Personal Narrative: I Owe My Father

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Many of us do not appreciate our parents until we are much older and, presumably, wiser.
For instance, Tim Russert, former host of Meet the Press, put it best: "The older I get, the smarter my father seems to get” (qtd. in Murphy). It is really only now, many years later, that I see that I owe my father, the late Carlos Nicolas Flores, Sr., much. Of course, I owe my mother, Rosa Guzman Flores, much as well but in a different way. He was a smart, ambitious, often authoritarian man while she had been created in the mold of many Mexican women from Chihuahua, Mexico—in other words, kind, passive and nurturing. In short, I did not know how lucky I was. After all, my father taught me much by his example. My father was born on the Caribbean island
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At first, not much. But soon after cleaning toilets for a couple of years, he got a job working in a warehouse that belonged to the American Furniture store. His boss, Mr. Brannon, noticed that he came to work early and left late. In less than a year, he made my father supervisor of the warehouse, whereupon my father fired most of the lazy and irresponsible employees. Three years later, after becoming acquainted with all the merchandise sold by the furniture store, he applied for a position as a salesman in the store downtown and got it. Much to his friends’ surprise, he proved to be an excellent salesman, despite his heavy Puerto Rican accent in both English and Spanish; but handsome, charming, and attentive, he outsold all the other salesmen during his first year on the job. Then, he bought a house in a good neighborhood near Five Points and moved us out of the barrio in south El Paso. Since we were still very poor, he could not afford the monthly payment on the mortgage, and so he moved us into the basement, while he rented the house to an Anglo family from Ft. Bliss, a military base. Next, he and his friends from the warehouse built an apartment in back of the house, and we moved there for a couple of years. Meanwhile, my brothers and sisters attended the better schools in El Paso. Years later, we moved into the house and rented out the apartment in back. But my old man did stop …show more content…
I want you to be somebody. You need to get an education.” While at the time I did not fully appreciate the value of our moving from south El Paso to Five Points and eventually to the neighborhood at the foot of the mountain, now it is obvious the relocations increased my chances of getting a good education. First, I received a good foundation at Alta Vista Elementary and then at Bassett Middle School. Even though I was one of the few Mexican Americans at Austin High School, I was able to keep up with my better prepared Anglo peers, sons and daughters of military officers at Ft. Bliss, owners of businesses throughout the city, lawyers, physicians, teachers, and so forth. Most of my teachers were strict and demanding white female teachers such my English teachers: Mrs. Butler, Mrs. Kiska, and Mrs. Briggs. Mrs. Snidow was an excellent history in the ninth grade, while Mrs. Young taught us much about early European history in Latin. When I graduated from high school, I had none of the problems freshman students at Laredo Community College (LCC) have today, and so I was able to enter the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) without any problems. Eventually, I received a scholarship to a private Catholic university in Dallas, the University of Dallas, and excelled during the two years I was there. The late Dr. Louise Cowan, wife of the university’s president, prepared us to study literature and

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