Juan Romero

There’s something about being held in times of need. Sometimes a short hug is enough, other times a much longer embrace is needed, and sometimes people need a human touch for much longer periods — hours, days, weeks, and even months at a time. The picture you see on the left was taken on June …

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Memories Stink

This story stinks. Back to that in a moment. Any time my family and I take even the shortest of road trips, it doesn’t take long for my son, Atticus, to ask: “Are we there, yet?” And no matter our response, he usually has some follow-up questions — to which answers are never adequate. At …

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Heaven Can Wait

“You’re coming, too. I’ll wait for you.” As the youngest boy cousin on my mom’s side of the family, I constantly worried about being “left out.” And because I was the youngest, I couldn’t always depend on my older brother to extend an invitation. To that end, I habitually hoped that one of my older …

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Home Sick

Hotel, motel … I bet plenty of y’all know what comes next. Back to that in a moment. In second grade I had a crush on the nurse, so I pretended to be sick. My teacher sent me to the office; the nurse sent me home — for two days! In third grade I stayed …

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Firsts

Of all the memories people recall, childhood “firsts” have to rank near the top: first day of school, first time riding a bike, first crush, first kiss, first dance. More on that in a second. Back when I was a child, before life removed all the innocence, there was something that I both loved and …

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Pen Pals

If you’re anywhere near my age, you may remember the days when people had traditional snail mail Pen Pal relationships. Nowadays, with the expansion of the Internet, Pen Pals are pretty much a thing of the past. (There are some online clubs, and prisoners still develop Pen Pal-type relationships.) When I was in fifth grade, …

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Butt Out!

If there’s one parenting ritual I’ve inherited from my dad, it’s the propensity to lecture. My kids undoubtedly do not enjoy them, but it beats getting hit with a chancla. My dad viewed lecturing as an art form, and he made sure I heard every single word. Here are some examples. When I was about …

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50

About 42 years ago, I met the person you see pictured here in Room 9 — a third grade classroom on the campus of Cedar Grove Elementary School in East San Jose. Today, August 15, 2017, he hit the half-century mark: 50! While we met at a pretty young age, we didn’t develop a brotherly …

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