El 22 de febrero de 1913 nació mi abuelo materno, Eustolio Rodriguez Bustamante. Today would’ve been my Toto’s one hundredth birthday.
It kind of blows my mind a little, when I start wondering how life was back in the early 20th century. Somehow just having a birthday this week myself I think time is so fleeting, moving so fast, ¿a dónde se va el tiempo tan rápido? Hace cien años nació en La Colorada, Sonora, México, vivió hasta recién cumplidos los 84. He had a good, decent, happy life and today I want to honor that.
Mi Toto was a lovely man, with a strong personality, quiet, reserved, but a humorous man with common sense one liners. We have quite a few anecdotes in the family where we can quote a his “sabias palabras” with quick thinking and responses that would leave you kind of speechless and admitting he was always right. He didn’t say much, but that’s all he needed to say.
He married my grandmother Lilia, and had two daughters, my Mom Cristina and mi Tia Silvia. He was the person that gave them a bilingual education, sending them off to school across the border, and I guess this started a trend, porque ya todas fuimos bilingües después.
He was always very artistic, very curious, very stylish, con muy buen gusto para vestirse. He loved to paint, he loved to travel, he loved music, he loved to read. He had subscriptions to Life Magazine back in the 60’s and 70’s delivered to Mexicali (my Mom y mi Tia tell me his collection was amazing, which unfortunately we didn’t keep) and he had a TV Guide subscription back when we had open cable TV across the order in the 80’s and 90’s. He and I used to watch Dan Rather on the CBS Evening News and Dick Clark on Saturday’s with American Bandstand. He LOVED chocolate, I mean LOVED it, and his favorites were See’s Candies and the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. We could eat a whole bag together of the mini cups in one sitting.
The one thing I didn’t think he liked too much was his name, because for the subscriptions tabs I would always read “Ernesto Rodriguez”…but everybody called him Don Eus and after I started calling him Toto (being the oldest of four granddaughters) the nickname stuck.
I just found these pictures archived and thought I’d share a few of his life in Sonora, before he married my Grandma and when he was a young man just starting out. I suddenly find myself wondering what was life for him back then, and makes me want to build a family tree, a ver cuántos parientes Rodriguez encontramos.
But for now, Happy Birthday Toto! I know you must be having a great birthday party with your buddies up in Heaven. Siempre me acuerdo de ti y te quiero mucho Toto!
No tengo fecha exacta. Creo que aquí tendria unos 18 años, around 1931 in Sonora, Mexico.
Playing with one of his dogs. Le encantaban los perros.
Muy joven, se retrató con sus amigos. (He is the one on the left.)
De viaje en las pirámides de Teotihuacán en Mexico DF. Circa 1944.
A handsome man, my grandfather walking down the street in Mexico City.
Another picture with his friends. My Grandfather is the very last one to the right.
With my Grandmother, Mama Lilia (cream dress) and her sisters. Las cuñadas andaban de chaperonas yo creo. From left: Tia Delia, Mama Lilia, Toto, y Tia Consuelo.
Otra foto con Mi Mama Lilia, mi Toto, mi Tia Consuelo y mi Tio Tin.