My Gallegos cousins from Arizona recently shared some great photos with me. Not only were the photos new to me, they surprised my Dad, as well.
The photos were sent by Barbara Gallegos, my Dad’s cousin, who discovered them with her sister, Mary Sue, or Marissa Curnutte. Barbara and Marissa are the daughters of my Dad’s Uncle Clemente Gallegos.
Barbara and Marissa always refer to my Dad as Butch, as he was known when he was younger. The only other people I’ve ever heard call my Dad by the name “Butch” were my Grandma Rise and my Dad’s cousin Peggy.
The first photo of my Dad and his cousin Mary Sue when they were young children immediately grabbed my attention. I had seen my Dad as an infant and when he was old enough to play Little League. But I had not seen him as a toddler, probably 3 or 4 years old. My wife, Yvette, had a stronger reaction than I did. She thought my Dad, Gil Sr., had the exact same chubby cheeks that our second daughter, Isabella, had at the same age. Everyone has always associated Bella with my Dad’s side of the family – first, because of her dark skin, straight black hair, and a wicked sense of humor she surely inherited from my father and my Grandma Rise.
The second photo was just as surprising, but more so to my Dad. The photo of my grandparents and my Dad and Mary Sue must have been taken shortly after my Grandpa Carlos returned from World War II in Europe. My Dad was taken aback when I showed him the photo. He said he had never seen a photo of his mother at that age, aside from her wedding photo just a few years earlier.
The third photo is a picture of my great-grandparents, Luis and Victoria (Trujillo) Gallegos. They were the parents of my Grandpa Carlos.
The fourth photo shows my great-grandparents with my Dad’s sister, Martha, following her First Holy Communion. This photo also grabbed my Dad’s attention because he recognized the painting of his Dad hanging prominently on the wall over the brick fireplace in his grandparents’ Las Vegas home. He remembered the small portraits tucked into each corner of the framed painting, including a baby picture of himself, just like it was yesterday.
The fifth and sixth photos are images of a newspaper article, surely from the Las Vegas Optic, that highlighted my great-grandparents’ Golden Anniversary.