When I first signed up for StoryCorps Historias, I planned to take Papá Chepe, my 89 year old maternal grandfather.
I’ve always been a bit of a Grandpa’s girl. Papá Chepe and Mamá Toni sold their Boyle Heights home in the late 80s. They still had homes in Tijuana and El Cargadero, Zacatecas. However, when they were in LA, they stayed at my family’s home. Thus, I got to spend a lot of time with Papá Chepe and Mamá Toni growing up. I’m grateful for this as well as the opportunity to have learned more about my grandparents’ youth. I’ve interviewed both grandparents about their immigration stories, but this was the first time I recorded the stories.
In the interview, Papá Chepe speaks about being a feisty toddler, dating in 1920s Zacatecas, being a bracero and working in the lettuce fields of Salinas, coming to LA for the first time, his family and his proudest achievement. That would be donating his home in Tijuana to an orphanage. Oh yeah, he also tells the story of el blanquillo that I’ve always loved.
The entire interview is in Spanish. I apologize in advance for my pocha accent.