ArtLung posts tagged with memories ·
Jesus Arthur Silva—“Art”—was born on this day 100 years ago, February 6, 1921. I remember visiting him at grocery stores in San Diego like Big Bear or Food Basket, where he got assigned to whip their produce departments into shape. I wish I could ask him about working in a town that went from 80 thousand people to over 2 million in his lifetime. I want to ask him if it’s true he sold tamales on the streets of downtown. I want to ask him what kept him going when times were hard, working multiple jobs. How did he and Nanie raise 7 great kids? I was 17 when he died. I don’t have a photograph of him working. I’ve drawn him how I imagine he would have looked. Sharp, kind, diligent. After he passed, my mother missed him terribly. A great man. 100 years ago today.
This smell: of fresh vegetables being washed in a mist of water—it makes me feel the memory of visiting my grandfather Art Silva (we called him tata: a Yaqui word for “father”) at a Big Bear or Food Basket. He’s be there taking care of the produce department: crisp shirt and tie and an apron. My mother adored him, while smaller me saw how impressive he was, a professional in command of his domain and offering some perfect piece of fruit to try. Smell and memory is amazing.