Category: Family Stories

My great grandfather with Pancho Villa

great grandfather with Pancho Villa1914 – My great grandfather, Juan Avila, was Pancho Villa’s curandero during the Mexican Revolution. He’s the one standing with his hat in his hand on the far right. Ohhh – the stories he told…

My Paternal Grandparents

My paternal grandparent's wedding day, circa 1920

My paternal grandparent’s wedding day, circa 1920

Grandma Lola was no-nonsense and Grandpa Enrique was Pura Vida. He was a boilermaker with the Southern Pacific Railroad so we rode the train for free. I spent 4 summers at their hillside home in El Paso. They had chickens there and Grandma Lola asked me to catch one for dinner one day when I was 8 years old. I made a half-hearted attempt by throwing an empty can at one that fell far short of it’s mark. I fearfully went back into the kitchen and told her I couldn’t do it. She stomped outside like she’d hired an incompetent hit man and one poor chicken met his fate with a tree. After that, I did what she told me and I stayed away from trees.


Evelyn with cousins Reva and Rudy

Evelyn with cousins Reva and Rudy

Circa 1954. Here I am hangin’ with my cousins Rudy and tomboy Reva. I remember spending the night and playing “circus” on her twin beds – once. Reva wanted to be the cannon and that left me with the role of the clown being shot out of the cannon. She laid on her bed, put her legs in the air, and I sat on the soles of her feet for her to catapult me over onto the other bed.

Reva: “Ready?”
Evelyn: “No!”

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