A Literary Brunch at Pasadena Museum of History

May 29, 2013
Sonora, Mexico; photo by Fano Quiriego

Sonora, Mexico; photo by Fano Quiriego

Hungry for some good stories?

The Pasadena Writing Project and members of its Memoir Writing Workshop will be reading tales this Saturday, June 1st at the Pasadena Museum of History. This is a free event and will be followed by a reception with refreshments.

Readers include photographer and textile designer Louise J. Wannier of Louis Jane Studio on Union Street (so worth a visit!), Graciela Berkovich, Hilda Boulware, Esther Bradley-De Tally, Adenike Harris, Estella Gonzalez, Carmen Morgan, Maryrose Smyth, and painter and printmaker Vibiana Aparicio-Chamberlin.

A Sumptuous Literary Brunch
Saturday, June 1st
Program: 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Reception: 12:30-2 p.m.
Pasadena Museum of History, 470 W. Walnut St.
Free to the public

The Pasadena Weekly will have essays from all the readers starting Thursday, May 30th.

Vibiana graciously offered to debut some of her memoir about her grandfather’s love for her grandmother:

by Vibiana Aparicio-Chamberlin

He mused on his hopeless situation. He loved a woman who could never be his. She was a Carrasco first and his wife, Sra. David Luna, second. Her family never believed that he could take care of Angela. He would be the death of her, they warned him.

Como podia ser? How could it be that such a beautiful brown skinned woman with hungry hypnotic eyes, could fall unexpectedly into strange spells and then recover so rapidly? She was like an Amazona. He was a proud Yaqui. But at 34 years of age, Angela left him forever with seven children.

From the day they married, he became more and more aware of Angela’s strange power. She was superior to him in every way except for one thing. He could read and write. She could not. This perplexed him because she knew geography and weather patterns better then he and could understand the goodness or the danger in strangers and the use of Arnica Ruda for healing. She could absorb knowledge from books in her own way without deciphering the letters and their jumble of combinations.

Angela had dreams of bakery and tailoring businesses. The Mexican Revolution promised that the lands of the rich would go into the hands of the campesinos that worked the land. David would continue to find work as a lumberman and a field foreman. But the Yaquis were looked down on and powerless after so many years of battles with the government to keep their land rights. The farms were left barren from lack of good water.

He knew that Sonora was changing, but he had faith that as long as they were together in their querida patria, Sonora, Mexico, they would have a good life together. On their honeymoon night, David was aroused from a deep delicious sleep when he heard the dream-like rattling of tin plates and pots in the porch kitchen. He was proud of the wood-burning oven he built for Angela, just outside of the front door. Its heat warmed the wall and came into their two-room choza. He chopped the wood to build their small house and he covered it with a tin roof. But his mood of quiet relief was jarred with a sense of danger. Where is Angela, he thought. He leaped like a deer out of the hand-sewn mattress he made of the cotton he picked and carded for their wedding bed.

He bellowed out  “Angela.”


Copyright © 2013 Vibiana Aparicio-Chamberlin

Isabel Luna by Vibiana Aparicio-Chamberlin

Isabel Luna by Vibiana Aparicio-Chamberlin

Vibiana and her mother, 1990s

Vibiana and her mother, 1990s

3 Responses for “A Literary Brunch at Pasadena Museum of History”

  1. Loved discovering you, thanks to Vibiana. Her piece is wonderful, and her painting is awesome, a California word which doesn’t do justice to her work. I look forward to more mailings.

  2. Kat Ward says:

    Thank you, Esther. We’re glad you found us! Yes, Vibiana’s work is quite powerful and emotional, and we enjoyed being able to share the fascinating story about her grandparents—love family histories!

  3. Pauli Dutton says:

    Thanks for posting this wonderful piece by Vibiana. Her writing is so wonderfully detailed and passionate. She has another delightful story in poem form published in this year’s “Poetry and Cookies” anthology available for checkout at Altadena Library.



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