¡Feliz Cumpleaños #100 querido Toto!

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.

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.

So which Peanuts character are you?

I grew up with a dog named Snoopy, a Dalmation we loved, named by my Dad after our favorite cartoon character. It was back in the late 70’s and the early 80’s and we would watch the Charlie Brown Specials on TV like it was the most special thing in the world. We had Snoopy PJ’s, Snoopy and Woodstock bed sheets and pillowcases, Snoopy loncheras (lunchpails), and Snoopy Tshirts which we almost never took off.

So naturally every time I see something “Peanuts,” it gives me a bit of nostalgia and joy. It’s nice to see that Hallmark has reinvigorated the classic characters and has nice little gifts and forget-me-nots at their stores. I ran into their mug collection the other day and it made me wonder… so which one am I? I’d love to be Snoopy but I’m not even close to being Joe Cool!

I guess I’ll have to get all three and toss a coin to see who I want to be as I drink my morning cafecito.

Charlie Brown: Good sport, full of hope, optimistic, persistent, cooperative thoughtful, loyal friend, helpful, team player, genuine, tenderhearted, good citizen, reliable, trusting, snappy dresser.

Lucy: Self-confident, sassy, born leader, no nonsense, takes charge, gives good advice, competitive, independent, energetic, self-assured, persuasive, savvy, says what she means and means what she says.

Snoopy: Imaginative, funny, COOL, spontaneous, creative, happy-go-lucky, joyful, high spirited, carefree, great dancer, appreciates literature, connoisseur, good friend, always up for adventure.

One of my favorite photos with my sister, and our dog SNOOPY in the background, right in the middle of us and all the tiradero de juguetes. It was taken by my Dad.

History lovers rejoice. “Jackie Kennedy. In Her Own Words.”

John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy at the President's Inauguration in 1961. Photo from Life Magazine archives, Paul Shutzer, photographer.

Growing up, I was fascinated by Jacqueline Kennedy and the history of the Kennedy family. I think my love of photography was born out of watching and studying all the Life Magazine photographs of the Camelot era in black and white, analyzing the president and lovely first lady, then learning the history of and tragedy of November 1963. So addictive! Of course I later became obsessed with “Jackie O” because thought she would be the perfect “suegra,” since I was convinced I would marry John F. Kennedy Jr. when I grew up. (Soñar no cuesta nada. Who did not love that man, right?)

To this day I think our fascination with this woman does not end. We’ve had countless discussions, my family and friends, analyzing her style and everything that made her so distinct, so alluring, and so attractive. A great conversation to be had, if you like discussing these sorts of things.

Tonight all lovers of history and all things Kennedy will be glued to their TV sets as ABC air a 2 hour special with a rare interview. “Jackie Kennedy, In Her Own Words,” starts at 9pm PST, but check you local listings.

Mrs. Kennedy granted Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., a Kennedy historian, a lengthy conversation just a few months after her husband’s death. The interview was recorded 47 years ago and never before aired to the public. There is also a book published to commemorate this interview and it’s special place in history.

The New York Times writes:

At just 34, and in what her daughter, Caroline Kennedy, describes in a foreword to the book as “the extreme stages of grief,” Mrs. Kennedy displays a cool self-possession and a sharp, somewhat unforgiving eye. In her distinctive breathy cadences, an intimate tone and the impeccable diction of women of her era and class, she delivers tart commentary on former presidents, heads of state, her husband’s aides, powerful women, women reporters, even her mother-in-law.

Charles DeGaulle, the French president, is “that egomaniac.” The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is “a phony” whom electronic eavesdropping has found arranging encounters with women. Indira Gandhi, the future prime minister of India, is “a real prune — bitter, kind of pushy, horrible woman.”

Oh, I can’t wait to hear this!! The video below is the promo for the show and will take you to youtube.



If you want a little sound bite teaser, head over to NYT.com for the article and audio clips with photos.

The link is here.

The NY Times article includes audio clips and photographs.



And if you want to relive a little bit of Camelot, check out the great photo gallery archives from Life Magazine.

¡Feliz Cumpleaños Chato! Cantinflas cumple 100 años

Uno de los mexicanos más brillantes, talentosos y famosos de la historia, Mario Moreno “Cantinflas” cumple 100 años de nacimiento el 12 de Agosto. Happy Birthday Cantinflas!!

Cantinflas cumple 100 años y lo festejarán desde hoy hasta el 11 de agosto en la Cineteca Nacional, México D.F. (Foto via revista Chilango.com) Las funciones empiezan a las 7Pm en la Sala 3.

Para celebrar, la Cineteca Nacional (el mejor cine en México, D.F., si me preguntan) está organizando festejos y screenings de sus mejores películas a partir de hoy, 4 de agosto, para conmemorar el nacimiento de Fortino Mario Alfonso Moreno Reyes (su nombre completo, via el IMDB)

Si están en el DF esta semana, no se pierdan la oportunidad de irse a disfrutar de estas funciones en la Cineteca y de irse a cantinflear.

La portada del DVD "El Bolero de Raquel."

Cantinflas era único y basta con ver algunos minutos de cualquiera de sus películas para empezar a reir a carcajadas. Aquí está un clip de “El Bolero de Raquel” con la famosa escena de baile. Es un poquito largo pero está fabuloso.

A pesar de que pasó a mejor vida en 1993, la gente todavía le tiene muchísimo cariño. Aqui en Hollywood hizo “Around the World in 80 days” con mucho éxito en 1955 y en su momento fue reconocido también por Charlie Chaplin como “the world’s greatest comedian.” (That’s a wonderful endorsement!) Alguna vez me tocó ver una entrevista en que le preguntaron a Dustin Hoffman quien es su actor favorito y respondió, “Cantinflas! I don’t understand a word he’s saying, but I know it’s fabulous acting.”

Mario Moreno "Cantinflas" en "Si yo fuera diputado" (1952)