This is a biography of a being from the Blue Planet called
The story is monitored from above.
Some parts of the story are true and
some parts are fictional with a bit of fantasy thrown in.
My name is Tomas and I know I am being monitored and later in life I become a
Tomas was born in 1941.
Cloaked in a Story
We read poetry and sometimes a great novel. History and
biographies pass along our paths. Sometimes we meet a human that is a novel,
human story, a biography, and the person with a life that is a story. Could it be that each one of us is indeed that great novel? We as
individuals are cloaked in suspense and drama, veiled in insecurities and peaceful oblivion. We share what all great writers write about,
we carry our novels in our souls as we walk into that great storeroom of good words. Words that are cloaked in a story. This is a nice
Cloaked in a Story
In July 1945, my mother brought my sister and me to my
motherís home in Pasadena, her parentsí home.
She said she was going to look at furniture at a store in San Gabriel, she then disappeared and never came back.
Momís dad hired a detective to look for her, but there was no trace.
I was almost 4 years old and my sister was less than 1 year old.
Per my aunt, Betty in Pasadena and uncle Daniel, my mother's brother.
Is there violence in my life that is too violent to fathom or is the disappearance of my mom one of the mysteries of life.
This sentence above could be a book that I will never know.
I have no clue and maybe for my brain it is a good thing to block out what is not right with the planet.
Did my brain just create a beautiful garden above to block out my memory?
Did my grandfather create the beautiful garden above to block out the red flow of blood and
blue black bruises staining the memory of mom?
Is my mom buried beneath this tree?
As we move though this maze of thought we learn more each day on this evolving story
The Morning Dew
As I was walking in the green grass, looking down and dreaming.
The morning was wet with dew. I would kick my foot along, skip a little in my mind.
I would step forward watching the dew fly from my wet feet.
Iím dreaming of the old days and the present dreamers of new thoughts. I am walking with my head down; my mind is racing.
I keep looking at the grass and I see wet footprints out before me.
I follow along.
Can I or If I jumped into those footprints, would our soles meet? I smile at the play on words. Of course, everyone says no way.
What do we call the departed space of someone who has been there? Is there something about someone who is there, say a halo?
The sun and the moon have an aura.
I am still following the steps of someone alive. Their trace is in the dew.
As I lazily step into those footprints, I think of common bonds, shared souls, maybe someone I know.
Into the darkness of shade my path goes, as my eyes adjust to a new light, a new form takes shape.
I'm still looking down.
I see military combat boots, shiny and black.
Above the boots, I see light grey nylon slacks tied at the waist with a pristine white cord. Ugh! I look in awe! I step back, a wave of shock
powers my body. I see greasy black hair above the pants, above that, a rainbow of colors sweeps up, starting out with purple, layers of
colors keep coming until at last I see the white yellow face of a man with white hair. I step back again, repulsed. Slowly I calm down, my
heart is beating at my wrists, I look at my wrists, soothing my mind.........With courage I look up again......... Time settles the moment with
peace.............."What are you?" I ask. "A rainbow," he replies. I form new words in my mind, "Have I offended you?" I ask. "Who hasn't,
you are not the first?" We talk, we walk in the morning dew.
This may offend your sensible logic.
This site may push your mind to thoughts that are not normal.
This sight may step on your toes.
If you thought you had an open mind, without prejudice,
you may have to rethink your state of being.
We form opinions that keep us in our own world or category.
We are all prejudice, just a click away from what we thought was normal behavior.
Your prejudice will rise like sweet cream.
You may have to roll up your windows and lock your doors.
Cinch up your colorful tepee.
I will offend you sense of normal behavior.
Sometimes were in a safe haven, sometimes were in hell.
Such are the feelings of mortal beings.
Sometimes were nonentities, today that is where my head is at, shimmering, clear and not seen.
I am learning to tell this biography but my mind wanders,
misspells words and gives you the wrong meaning.
Where is the fiction and where is the truth?
Cloaked in a story.
Is there violence in my life that is too violent to fathom
is the disappearance of my mom one of the mysteries of life?
I feel a sensing, a buzz,
a tingle traveled across my forehead.
I opened my eyes and looked about.
Then I go to the mirror to see what had traveled across my forehead.
I see nothing and I rubbed my forehead.
As I gaze out this window toward the path, I see the many lights in the night sky. I turn back toward the lighted board. The board looks
and feels like stainless steel but dust will not go near it as it shines and shimmers; 360 lights represent 360 different places where light
shines on humanity. As I look over the board I wonder why. It seems than none of us understand why this is so. The only insight that I get
from it is that we see one more space in time. I sit and monitor and wonder why do I have to be so responsible? Why am I looking over the
space they occupy? Everything is self-sustaining; there really is no need for me to sit and monitor 360 different places in time. I do not
seem to age anymore and how did I luck out to get this job? Nobody seems to worry about the lost lives of growing to maturity
My grandfather Pablo brought his family to San Gabriel,
California from Mexico by train in about the 1920. Pablo had a gift for
with adobe and gardening and he had a beautiful Hacienda in Mexico our family home. Mexico was in upheaval at that time and an
Mexican General came to the Hacienda and told my grandfather to leave Mexico or he and his family would be killed. Our family was
related to the Dictator of Mexico Porfirio Diaz. http://staff.esuhsd.org/~balochie/studentprojects/porfiriodiaz/
My father Thomas Jesus Diaz was born in Mexico in 1919 when Pablo moved the family to San Gabriel, California via train. After getting
everyone settled in San Gabriel Pablo informed his wife Natalia Flores Diaz that he was going back to Mexico to join the Revolution, he
then went back to Mexico to fight (with) alongside Poncho Villa. http://ojinaga.com/villa/
I realize that this does not make sense the way it is written but if you read the history of Poncho Villa it does make sense. I do not know
when my grandfather returned to his family in San Gabriel.
After his return, Pablo, did get a job working for Henry Huntington in San Marino, California. Where he worked in the Desert Garden at
the Huntington Estate until his retirement.
Henry Huntington had worked with Porfirio to improve the railroads in Mexico.
San Gabriel, California
The first thing I remember about my mother is of her giving me a bath in an old gray double sink. The sink was behind a house near
(within a mile) my father's parents place, the Pablo Diaz home. You could see a dirt driveway going down the left side of the house. In the
back yard toward the rear, you could see a very large old oak tree in front of two more very small cabins (both side by side facing the
street). Around the base of the oak, there was a wooden bench, a place to talk and enjoy with a friend. A child could play in the light gray
California dust there. I had the feeling that I was staying in one of those small cabins as I do remember playing in the dust. At the back of
the main home there was laundry area and I have a picture in my mind of my mother giving me a bath, washing my hair, with soap
everywhere in this old, double square wash basin. Picture rosy cheeks and suds on my body and hair. These are the first images I have of
Marion, Kentucky 1990's
I had recently called my aunt Jenny Diaz who lives in San Gabriel, California and asked about where I had lived in my childhood. She
told me of several places around San Gabriel, California. I recounted the story of the double sinks to her and said that this was the first
memory of my mother that I could recall. She replied that it was not my mother who gave me a bath in the double sinks, but rather it was
her, my aunt Jenny. I was shocked to hear that because those were the first images of my mother and to find out that that was not the
truth was very upsetting. So now I have no memory of my mother. Today I have a good feeling about myself so an emotion like that is not
as devastating as it sounds. But then, back then, it may have been something else for this young creature, myself. So, it seems hard that a
child at the age of four and up has no memory of a mother.
San Gabriel, California, 1944
During this period, I remember being sent to a foster home in South San Gabriel, on Del Mar Ave. and East Valley Blvd. I
remember a big parking lot and some kind of department store to the left of this house. I must have been around three years old. These
are memories I do not wish to remember but I try to dig deeper in this mind of mine; hopefully rereading this and touching up a painting, a
photo on these walls in my brain. In a frenzy, kicking and screaming, feeling totally frightened and abandoned, I cried for hours (morning
until noon is the period I remember). Someone had to come after me. I think it was my dad. It is very difficult to explain the intensity
of inner pain, I felt in all my longings to understand or explain what was happening to me in these writings. No matter how long I sit and
ponder at these words I write; no other memory comes forward. If I could understand maybe I could maybe place my mind at ease. The
above statements is all I have of my mother (Although my father showed me a picture of her while I was living in Alhambra in the Tony
Stucky rental in the 1950's.) where my father wanted me to be, perhaps he was dropping me off at a foster home or baby sitter. Whatever
I wanted no part of it.
What is going on? Where is my mother? What is my dad doing, what is going on in the minds of my uncles and aunts and?
grandparents. Why did I have an uncontrollable fit? Was it I who was the problem or is there something more painful that I do not
understand or remember. Did I place a barrier up and is it still up? My imagination is going wild. Are these images mine or are these just
fictional paintings from 50 years of remembrances.
As I Spoke
When I spoke, I stuttered and when I was in school I could not keep from wetting my pants.
From the time my mother left to my age of 20;
I could not be trusted.
My assumptions are going wild.
Life is not as complicated as everything stated above;
but when I look back and write what I remember,
I was really messed up emotionally
Somewhere in time I just stopped stuttering;
I found out that during the ice storm and blizzard of 1977-78
where the weather was below zero my mouth and
voice could not keep my voice from stuttering from the cold.
Marion, Kentucky 2011
My Father was Born Thomas Jesus Diaz; I did not know this until we received his military papers after his death and that what was listed
when he joined the PCC camps and the army. I had asked him earlier in his life if he had a middle name and he said no.
Kentucky 2011 Dad's Grave: Back in 1997 my dad left the area for a place under the soil. To some my dad was well liked to me he was
responsible for my motherís death (Yet I cannot assume that she is dead; but I do). An assumption: after her death, it is clear now that his
father (Juan) told him to get his act together and help those less fortunate and he did. He never gave up the love of having girlfriends but
he did well with the money he earned by helping those less fortunate.
On his death bed my dad lied about what he did in the World War II but I am writing St. Louis again and see what they have turned up
after the big fire that destroyed military records of World War II veterans. His records may have been burned up during the fire. I want to
know what he was doing in New Jersey. He said that his back was broken in an air plane crash in Europe.
So, a lot of folks I know like him for the help he gave them. I have deeper feelings and a story that would be a marvelous novel with
secrecy, mystery, humor, love, and an empty space on the planet earth.
I have places to fill in this novel approach to life.
Sometimes the whole family must be responsible for the death of a family member; that was a heavy burden for my sister and me. Now
we understand years later as to what our families did by separating us and not saying anything. It might have been easier to place the
blame where it belonged. We are free now to make our own assumptions come true (I have stopped for the moment, well I am making up
My fatherís brother may have made a pack to keep apart (out of sight out of mind). That has separated the family and caused a lot of
mystery and chaos in my mind and in the minds of friends and family. I know that my motherís family would not say anything to me about
my mother (I thought it brought back bad memories for them). I haven't a clue as to why there is a mystery. They agreed to stay apart to
protect their families. They separated my sister and me. I went to my motherís home and my sister went to my dadís parentís home.
(I have stopped for the moment)
I wrote this muse in the last few years to help me place my mother someplace in my mind.
I wrote this piece below the other day to try explaining to everyone that we are here no matter what happens to the earth.
I realize that the earth could explode and dust/and or vapor would be all that is left. Whatever.
Some particle of life will be there. Some substance of our presence will be there.
Saying that I thought about my mother and her presence on earth.
Her physical presence has not been found or I am not aware of whoever knows of her presence on
this planet but I realize this.
She is here.
She loved, lived, and became a mother of three children that I am aware of.
She was a sister in a family who say that are not aware of her present existence today.
All that is left to me is speculation about her whereabouts.
So, I now I know that in a photo taken from space of this planet that my motherís dust or presence will be there.
Her marble marker in life is here in these words and every photo of earth.
Her life is in my substance and in my families.
Life should have been better for her.
We are the dust as we are the body.
I am going thru a phase where I understand words. This should have happened
when I was sixteen years old. Well whatever if by some chance, I'll be reincarnated
as some minute particle on this planet of ours I want to be completely aware
of my standing in life.
When they take a photo of the earth from space to give us our weather and
show us a nice snapshot of earth. We are there with all the animals and
trees and rocks and sand. The water moves about in waves and our long lost
and departed are there. Nothing has changed but time as it passes. We are
there on earth, we exist, and we occupy our space in time. We can't seem
to see our bodies or the soil beneath our feet but we know we are there.
We are the dust as we are the body.
Do we as humanís blunder into places where our mind has no business being?
You know the place that keeps us up all night with worry and a chocolate high.
The place where the heart races to undo the damage of lost sleep.
How do we get back to the place where whatever we see is there?
Do we have to count on our fingers about this little piggy?
Are we getting closer to the point in time that sees the word before you and as you look away you see whatever your eyes see?
Can we clearly see the puzzle?
Are we there? Are we here?
Are we at the place our scholars talk about?
The answer is always yes at this time and no we are not in 1945 but we
do understand that they ďwereĒ as aware as we are now.
And I repeat myself like a prayer;
we read poetry and sometimes a great novel.
History and biographies pass along our paths.
Sometimes we meet a human that is a novel, a human story, a biography, and a person with a life that is a story.
Could it be that each one of us is indeed that great novel?
We as individuals are cloaked in suspense and drama, veiled in insecurities and peaceful oblivion.
We share what all great writers write about, we carry our novels in our soulís as
we walk into that great storeroom of good words.
This is a nice thought.
Things you hate to write down but somehow you must.
Berea, Ky. in the late 1980's.
My sister told me that my father had said to her that a good place to hide a body is under a tree.
Deep down in her heart my sister was not impressed with that statement.
Zebo, Ky. in the year 2002.
On our recent trip to California my step-sister told me that my father had threatened my step-mother by saying that she could be buried
under a tree. She left him in the late 1970's or 80's. I do not know if that particular event opened the gate but it was probably close to the
end for them being together.
I have concluded that my mother is buried in some beautiful garden in California.
My grandfather and his sons including my father worked at a prominent garden in the San Gabriel Valley.
My grandfather worked all the years that I remember at this garden.
my mother the mystery.
Is she still alive?
This is 1998 and she is still missing.
My wife is looking for her, obsessed by the idea that my mother can't hide from her either dead or alive.
My skin is tanned, keeping the rain, sun, sand, and emotions at bay for the last forty years.
The Trekkies would be proud of my defensive shield.
It is a sad state of affairs when I'll neither care nor cry when/if she is found.
I get the feeling that the less I ask the better.
I can't ask any of my family about my mother without bringing back pain and tears.
The best minds are at work looking for her.
Hair, long corn tassels, my grandmotherís gray-orange-white-gray hair.
She had long hair down to her waste, hair that she braided and rolled up
into a bun on her head. Hair that you would see in her photo, hair that
reminded me of an Indian Maiden. Hair that reminds me of love, comfort
Again, I repeat myself;
I am reminded of my mother, while taking a shower this afternoon.
Thoughts of my mother came to the forefront or front center of my mind.
I wonder why no one has come forward to explain where she went. She said she was going to look at furniture at a store in San Gabriel.
In all these years:
My mother has not come forward.
My father while he was alive did not come forward to explain.
My aunts and uncles only know that she left, they did not come forward.
The government has not come forward.
Not even a vague sense has come forward.
No one has come forward with an explanation.
We do know that judges seal judgements and they cannot be opened. My wife talked to a detective in L.A. and he or she searched until
they came back with a statement that they could not search any more (orders; we are not sure what kind of order but they said if they
continued they would be breaking the law); we assumed a court order.
Here I am a man an old man with no explanation about my mother.
Every time I broach the subject I bring tears into the eyes of my aunts and uncles,
I am forever lost, an island, a constant reminder of something sweet in their past that has gone, forever lost.
Out of sight out of mind,
I sit and write wondering what I did as a child to have to endure such emptiness.
My tears have put a callus up high between my eyes.
Even as I rewrite and rewrite it brings tears to my eyes.
I sympathize with everyone that has some sort of problem; I defend his or her existence. So, when everyone in the sixties defended every
ones right to the pursuit of happiness I was very pleased to take my place on this earth, to be accepted as a being on earth.
where do I turn to find my mother? My wife has exhausted all the legal tools at hand.
S.S. cannot mail a letter to her until they find an address. No one has ever reported her dead.
She has disappeared from visible site, I do not know what she looked like, thought my dad showed me a picture of her in 1951. That photo
She was a beauty with a singing voice. She was not meant to be a mother. She loved the night life, my dad and her partied across Southern
What do I think?
Was she moved into hiding by the government for some knowledge she possessed?
Did my dad do away with her?
These two above thoughts are in the direction I lean toward. The first thought can be traced in two directions, from her end and from this
The second thought. My dad is not capable of hiding a body without help? So, I consider where he worked or his family worked? My dadís
parents were devoted Catholics, my mother was Christian, and I assume her mother was a seventh day Adventist. Her sisters were
Methodist? I spent many hours in tents in downtown L.A.
If my dad had help covering up a body, who would get him out a jam?
Where were, people working at that time?
What did everyone have in common? Three places come to mind. My fatherís home, where he grew up. (Where everyone danced at
Gilberts baptism party.)
The San Gabriel Mission, the Jose family is quite prominent in this community and helped mold the structure with mortar.
And finally, The Burlington Library.
This is where Jose was a prominent gardener. His cactus garden is famous.
All the sons worked there with their dad Jose in the forties, fifties, and sixties.
My dad told my sister that under a tree would be a good place to hide someone.
Henry Burlington and his Botanical Gardens
My mother the mystery.
Is she still alive?
Rest in Peace
Is my mom buried beneath this tree?
What a beautiful tree!
Ever since I was a little boy I have always had that feeling that I was watched and followed because of my family background. From time
to time there have been subtle clues, vague and sublime, shimmering and not seen.
One big clue came to us at Murray State where mom and I were looking up my grandfatherís history and found evidence that my great
grandfather had stolen gold from Mexico and hid it. It disappeared and has never been found. I thought maybe folks were looking my way
quietly, vague and shimmering but not seen.
My wife says my imagination has gone wild; I have had the feeling of being watched since childhood; I never worry about big brother
interfering into my affairs; I have always known they know everything about me. It is like a Federal Guardian Angel.
I rechecked the story of my great grandfather and it is true, he was a dictator and president of Mexico.
My father always had girl-friends and wives.
I am remembering things pertaining to my life, starting at my grandmother's home in Pasadena, California.
Another day has arrived on this planet and I have no other clue as to where my mother is; I am tired of pestering my relatives for some
obscure memory or photo of her.
While I was living in Alhambra on Third St. my father showed me a photo of her and he also showed me a photo of himself at the CCC
camp with someoneís leg on a truck bumper; I think it was my dad, he said it was him and it looked like him.
My sister also had seen these photos.
My half-brother gave me a lot of photos a few years back but some had my father cut out of the photos. Had my step mother thrown out
those photos of my mom just as she had thrown out my father for having an affair? I remember seeing his clothes piled on our red painted
porch. I realize it is also my fault for not pursuing those photos at an earlier stage in my life.
How can my mother disappear so perfectly?
All images and documents have been swept away so carefully. The only clue of her existence is my birth certificate.
Pasadena, California 1944-45
I am remembering things pertaining to my life, starting at my grandmother's home, my mother's home (Rebecca's home the place she
had called home). The place was my home in Pasadena. This was a very large two story home with two apartments, plus our living
quarters. My grandparents lived upstairs in this house. An entry room with two sliding double wooden doors with a turning staircase, The
stair was to the left; one sliding doorway was blocked some furniture strait forward and the other right doorway lead to the living room
which was very active all the time? Moving into the living room you could go off into another room which my grandmother used as a guest
room and it had annex left to the rented portion of the home. My aunts Raye, Marta and Esther had rooms upstairs as did my uncle Sam
and Rudy who shared a room. I stayed in a very large room with my grandfather and grandmother, four beds in the room with plenty of
space to share. It was my grandmother who raised me from age three to about seven. Prior to that, I have no other memories other than
the scene at the foster home and the wash basin.
I remember climbing the pine trees out back behind the house on sometimes a daily basis. The main house was big like a hotel with two
normal size homes in the rear facing another street as rentals. A vacant lot was to to the left of these three buildings and a railroad track to
the left of the vacant lot. Across the tracks was the parking lot for the Elite Cleaners. Across Bellefontaine was the Elite Cleaners where
my grandfather worked at night. Out of the upstairs kitchen window I could see several black fuel storage tanks towering over everything
with silver X bracing's. I remember my grandmother going to the back upstairs screened in porch and calling "Thennees," her Spanish for
Dennis. She also called me Tomas on some occasions. (The name Tomas is my best loved name for my being. Dennis is what family
called me and remembers, Tom is what the military tagged me with.) I was the totally spoiled child. I ran and I played. I had all
Pasadena to play in and I did. The neighborhood kids and I would go to a barn on Fair Oaks which was full of bales of straw. These straw
bales were used on one of the side streets to place under the horse prior to the Rose Parade. We played king of the hill in that barn. We
had tunnels to roam in. It is funny that in a city a child will always find a bale of hay to play in?
We would travel the Arroyo Seco Wash to the Rose Bowl. At that time, it was a jungle and a sewer full of wild animals. Twisting and
turning we went places a child should never go into.
We would put pennies on the rail spur next to our house. The cars consisted of just one or two boxcars with a man walking alongside.
I had a cat named Ricardo (I rolled the rrrs). He was black and very friendly.
The kids I played with would ambush each other with our "Hoppy" long cap pistols, knocking each other over the head as we would
come around the corner and get ambushed. It did hurt. My Hoppy hat reminded me of all the hats I had during this time ad I wrote about
all those hats. It was very thinking about all the hats that I wore in my life.
The Story about Hats
An e-mail about hats in my life
Do people always remember hats with fondness. I do.
I go back first to my beanies, the one with the propeller on top they were the rage at one time. The other beanie had folded back edges, looking like they were cut with pinking shears, this beanie was adorned with pins and buttons.
Next was the brown Fedora, the hat my mothers dad put aside, not wanting to through it away.
I asked if I could have it, he said yes, imagine the raiders with their lost arcs.
The blue ball cap that was worn backwards or to the side, our gang style, with no logos, just a button on top.
The black Spanish hat my aunt had. A flat stiff brim. It's beads hanging around the rim. I wore it, though it was hers. The castanets went with it, she rolled the castanets like a Spaniard would roll his rrrs. I danced for her, standing proud like a matador, stomping my feet to the music "Malagueña" on the record player, ole!
The Cowboy hat, you rode the broom stick, like a wild stallion. Your shiny silver pistol in the air.
The Coonskin cap with it's tail hanging to the side, the lice came with it.
The Indian head dress, received as a Christmas present. This still may be found at the dollar store today.
The English driving cap, plaid with buckle and snap on the bill.
The white sailors cap, rolled with salt, down to the eyes and cocked.
The blue bandana keeping the salt out of your eyes, Red Ryder and Geronimo, sometimes with feather.
The Sombrero given to Laurel and I in Chicago from Judy and, it hung on the wall. When it finally fell or was draged down, the cats sharpened their claws on it, what a waist.
The blue Fedora given in peace to us from Laurel's dad Jack. It fell to our closet floor, unknown to us. Our male cat at the time, marked it as his own, gee thanks.
The white hard hat, something to protect from the hard steel headache ball swinging on the river. It still gave me headaches.
The baseball caps of the South, logos everywhere, the uniform of the day in the south..
Straw Panama hats keeping the sun at bay.
Well I've done it again! Laurel just informed me that the E-mail message I sent was in error.
Laurel said that the message that we received was about "Brain Capacity" not "Hat Size". I said something about just scanning through the E-mail that day.
She said "Do you remember when you had your back surgery?"
I said "Yes".
She went on to explain to me about my brain capacity, and then what the neurologist said to her after my brain catscan.
It seemed to the neurologist, that I had a rare brain structure called the "jerrold forrd" syndrome. It seems that a few people in the world are born with this brain syndrome. Living normal lives, sometimes missing a step or two, but normal lives. Laurel went on to say that I had four lobes in my brain instead of two. The doctor said most of the forrd brains had three lobes, but that he would get back to her on that one. She went on to say that my brain used 95 percent of it's capacity, which was very very good, but that it worked a little different than most brains. Most people have a train of thought, where as the train carries a great amount of thought to and fro, with a great many trains of thoughts moving though their brains at one time. Well in your brain ( she was talking to me), it seems that you have a trolley of thought. She went on the explain that one trolley of thought went down the hill and one trolley of thought went up the hill. And that even though I had as many as fifty trollies moving at one time, a trolley was not a train.
She said you'll have to write all those people and explain about the hats.
Anyway that is how I got started talking about my favorite hats.
Sorry for the mix-up.
That was the story about hats
I remember going to the store for my grandfather, a steel wire of a man, the size of a
matador. He said to me, "Dennis, will you go to the store and get some milk? It's for you." He handed me a dollar bill and away I went.
I ran along the side of the house, across the vacant lot to the tracks, and followed the tracks for two blocks South toward South Pasadena
and a half block to the Fair Oaks Boulevard. Across the boulevard was the store. The streets were hot on my bare feet, my usual summer
wear. Into the store, I went and grabbed a quart of milk from the glass case. I went over to the counter and looked at the cookies and the
Mexican bread, those round rolls with that looked like turtle shells with sugar or icing on them. But, my grandfather said milk, to buy
milk. I paid for it and walked out the door. The concrete was warm, but the roadway was hot. After crossing the boulevard, I opened the
waxed carton of milk and drank about half of it, something a thirsty child would do. I headed back toward the tracks drinking milk as I
went. When I finally got home, I tossed the empty carton into our burn barrel in the yard and found something else to occupy my mind.
About a half hour later, my grandfather came around the house and asked where the milk was as he didn't see it in the icebox. I said I
drank it on my way home. He smiled, gave me another dollar bill, and then sent me back to the store. "Bring it home," he said.
The girls (my aunts) living in the house were always playful and full of joy, and they stuck together. I remember one Halloween when
I was about five they dressed me up in a Little Bo-Peep dress and patent leather shoes that belonged to my cousin. My hair was long then
in a Buster Brown style. They put a little rouge on my cheeks and away we went trick or treating. They told everyone that I was too shy
to get dressed up for Halloween. Those women loved that type of humor and it was a great big Halloween joke that we played on a lot of
people and no one caught on. It was great fun and I have fond memories of that Halloween.
Our Christmas celebrations on Bellefontaine Street were always very big affairs. They usually began a week before Christmas and
ended on January 2 after our all-night stay at the Rose Parade. I remember my grandmother and her sister Mena cooking those two weeks
everyday. A big wash tub steaming on the floor filled with sweet and regular hot Tamales. A garage downstairs and to the left filled with
beer in an old beer replenishing refrigerator. All my cousins would sleep over during those days, pillow fights and dreaming of sleighs
almost every night. Our Christmas trees were huge (it seemed to me at the time) and beautiful. You can imagine how big an event
Christmas Day was. One Christmas Day, I made a complete ass of myself because I was a spoiled child. I had asked my grandmother for
a black puppy. On Christmas morning, all of Santa's presents were passed out. A large box, which was wrapped with ribbon and a big
bow, was brought downstairs. The present was given to me by my aunts, who were all smiling and beaming their happiness. They said,
"Merry Christmas, Dennis." When I opened the box, I found a beautiful, brown puppy. But, being the spoiled brat that I was, I promptly
told them that I had wanted a black puppy! I now remember my aunts' faces that day, but at the time, I didn't care. All I wanted was a
black puppy, not a plain, brown one. I am truly sorry that I was such a wretch of a child.
My uncles Sam and Rudy would hang out at local bars after work. At night, they would come home happy or sad depending on the
weather. At times, I would end up on some drunkís lap, this is not much fun to talk about, it wasn't fun. I do not like drink or drunks they
give me a headache. These were hard working men and most of the time were very good to me but on those few moments in time when
they were drunk left a lifelong impression on me.
I remember going to Kindergarten in Pasadena, California
(I assume that I was 5 years old) and I know that the photo taken with
and Dad was my first year or maybe my first month with them.
The day the photo was taken was when Margie and Dad were Married.
So, I spent maybe 6 years of my life in Pasadena.
I remember going to school in Pasadena in the snow, by noon it was all gone; at recess, we got to throw snowballs. I looked that up and
this is what I came up with:
Pasadena, California, January 11, 1949, when 6" fell on
This Link talks about the school I went to at the time I lived in Pasadena but I do not recognize the photo but she describes the name of
the school I went to and the location.
Very early Pasadena, I lived off Fair Oaks Avenue and Bellefontaine Street, Pasadena, CA
I had three major accidents while I was living in Pasadena.
One accident involved a ride I had caught on an Ice truck on that dead
street behind my grandfatherís home. I meant to quickly jump off, but the driver picked up too much speed and I jumped forward toward
the road. I rolled like a car tire, smashing my mouth on the asphalt as I rolled down the road. I chipped my new tooth and skinned my
knee. The tooth was later capped with silver. The horrible nickname "Snaggletooth" was attached to me for years. It was hard enough
being Mexican, but I was a rare, wild Snaggle toothed Mexican who was only seen on a few special occasions.
The second time I was hurt was when a car hit me.
I was crossing the street while I was going to the store on Fair Oaks I
already told you about. I do not remember what happened. One minute I was on the curb across from the store and I stepped into the
street and the next minute I was in the hospital. How long was I in the hospital I do not know. A day? A week? I have no clue and no one
seems very worried.
The third accident happened when I was taking my shortcut through the Huntington Memorial Hospital on my way home from school.
I was on my small bicycle going at a high rate of speed, with my hair flying and pumping my pedals like crazy. Coming out the back
downhill driveway of the hospital at full speed, I swept out into the street into the back bumper of a passing car. My front tire hooked
onto the car's back bumper. The driver drove down the street for some time before she realized that she had company. I was lucky. I
was just skinned up on that trip.
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