Tags → memories
I have no idea how many times I’ve walked through San Diego’s Santa Fe. Arriving and departing from L.A. as a kid, one time alone, when we lived in Echo Park and Alhambra; as a term, playing hooky; trips to Fullerton to see my pal Chris at ages 17 until now; trips to events: concerts by @stewtnp and the “Live from the Blogosphere” event where @evhead announced Blogger dot com was sold to Google; trips to and from Comic-Con; Little Tokyo; up to Moorpark when I lived there; walking though it many times when arriving by Coaster from Carlsbad where @leohblooms dropped me off, I worked at Emerald Plaza, then; picking up and dropping off more people than I can remember, traveling; once went to a plein air drawing event here; wandering downtown when I worked at the original @sdpubliclibrary Central Branch; and Avencom, and jury duty 2 years ago; which is why I’m here this morning.
This morning I connected to my cross country flight to Virginia via LAX. I saw the dawn. I saw places that mean a lot to me. There’s my apartment! On the hill behind it was where my high school once stood, now replaced by condos. There’s Mission Bay where I’ve swum and kayaked and not-successfully windsurfed and jet ski’d. Beyond: Navy housing we lived in when I was a teenager. Had I been on the left side of the plane I’d have seen my favorite spot: Mission Beach Jetty. But take a beat on my right is former favorite swim spot La Jolla Cove. Shores. Del Mar. Solana Beach where I worked at failed dot com EduPoint. Orange County. Los Angeles County. Beaches, apartments; jobs and job interviews; car accidents, fights, train rides, romance and catastrophe. Southern California is my home; imbued with meaning. Onward.
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.