Interview for Coming of Age

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The faint smell of cornbread baking in the oven, pork chops with rosemary and garlic roasting in the oven, and mashed potatoes with butter cooling off on the counter, tickling my taste buds. The rain is pouring on the rooftops on a cool autumn day. My dad is sitting across from me, in a warm gray fleece jacket and black pants. I’m giggling, trying to take myself seriously before we start the interview. Looking out the window he says, “My childhood was superb, it wasn’t an ordinary childhood though.”

Born in the 1950’s the world was recovering from World War II. Being the youngest out of 5 brothers and sisters meant he was the baby. Technology was just getting started. Television came out in the 1950’s, but being born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico electricity was still rare there. But my dad was privileged to live in the biggest house in the city, at the time. “We used candles until I was 8.” My dad smiles as he remembers the times when he would sit the table with his siblings exchanging scary stories. “They would say if you would go out into the woods at night by yourself you would see this devil-like creature that had one horse foot, and a big hat. But since I was the most daring, I went out one night, five blocks away from home, to try to find it but my mother came out and found me and dragged me by my ear all the way home.” “I was raised in a Catholic oriented home, that meant I had to put god first before anything else. And if I was bad I would get a punishment.”

As he stands up from the rocking chair to go check on the pork chops he says, “I remember when the first man stepped on the moon, but Grandma told me it wasn’t true.” When I asked about my grandpa his smile became serious. “Your grandpa passed away when I was 12.” He asked me “can you imagine someone very important from your life being gone?” He pulls out a piece a paper and tells me “I never got to ask him these questions.” As I think to myself I could never imagine losing my dad at 12 or at...
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