June 6, 2013
Today we remember my mother's birthday. I remember her every day, but today is special. She was a marvelous talented woman, and if you read these posts (and there is no reason for you to do so) you have heard me talk about her in the past.
She was born in Mexico, in a colonial town called Guanajuato. Her father was a "horse whisperer" and Mexico was not safe for those who were friendly with land owners. She grew up in Wyoming and was not a healthy child. The youngest of five brothers and one sister she was expected to learn the domestic arts and take care of the older family members instead of having a life of her own. The family moved to Los Angeles and as family do, each member found a way to move forward.
Mom graduated from Roosevelt High School in the L.A. inner city and began a career in fashion design. She lived with her parents and with her Sister and her husband. They needed money and took in boarders. One of those was my father, a man trying to raise three teen aged sons abandoned by their mother.
Over the objections of her family, she married and had a child.....me. The early years saw her helping the family by working in a factory assembling thermostat controls, she was good with her hands and took a job with Luis Meyer (Indianapolis Race Cars) as a carburetor adjuster. I still have visions of her being called out of our home to adjust a carburetor for some famous Indy racer. I would look out into the street and see her with her head deep in the engine with all the men standing around, watching in wonder. She worked for years as a decorator at Gladding McBean Ceramics. Most of the "Desert Rose" and "Apple" pattern was drawn by my mom.
Mom and Dad worked hard and added to their property. They supported their families both in the United States and in Europe and Mexico. In 1961 my father died and mom was devastated. She was encouraged to travel and spent some time in New York with my fathers friends. One of those friends was soon to become the partner and confidante that she so needed. I new Frank DeVico longer than I new my father. I knew Frank as a generous and loving man. He moved to California and became Grampa to my boys.
Mom, Frank and my Dad are all gone now, they are all buried side by side in the churchyard cemetery at the San Fernando Mission, not far from a tree that my dad liked from the grave of Walter Brennan the actor.
Today is the 100th anniversary of the birth of this wonderful woman. We remember her today and will continue to remember her for as many years as we have to do so. So, if you have read this far, let's stop for a moment to remember her and all our moms and the love they still send us everyday.