Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Pete Ramos Martinez in his youth

This coming Friday is the fifth anniversary of my father's death. He lived to be 91 and we were fortunate to spend many days and nights with him as his body became tired and then finally rested.
My dad was the 12th of 12 children. He could have been the poster child for the Americano born of workers who came to this country, or were brought here, with the hopes of making a better life. Born of laborers who helped to fill the workforce at the turn of the 20th century.
I knew 3 of his siblings; those that survived to maturity. Aunt Martha was born in Mexico, Uncle Tony was born in a boxcar in Needles, CA, and Aunt Jenny who was born California. Each very different in character. Each led very different lives. Each reflecting the mestizaje, the mixed heritage, that is such an integral part of most folks around the world. And is very much the norm in most Latino countries.
In this image my dad is about 15; 6 years after his dad died and about 2 years before he dropped out of school. He once told me that he dropped out because he had no clothes to wear to school. I think that was part of the reason, the other part was because I think he may have been dyslexic.

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