Updated: Jan 4
"ALL IN THE FAMILY"
Born in 1951 and raised in San Francisco by my Costa Rican/German family consisting of my Mom, Lita and Lito, my adulterous Puerto Rican father Doel abandoned my brother Tappy @ 6 months old and myself to return to his Caribbean homeland in 1956.
Because as a young bear I could not correctly pronounce abuelita (Grandmother in Spanish) and abuelito (Grandfather in Spanish), the names "Lita" and "Lito" lovingly stuck the rest of their lives and were baptized as such by our entire Costa Rican clan in San Francisco.
Emulating a German Costa Rican Archie Bunker from the ground-breaking at the time “All in the Family” TV show, Lito was a benevolent dictator.
A very stern and self-disciplined man, in the 1950’s he had already lost most of the beautiful wavy hair from his Costa Rican babe-magnet also adulterous 20’s and gained enough weight and muscle to be barreled chested and had arms like Superman.
An exemplary role model for me as a “busy beaver” and now with my father gone, Lito was runnin’ the rackets both at his and Lita’s home across the street as well as at my Mom’s.
Waking up on Saturdays @ 6.00 A.M. just like he did for work during the week, he would be downstairs at 7 sharp after reading the morning San Francisco Chronicle.
Subconsciously regretting not accomplishing his dream of being a doctor, he would line-up his tools military style on his massive and immaculate work bench just like a surgeon would.
Being blessed by the cabinet shop boss for his extraordinary talent and work-ethic with beautiful hardwood scraps from around the world, Lito would design and create jewelry boxes shaped like the pianos he used to hand-finish; as well as glass encased & lighted china cabinets and various custom creations that adorned his and Lita's as well as my Mom’s homes.
An impeccable replica of a perfectly rounded Spanish sombrero decorated with tiny mosaic-like wooden tiles and a hand-lathed sailfish were his masterpieces.
I fondly remember him tapping his thick fingers on the work bench planning his next operation.
When his creation was not perfect, he would suddenly take the ballpeen hammer and totally destroy the piece, turn off the lights and send me home.
Always extremely generous, he would still pay me my $1.00 ($9.00 today) apprenticeship allowance.
Pray and speak constantly with The Holy Spirit just like He is your best friend.
+ He IS!