Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Gregangelo’s ‘Grandma Herrera and Auntie Burt”

Both were an extraordinary life influence.
To this day, I always have a jar of the New Mexico hot chile sauce in my fridge that my grandma taught me to make - the same she always had in her ‘Frigidaire’ .
She’d always yell at me and my cousins to ‘cut the comedy’ , but the comedy and laughter still continues! 
She made us all blankets and cooked for us until she died. I’ll never have another tamale or potato enchilada like hers. 
Her attire until the end was super feminine dresses, shoes, costume jewelry and would even ask for lipstick when occasional hospitalized in her last years. 

Aunt Burt was born ‘Beatrice’ , was proudly out and queer , and transitioned to openly living the life of a male by the 1930’s - way ahead of their time!

In the 70’s we call him 'Aunt Burt ‘. Burt embraced the masculine and feminine I suppose and never scolded us for getting the pronouns mixed up- actually embraced it! Aunt Burt called me and my brother ‘hotrod’ and would take us crab fishing down at various San Francisco Piers. 
Aunt Burt’s look while I was growing up was men's Ben Davis work pants, a white t-shirt with a pack of cigarettes rolled into the sleeve and always sported black work boots. 

These two sisters were life long friends and even lived together in Burt’s final years. 
This image really shows the yin and yang of them even as youth in New Mexico.

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