I knew my aunt Marcela and she was completely different than anyone that I was around and if he was anything like her then I knew that he would be cool.
I met my grandpa in Mexico when I was about 3, I don't remember any of it...just from stories.
This is one of the stories that my mom likes to tell , My mom called me Chavita in those days. My Grampa called me Duraznito (because I was always red cheeked from running around all day)
"When Chavita was young he was a little chubby ball and when we went to Mexico my Dad(My grampa) had the local shoemaker make him some custom "saca Jicamas" pointy charro boots after that went back to the ranch."
"Since he had his pointy boots I guess dad(My Grampa) thought that it was a good idea to put Chavita on a goat and he was so big that the poor goat could not carry his weight and just went flop and was crying and crying and all Chavita wanted to do was ride it....He kept on telling it to go....but the poor Chivo.....couldn't.
( I like that story, my grandpa made me custom boots ;)
(at my brothers baptism...Saint Lucy's church)
(from left to right) my Aunt, my Moms,My Brother,My Grampa,Evilchavo,My Grandma, My Aunt.)
I did not see my grampa often...he lived in Villa Corona Jalisco and Culiacan Sinaloa....and because my mom was broke and had no green card...we did not have the opportunity to go see him until amnesty was given and we were free to travel to Mexico again.
My Grandpa came to the us for my brothers baptism (see pic above) and one other time to get some treatment for his sinuses...he got really sick that last time and did not come back until he had to get his sinuses operated on.
I was lucky enough to be with my grampa in my teens when I needed him most....I was lost in my head and needed someone to look up to....my Stepdad was gradually getting worse and my mom was not working and depressed...
He was a great person....in Villa Corona everyone kept saying I looked like him when he was my age....everyone shook his hand... as we walked the dirt roads to the center of town where the older men would sit at park benches eating peanuts by the sack full by the church in the middle of the town square where the boys would walk one way and the girls the opposite in a ritual that had been happening in that little town for years and years and years.
In Culiacan....we would make our rounds....my Grampa , My brother and me....would wake up early and go take vegetables to the butcher....then he would give us meat in trade...go to the store to get sodas and chips for us.....he would give them fruits and vegetables in trade.
My Grampa owned a refresceria (it was like a Jamba Juice way before Jamba juice existed) in the main mercado in Culiacan....he had been there for many many years so everyone loved him and our family.He owned a farm (Which he called " El Campito") which was down the road from where they found Chalino Sanchez dead....The campito was in culiacan also and that is were he grew all the vegetables and fruits for the refresceria.
"The Campito" sat on 4 acres at the edge of Culiacan and my Grampa originally bought the 2 acre lot bare and then added the other 2 acres as they became available. My Grampa would walk us around his farm and show us the trees that he planted and the vegetables and fruits and would tell us how to care for them and what he did to make them grow as well as they did.
"The Campito" was his pride and joy..He loved it there....we would go on the weekends or after work and BBQ ....He had what looked like a garage with a covered patio on the side and under the covered patio was the grill made out of concrete that he would cook us all food on.
The Garage part of it stored all the tables and chairs that we would set up under the covered patio while he cooked...He would always feed the dogs first because they took care of his property he would say....so they always would get two big fat raw steaks before my grampa would start cooking...always making sure cut out a piece or raw meat for himself to chew on while he cooked.
He would always talk to his workers with respect and at "The Campito" They lived at the edge of the property and took care of everything when my grampa and the family where away in Villa Corona....they had homes that my Grampa built and gave them....real homes with water and electricity and full size bedrooms. He never asked them to do anything....it was as if they just wanted to help him and did and I never saw my Grampa tell them what to do or how to do it.
He was a man of respect...not just because he was respected but because everything he did he did with respect...when he talked to people he looked them in the eye without judgement...when he gave he gave wholeheartedly.....
Some of his ex workers became lawyers and doctors....and he put them thru school...he asked them for two things....no making trouble and good grades.
I try to live my life this way....I don't always succeed but at least I know what to live up to.