Throughout my childhood and early adolescence, my parents would drive our family to the nearby city of Fresno most Sundays to visit my “Oma.” The name itself symbolizes the dual ethnicity of my clan, because it is German for “grandmother” and yet she had been born in Mexico. Love tied our two heritages together.
Her home, though small, never felt so to me, and it was filled with wondrous things such as the little black box of a wind-up gramophone that amplified music records through an elegant black horn.
Oma had broad metal bookshelves and a display cabinet in which other mysterious or delicate objects abounded. We were seldom allowed to play with her things, of course, but for a child her home evoked the awe of a living museum. A sentimental magic lay in her cherished and thoughtful mementos.
Behind her home tall rose bushes and cacti competed for attention, and I’m unsure which delighted this boy more. Both offered their own particular beauty and pain...