Y2 – Day 179 – World Cup – page 1

Every 4 years, in June, I am taken back to 1978.  When I was 18, I lived in the suburbs of Buenos Aires, Argentina with my family.  We moved into my grandparents’ house that they built when they were young and moved into, newly married. There they raised two children, my dad and my Tia Betty, my cousins Gabriela and Maria Laura’s mom.

My abuela’s immigrant Italian mother and self-made stepfather/uncle bought five empty lots for each of their children near a well-traversed dirt road named, Gaona.  Today, paved and wide as a freeway, Gaona backs to these homes and only one remains in our family as ancestors have died and ‘new blood’ descendants needed money or moved away.

My abuela’s dad was fatally wounded in WWI and his brother, out of familial generosity, duty and survival, married his widow with kids and brought them to Argentina across the Atlantic Ocean voyaging via a rollicking ship to escape the fear, poverty and grief that had spread through Europe.

In front of the largest cornered lot and house, deeded to my abuela Estela’s first born status, my dad’s dad, Bernardo, additionally built a shop for my grandmother, whom he adored, where she sold dry goods, toys, candy, pantry items, school necessities, writing paraphernalia and sometimes her homemade pastas and freshly grated Parmesan for the newly arrived Italians and Spaniards in the neighborhood.

My dad, Victor, built himself a room, a bathroom and a huge viewing terrace on top of the original home as a teenager so he could have privacy.  I remember the sturdy, cement, stucco and brick stairs from the backyard of the house giving my dad a secluded, outdoor entrance.  He was a precise and capable mason. He was a do-it–yourselfer and thought outside the box. He further enhanced his parent’s home with his first patio and built–in, bar-b-q area, which he continued to add to all of his future homes in later years.  Wanting to advance and change his future, he used his aerie to study diligently and become a draftsman engineer.  He was known as Mr. Fix-it on three continents and taught himself how-to do anything by trial, error, logic and observation.

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up.  The most certain way to succeed is to try just one more time. – Thomas Edison


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