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Shortly after the coronavirus pandemic struck, Nina Diaz, one of the greatest singers in San Antonio, got a job frightening birds out of the city’s downtown area. “Like a human scarecrow,” she told me. She shone laser beams into grackles’ eyes and pounded a wooden stick on tree trunks to disperse raucous flocks, insisting they move along and make their mess elsewhere. Few passersby could have identified her. She wore the requisite city worker’s yellow vest, a long-sleeve shirt that covered her arm tattoos, a face mask, and a beanie over her long black hair. But had the then-32-year-old Diaz broken out into song, more than a few people wandering by would have turned on their heels. They would have recognized her distinctive voice: an…
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