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Home Alfred's Bio Gallery 1 Gallery 2 Portraits Francisca and the Boys
Alfred Arroyo was born in Denver, Colorado in 1923 of Mexican parents. He spent his early childhood in Denver much like the children in this novel. After being placed in a Catholic boarding school as a toddler, he lost the ability to speak Spanish, the language that he had been accustomed to hearing from his parents at home. From age six he spoke English only until he was slowly indoctrinated back into the language spoken at home. By studying Spanish in High School he managed to refine the little Spanish that he already knew and to learn it a little more correctly.
Mr. Arroyo enlisted in the U.S. Navy at age nineteen, ten months after the start of the war with Japan in WW II, seeing twenty six months of action in the South Pacific Islands as a surgical technicion in the Navy Hospital Corps. After the war he took a four year course in Air Conditioning, Heating and Field Engineering under the G.I. Bill of Rights. He went into the Air Conditioning business and remained in that field for nearly forty years.
In retirement Mr. Arroyo studied Art, becoming a painter in oils on canvas, specializing in Portraits and Landscapes while also dabbling in water color and Sculpture. He was one of four daring Artists and Sculptors that chipped out, from sand stone, the well known sculpture of the Mermaid on the shore of Lake Michigan in Chicago back in 1986.
The Great Depression of the late 1920's and early 1930's caused suffering to families in every station of life, but more so to the immigrant who had no particular knowledge of the way of life in the United States. Immigrant families of the various nationalities that entered America for the first time suffered equally, for poverty did not pick its victim according to national origin. The head of each family approached the problem in his or her own particular method.
Readers should be aware that this novel was not written to give acceptance or support to a way of life that is presented here, but merely that in reality, this WAS the way of life for a great many families of that era. There is no message or protest intended here, other than there were and are inconsistencies in life facing us all.
This novel depicts the life of the Delmonte family headed by Chamaco Delmonte who, in his own way, managed to keep the family above the poverty level of the times. Circumstances eventually cause the family reins to be handed to his wife Francisca, giving her the task of bringing up their two sons, David and Nicolas, by herself.
The Delmonte family happens to be of Mexican descent, as is this author, who therefore has used his own life experiences to set this story in place.
Objectionable language will be found in much of the dialogue printed in the following pages but without it much of the realism in the story would be lost.
No offense is intended here to anyone for any reason. To those who might be offended, I sincerely opologize.