top of page


Within a week, my mother and aunt also found jobs as dress designers in the public transit-friendly downtown.

At night, they both went to school to learn how to correctly speak, read and write English.

On weekends, the now fully employed family enjoyed going out to 1st class restaurants and ride the famous Cable Cars that “climbed ½ way to the stars”, to dance at the top nightclubs and hotels.

It was at these dances, that my mom met various potential suitors.

Enamored with her inherent elegance and loving personality, beautiful “Miss Costa Rica of 1943” with her waist-length thick and shiny black hair, these doctors, engineers and attorneys would approach Lito trembling at the knees, asking for my mother’s hand in marriage.

All spurned away as not good enough for his oldest daughter, Lito soon saved the necessary money to purchase an automobile and a house in San Francisco’s Upper Mission District.

Blessed with master cabinet maker, carpenter, electrician, masonry and plumbing skills, Lito soon remodeled their newly purchased home into the best looking residence in the neighborhood.

All graced with artistic gifts including my aunt that was an amazing water colorist, they would design and create eclectic wall, furniture and window coverings.

Mucho respectful of Lita’s “green thumb”, Lito converted the huge backyard into a much admired and enjoyed garden retreat.

Featuring cemented walkways that crisscrossed the entire landscape ~ separating the huge apple, plum and pear trees from the flower beds and brick fish pond, the family team would spend their weekends meticulously weeding, pruning and planting.

Much to my mom's and aunt's disdain.............