Personal stories about my life, starting at 12 years old.

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My favorite picture-Dad, Justin, Donny and me (9 Months old) standing on the hood of dad's car.
Sacramento, CA

Memory Ten: First Summer With Dad


The end of my first visit after 11 years of not seeing my father was drawing to a close, Anna had planned a birthday party for all three of us because our birthdays were all in a row.

Anna, Dad and Me First Few Day Of Being Reunited- Palm Springs Ca

Memory Nine: Summer Trip To Sacramento


Anna had been in Sacramento for almost four weeks by the time I made the trip north from Palm Springs. It was the first time we had ever been separated. Dad and I pulled in the driveway from the airport and Anna came running out to greet me, bouncing with excitement.

Anna, Dad and Me--The first time seeing our dad after an 11 year separation. Palm Springs, CA

Memory Eight: Palm Springs – Dad Arrives


The morning of my Dad’s arrival, I could tell mom felt concerned about what might come of his visit, because she sat quietly looking at the floor in deep thought. Throughout our childhood we were told several stories, as to why she could never let us see him, one of which was, “He told me, he would take you away to Greece and I’d never see you again.

My first photo shoot- 13 years old-Palm Springs CA

Memory Six: Palm Springs: Our New Life


We settled into our new life in Palm Springs, the Morongo Indian Reservation was quickly fading into its proper place, oblivion. I was halfway past my 13th birthday, we had nice friends, Mom got a job cutting hair downtown, and I loved our new school Raymond Cree. I even had my very first crush: his name was Jerry Lindel, and I thought he was the most handsome boy I had ever seen, but Anna said, “He was homely and a geek.”

Memory Five: The Escape


We pulled up in front of the house were we saw Chris standing, barefoot, holding a belt in his hand and a look of fury on his face.

Memory Four: Secret Trip To Palm Springs


It was early morning and the sun was bright. The sky a flawless shade of blue, and the air crisp, clear and cold.

Memory Three: The Cigarette Shack


One more chore was added to our list. Anna and I were required to work in Chris’s cigarette shack on the weekends. It was a 12ft x 12ft shack made out of plywood, next to I-10 at the Banning pass. Chris’s cigarette shack sat like a discarded shoebox on the dusty side of Hadley’s Fruit Orchard.

Memory Two: A Leg in My Childhood Journey


Over the next several weeks Anna and I got more settled with life on the reservation, but we didn’t like it any more than the first day. Mom enrolled us in the nearest public school, it wasn’t on the reservation, but the reservation kids attended. I don’t remember the name of it, I’ll just call it school No. “7”.