Monday, September 23, 2013

Anita De La O

This photo of my mother was taken a couple of weeks ago by my
daughter  Savannah  before they went out shopping for the day.

At her age, despite slowing down, my mother can still hold her own and she still has her wits and sense of humor. Here's a quick example of “Thinking on your feet” from years ago.

In 1978, Jeri and I had been looking for a home to start our family. We were expecting our first child, Meranda at the time. We found the perfect home in Uptown Whittier's Historical District, which is to say, they were old, very old. This house was on Newlin Ave. It was an old bungalow style home in a neighborhood that had plenty of kids for my two step daughters, Deedee and Lori, to play with. The schools were all nearby and the Uptown business district was just a short walk from the house.

We got down and looked around. The back yard was good sized with a two car garage with an alley entrance and old wooden sliding garage doors, it also had an old Walnut tree for shade, the property was about 10,000 sq,ft. We couldn't get in but we looked through the windows and we liked what we saw. We called the number on the sign out front several times but we got no answer, so to kill some time we called my mother to come by and check out the house. She was just a few minutes away in nearby Pico Rivera.

She came and we were showing her the property. As far as we were concerned, this was already our house. We still couldn't get a hold of the landlords yet. While we were walking around the back yard, two girls about our age drove by, saw the sign, and began looking around. They seemed as excited as we were. Jeri and I both looked at each. It worried us because we had yet to talk to the owners. Jeri said out loud “Oh no, what if they get the house first”. A slight panic was setting in because we really wanted this house.

“Don't worry!” says my mother, “I'll take care of it, C'mon'. She walks straight to the girls and asks, “Can I help you girls?” “Yes” says one of them, “we're interested in the house. How much is the rent? “Oh, I'm sorry “ says my mother “I rented it out to this couple just a few minutes ago”. “Oh, okay, thank you” and they left.

I took the sign down in the front yard and threw it behind the bushes and we kept calling until we got through. We lived in that house for eight years and on that block for twenty years before buying our current home, also in Whittier.

That's how we came to live in Whittier and never left. Now we may or may not have got that house regardless but my mother's quick thinking ensured that we did. We still have a good laugh about that day.

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