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Updated: Jan 5, 2021


Now thank God being my 2nd and real hands-on father, I wanted to be just like Lito.

Never refusing the opportunity to learn new craftsman skills and earn comic book and baseball card money, I would climb tall ladders in windy weather, be the cut wood receiver of his many electric industrial saws and attempt to always perfectly accomplish my assignments.

It was during his building this enormous home sized work shop at the end of the sprawling backyard that his volcanic temper reached its limits.

Already having laid the cement foundation and now erecting the 14 foot walls, he asked me to squeeze in a little space that he could not fit into.

Excited to do something that Lito could not, I immediately agreed to hammer in the nail while he held it. Wham!

I missed and he chased me from behind the ladder, through the backyard and garage and all around the double city block to try to give me a spanking with a rose bush stake.

We were quite the attraction ~ Lito wearing his Tony Soprano wife beater undershirt and menacing me with that skinny stick while I ran ahead of him screaming “I’m sorry ~ I didn’t mean it”.

My friends on a rare sunny San Francisco Saturday morning already playing on their front yards saw the 2 of us approaching, and thought it would be great fun to witness the final outcome.

Rounding the 3rd street corner, we had a mob of about 15 kids following us.

Racing into the house I hid behind Lita who was feeding Tappy, and she shooed Lito away saying that “I was only a child trying to help and not a hoodlum"; that she thought all of my friends were, way over-protecting me.

Thank God Lito listened and went back home absolutely steaming!

Our neighborhood in the Upper Mission was a middle class melting pot community of Italians, Irish, Swedes, Oklahomans and us Costa Ricans intermingling.

Called the Upper Mission due to our 1 mile proximity to Daly City ~ the fog capital of the world, I will never forget the time that Ralphie ~ our resident black leather jacketed “Fonzie” walked past me bleeding all over the sidewalk.

A member of the “White Shoes” gang, he and his mates had gotten into a brawl with “The Warlords” and ended up getting stabbed.

His parents very loving and strict Italians both at work, Lita thank God called an ambulance for a true yet very kind hoodlum.

Sewed-up, he brought Lita roses and always would talk to me and share his chain flinging, ass-kicking and knife-wielding battles.

Pray and speak constantly with The Holy Spirit just like He is your best friend.

+ He IS!

(2) Banjo & Sullivan - I'm at Home Getting Hammered (While She's Out Getting Nailed) - YouTube