Brownsville

Ubaldo Arizmendi


By Gin Kai

Ubalbo C. Arizmendi is grateful to have seen the world, but regrets having seen it at a time when it was trying to destroy itself.

Born in the South Texas town of Brownsville, Arizmendi was 8 when his mother died. Although he knew his father, an aunt served as caretaker for him and two brothers.

With an absent father, he was forced to grow up quickly. At 10, he learned to be a mechanic by working at a garage across the street from his house.

"Our lives were very poor," he said. "We didn't have any luxuries."

Jose Guadalupe Garza


By Liliana Martinez

When Jose Guadalupe Garza was in the 9th grade in Brownsville, Texas, in 1937, his Anglo teacher asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up.

"I told her I wanted to be a lawyer, but she told me that I wanted to fly too high because that career required a lot of money and I didn't have it," Garza said. "I got discouraged so I got out of school."