lived here until I was 18. And I’m back now for this podcast with my producers Abigail & John. 


JOHN DELORE: All right, so you want to go in that basement? 

CHRIS: Why not?  Let's just, I’ll show you the shop. This is my dad's workspace. I loved the boiler room as a kid. Like I would watch the fire as a little boy. I loved just watching the fire do its thing.


[Sound of elevator moving, then a ding.] 


CHRIS: We take the elevator up to the first floor. And everywhere I look I feel memories. Falling down the staircase and cracking my head open. Getting in trouble with my friends for running an underground poker ring during school hours. Salsa dancing in the lobby. Being here is like stepping back into my childhood. 


CHRIS: And that is where my godfather lived. We had the Mamans on the right side…

JOHN: So where is your first apartment?  

CHRIS: Oh, right here. 1J.


CHRIS: Alright, y’all. Here’s where the journey really begins. 


CHRIS: So this door right here is apartment 1J. 1J was this like very tiny one bedroom that four of us shared.  


CHRIS: I’m whispering because someone else lives here now, and I’m being very creepy recording outside of his door...recalling a vivid memory from when I was 8 years old. My mom was recovering from a back surgery, and I was running around pretending to be …an assassin, totally normal. 


CHRIS: Now, imagine this. This like, tiny ass apartment. 


[Bachata music enters.]


CHRIS: My mom is laid up on her stomach and I'm at my best set of tidy whities. Most definitely Hanes. I have every nerf gun i have wrapped around my waist using my dad's belt. And I pop my head around the corner and I do this like fully executed tumble. And I land in a fighting stance and I fire a nerf bullet into the distance. [pop noise] Whispering into my invisible watch, I'll be in and out in six flat. That's when my mom calls, “Coño, muchacho. I swear to God, if your food gets cold, if I have to tell you one more time, I will break all your toys, everything. I will break everything.”


CHRIS: I know. Wanting to be an assassin is a weird goal for an 8 year old, but that was my chosen profession. And I would play like that for hours…I was the king of make believe y’all, the king of being more than what I was. 


CHRIS: I whisper again into my invisible watch and I say, uh, "my bad Bond is going to have to meet you at the drop off point after dinner."  


[Bachata music fades out.] 


CHRIS: And who I pretended to be above all else was the baddest person I knew - James Bond. 

PIERCE BROSNAN AS JAMES BOND: The name's Bond, James Bond.

SEAN CONNERY AS JAMES BOND: Well you see, I’ve always been a nervous passenger.

LUCIANA PALUZZI AS FIONA VOLPE: Some men just don’t like to be driven.

CONNERY: No. Some men just don’t like to be taken for a ride.


EVA GREEN AS VESPER LYND:
It doesn't bother you, killing those people?

DANIEL CRAIG AS JAMES BOND: I wouldn't be very good at my job if it did.


[Spy movie-esque bass guitar enters.]


CHIRS: Yes I mean, come on who wouldn't want to be James Bond? He's chill, he's tough. Everyone likes him. He does important work saving the world and whatnot. And he gets mad honeys all while rocking this ridiculous bespoke black tux. 


CHRIS (ON SCENE): And so I thought maybe, this awkward Dominican kid from Queens could actually become him in one way or another. 


[Vibraphone and cymbals enter.]


CHRIS: Bond. Jaime Bond. Javi Bond. Bondissimo. 


CHRIS: For the record, my name is not Bond. It’s Rivas. Christopher Rivas. And I’m not an assassin. But then again, would I really tell you if I was? Think about it.


I’m the next best thing though… an actor. And a writer and yada yada multi-hyphenate creative. You get the idea. I live in LA now. Pretty dang far from 10217 64th Road in Queens. But being back in my old apartment building, I remember so fiercely my childhood dream of being  Bond. And how far away that dream felt for a half-Dominican, half-Colombian kid like me. 


[Music ends.]


CHRIS: I was only 8...but I didn't like how I looked, I didn’t like how I talked. I was this 4’10” prepubescent Dominican kid with glasses, a big nose and a curly-ass ‘fro. I wasn’t just pretending to be someone adventurous and tough...I was pretending to be white.


[The sound of a phone ringing plays.]

CHRIS: What's up, man? 

PETER JENSEN: How ya doing? Long time…

CHRIS: Long, long time. How's the fam?

PETER: We’re good, how bout you? 

CHRIS: So I’m great... [FADE DOWN]


CHRIS: This is my buddy Peter Parshall Jensen. We went to acting school together at CalArts. We haven’t caught up in more years than I like to admit. Time gets away from us sometimes. But Peter… Peter’s kind of responsible for changing my life.

CHRIS: Do you remember in college a long, long time ago sending me that Vanity Fair article?

PETER: Yeah. Yeah. I saw the article and I was like, oh, yeah, this guy is like this guy reminds me a whole lot of Rivas. [laugh]

[Music enters.]

CHRIS: Ok so. It’s 2009. And Peter emails me a link to this article. I’m almost positive the subject line read, “Yo Rivas, check this out!” 


I open it up and BOOM. That’s when it happens. Life altered. The title of the article is “The Legend Of Rubirosa.'' It’s a Vanity Fair profile on a guy named Porfirio Rubirosa. A Dominican man. Everyone calls him Rubi for short. That sounds good doesn’t it? Rubi.


The article starts with an excerpt of his obituary in The New York Times, published after his death in Paris in 1965. It reads, “Porfirio Rubirosa, former Dominican diplomat, international sportsman, and playboy, died in an automobile accident ... . He was alone in the car…The wooden steering wheel of the type used in racing competition had crushed his chest. He died within sight of two of his favorite recreation spots, the Longchamps Race Course and the Bagatelle Polo Club . . .”


This article was like a key to a door that I didn’t even know existed. 

CHRIS: You sent it and my life was changed, you know, like you have single handedly changed my life.

PETER: Oh, that's good. 

[Suspenseful drums enter.]

CHRIS: I sat in front of my laptop– soaking up everything I could about this long-dead Dominican guy. The Vanity Fair profile describes the life of an internationally-known figure. He spent the 1920s in paris. The 1950s in Cuba.  He's THE Latin lover⁠— he was married five times to some of the richest and most famous women in the world. He was also rumored to have had love affairs with women like Eartha Kitt, Ava Gardner, Jayne Mansfield and Eva Peron… and that’s just the start of the list. 


The tabloids loved to talk about Rubi.  A bunch of it was pretty racist, like one article that asked “Is the world’s greatest lover a negro?” And there were also lots of references to homeboy’s 11-inch … you know? His eleven inch – you know. 


One of his wives, the billionaire tobacco heiress Doris Duke, once told someone that Rubi’s member was, quote, "like the last foot of a Louisville Slugger bat." Yeah. Intense.

[Brief music break.]

CHRIS: Rubirosa was suave. Sophisticated. Stylish. Dangerous and as cool as they come. The Vanity Fair article said, “When he was around, an unlit cigarette never touched a woman’s lips.” 


After I finished that article, I read it again and again. And then I started googling. I found more articles written about him that helped round out the life he lived. I found a book. A couple books, actually. Turns out Porfirio Rubirosa was more than just a playboy...he was a diplomat for the Dominican Republic, stationed all over the world. 


[Mux fades out.] 


He worked for General Rafael Trujillo. Trujillo was one of the bloodiest dictators in Latin American history – which we’ll definitely come back to.


Anyway. Weeks went by, but I kept digging around for stuff about Rubi. And then one day I came across something online that made the hair on the back of my neck start to tingle. Rubirosa, the article claimed...was the real James Bond.


[Suspenseful spy-esque music enters again.]


CHRIS: Wait --- WHAT? Dominican? The Real James Bond is a Dominican man? Bullshit … Really? Why didn’t I know this? Why didn’t I know about Rubi?  


If the Vanity Fair article was like a key… this new revelation knocked down the whole damn door. 


I spent the next ten years of my life thinking about and researching Rubi and his connection to Bond… I found myself telling this man’s story to as many people as I could. I wrote a play about him. I got up on stages across the country trying to tell people why they too should care. And as I learned more about the story of Porfirio Rubirosa, I started to realize that I was also learning more about MY OWN STORY. I started digging into my own Dominican roots and culture. I learned things I never knew, never wanted to know. I stopped cutting my curly hair, and I even publicly declared--in the New York Times, nonetheless--that I was going to stop dating white women. I started writing a book. It’s been a long, intense, soul searching journey. Which brings me here ⁠- with you — to this podcast. 


I’m Christopher Rivas and this is Rubirosa. Episode 1: Haunted.


[Suspenseful spy-esque music plays at full volume, fades down.]


//////// 

CHRIS: Have you ever heard of someone named Porfirio Rubirosa? 

PERSON 1: No, I haven't.

CHRIS: Porfirio Rubirosa. 

PERSON 2: Por-feel-io Rubirosa. [sic]

CHRIS: Have you heard of him?

PERSON 2: Never heard of him.

[Enter merengue drums and bass.]

CHRIS: Turns out… I'm not the only one who didn’t know about Rubirosa. Though I do know how to pronounce his name. I hit the streets to ask some people about him. First stop: my backyard, Hollywood. 


CHRIS: What if I told you that James Bond is actually based on a Dominican man named Porfirio Rubirosa?

PERSON 3: It's not true. There's a lot of mythology about James Bond is really this James Bond is really that 

PERSON 2: They say James Bond ain't never say Porfilio.

CHRIS: Would you believe that that British white guy could be based on a Dominican man?

PERSON 1: Absolutely.

PERSON 1: I think a lot of times Hollywood tries to make the hero Anglo. 

//


[Sound of entering a restaurant.]


CHRIS: Hola.


PERSON 4: Hola.


CHRIS: Como estas?


PERSON 4: Bien…


CHRIS: Next up I went to a Dominican spot, a coffee shop in Brooklyn called Jenny's Number 2. I could understand if most people hadn’t heard of Rubirosa, but surely my brothers and sisters from the DR knew who he was, right?


CHRIS: ¿Sabes quién es Porfirio Rubirosa? 


PERSON 4: No. 


CHRIS: No? 


PERSON 5: Quien?


CHRIS: Porfirio Rubirosa? No? 


[Sound from a different, busier restaurant.]


CHRIS: I even went to this Italian joint in New York called Ristorante Rubirosa that was literally named after Porfirio. They have a couple pictures of him up on the walls--they gotta know who he is.


CHRIS: Can I ask you a question. Do you know why this restaurant is named Rubirosa? 

SERVER: I don't. 

CHRIS: Does anyone know? 

SERVER: Yeah. Let me find them. [laugh] 

CHRIS: A waiter named Julio had a little bit of an idea.

JULIO: Rubirosa was a restaurant the founder used to love going to in Italy. He finds out about the person Rubirosa. Bunch of girls, bunch of parties, fast cars. Maybe there's something there.

CHRIS: These people who don’t have a clue about Rubi. I get it. I WAS them. 


[Midtempo bass guitar enters.]


CHRIS: But now, ten years after learning about Rubi in my CalArts dorm room, I’m firmly on the other side. And one thing is clear ⁠—  once you’ve learned about who this guy is, he leaves an impression on you.


UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER 1: Who doesn't know who Porfirio Rubirosa is? 

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER 2: They don't make them like that anymore. 

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER 3: Rubirosa ran in the same circles as Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, the Kennedys.

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER 4: He was very cool. And the people at that time were not cool. 

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER 2: He was a diplomat for Trujillo. He was attacked by Castro. There was a grenade thrown in his embassy. 

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER 5: He was worthless except to the wealthy ladies who married him. 

ZSA ZSA GABOR (ARCHIVAL): No, Rubi didn’t treat me bad, he treated me beautifully. 

HOST: But he used to beat you around? 

ZSA ZSA: Well, a little bit, but I deserved it.

 

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER 6: He was already being called Playboy before the magazine Playboy came out.

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER 7: People were always trying to just, you know, be with him and get with him and chase him and find out what he's got and how do I get that?


[Music builds up momentum and tempo, then ends.]


CHRIS: Even after all these years of obsession, research and exploration, I still have work to do, I still have these big unknowns. I’m haunted...not in a creepy way, but in a “I have a mission” way…. That’s what this podcast is … my mission to find some answers...about Rubi’s life, and about my own. 


[Hand drums enter, then end.]


⁠—⁠—⁠—AD BREAK ⁠—⁠—⁠—


[Brief vibraphone interlude.]

CHRIS: You said everyone falls in love with Rubi. Why? 

ISABELLA WALL: Well he's a walking party. He's a typical Dominican guy. 

CHRIS: This is Isabella Wall. For what it’s worth, Isabella is also a walking party…She showed up to our Zoom convo with warmth and energy that kept us chatting for an easy two whole hours. She knows a LOT about Rubirosa. 

ISABELLA: You know, he's the life of the party. In the jet setting setting… Life is good because, you know, he makes it look good. He makes it look good and he makes it feel good. And you know, it's the Dominican Republic, and it's paradise and he's got the keys to paradise. 

CHRIS: Isabella and her husband wrote a book about Rubi. Kinda the first book about him. In English at least. Isabella has been out here trying to tell Rubirosa’s story to the world for decades. Her book, “Chasing Rubi” is some of the first stuff I found after the Vanity Fair article. And honestly It feels so good to finally be talking to a fellow Rubi obsessive.

ISABELLA: What do you want to do, Rubi? This is a question that I've been asking myself for 30 years. 

CHRIS: I ask a similar question. I often talk about being like I use the word haunted, but not in the scary movie kind of way. More in a like I was visited and I'm supposed to do something with this story, but I don't know what it is. do youo you feel like you've had the same experience.

ISABELLA: Absolutely. 

[Bass guitar enters.]


CHRIS: Isabella is Dominican, like me. But she actually grew up on the island. 

CHRIS: What are some of your favorite memories from growing up there? 

ISABELLA: Oh my goodness. Going to the beach, I mean. Just I choke up even. 

[Piano and drums enter, playing a smooth Sade groove.]

ISABELLA: Growing up and getting in that warm water in Boca Chica and Juan Dolio. When we were little, my dad used to take us almost every weekend on day trips and to different parts of the island. And we got to grow up, you know, just watching the people in the country and riding burros and eating caña de azucar and mangoes and all of that. 

CHRIS: Damn. Sounds nice, doesn’t it?

Isabella wasn't surprised that people here in the US don't know who Rubi is. But back in the DR, Rubirosa is a known entity.  

[Music fades out.]

CHRIS: Did you hear about Rubi growing up or when was the first time you heard about him?

ISABELLA: So when I was growing up because I was a daddy's little girl and my dad was a neighbor of Rubirosa’s in San Francisco de Marcoris where they were growing up and Rubi-

CHRIS: A neighbor.

ISABELLA: Yeah. And so and so in those days, the teenage boys used to go hang out at a certain park. And they all gathered there to smoke cigarettes, you know, and drink and stuff like that. And Ruby was young, too young to be hanging out with them. So my dad tells the story that he had to get him a cigarette because nobody would give him a cigarette.  And that was something that I used to hear my dad say regarding just men in general. You know, I mean, he would say things like, "Ah no, ese se cree que es un Rubirosa," you know?

CHRIS: Se cree que es un Rubirosa. He thinks he’s a Rubirosa. This is something you’d say about a guy who was showing off. It’s like Rubi was something young men wanted to be. My pops spent a lot of time in the DR growing up. He told me the same thing. 

 

CHRIS: Growing up, these stories about Rubirosa didn’t mean much to Isabella. They were just a part of the local folklore. Eventually she left the island, left her home, and moved to the US. That’s where she met her husband Marty.


MARTY: Hey, Chris.

CHRIS: Marty.

MARTY: How are you, my new friend? 

CHRIS: Back in the 1980s, Marty worked for a big radio station in New York ⁠— Z100. 

[Z100 radio tag plays.]

CHRIS: Y’all Z100 and Hot 97 were my two go-tos. Anyways, he actually hired Isabella to be in a commercial for the station for Latin audiences. They worked together, fell in love, you know how the story goes. And one day, Isabella brought up this guy Rubi – this guy her dad had grown up around.  

[Bass and piano enter.]

MARTY: So Isabella was telling me about this character. 

ISABELLA: I would say, "Well, Marty, you know, he was a polo champion and you know, he was a car racer for Ferrari and this and that." And he's like, "No way. Nobody's ever heard about Dominican doing that. [sic] Why don't I know about it? You know, my parents are from the fifties. I don't know. I don't know." 

MARTY: I was really hip to all of the 40s and 50s movies and the Zsa Zsa Gabors of the world. I mean, what the – how could I not have heard of this person? And kind of challenged her. 

ISABELLA: Marty likes to challenge me, right? And I like a challenge. He said, "Well, you know what you should do. You should go, you know, see what you find about if it's true, you find stuff at the library, at the New York Library." 

MARTY: And she went and spent an entire day at the New York Public Library doing research. And she came home with a copy of his obituary from The New York Times, which was a full page. 

[Music ends.]

CHRIS: Ah… the obituary. This is that same one they quoted in the Vanity Fair article. And I gotta tell ya ⁠— not everyone gets a full page obituary in the New York Times. That’s a big deal. Like, these are the movers and the shakers of their day. People like Clark Gable, Walt Disney, and Nat King Cole all got full page obituaries, too. But we know those names. So how did Rubi get this kinda spread? 


The obituary says, Rubi grew up in a modest home, the son of a Dominican General. He spent his childhood in Paris. And then married the daughter of Trujillo, the DR’s dictator. But the subheadings, they say things like "suave diplomat" and "member of the jet set"...because those are the things that came to define Rubi. “He died as he lived,” the author writes. “Moving fast.” The obituary even quotes Rubi: “The ambition of most men is to save money. Mine is to spend it.” 


Marty Wall was impressed. 

MARTY: And just immediately knew that this was a story that needed to be told in some media. 

CHRIS: At this point, Isabella and Marty set off on a quest to find out as much as they can about Rubi. They start acquiring old photographs. They take a trip to Paris where Rubi spent a lot of time, and where he died. And they call up people who are still alive who might remember their days with Rubirosa.  


Marty and Isabella also move from New York to Los Angeles. And since they’re living right next to Hollywood, Isabella’s dad convinces them that Rubi’s ultra glamorous life… would make a pretty dope feature film.


ISABELLA: No no no, You got to - tienes que llevarte los libros. You gotta, you know, do all the research and be prepared because you're going to make a movie about that." 


[Salsa music enters.]

MARTY: There is a famous producer named Stuart Benjamin who we had an opportunity to meet with. He produced La Bamba and a couple other films. And when we met with him, …gave us some really, really good advice. He says, you're not going to get anywhere with this project unless you have a book that someone is willing to option the rights or you've written your own script. I didn't feel comfortable, nor did Isabella about writing a script. And since there were no books in English, what we decided to do was write the first English language biography, which was published in 2005.

CHRIS: Marty and Isabella’s book… It brings to life so many things that the Vanity Fair article only touched on. They talk about Rubi’s parents and his childhood, his early career in the military, his decades as a jet-setting playboy and international diplomat, his connections with important people and places throughout history, and the speculations about him being a spy.  

Their book is called Chasing Rubi: The Truth About Porfirio Rubirosa, The Last Playboy. 

[Salsa music ends.]


CHRIS: Can you tell me about the title? 

MARTY: That's what I've been doing for twenty five years, is Chasing Rubirosa and trying to find out who he really was. 

ISABELLA: Look at this conversation that we're having. You know, this is about that still

MARTY: The other thing we realized is, there were a lot of people chasing Rubirosa for his fame to be part of his entourage. But when you read the FBI file, you realize that our government was chasing Rubirosa…

CHRIS: Yeah ⁠— hear that?  Abigail, play that back real quick.

MARTY: When you read the FBI file, you realize that our government was chasing Rubirosa...

CHRIS: FBI files… 


[Cymbals, suspenseful bass enter.]


CHRIS: Turns out, Rubi was someone the US government kept a very close eye on. I don’t know about you, but that sounds pretty James Bond to me. Was this the kind of guy who had more behind-the-scenes influence in world events than we could have known? 

MARTY: I knew of the Freedom of Information Act…. So we sent applications in to the FBI and to the CIA. 

ISABELLA: And then one year I get these two boxes that said, you know, with a seal of the Federal Bureau of Investigation…and I couldn't even open it until Marty came home. I was like, What is that? I can't remember? Did I - is this the IRS? What is what's going on? Oh my god. So then we open it and it was incredible. It was like, you know, all of these pages about this guy. There he is. 

[Typewriter sound effects.]

ACTOR READING DOC: “Porfirio Rubirosa, who has served as Dominican Ambassador to various European countries and who occupied the position of Ambassador to France, is an agent of the Dominican Military Intelligence Service” ⁠

CHRIS: It’s unclear just how big Rubi’s government files are. But we got a glimpse from about 100 pages the FBI released to us. This excerpt implies Rubi was part of the Dominican CIA. 

MARTY: It became clear to us that this was just, you know, not a well endowed playboy, that this was somebody that had amazing negotiating and diplomatic skills and had connections at the highest level with presidents and kings. And when you realize that people like the New York district attorney and the FBI coming after him for deaths and assassinations, my interest in telling a story or researching further became even more. 

[Typewriter sound effects.]

ACTOR READING DOC: The source has learned that Rubirosa performs important missions abroad and that his speciality is to influence people in influential positions in foreign governments in a manner favorable to the TRUJILLO regime. 


CHRIS: These FBI records point to mysteries on a grand scale. Who was this man really? A spy? A supporter of a dictator? They bring to life a Rubi who is much darker and much more complicated than the suave gentleman I met in the Vanity Fair article. A Rubi a lot like James Bond. 


[Dark-sounding piano enters.]


CHRIS: And then there’s this. I wanna read you one more line from Rubirosa’s obituary. Quote:  “When he lost his diplomatic immunity, the District Attorney’s office in Manhattan called him in for questioning in regard to the fate of two outspoken opponents of the Trujillo regime. … He was also questioned about the disappearance in 1956 of Dr. Jesus de Galindez, a Columbia University lecturer. He disclaimed knowledge of either case.” 


So maybe this Latin ladies man was also a killer.


Marty says that all this, all this complication… it just makes him more interested in who Rubi really was. 

MARTY: Big dick, race car, cheated women, all this kind of stuff, those are all truths and all facts. But don't judge somebody solely on what you know about him until you've done your homework.

[Music ends.]

CHRIS: Marty has done his homework… and even with the FBI docs and murder allegations… he sees a man worth studying. A man maybe even worth redeeming. 

MARTY: I'm hoping that if I was speaking to Ruby right now, I would see that he had the ability to be compassionate. He didn't show that he didn't. He just was narcissistic and in it for himself. It didn't mean that - he was always picking up the tab. He was always supporting friends. So I think for me that, I think he was a better man than history is showing. 

CHRIS: In a time when most Latin men were perceived as either dictators, gardeners, drug smugglers or Ricky Ricardo, here comes this everything man. Rubirosa, a Brown-skinned Dominican man, who navigated the waters of all social cultures and places…and who had a first-row seat to some of the most important moments of history.  Rubi - who the hell are you? Really?  


In this long and winding journey…  sometimes it feels like Rubi’s life story is an invitation to me -- “Hey, Chris, here’s a slice of the good life, you could have it too.” But other times it feels more like a warning. 


[Suspenseful music enters.]


CHRIS: About ego. 

PETER: One of my first impressions of you was hey que guapo. he's like like not just not just being handsome, but like the the the ladies fawned over you.

CHRIS: A warning about love. 

CRISTINA: You sounded just like a confused man. 

MOM: There was just a little bit of a darker part of you. Like I felt like you withheld a lot of emotion. 

CHRIS: Do you think that's still true of me? 

MOM: I do. 

CHRIS: A warning about identity. 

CHRIS: How come I never learned Spanish? 

DAD: You didn't find an interest in Spanish. 

FRANCE: Oftentimes people do not want to challenge their own reality. Right? 

CHRIS: I still find myself asking Rubi: What can and should I learn from you? What do you have to teach me about moving in a world that isn’t made for Brown men like us -- what I accept, what I fight for, what I ignore, what I desire? 


Most importantly, are you an invitation… or a warning?  Rubi, I’m listening. I’m ready. 


[Music ends.]


CHRIS: Stay tuned y’all… There's a lot more to learn. And next time… we’ll meet Rubi. Yeah buddy!




CHRIS: Rubirosa is a production of Witness Docs from Stitcher. It’s created by me, Christopher Rivas, and I’m also an executive producer. That’s right ma, I did that.


Abigail Keel is our senior producer. Kevin Tidmarsh is our producer. Our Story Editor is John DeLore. Our technical director is Casey Holford. Kameel Stanley is the Executive Producer of Witness Docs. Readings of Rubi’s memoir are performed by Victor Almanzar. 


Workhouse Media Inc is also a contributing producer to this podcast. Amelia Baker, Mackenzie Munro and Ari Anderson are executive producers at Workhouse.


Original music for this podcast is composed and performed by Wilson Torres, Yeisson Villamar, and Marcos Varela. Our theme song is composed by Allison Leyton Brown.


Get in touch!! We wanna know your questions, thoughts, and stories… so send them to rubirosa@stitcher.com. And do us a favor ⁠— subscribe to the show, write reviews. Tell your friends! We love the help.


Peace, y’all.