Always looking forward to visiting Amalia who lived with Christina ~ the youngest of the sisters, her residence was a child's dream come true.

Featuring 5 floors to explore, winding staircases, mysterious alcoves, front & back terraced gardens, an outdoor fish pond and a brick BBQ big enough to grill a whole steer (at least in a child's imagination), Amalia always invited our family to join her and Christina to enjoy luscious meals.

Blessed with a long Medieval royal-type dining room table that seated 16, she hosted the grandest family parties.

A gracious hostess that would on many occasions pop champagne for lunch with caviar and totally clean out her reefer and pantry to accommodate her guests, I always admired her altruistic generosity and worldly ways.

Accompanied by "Kitty" ~ her super aggressive azure-eyed Siamese who would always bite whoever tried to pet her under the table, Amalia ~ the Costa Rican "Katharine Hepburn" would share with us her exotic adventures around the globe.

Married already thrice, Amalia re-met #4 Alberto during 1 of her several sojourns to her amazing vacation home in Costa Rica.

Kindergarten sweethearts in 1908 and separated by time, distance and other relationships, they decided to get married in 1980 at 76 years of age!

An extraordinarily elegant couple, they dazzled onlookers with their Parisian style of ballroom dancing.

Her stunning Millbrae, California residence full of luxurious and gorgeous mementos of her travels, my grandparents ~ Juan and Rosario Schielzeth, loved to visit Amalia almost every other weekend.

Baptizing Juan “Lito” and Rosario “Lita” ~ because as an infant I could not enunciate abuelito (grandfather) or abuelita (grandmother), the names took hold and they were lovingly branded as such by our entire family.

The 1st of 5 children born to Hans and Cruz Schielzeth in 1902, Lito was a European-trained master cabinet maker, piano finisher and the hardest working man I ever had the pleasure to meet and apprentice with ~ sort of.

An extreme disciplinarian and perfectionist, Lito “fired” me many times on Saturday mornings, when as a young child in San Francisco I would just simply walk across the street from my Mom’s house and meet him in his home’s ultra tidy garage workshop.






To protect the innocent and those antagonists that are dead or still alive, I have purposely and respectfully changed the names of all of the people characterized in this book that contributed to the actual 100% true events that took place.

The only persons in the narratives whose real “names are named” ala Don Corleone are my wife Christine, daughter Alexandra and son Christian.

© 2019