Sweeping, Spanish Tutor, Catholic School

Oh, the wind. The wind in San Francisco swirled a never ending mix of dust, dirt and leaves right in front of our house. I don’t remember other houses having this mixture but our own.

Thus, broom and dust pan in hand, I would trudge every day to sweep the stairs and the sidewalk.

My parents became acquainted with two women who lived across the street from us. One woman spoke Spanish fluently. My parents hired her as my Spanish tutor. She taught me for one year. I remember, A,E,I,O,U – “el burro sabe mas que tu.” She would travel to Mexico and send me post cards written solely in Spanish. I was to read them and then translate to English. Fun times.

Once, we came out to our green Datsun and found the school picture of a boy on my car. I don’t remember a lot of boys during that time. I do remember that once while I was sweeping, a boy who was returning from the Catholic school up the street asked me if I was a boy or a girl. I got that a lot in those days. I don’t now why.

There was a corner grocery situated three houses away. The proprietor would call my mom Wooth.  I learned how to play Chinese jump rope with his daughter.

Then, on occasion, I would meet my dad downtown for lunch. Braving the metro system at the fine age of nine. Dressed in my little suit, my mother would wave frantically at me while I got on the bus.

That woman spent a lot of time on her knees.

As memories flood, I can taste, see and feel those times – a tangible memory.



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