Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Bye, July

July was quite the month.  Occupational Therapy, impounded car, new car, meetings and more history excavating.

Facts discovered - the son of Daniel M. Berry, Mr. Alfred Berry married Francisca Rubio.  Questions leap forward; was related to Old Man Rubio of Rubio Canyon, were the Rubio Marron (Duarte, Lopez) family kith or kin to Doña Eulalia?  Court cases seem to have Perez, Sepulveda, Avila, and Garfias families at odds over Rancho El Rincon de San Pascual.

How are all of these people related to each other and what does that have to do with history that doesn't seem to be written yet?
A place that I went to do some more exploring was the Southern California Genealogical Society in Burbank.

Organized, yes.  But in ways I've yet to learn.

Meetings and more
Happy to be a part of a couple of new projects and events that will be taking place in Altadena and Pasadena.  
Courtesy Altadena Public Library
The Altadena Library has been awarded a Latino Americans: 500 Years of History grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association.  I serve on the advisory body and will be a part of the lectures, screenings, and more that will be taking place throughout his next academic year.  

The history programs began informally this past week with a talk, "The Mexican Immigration Experience in the Early 1900s", given by Walter Dominguez in the Altadena Community Center.  His documentary, "Weaving the Past: A Journey of Discovery" will screen at the Altadena Library this coming Tuesday, August 4th at the Altadena Public Library.  The screening will begin at 6:30.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

After and Before

Been pretty busy lately.  Will share more of the details soon.

In the meantime, yesterday was the 40th birthday of my older baby.

A woman who can still make her tween laugh and can perch a purse on her knee without giving it too much thought.  I have to admire that skill set.  She is a multi-tasking mama, serious social worker, and loving daughter.

Morro Bay - 2014

Busy times means that I can only share a link to what I wrote last year in honor of my parents and their wedding anniversary -

I can share a picture of their wedding day and can share that they would have been so proud to see their granddaughter and their great-granddaughter laughing and being close - just because.

La Plazita - 1951

Monday, July 13, 2015

Hello, it's me...

I've missed being in touch with you.

The last three weeks have been filled with day to day obligations and surprises.

The day to day obligations still include time reserved for wrist exercises.  It may not impress you, but I am excited that I now am doing my exercises alternating one and two pound weights.  It is a quiet excitement, but excitement nonetheless.

The person who has been pushing, massaging, and encouraging me for the past couple of months is Jeri.  Tall like the letter "J" and cuter than the letter "i".  We exchange stories and laugh when I'm not about to break a sweat lifting the two pound weight.  Go ahead and chuckle; I started with four ounces.  I will miss Jeri when the days of rehab are done.

This is the third week that Lali will be attending her training classes.  She is bright and determined as is displayed by this nest she created for herself.  We just have to help her get a little more "civilized". As in not barking her fool head off when people are walking on the far side of the street or deciding that anything she sees on the ground while she's out for her constitutional needs to be tested to see if it is correctly seasoned.  

First week she was the only dog in attendance so we covered a lot of ground.  Last week, the sweetest calmest, longish-haired dog joined the group.  She's taking the class as a refresher.  She is Lali's role model.  Her name is "Homie".  I don't know how she got the name, but I am curious.

Went to a meeting on June 24th; came out of the meeting and began to walk to my car.  Walked and walked and did not find the car.  Called Pasadena Police Department to let them know I thought it might be stolen.  They shared that it was impounded!  For unpaid tickets.  Tickets that I think were paid.

A Dickensian saga followed: offices, walking in the heat, officers, tellers, expired license - not mine, bus, walking, AAA, and more.  Result: we again have the car.

May I share with you that if you pay tickets electronically, you know via the 'net, the DMV doesn't always let the Police Department know that this transaction has taken place.  This must happen with some frequency because we were automatically sent a form to be used to contest the action.

Good surprise
We are now a two car family.  There is a FIAT 550e that is a part of our two car fleet.

Name and license plates are pending.  
Front runners for name are Chica and Chapita.

Friday, June 19, 2015

A fine line between indulgence and debauchery

7:23 Slept in, unintentionally.  Need to zoom, I have an 8:00 meeting in E. Pasadena.
7:40 Yes, friend, I'd love to meet you for coffee and breakfast.
7:45 Let person know that I'm going to be a little late.
7:55 Who is in that truck in front of house?  I need to get to meeting.  Oh, Dear Friend, thank you for the birthday concha.  Chocolate AND vanilla with a birthday candle.  "Gotta go, see you Sunday for coffee".
8:15 Good meeting - lots and lots of possibilities.

9:30 I'm here.  Oh, oatmeal and coffee.  Yesssss.  And we finish with some cheesecake from URTH CAFE?  Would I like the leftovers?  Well, normally I'd be gracious and say, "oh, no".  But not today.  Sure I'll take it home in a box.  jajaja
Courtesy Burstible
11:38 Home again.  Hi, critters.  Peanut butter sandwich for lunch. With milk.

11:45 Read good wishes and felt so happy to see the names and faces of friends and family from all over the place.  BIG smiles.

12:40 Leave for meeting
1:00   Oh, I'm going to enjoy serving on the City of Pasadena's Civic Center Public Art Advisory Committee.  Lots to talk about in the Public Art Master Plan.

3:15 Happy All Saints is open.  A moment of reflection makes my day happier.

3:50 Twohey's with another friend.  I unabashedly order onion rings and we share the decadent fudge sundae.

5:15 Ross Dress for Less - I go to buy a bathing suit and find some sandals AND a dress.

6:45 Home again.  James has fed the critters.  And then he walks the dogs.   Meanwhile, back on the sofa, I watch "Mothra".

8:30 Dinner at

Oh, yes, I'll have a second glass of the tempranillo.
Oh, no, I couldn't order a dessert.  Hmmm...I could take a couple of forkfuls of that happy ginger filled creation.

9:45 Home to the critters and the end of "THEM!"

10:45 Time to hibernate, I mean, sleep.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Okay, June 18th, I'm ready

Boy, this 62nd year was quite something.   

Summer and early fall saw a lot of energy focused on identifying why things were as they were and then dealing with cancer and a hysterectomy.  
Neither the cancer or the hysterectomy were on my to do list.

Goodbye thoughts of entering a doctoral program, hello thoughts about what do I really want to do with whatever time I have left?  A week, a month, a decade, a couple of decades?  Having cancer makes the finite aspect of life real.  I'm planning to be around for a while, but I was reminded that I am not exclusively in charge of how long that might be.

Being as ill as I was also brought about the kindness of the many friends who cooked food for James and me AND those who helped to organize the deliveries of that same bit of love.  

Fall was spent healing.  Early winter was spent on catching up from healing and doing all the things I'd meant to do before the focus was switched.  

Things were moving back to normal and then the concrete walk provided a moment for me to experience the word trajectory in a first hand way.  The result was the wrist that was somewhat shattered and needed surgery.  

Again I was reminded of the fragility of the human body and the idea that the spirit need not also be fragile.  I was also reminded that love that can be shown in so many ways by friends and family.

I was reminded that the man that I love is willing to do so much for me.  He will help me bathe, help me get out of bed when a small crane would have been handy, feed me the goodies that are a part of a nurturing diet, and not judge me as I binge on TV shows.  Shoot, he will sit with me and get all romantic as we watch the British telenovela - Doc Martin.  

I was glad that I was able to be healthy enough to finally give my lecture at the Huntington Library.  A special thanks to those who saw value in the topic and the generosity to offer me the chance to reschedule.  The night was a dream come true for this history nerd.  

This spring to summer has been a series of re-energized efforts to work on one of two books that I plan to write.  

The second will be a book about the Bandini and Elliott family.  I'll need a bit more time for research and a lot more time for organizing the footnotes.  

The first book I write will be about my Garcia/Villa roots and their life in Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas.  

I have no idea what the format will be.  I'll think on that as I begin my 63rd year.

And I plan to catch as many sky scapes as possible.

The Journey to Pueblo or Remembering One's Place

Train ride to La Junta, CO was good.  Lots of room and a chance to wear comfy shoes.  
I will ride the Southwest Chief again.
I wish it still stopped in Pueblo.  
Oh, well, a quick layover in La Junta tonight and a short bus ride to Pueblo tomorrow.

Ready to de-board, or is it disembark, or is it detrain?  I don't know at this moment.   
I've been on the road for 24 hours - because I'm serious about my work, y que.
I'll stand for the last hour, thank you.  I'm ready.
After all, I'm an independent scholar and I'm about to do serious researchy-business.

Um, the bus will stop for me, right?  

Even if they don't call the motel to find out if there is anyone who might need a ride?

Did I mention the independent scholar bit?

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

1931 - So that's what they looked like

The Rawlings Library, on Abriendo in Pueblo, has a section that is dedicated to the City of Pueblo, the Southwest, and local genealogy.  Part of the documents available to the public are yearbooks from a couple of the local high schools.  

My mom attended Centennial High and, thanks to some sort of gerrymandering or the other, she attended the same high school as the sons and daughters of the very, very well off. 

Here follows pictures from the Centennial yearbook, 1931; her Junior year.

June Kretchmer; my mom admired her so.
When my mom talked about June she'd spend time setting up the story.  She would talk about how full the auditorium was or what the audience was doing while they waited for the "show" to start.  
Different acts would come on stage and sing or dance and folks mostly paid attention.  She'd briefly talk about the performers and performances.  
This part of the story was always fairly short and pretty vague.  

And then...she would talk about June coming on stage.  All by herself, no accompanist, just June. The audience would become attentive and silent.  June would begin to whistle and she would command the stage.  The quiet remained because her artistry and skill brought the house to some sort of reverie.    Or at least my mom became dreamy as she relived the experience.   

My mother's voice became much more down to earth when she spoke of Miss-Grace-Cunningham.  It was never Miss Cunningham.  Always, Miss-Grace-Cuningham.  Miss-Grace-Cunnighham's favorite saying was,  " You can choose to work with your head or your feet".   I can't begin to tell how many times my mom shared this thought with me as I was growing up.  Now, I wonder if in her head she was thinking, "Come on, think about it before you do it".  Same sentiment, but Miss-Grace-Cunningham put it better.

And then there was Mr. John De Vivier.    He accused my mom of speaking in class.  She hadn't spoken.  He demanded that she apologize.  She didn't and wouldn't.  So as punishment she was sent to the back of the class and would be permitted to participate after she apologized.  
She spent the rest of the semester at the back of the room.

Her grade suffered but her sense of self remained strong.