Back In The Day - Tales from the Hood


The Story of Pops

dadshavekitsmaller (43k image)

Such a good man, a good hard working provider he was.
When i was born, a year later we moved into this house (where i reside today).
Some 7-9 years after he almost lost his house. Now out of a job and unable to make payments. It was a struggle for him and mom and so they decided to rent out the bottom half and we all would live upstairs in the two rooms it had. He built a tiny restroom/shower stall and that was about it. One room was the kitchen area (now my bedroom) and the other where we slept. In total we were six people living there. My two step brothers, my sister, myself and mom and dad.
I remember very little about that time, being around 7 or so, but i did almost lose my life here at the tender age of three when i had a "freak-accident" on the back south side area of the house. I was very close to death and then almost lost my right arm, from the elbow down.

So anyway thats where it was at that time, going through hard times and my brothers were'nt any help at all and if anything troubled teens. They were from dads side but i always concidered them as just my brothers.

The people that i remember mostly who lived "down stairs" help with the rent to make the payments but as it turned out they were trashy okies that when they did move out left the house a mess. Now they were'nt bad people just not very clean people and the single mother was raising her 3 kids as best as she probably knew how. One of them..Billy, was crippled and dragged himself all around. I remember him and liked him too. But get the picture.

As it turns out, the vacant lot 2 doors down was going to be developed into a small hospital for treatment for mental patients. Today it is where some celebrities go for drug treatment etc.

In 1962 i believe, around the time Kenedy was president is when it was completed. My dad applied for a job there as a General Maintenance Machanic to take care of the place of course, and since he lived just steps away they hired him knowing he could be called on in any emergency, which i remember there were a few at times. It really worked out great not only for the hospital but even better for my dad, and he was glad to have this job all the way up til his retirement. It was a blessing for sure!
My dad was orginally from a little town just out side of Mazatlan,Mexico and came here to the states at the age of 3. He later became a citizen, was a Air Force Pilot and due to a crash damaged his right arm and only now taught pilots to fly.
My dad was the kind of man who believed in hard work and was self relient. He did everything himself around the house but it wasn't as if it were top notch, yet it was decent enough. Myself..i'm alot like him but i do get picky about my work and how it comes out..thats just me.
Another thing we both had in comon and that was cooking! Being of a Mexican Background he knew how to cook up some of the tastiest meals around! It was in his blood! My dad also kept his culture close and spoke spanish at home most of the time. He was comfortable that way. Now the family gatherings/parties...were something else! Lots of good Mexican Music and dancing and fun! It was the best time in my very young life when the holidays came or other events to celebrate.

mydad (13k image)mehammer (8k image)As it goes... When mom and dad met, mom was about 20 years younger and he was now 39 or 40. They had my sister then i came along 7 years later.
My dad was definately old old school and it showed. The Mexican machismo was strong and loud. This part i didn't really like so much. He was stuborn and had no patience but on the other hand he also had a soft spot and gave in and could be very patient..all depending (gee-sounds alil like me!)

Before dad passed away i had the chance to spend some good quality time with him and since he didn't care to drive so much anymore i took him wherever he wanted to go or visit. The age of my pop was up there from as far back as when i was a teenager and many times my friends thought he might have been my Grandpa. Also because of it my dad didn't really know how to relate of even in all a dad. He never had one to show him how and with his own troubled sons only knew how to bail them out of trouble...give a scolling to and that was about it. He was a great man and a great provider, but just didn't know that much about being a father in many areas. As i said..the gap was pretty wide.

The folks downstairs were now long gone and we were back on our feet. I even had small jobs around the hospital that my dad gave me as far as watering and turning on the sprinklers etc. That was fun for me doing all these little jobs and being a part of my extended neighborhood.
Pops would always come home for lunch and i could always hear his name being called over the intercom to go take care of something or another. It was all good and now we were back downstairs again but not until all the damage was repaired and the whole house fumigated! To this day there are no roaches and never will be...a mouse? thats ok by me, i like lil mice as long as its not a problem.

Well...thats about it, there is so much more about this man but i'll just keep it simple.

Dad did alot of work on this 1927 built house and i carry on his tradition in many ways. Today, he would be amazed at how it is, by all the projects i also now do...following in his footsteps.
dad&me (15k image)Ahhh.. My Dad

gto_medad_mexico (15k image)
Driving down to Mazatlan Mexico...1500 miles on some dangerous roads at times!! (mom took the pix)


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