David Espinosa

David Espinosa

I, like many children of the baby boomer generation were part of a great assimilation experiment; we were taught to speak only English and punished if we spoke Spanish or any other language in school. Consequently growing up in Denver Colorado became a confusing experience. At home my parents spoke English and Spanish, listened to music by Frank Sinatra, Perry Come and the Trio Los Panchos. We ate tortillas, beans and rice daily with home made apple pie for desert. At school I was a Mexican and yet I spoke without accent and was in the top reading class. This went on until I was around twelve years old and my family moved to California. We moved to the East side of San Jose and I soon came to realize that who I thought I was and who others saw me as, were completely different people. Thus began an identity crisis that lasted throughout my middle school years and into adulthood. In my mind I was a Mexican so when I was called a “Pocho” my first reaction was insult until I realized I wasn’t Mexican, I was an American. Then it hit me; so too were they, only they didn’t understand their own national origins versus their ethnic composition. I am very proud of my heritage; my grandfather Jose Espinosa escaped Mexico during the revolution, paying a few cents at the border for legal entrance into the United States. He obtained a “Green Card” and remained here until his death at the age of 98. He had retired from a train wheel manufacturing company after thirty five years of employment. My maternal grandmother was from New Mexico. So when asked who I am or what am I, my response is simple; I am an American, American. I wrote the attached poem many years ago and I believe it says it best. Thank you for taking the time to read my story. Respectfully yours, David J. Espinosa, AA,BA,JD

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