Despite the silence between us, my father taught me how to work

I read somewhere that when a man is asked to talk about his life, he usually begins by talking about his father.

So, this week, my blog is sharing the stories of three Latino sons.

We’re all our immigrant fathers’ first born. We’re all in our forties. We’re all fathers. And we all have a different reality from our dads.

This are tributes, reflections, and, hopefully, opportunities for more conversations.

Earlier this week, I shared two reflections by good friends of mine.  (See the links below.)

Today, I share a reflection about my father. My Mexican father had me when he was 36 years old. I grew up in Chicago’s 26th Street neighborhood on the first floor of a two flat my parents bought the year I was born. Although my father and I didn’t talk a lot, I knew he valued words, and poetry, and education.

One of my early memories is of my father taking me to the Adler Planetarium—just him and me. We saw a show about stars under a giant dome. On Sundays, my father always took us out in our green Dodge van: to lakes, to picnics, to flea markets. He didn’t like air conditioning. So in the hot summers, he drove us around with all the vans’ windows down and open.

And the only music he put in the radio’s 8-track player, was norteñas.

Listen to part 1 of this series: A Latino son explains how music, baseball, and late-night TV helped him bond with his Cuban dad.

Listen to part 2 of this series: A Latino punk rocker dad guides his son to become a DJ--and a good man

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CHICAGO TRIBUNE VIDEO

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