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Bandido Chronicles: Laundry Hideout and a Manly Dandy
By El Coyote | 8th June, 2013 | 6:32 pm | Bandido Chronicles


I think we can all agree on one, and only one, thing: most grandparents rock. They're nice, kind, and old-timey. However, most people tend to forget that grandparents are more than just props at holiday dinners; they're people who have been through a lot of situations, and have a lot of life experiences.

Laundry Hideout

This first story takes place in the desertic Mexican landscape of the norther states. My great-grandmother was from one of these states. She was the was the daughter of a Tohono O'odham and a countrywoman, so she lived pretty much her whole life in small pueblos until she moved to a city so she could live with her daughter. For those unfamiliar, "pueblo" is the word for small native American villages, and is the Castilian word for "town".

I remember this one time when all my family got together in my grandparents' house to celebrate a birthday. A lot of relatives of mine lived there, including my great-grandmother. At this time, my great-grandmother, "Clara", was very old and confined to a wheelchair. We started talking about what life was like in the past, and we asked her what her life was like in a pueblo. She said she had fond memories of the place, and it was very peaceful and life was simple.


I'd like to think it was something like this

She then said that even though life was peaceful, they still had thrills once in a while. In the early 1900's, Clara was 7 or 8 years old. Her pueblo did things the old fashion way; men worked on the fields and the women would stay home and do chores. One day, the women went to the local river to do the laundry, and Clara tagged along. Things were going normally, until a man came running up to them. He seemed very worked up and altered. He said the rurales (mounted police) were after him, and asked the women if they could hide him. They told him to hide in the laundry, and quickly covered him with clothes.

You really don't get a lot of hiding spots in a place like this.

Not too long after, the rurales came asking if the women had seen a man running around. The women denied having seen anybody suspicious around those parts, and the rurales renewed their pursuit. Everyone was pretty impressed when she finished the story, and somebody asked her if she knew who the man was, or why was he being hunted. Clara just grinned and said, "Oh, he was just a local bandit. His name was Doroteo Arango. Everybody called him Pancho Villa, but his name was Doroteo." Our jaws hit the floor and all us of stood in awe. For those of you that don't know, Villa was a bandit before the Mexican Revolution, and his real name was Doroteo Arango. He changed it to try to hide his real identity.

Well, at least they stopped chasing Doroteo Arango

Strangely enough, in Clara's mind, Doroteo Arango was just the local bandit. She didn't know the he became a revolutionary general, leader of his own faction, national hero, and a very important historical figure. She never realized that her pueblo had helped Pancho Villa escape, once again.

But who could really say no to a guy with so much style?


A Manly Dandy

I was a baby when my grandfather died, so I never got to meet him. When I was a bit older, I wanted to know what he was like, and apparently he was a very interesting character. For those who are visual learners like me, here's a picture of someone resembling my grandfather.

*Insert witty cock pun*

That's Luis Aguilar, a very famous Mexican actor. I linked to the Spanish wikipedia page for him, because the English one is severely lacking. Slap it into a translator. It is pretty interesting. Anyway, my grandfather looked a lot like him, and I mean a lot. People would actually stop him in the street and ask him for an autograph. So for the sake of this article's congruence, my grandfather's name is now Luis.

You see, Luis was pretty much the local dandy; he drank in the cantina, serenaded the ladies, fought the rude, and wrote poetry. He could look at you for a few seconds and recite a poem for you right there on the spot. And according to my relatives, he was one of the few people that could look someone straight in the eye and paralyze them with fear.

So he was a pretty tough guy, and toughness doesn't vanish with time. On one such occasion where toughness was required, Luis was in his late 70's and he was just driving around town, minding his own business, looking for a poetry target. Suddenly, a car driven by some teenagers quickly passed him, honking obnoxiously. He was pretty ticked off by this, so at the next stoplight he rolled down his window and started scolding them. Since I'm pretty sure obnoxious teens are everybody's breaking point, my grandfather challenged them to a fight. They agreed, and drove off to find a fighting spot. Luis got out of his car, and so did the teens. But to his surprise, there were actually six teens, ready to gang up on him. So, did he call the police? Did he back down? HA HA HA, hell no. He charged and took them on.

A man has to do what a man has to do.

Needless to say, he ended up on the hospital. He was tough, but come on, there were six of them. At the hospital, when my aunts arrived, they asked him why he didn't back down. He just said, "I never back down, and even if I lost, I took on six thugs and they beat up an old man."

So don't underestimate old people, lest they beat your ass in front of your friends.

Tags: Family history, Mexico 26

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