Historias: Stories of El Paso
A virtual exhibition curated by our community
Courtesy of: RPN
Title: Kress Crossing
Historia Type: Photograph
I was born in Cd. Juarez in December 1953. I was the 7th child out of twelve kids. My parents also had their aunts and uncles live with us. Our household was cozy and warm and full of people. My mother also had the task of feeding all of us three times a day.
My father was a bakery owner and my mother a housewife. My father would bring all the US coins from the bakery sales to my mother. I remember rolling pennies, dimes, nickels and quarters into rolls. My mother would go shopping in El Paso with $4 or $5 dollars in coins.
Many times I would accompany my mother on her shopping trips. We would ride the Red Bus to go to El Paso, The Red Bus in the late 1950s had a route from El Paso to Juarez. We were lucky that one of the bus stops was just a block from our house.
We would go to the Kress building where my mother would look for items on her list. She would let me stay at the tables with piles of clothes for kids. I loved looking through all the clothes until I would find a pair of shorts or a dress. My mother never said no to my requests. When there was money left over, she would treat us for ice cream at the Kress Ice Cream Parlor. Last, we would cross the street to see the live alligators at the plaza (Plaza de Los Lagartos, known to the Mexican people). Then, walk to the basement of the plaza to use the restrooms before going home.
I vividly remember my first visit to El Paso. The wide streets, beautiful buildings, and the plaza impressed me. I was mesmerized and awed when I first saw a little girl about my age with blue and blond hair at the plaza. I had never seen blond hair or blue eyes. I also saw an elegant older lady with a nice hairdo, makeup, a floral dress just below her knees with sheer stockings showing her legs. I thought to myself, “ I like this country, this is where I want to live.” In Mexico growing up, older women wore long dark petticoats, a plain blouse, and usually with an apron. No makeup and their long hair always in a braid or two.
Lucky for me, I came to live in El Paso at the age of nine. Became a US citizen in 1966 at the age of 12. I moved to California, traveled to Japan, Germany, and France. But I always missed home. I moved back to El Paso in 1975 where I finished my degree at UTEP, met my husband, and formed a family. I never looked back.
Historias: Stories of El Paso - Virtual Exhibition
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