Photonovela ‘the den

Photonovela (after Harry Gamboa Jr.)

Words by Laura Alvarez

“This hacienda fantasy has taken two generations, maybe three to complete- complete with unexpected Orange County commentary in bright acrylic colors, six feet tall like they belong in a Chicana Cathedral.  This Photonovela’s narrative is the story of a son of 1917 immigrants who grew up without land like peones.  The Revolucion-escaping parents had dreams of a casita of their own in “America’s Safest City” where they could raise a dozen mostly car-obsessed (no more caballos) kids. But some of the kids like my dad kept the farming dream.  He is the hunter, the apple tree-grafter, the fantasy-holder of a nice mandolina, on the porch of the rancho, watching the fireflies after a nice cena of tostadas y limonada.  But my mom had been born on a Rancho en México, and wouldn’t go back ‘porque no me gusta el lodo.’  She got all the way to ‘housing-tract-landia’ and married this hacienda fantasy-holder, and covered his suburban rancho with her Tamaulipas-made doilies, learning to make him tortillas, because on her rancho, they were the dueños and she never had to cook.

‘the den

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Photographs ©2015 Evan Hartzell All Rights Reserved

‘the den es de Ysidro ‘Timoteo’ Alvarez WWII Veterano y Huntington Beach local

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