July 03, 1949-Sept.18,2017
Johnny, as he was affectionately known from childhood, grew up in Edinburg, Hidalgo county,Texas.
Our childhood was difficult growing up as we were raised by a single parent,long before it was in vogue, due to an absent father.
Johnny’s youth was basically normal. He attended public schools.
I remember I used to bug him in his classroom at Travis elementary to ask for writing paper.
He’d always share, sometimes grudgingly.I was probably in 1st & he in 5th.
Johnny’s classmates would sometimes tease him.
Since money was scarce, Johnny decided he wanted to help our Mother by working in the agricultural fields.
We worked picking cotton, tomatoes, bell peppers, & carrots.
I wasnt much help,more of a tag along kid brother.
Summers we’d go to the Citrus theater where he’d sneak me in to save a quarter admission.
Other times we’d go to the municipal pool & he did the same thing. Snuck me in.
Once, when an older guy tried to drown me, I told Johnny & he got mad as hell. He grabbed the perpetrator & almost drowned him.The guy came up gasping for air. I was laughing so hard.
Johnny loved sports & joined Tide products little league.
He was fond of his baseball uniform.
When the season was over, Johnny’s coach came to ask for the uniform.
Since Johnny wasn’t home, & the coach making bodily harm threats, me as a kid, I gave the JeRk his property. The coach was whining for the uniform.
Johnny had planned to be photographed with his uniform,but it was never meant to be, thanx to his kid brother.
Johnny never let me live that down. It still bothered him.
Johnny tried his hand at selling newspapers. Only thing was that we enjoyed spending the money we made on sodas, cinnamon rolls, gum & candy. We did not care. When the guy came by asking for the sales of the newspapers, we said, “What money?” That was a short lived career. Ha!
At Edinburg high school, Johnny was in the junior varsity football team which won district that year.
Eventually Johnny dropped out of tenth grade.
Johnny preferred to work at jobs he liked doing.
He worked at Tide products Edinburg(driving a truck which he later took joy riding) Shamrock filling station in McAllen and other occupations.
In 1965, our family moved to Houston, Texas
In Houston, Johnny worked at Western Union delivering telegrams by bicycle downtown
After he left the job he left his bicycle locked at the bike rack.When Johnny went to pick it up, all he found was the frame.
Then, Johnny got a job at an Exxon filling station.
One morning, as Ma was making breakfast for our Pa, Johnny walked in looking & acting very strange.
Our Ma asked him what the matter was & Pa said to her, “cant you see he’s drunk?”
Ma let out a loud scream whereupon Johnny bolted for the door. Johnny was trying his best to run away. Ma told me, “hurry Mario, go catch him.”
There I was, a skinny lanky kid running after my brother trying to catch him. All the while, Johnny trying to fight me off.
I dont remember if he was riding a bike or I was, but I finally caught up to him.Johnny still trying to fight me off, swinging at me.
I waited til he had his back to him & I tackled him from behind,both of us falling into a small ditch on the side of the street.I held on for dear life while our Mother caught up.
When Johnny & I got up we were laughing our heads off.
Our Mother was beside herself very angry. She wanted answers. “What happened Johnny?” Who did this to you?
Johnny was about 16 in ’65-’66. He answered that the negroes had gotten him drunk.
The heck with that shit, Ma was seething angry. She went to the filling station to rip them another one.Don’t remember if she called the police, but more than likely, she did.