Asian Influence

Around the corner from my house is a now empty grocery store that was owned by a Chinese couple. My wife and I went there quite frequently to buy some products back in the 70s after I retired. I never paid too much attention to them at all and the fact that they spoke Spanish fluently didn’t surprise me.
So, it got me to thinking that I had actually went to a Chinese store in my younger days. There are certain things that you can buy in a local Mom and Pop store in those days. For example, kerosene, (fire department didn’t care) candy, pan Dulce, sodas (hippo size). What? No bottle deposit? Get a gallon jar and fill it up with different flavors. Then there’s the Chinese store where you can buy coffee beans (you have to ground it yourself), clothes, shoes and different merchandise that you actually need.
My store was a block and a half from my house. I remember that they spoke perfect Spanish because most of their clientele were Hispanics.
Now that I remember, there were a number of Chinese stores all over the west side of San Antonio that catered to the people living there because the major grocery store like Centeno was too far to go for immediate needs.
We have always wondered where those Chinese who manned the store lived. Where did they go? We never saw them riding the Guadalupe bus to and from. We have always imagined that there’s a Chinese barrio similar to ours somewhere in San Antonio. Because of our ignorance, we never found out.
Way later in life when we are now more aware of different ethnicities and current resources are at our fingertips via the internet, we can readily get the information we need.
For example, we know that there was migration of Chinese workers from China to San Francisco to work in those areas of menial labor and the railroad. After the railroad was completed, most Chinese went West for other jobs. A lot of them went to Mexico where they stayed and assimilated to a Mexican society. To this day there are colonies of Chinese families all over Mexico. The problem is that you can’t tell the difference between a Chinese and a Mexican because a lot of them generation to generation have assimilated so well into their society.
A case in point. After I retired from the military, I started going to my local church, St. Michael. While there I met quite a few families who were Hispanics of Polish ancestry. Mainly because the church was once an exclusive Polish church until it later changes to allow other ethnicities to attend Mass there. I also met a Mexican family who were also Chinese but I could not tell the difference. The only way I found out is that one day while I was visiting their home I noticed a picture of their grandfather who was Chinese. One family had a Chinese name which I thought was Spanish but turned out to be Chinese.
While I was employed by the school districts I found out that one of our distinguish city council member, Frank Wing, was Chinese. If you knew him, he didn’t look Chinese.
There is a legend of a slave Chinese woman who was brought over from China into Mexico by a merchant in the 17th century. She became very friendly with the village population and everybody loved her exotic beauty and for her generosity. She was the originator of the dress with red, white and green. To honor her, the villagers started to make copies of the dress and wore it in their festivities and it now has evolved into the national symbol of Mexico. This became the China Poblana.

Politics 101

I am not inclined to talk about politics but, the recent list of presidential candidates got me to thinking. How are so many candidates from the same party feel they should run for president? I know that the state primaries will decide who will be nominated at the National Convention.
There was a recent debate where all candidates voice their opinions on the issues like immigration, gun rights, gay rights and many others. They all followed the Democratic Party platform which is a progressive government and equality for all, contrary to the Republican platform which is small government and states’ rights to decide their own government.
There are 24 Democrats who are well educated and have created a campaign fund over half a million dollars which is necessary to get on the list. Current polls show President Trump has a very large campaign fund infrastructure much more than the candidates. What it means is that he has the capability to use those funds to reach out far more to his supporters.
I wrote that last paragraph last year at the beginning of the primaries. This year 2020, I find that quite a few dropped out of the race due to lack of campaign funds. However, there are now several more candidates who have recently decided to run for president within the party. Come July, the Democrat convention will decide who will be nominated. This is good because now I can focus on one or two individual’s solution to the issues which will be highly discussed. The Republicans have two candidates opposing Trump for president. How’s that going to work?
I do have one concern. That is that most democrats goal is to get Donald Trump out of office. I believe that the democratic party should put all their efforts toward getting their candidates in the senate and house of representatives and not just the presidential office. The president is just the head of the party he represents and he is supposed to have the backing of that party.
There is a system of checks and balances in our government in which laws are passed. Both parties in the house and senate approve the bill before the president signs off on it. However, at this time we are in the midst of a major upheaval of the Executive office due to an impeachment of the president. I would just like to remind people that an impeachment is just a house of representative investigation of wrong doing by an elected official. The senate must now have to conduct a fair trial to remove the president from office if he is found guilty. Even if he is guilty the senate can still keep the elected official in office. This is why the Speaker of the House wants an impartial trial.
Our president, Donald Trump, is our elected leader. Even though he has a foot in mouth disease he deserves some respect for the position he holds. However, it is very hard for us to remain respectful for the action he takes when he goes against his advisor’s recommendation. There are so many instances that it would take a longer explanation to write them. The short versions are immigration reform, Global Warming, etc.
Truthfully, I want a president who will work with both parties. I want my elected officials to vote in good conscious not what the lobbies are paying him to do. I want someone like Henry B. Gonzales who can be elected time after time to represent us. I know that this far too much to ask. We have to have clean air and water to survive. We have to have food to eat. We need good paying jobs. In order to do this, somebody has to make it work. Who’s that going to be?