All posts by eddiemgarcia

Settling Down

Eddie, Sandra, and Mickey @ Disneyland ~ late 1980s

Summer in the Waiting Room: Faith • Hope • Love

Chapter 8: Settling Down

With Sandra’s support and the foundation created by this tightly knit family environment, I slowly began to emerge from the abyss of failure. The fall we began dating, I applied for and accepted a position to coach the frosh-soph boys’ basketball team at the high school across the street from Most Holy Trinity Church. I worked well with the student athletes and the school administration, further evidence that college and a career in education were my path to redemption.

The next year, in a sudden twist of fate, the head basketball coach at my alma mater resigned just weeks before the season began. My return to college would have to wait because James Lick High School hired me to run its basketball program, which included a full-time job as an instructional aide. The values I learned at 48 Viewmont Avenue served me well as I worked hard to rebuild a program that had won only two games the year before. By the end of my second season, we had won half our games in the regular season and recorded a 12-2 record at the San Jose City College summer league. We lost the championship game to a county powerhouse. That same summer, James Lick High School rewarded me with the school’s coach-of-the-year award.

On Valentine’s Day in 1989, while still coaching at James Lick High School, I made the first decision I had ever made toward true adult responsibility. I finally found the nerve and wisdom to propose to Sandra. I settled on a one-quarter-karat solitaire marquise diamond. Placing it in the black velvet box provided by the store, I went to basketball practice as usual. After the workout, I called Sandra from the coach’s office and asked her if she wanted to get something to eat. I didn’t tell her where we were going. When we rolled up to the drive-in service at Mark’s Hot Dogs, Sandra mentioned how she was surprised because we hadn’t been there since that first awkward date almost four years before.

We ordered a couple of hot dogs with everything on them, chips, and two Cokes. When the server left the food on the tray that hung from the driver’s side window, I slipped the velvet box next to our order. I passed some napkins to Sandra, and she carefully spread them on her lap. Next came the tray with the hot dog, chips, and soda. As she took a sip of the Coke, I slipped the velvet box onto the tray in one swift motion.

She took a small bite of the dog, paused, turned her head toward me with a puzzled look on her face, and asked, “What’s this?” I opened the box and asked her to marry me. She sat speechless for what seemed like forever. Her big brown eyes lovingly penetrated deep into my soul. A warm, giddy feeling engulfed me and caused my stomach to swirl with exhilaration. When she actually uttered the word yes, we kissed and held each other in an affectionate and tearful embrace. Soon we were on our way to Santiago Avenue so I could formally and properly ask her parents for permission to marry their daughter.


Kindle users can pre-order Summer in the Waiting Room now by clicking here:

Familia Peralta

Familia Peralta ~ 2017

Summer in the Waiting Room: Faith • Hope • Love

Chapter 7: Familia Peralta

During those long phone calls between our first and second dates, I got to know Sandra very well. She’s the second of four daughters born to Fausto and Connie Peralta. He was a construction worker and she a cannery worker. They built a family with their four daughters: Valerie, Sandra, Kimberley, and Shelley. Raising four girls was a challenge for Fausto and Connie as each woman has her own distinct personality. Collectively, the Peralta girls made an impression at Silver Creek High School and proudly call San Jose State University their alma mater. A large photo of the sisters standing together, resplendent in college cap and gown under the shadow of the university’s ivy-covered Tower Hall, sits in the entryway of the Peralta house.

Valerie was born in Fresno, California, in 1961. She grew to be a strong-willed girl who did well in school, participated in the cheerleading squad in high school. The birth of Kimberley, the third Peralta daughter, came three years after Sandra in 1969. Like her older sisters, Kimberley did well in the classroom and participated in after-school activities such as the marching band. Kimberley has a nurturing and faithful character that seeks compromise and accommodation whenever possible. The youngest of the Peralta dynasty from Silver Creek High School is Shelley, born exactly ten years after Valerie on December 28, 1971. She is unassumingly intelligent yet boisterous and independent with a fiery spirit that can be witty in one instance and cynical the next. All four sisters are intensely loyal to their own individual families, each other, their parents, and extended family and friends.

Once Sandra and I started dating on a regular basis, I realized that acceptance into the family required developing a relationship with each sister on a one-on-one basis in addition to building trust with Sandra’s parents. Although this was a tall order for a young man mired in his failures and ambiguous future, my upbringing centered on respect and integrity, and my accommodating personality, not to mention my absolute adoration of Sandra, set the foundation for my relationship with the Peralta family.

Over the years, I also developed deep and strong relationships with the Peralta girls’ husbands. Valerie’s husband, Eddie Velez, and I became close as we were the “big brothers.” We sometimes worked construction jobs with Mr. Peralta to make extra money and often helped each other with household projects. When Kimberley and her husband, Miguel Rocha, were dating in college, she turned to me often for advice. Once I got to know Miguel, we soon learned that we shared the same intense ambition of achieving success at the highest level possible. Shelley’s husband, Pancho Leyva, and I have a passion for sports. During our younger days, we were a mischievous team when the beer started flowing.

I have a true affection for Eddie, Miguel, and Pancho. Together, we are about as close as any four brothers could be. Sandra’s parents, her three sisters, and my three compadres would play a major role in the events that unfolded in the summer of 2010.

Sandra Peralta

Sandra in her Firebird at Welch Park ~ 1985

Summer in the Waiting Room: Faith • Hope • Love

Chapter 6: Sandra Peralta

During the day and on weekends, I was peddling shoes at Kinney’s. During the week, I coached a Catholic school baseball team at Welch Park in east San Jose. One day, while hitting ground balls at practice, I noticed a shiny car slowly rolling down Santiago Avenue, the roadway that ran between Welch Park and the row of houses across the street. The driver of that silver 1984 Firebird turning left into the driveway of the house right across the street from home plate would forever change my life.

Every day I stopped practice, to the merriment of the thirteen- and fourteen-year-old boys, as the beautiful young woman drove up to her house. I watched her gather belongings from the car, sling her backpack over one shoulder, and sip a soda as she walked into the garage that led to the house. Day in and day out, every afternoon, like clockwork, she rolled down the street and turned into the driveway in her silver Firebird. I always stopped practicing to watch her routine. The adolescent boys chuckled and teased at the spectacle.

After a week or so, the mischievous boys dared me to walk across the street and ask her out on a date. As I approached her in the garage, I finally had the chance to see her up close. She took my breath away. She had smooth, fair skin; high cheekbones; long, flowing brown hair combed in the style of the day; big brown doe eyes; and cute lips that curled just slightly at the top. With confident reserve, she said, “My name is Sandra.” I nervously introduced myself. I shuffled my feet without taking my eyes off her eyes and mumbled several things I don’t remember. She left me speechless. I didn’t have the courage to ask her out, even though that’s not what I told my players.

During the next several weeks, the kids on the team kept asking if I had gone out on a date with Sandra. I told them with authority that a gentleman doesn’t kiss and tell. Of course, there were no kisses and nothing to tell. Every afternoon, when she slipped out of her car, I waved my hand to say hello in an effort to catch her attention, but I don’t remember if she ever waved back. When the baseball season ended, I had no reason to go back to Welch Park. I kicked myself for not asking Sandra for her telephone number. 

A couple of months after the garage encounter, I was hitting the town with old high school friends barhopping. I suggested that we stop at a wedding at the invitation of a friend. On that summer night in 1985, I walked into the reception hall wearing a dark suit and blue tie acting like I owned the place. I instantly saw Sandra. She was radiant, wearing a navy-blue pencil skirt and starched white blouse. She smiled demurely when our eyes made contact. Up to this point, Sandra and I agree on how the events unfolded. We have vastly different perspectives on what happened during the next few minutes. I remember walking to Sandra and respectfully asking her to dance. She insisted that I waved from across the room and pointed to the dance floor, as if to say, “Meet me there.” We’re the only witnesses to the disputed incident, so I’m sure the whole episode will go with us to our respective graves. Nevertheless, we danced.

Mark Your Calendar!

Book cover design and artwork by Erica García ~


June 7, 2022

The book will be available in paperback and on Kindle.



My mind swirled with random thoughts that ranged from doom to confusion to relief. Could I be having a heart attack? We got to the elevator in the hospital and went down one floor. When the elevator doors opened, we raced across the lobby straight into the emergency room, where I arrived at 7:41 p.m. Three doctors wearing white smocks waited for us. Within seconds, I got my answer. One of the doctors said, in a calm and matter-of-fact voice, “Mr. García, you’re having a heart attack.” ~ June 7, 2010 (page 90)


Summer in the Waiting Room is Eddie García’s true story about youthful promise, unfulfilled potential, temporary success, catastrophic illness, and spiritual awakening. After flunking out of college, he goes on a frenetic quest to vanquish failure demons and achieves short-lived vindication through college graduation and career accomplishments. A sudden heart attack and rare lung complication lead to a hopeless summer clinging to life in the ICU. In the end, he goes on a spiritual journey that leads to a remarkable recovery and long-lasting redemption. 

Readers who face desperate situations will be inspired by Eddie’s story. Many families turn to prayer to help them endure devastating setbacks. Summer in the Waiting Room is a detailed and inspiring story about how a near death experience, modern medicine, and faith in God converge to nourish one family’s optimism in faith, hope, and love. 

Eddie’s experience as an ICU patient gives readers a firsthand account of what it takes to survive a life-threatening health crisis. He uses medical records and personal interviews to create a fast-paced narrative about how his life story led to a frightening and ultimately uplifting summer. Eddie brings to life his carefree youth, personal struggles, professional success, and courageous fight for life. Summer in the Waiting Room is sure to bring smiles and hope to those who feel hopeless.


Eddie García ~ 2022

Eddie García is a heart attack and heart transplant survivor. In 2010, a massive blockage in an artery referred to as the “widow maker” led to a decade of living with  congestive heart failure. A successful heart transplant in 2020 inspired him to tell his story. He is the author of, a blog that shares his experiences as a working-class kid, public servant, corporate executive, and heart attack survivor to uplift readers with faith, hope, and love. Eddie lives in San Jose, California with his wife Sandra. They have two grown daughters, Marisa and Erica. (Photo by Buggsy Malone ~ @buggsy_malone_13)

Hail, Spartans, Hail!

Iconic Tower Hall ~ San Jose State University

Summer in the Waiting Room: Faith • Hope • Love

Chapter 5: Hail, Spartans, Hail!

Registration day at San Jose State was overwhelming. Thousands of people waited in long lines to sign up for classes at the tables spread out on the large lawn of the main quad. The university’s iconic ivy-covered tower stood guard over the entire scene. That first semester, I took a full load of courses that included science, math, history, English, and of course basketball for physical education.

At school, I was on my own. Professors didn’t constantly remind students to complete reading assignments, homework didn’t have to be submitted on a daily basis, and there were just a few midterm and final exams. Since I loved to read, this was going to be easier than I thought, so I paid more attention to developing a social life as a college student. After classes, I read a little bit at the library, then walked over to the student center looking to meet people. Unlike in high school, however, I was having a hard time making friends. SJSU was a commuter college, so the students were, on average, older than traditional college students. Everyone seemed busy, serious, and in a hurry to leave campus. I was still seventeen years old.

Fortunately, football season was in full swing. I went back to the comfort of the cocoon and used my status as a student to get cheap tickets for my friends. They were either working or trying to figure out what to do in their next phase of life. At Spartan Stadium, we crashed tailgate parties, checked out girls, and watched college football. In the stands, we acted like a bunch of drunken hooligans cheering the team onto victory. SJSU won the conference championship that year. With fists pumping in the air, we shouted in unison with the student section, “Hail, Spartans, hail!” Viewmont Avenue and the surrounding neighborhood had gone to college.

Soon I began to leave campus right after classes like the other commuter students, bypassing the library and student center. I went straight home to read before I went to work at the shoe store. On days off, I got together with the guys to drink beer and hang out. My academic performance was predictable. I earned a B in history and English, an A in PE, and dropped the math and science classes to avoid failing grades. I registered for a full load of five classes the next semester, adding a Spanish class to my schedule of general education courses. I took classes haphazardly rather than for a declared major or a specific road map toward graduation.

One night while drinking at a friend’s house, a former schoolmate, who I’m sure was envious of me, told everyone there that I was wasting my time going to college. I was meant to be a working stiff like everyone else from the neighborhood, he said. Drunk and depressed, I believed every word.

When the third semester of college came to an end, my academic career at San Jose State collapsed. The bright future that my parents, teachers, and many others had predicted had vanished. San Jose State University sent a certified letter to inform me that I had been academically disqualified from the university. I flunked out. There was no cocoon to protect me. I now had to find a way to protect myself from the cocoon. With my self-worth completely eroded, I dove deeper into the abyss of self-destruction.

Next time: My life continues to spiral in another excerpt from Chapter 5…

Leaving the Cocoon (Part 2)

Co-Captains, James Lick High School Varsity Baseball ~ 1981

Summer in the Waiting Room: Faith • Hope • Love

Chapter 4: Leaving the Cocoon

Outside the safe confines of Viewmont Avenue, I lived in two different worlds. While in class in high school, I was with the smart kids, learning about algebra, geometry, biology, and Shakespeare. After school, I was either working part time at Kinney Shoes or running around with my best friend Rudy and the guys. At first, this arrangement worked out just fine as I figured out how to straddle the different social circles. But, I began to feel like I didn’t fit into either. To avoid looking like such a geek to my neighborhood friends, I did homework less frequently and didn’t walk everywhere with my books under my arm. Fortunately, I was good at taking tests to keep my report card slightly better than average. To maintain my place with the popular quad dwellers, I focused on basketball and baseball so I could be one of the “big men on campus.”

My substandard performance in the classroom finally caught up to me when I met with the school guidance counselor during the spring of senior year to discuss options after graduation. His name was Russell Bailey. Mr. Bailey was a portly Irish man in his late fifties with piercing blue-green eyes, thinning black hair slicked back so it looked like it was stuck to his scalp, and a large head holding thick jowls that hung from his face. Sitting behind his desk and talking in a booming voice, he looked and sounded intimidating as he opened my file and began to lay out my options. He told me that my poor study skills, a mediocre 2.72 grade point average, and an average SAT score left me with few options other than trade school, work, or maybe community college. I sat in front of his desk stunned, scared, and confused. Everything had always worked out for me. I told Mr. Bailey that my parents, friends, siblings, everyone, expected me to attend college. I quietly listened as he bluntly told me that community college was the only option.

Later that evening at dinner, while sitting around the round kitchen table, I shared the results of the meeting with Mr. Bailey with my parents. Mom looked at me with a puzzled facial expression. Dad continued eating without looking up from his plate or saying a word. I went to bed that night with a huge lump in my stomach trying to figure out how I was going to avoid my parents in the morning.

The next day at school, during the midmorning break, I was at the table with the guys when a voice over the public address system directed me to go to the office immediately. As I nervously walked to the office, the boys at the table playfully teased me because it looked like the schoolboy had finally gotten into trouble. When I arrived, the secretary motioned toward Mr. Bailey’s office, where he was standing by the door waiting for me with a forced smile on those heavy jowls. Walking into the office, I found my dad sitting in the chair I had sat in the day before. His face beamed with the same smile that had attracted my mom so many years before. I was more confused and nervous than ever. Dad never took a day off work. I stood motionless, trying to figure out what was going on. Mr. Bailey explained to me that my grade point average and SAT scores met the minimum requirements to apply for acceptance to San Jose State University. He was prepared to help me with the application process. Once again, the cocoon saved me. I was on my way to college, but with major chinks in the armor that had protected me throughout my life.

Next Time: ~ Chapter 5: Hail, Spartans, Hail!

Leaving the Cocoon

Safely in the cocoon with my big sister Barbara – late 1960s

Summer in the Waiting Room: Faith • Hope • Love

Chapter 4: Leaving the Cocoon

 I was about four years old and playing in the front yard. Those were the days when parents didn’t seem worried that their kids were running around in front of the house. I remember playing on the grass and eyeing the old two-toned orange-and-white Ford Mercury sitting in the narrow one-car driveway, thinking about driving just like my dad. As the car sat majestically in the driveway, I thought about how strong and important I would look behind the wheel. When I noticed my mom had left the kitchen window, probably to go to the refrigerator to take food out for dinner, I darted to the car and struggled to open the heavy driver’s side door. I then jumped onto the bench seat behind the steering wheel and started off on my imaginary road trip.

As I spread my arms wide to maneuver the big round steering wheel, I strained my neck as high as I could so that my little head peeked over the dashboard to see the road ahead. Eyeing the gearshift on the steering column, I was ready to kick into high gear just like my dad would do to send this big hunk of metal roaring down the highway. There was just one problem. Our driveway sat on a slight incline. As I grabbed the gearshift to make my move, the car started moving—backward!

The car rolled back slowly off the driveway until it came to a complete stop in the middle of the street. I sat in the car, not sure what to do next. My mom screamed from the kitchen window and dashed out the front door to save her baby boy. My dad stood on the front lawn laughing. This may have been the first indication that I was willing to take a risk to get what I wanted. This was my life in the cocoon at 48 Viewmont Avenue. I was lucky to have others around to keep the neighborhood safe and secure. 

When I started junior high school in the sixth grade, I realized that the world outside Viewmont Avenue wasn’t very safe. I was the target of an eighth-grade bully who would hide behind a post or a wall at school and jump in front of me to keep me from getting to class on time. After being marked tardy a few times, I figured that I better do something about it, or I would be in trouble with the school and with my parents.

Preparing for my confrontation, I rallied the neighborhood kids to be at my side so my chances of surviving would be better off, especially if I ended up on the losing end of the battle. The next day at school, as expected, the bully jumped out from behind a wall and started toward me. I was scared and nervous but prepared myself for the first scuffle of my life outside the roughhousing I took from Stevie from time to time. When the bully saw that my defenses had suddenly multiplied, he backed off quickly and ran the other way. I learned from that adventure outside the cocoon. Walking to school and class with a few friends every day became a good habit. I dodged a bullet, but my days in the protective cocoon of Viewmont Avenue would come to an end sooner or later.

Next Time ~ Chapter 5: Hail Spartans Hail…

Growing Up García

Easter Sunday at 48 Viewmont Avenue – 1969

Summer in the Waiting Room: Faith • Hope • Love

Chapter 3: Growing Up García

My siblings and I were part of two families from the same parents. Let me explain what I mean. The first four were born in the early 1950s. My little sister and I came more than a decade later. David, the oldest, was the patriarch of the kids. Barbara turned twelve years old a couple of months after I was born. Patty was born eighteen months after Barbara. Steve, the youngest of my four older siblings and the baby of my parents “first” family, was born a year after Patty. He’s older than I am by nine years. My little sister Sisi and I make up my parents’ “second” family. According to our older siblings, she and I had it easy. Oh well. Lucky for me and Sisi. 

Dad gave us the lifelong love of reading, learning, and listening to music. The tight shelf space in my parents’ bedroom was stacked with paperbacks and periodicals. Every edition of National Geographic magazine published since the mid-1950s was displayed on a homemade shelf for all to see. In the dining room, he had the record player and cassette player in a place of prominence, surrounded by albums that included Tex-Mex, mariachi, other genres of Mexican music, and the standards—Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Nat King Cole. He came home from work every day shortly after 5:00 p.m. with the evening edition of the San Jose Mercury News tucked under his arm. We had to be prepared at dinner to be peppered with questions about the day’s world and local events. When we gathered around the kitchen table for the holidays as adults, he would sit at the counter looking into the kitchen with a highball of whiskey and water in hand. Without warning, Dad would make a controversial philosophical or political statement. He sat back with a mischievous grin and watched his educated kids flare up in heated debate.

Mom, on the other hand, was the epitome of the warm and loving maternal parent. She taught us about unconditional love, faith, compassion, and perseverance. Even during the last days before her death in 2003, she remained strong in her convictions and her belief that every day being alive is a good day. While any indiscretion on our part would be met with Dad’s scowls and rebukes, Mom reacted with gentle counsel and loving support, urging us to do better the next time. She was our biggest cheerleader, encouraging us to be the best we could be. After all those years of watching me play sports, I’m not sure if Mom really understood the complexities of the games, but I do know that she cheered every time it looked like I did something good. Every morning, she reminded us that the day would be good. As long as the sun came up and God gave us another day, all would be well. After each meal, she insisted that we say, “Thank you, God,” and she encouraged us to pray “Our Father” before bedtime.

Next time ~ Chapter 4: Leaving the Cocoon

48 Viewmont Avenue

Sitting on my big brother’s car on Viewmont Avenue – circa 1971

Summer in the Waiting Room: Faith • Hope • Love

Chapter 2: 48 Viewmont Avenue

The first 27 years of my life were marked and influenced by events in and around my parents’ modest house on 48 Viewmont Avenue in east San Jose. The neighborhood was a classic working-class community of small houses on small lots with neatly mowed lawns and little flower gardens. The development of houses was on the edge of the east side of town that once thrived with orchards. Just a short walk a few blocks away was the Alum Rock Village, a row of mom and pop markets, a liquor store, bakery, hair salon, barbershop, and assorted small businesses that included a feed and fuel that served the remnants of a bygone agricultural community. 

Like our family, our neighbors were also in pursuit of the American Dream. Breadwinners provided for their families by working as electricians, landscapers, construction workers, and machine shop operators. The women worked mostly at the canneries and supplemented the family’s income by cleaning houses, providing child care, or caring for seniors. The neighborhood around Viewmont Avenue was like a small town on the fringes of a growing city. For me, it had everything I needed and wanted. I felt happy, safe, and comfortable there. It was home.

My oldest sister Barbara said later in life that “we had an idyllic upbringing on Viewmont Avenue. Mom and dad created a cocoon that protected us from all of the bad things in the world.” My parents made sure that school was a priority and provided me and my siblings with the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities. The girls participated in swimming, cheerleading, color guard, and Girl Scouts. It was Little League, Boy Scouts, and Pop Warner football for the boys. That was the life of the 1950s and 1960s television genre that dad yearned for after listening to the stories about growing up American from his friends in the navy.

The protective shell my parents built kept the bad influences out by keeping us away from people or situations that could be harmful. When they hosted family parties, a long night of hard-drinking could lead to tense conditions that had the potential to end up in a fight. Mom quietly ushered us away from the party to our bedrooms to keep us sheltered from the unfolding drama. They also worked to protect us from the evils of the outside world. When I was in elementary school, I walked home past some older cool-looking kids hanging out under the trees at the back fence of campus. Sometimes they waved me over to join them. My parents warned that under no circumstance should I ever venture out to the fence. As I got older, I realized that the boys were sniffing glue and paint to get high. Many of those kids didn’t get through high school. A few of them joined gangs and either died violently or found a permanent home in prison.  

At 48 Viewmont Avenue, we had a clear code of conduct and value system from which we were expected to manage our lives. Dad was no nonsense and no frills. He taught us, through counsel and by way of example, to work hard, play by the rules, and have respect for ourselves and others. There was no variation from this formula. Any lack of respect and decorum, especially in public, would immediately lead to a non-verbal response. Dad stared at us with a stern look and furrowed brow followed by pursed lips, closed eyes, and a slow shake of the head in disapproval.

To be continued…

Baby García # 5

Baby García # 5

Summer in the Waiting Room: Faith • Hope • Love

Chapter 1: Baby García # 5 

The sky was clear and the weather was in the low 50s, a typical crisp November night in San Jose, California. That night and early the next morning wouldn’t be ordinary at all for my mom and dad. They raced through the night in their two-toned orange and white 1955 Mercury on northbound U.S. Highway 101. Not saying a word to each other, both wondered how they were going to make ends meet now that another mouth to feed would soon be added to the family. 

Mom and Dad  grew up in poor single-mother households. Now with a family of their own, they were just getting by. They lived check to check on dad’s postal worker salary and mom’s odd jobs cleaning houses and working in the canneries. The little creature in her belly causing her so much pain and discomfort would be their fifth child. The proud parents-to-be were excited and happy as the Mercury pulled into the hospital parking lot. 

Dad jumped out of the car to walk mom into the emergency room. Wearing a camel colored coat and carrying a small overnight bag, she waddled up the steps to the hospital and breathlessly slumped herself onto a waiting wheelchair. As was the custom in that era, nurses rushed my mom into the maternity room to await the doctor who would deliver the baby and told my dad to wait outside. Hospital volunteers showed him the way to the waiting room to join other nervous, expectant fathers who were smoking up a storm as they paced the floor.

In the delivery room all was going well. When the baby was finally born, the doctor gently gave the newborn the obligatory slap on the backside and waited for the familiar wails of a new life catching its breath for the first time. The doctor cut the umbilical cord and the nurses wiped the baby clean before swaddling it and allowing my tired, but happy, mom to cuddle her baby for the first time. As the doctor completed one last check of vital signs, the baby slipped out of his arms and banged its face against the metal railing of the bed. A nurse broke the baby’s fall and prevented a disastrous accident. The baby screamed in pain as the nurses and doctors worked to stop the bleeding that had emerged from the baby’s face. Luckily, that scary incident only resulted in a small scar at the tip of the newborn’s nose.

That baby with the cut on his nose was me, born on November 6, 1963, at 5:25 AM at Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City, California. I was the third García boy, 19 inches long, 7.2 pounds, with dark brown eyes, and lots of thick dark hair. My parents were excited and relieved, especially after the brief scare in the delivery room. That little scar at the tip of my nose would forever find a special place in my mom’s heart.

At home, my brothers and sisters, David 12, Barbara 11, Patty 10, and Steve 9, were still asleep unaware of what happened earlier that morning. When dad burst through the front door of his modest house on 48 Viewmont Avenue in east San Jose, his four older children suddenly woke up and rushed to meet him to hear the good news.  

He stood at the counter that separated the kitchen from the dining room and excitedly told his kids about “Eddie’s” chubby cheeks and thick black hair, and how he slipped, and cut his nose. After a few minutes of taking questions, my dad turned to the heavy black phone sitting on the counter and started dialing to call everyone he knew.

To be continued…