Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Meatball Sandwich

Torta de Albondigas

Tonight's supper: Meatball Sandwich - Chicano Style - with red chile sauce (Chile Colorado), Manchego cheese and a Bolillo roll It didn't last long. 

Monday, June 06, 2016

A Father's Memory

Father's Day will be here soon and, although they are always on my mind, my thoughts begin to turn to my children and when they were all young. One of my fondest memories of those days days is the unshakable belief that I was the strongest, smartest, bravest, biggest father in the world. I'm not alone in this either.

The look of absolute faith in their eyes makes you almost believe it yourself. It makes you want to live up to that expectation. It's only a short time and you know that the time will come when one by one, they begin to realize; you are not the strongest, the smartest, the bravest or the biggest, you are just a man trying to do the best with what you have. The beauty of it though is that they see your mistakes and shortcomings and they love you anyways, in fact they love you more.

I remember when my son and I would stand in front of a mirror to see if he had finally passed me up. It seemed, at the time, that he never would and then one day I found myself looking up to my son. He stands about an even six feet now. My little buddy is now my big buddy and I wouldn't have it any other way

They all found out that I wasn't the smartest just about the time they entered high school, when they realized I was no help to them with their homework, especially math. They all surpassed me years ago and again, I wouldn't have it any other way

All my children have met and surpassed our expectations My wife and I could not be prouder. Our oldest granddaughters will be entering their senior year later this year. They are taking it another step forward and preparing for collegeThis is how it should be.

When they were all young two of my favorite battle cries (and it was often a battle) were “I'm your father not your friend” and “This is a dictatorship not a democracy and I'm the dictator!”

Now they are all grown up, all the girls are mothers and my son lives far from home They are still our children, time does not change that but they are also our best friends and confidants and we sometimes need their advice, Things change but the love is always there

This father (and their mother) really want three things: He wants his children to be better than him, he wants them to be happy and he wants them to know God! Everything else will fit in between these things

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Cheap Eats: Tamales and Chili

I just finished my lunch of tamales & chili. These are not the real deal Mexican tamales. These are are the Xlint brand tamales. They match up well with chili. They can be found in almost any super market.
Back in the day when I was growing up you could find some version of this in just about any burger joint or diner. I don't see them around too much any more. I usually order this when Jeri and I go to Crony's in East L.A.
I'm not sure if this is just an L.A. or west coast thing but it's one of the good cheap eats I grew up with. I still need a fix from time to time.


Thursday, April 07, 2016

Remembering Merle Haggard in My Own Way

Whenever I hear a song by Merle Haggard on the radio I always turn the sound up a little and I remember. For me, Haggard's music is almost synonymous with my twenties, the 1970's and the 1980's. My mother was a fan of country music (We still call it Country and Western) and it was through her that I became a fan. Merle Haggard became a quick favorite.

When Jeri and I moved into our first home together on Newlin Avenue in Whittier, in February of 1978, it seems like we were having a party every other weekend. We had a big backyard, so it wasn't a problem. We brought the record player outside, the BBQ grill and plenty of meat to grill, a keg of beer, sometimes two, maybe some Jack Daniels and/or some tequila, and all the albums we owned at the time. Our friends brought their own music too.

Sometimes the parties got a little out of hand and the cops would come and shut us down, at other times they lasted into the wee hours of the early morning. Sometimes the neighbors complained but more often than not they would walk through the gate and join in. We listened to a lot of different music, mostly rock, oldies and Motown but in the very late hours when we were doing our most serious drinking it was Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams Jr. and Merle Haggard. It was Merle Haggard that seemed to reach me the most. His music was so relevant to those things that were going on in my own life, good and bad.

On some days we had a lot of company and on other days it was just a few good friends but the core of our friends that stayed late to close out the night (or morning) were my cousins David and Dolores Robles, and close friends Sergio and Denise Billings, Mike Teran and Ken Robledo. There were others that came and went but this was the core. We would bring out any and all chairs and sit around the grill and talk about life and the future, sometimes laughing, sometimes crying a little and sometimes even arguing. All the while it was Merle Haggard and the boys in the background taking us through the night.

These are the days and nights and friends that come to mind whenever I hear Merle Haggard on the radio. I own many of his CD's but there is still something special about hearing one of your favorite songs or artist on the radio, even if you have all his CD's.

This song “If We Make it Through December” always reminds me of those early, hard, lean times my wife and I had so long ago. The man has been made silent now but his music remains with us.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Merle Haggard Has Died (April 6, 1937 – April 6, 2016)

My wife and I were on the 605 freeway earlier today heading out to the hospital to see my mother when I heard on the radio that Merle Haggard had died. Sad, sad news. He was a favorite of my wife and I.

Merle Haggard might have had his roots in Oklahoma but he was pure Californian. He was born and raised in Bakersfield. Merle Haggard wrote and sang his to and for the American working man and all that went with that: marriage, raising kids, hard drinking, friendships and a life time of working with ones hands. He seemed to have an innate understanding of all of it and this is what connected him to his fans.

Jeri and I saw Merle Haggard in concert three times over the years. The first was at an outdoor concert in the summer of 1982 at the Chino Downs Ranch in Chino, California. The second time was a few years later at Universal Studios during the mid 1980's. The last time we saw Merle Haggard was at the Pechanga Hotel and Casino in Temecula, California in 2010, courtesy of our daughter Meranda, when she gave us two tickets as a Christmas gift in December of 2009. All three concerts were great but this last concert was the most intimate and satisfying of the three. He really connected with the crowd that night. Haggard was an amazing entertainer. We had hopes of seeing him one last time. We will miss him.

Today was also his 79th birthday. R.I.P. Merle Haggard and thank you for sharing your music with us.

The photo below was taken by Jeri at the Chino Downs Ranch concert in 1982.

  Merle Haggard at Chino Downs Ranch 1982

Friday, March 25, 2016

A Photograph for Posterity........

Four Generations

Four generations: Great grandmother, grandmother and mother Anita De La O (nee Osuna), Son, father and grandfather Randy De La O, granddaughter, daughter and mother Savannah Guerrero (nee De La O) and great grandson, grandson, and son Jack David Guerrero.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

My thought for the day!

I honestly believe that if you wake up in the morning looking for hate, racism, faults and more, then you will find it or it will find you. Look instead for the good in people, better yet, look for the great in them. There is so much good in the world, so many good people! I know because I have met many of them.

Someone hates you because of who you are? They can't stop you. Live your life. Nothing or no one can hold you back.

Keep in mind, a younger generation is watching you! If you were raised in a house filled with racism then be the first to break the mold! Lead the way!