The Muñoz Boys reminisce about cars, El Paso, and other stuff.
The Muñoz-Mazpulez Saga 3: Juarez & 320 Tobin Place
From about 1942 (date to be confirmed) until the summer of 1953 the Muñoz Mazpulez family lived in a big house at 320 Tobin Place in El Paso, Texas. This was one of two big, two-story houses on that street. (The other house belonged to the Sernas family.) The houses were similar in size and architecture, constructed of cement blocks that mimicked cut stone. Both houses were apparently built by the same builder and had large porches across the front and tin roofs (but not that corrugated tin stuff, classy tin) , which may still be there. The Muñoz house sat on the middle of three (count ’em, three) lots. Across “El Callejon” between the Muñozes and the Sernas lived the Gonzalezes, in a one story house. Behind the northernmost of the three Muñoz lots lived the Terrazas family, with the infamous boyfriend, Sergio. Ours was an ideal house for a young family with, ultimately, seven lively children. Mother Julia’s parents lived in their own adobe abode across the Rio Grande in Juarez, Mexico and, on Sundays, the family paid visits to that home. In this installment of the saga we highlight pictures of visits to that house in Mexico and pictures taken at the Tobin Place house while the Muñoz children were young.
The JUAREZ PICTURES
The pictures in this group were taken at various times at the home of the Muñoz children’s maternal grandparents in Juarez, Mexico. There the grandparents owned a sprawling adobe home on a large plot of land, almost an entire city block. Behind the house was a genuine walled courtyard in which at one time, in the early days, livestock was kept. Don’t let the adobe part mislead you, the home was substantial, with thick walls and those beautiful windows that are set into the wide walls such that you can easily sit on the window ledge and look out and wish you were somewhere else. It was a weekly ritual back in those idyllic days for the Muñoz children to be hustled into the family car (at first a 1937 Chrysler, later a 1941 Plymouth) and be delivered to this big house where the children were left to run free while the grownups sat at a large table, drank a strong coffee with thick milk (cafe con leche) and chatted for hours. There grandpa -with his thick mustache- and grandma -with her old fashioned clothes covering every square inch of her body- spent many quiet Sunday afternoons visiting with their wonderful daughter from El Paso, Julia, and her brood. Actually, the brood was summarily dispatched to go outside and entertain themselves while the grownups visited. At the end of the day the children were hustled back into the family car for the return trip to El Paso. The younger children would doze off on the return trip and have to be awakened to scurry out of the car and into their warm house in the dark. But on occasion, before the return trip, a camera was brought out and pictures like those below, were snapped in Juarez.