Today my dear brother Luis German would have celebrated his 65th birthday. The title of this post is based on his response when he was little upon being asked his name. Wichipin became Wichy, but there was always a lot of Wichipin in him.
He had a beautiful smile, a fantastic sense of humor and a temper with which he struggled all his life. I will now share a few of my favorite Wichy stories.
Once when he was still a baby he was sick to his stomach and Mima gave him some medicated mixture in his bottle which was very bitter. He took the bottle and threw it – it was the days of glass bottles so it broke into a million pieces. Later that day she tried again, by that time he was very hungry and drank it all with gusto.
He had a pair of shorts which he refused to wear. Mima insisted and could not understand why he was so adamant about not wearing them. He finally said: “Because you can see a bad word!!”
Kindergarten was not a pleasant experience for him. He hated all the piano playing. He would complain to Mima about how loud it was – keep in mind that the school was not within walking distance – and he would say: “Can’t you hear it Mima? It is so loud I bet you can hear it all the way from Joaquin Barnet’s house! So much piano, so much piano, they are going to wear out the electricity!!!”
I remember one day when we were in high school and living in Milwakee, Clara, our cousin who was living with us at the time, and I came home from school and were enjoying some toast with jelly when Wichy arrived. It was my duty to make dinner and there were dirty dishes in the sink. He obviously was hungry and wanted me to get started with dinner and complained about us just sitting there eating. I started arguing with him and told him that if he wanted the dishes done he could do them himself. The argument got heated and we were shouting back and forth. He finally said the “F” word – not what you think, he called me “FAT!” Big mistake! I slapped him hard across the face. He was so stunned that he did not say a word and walked away. We did not speak for three days. At the end of the three days I was visiting some friends when he unexpectedly arrived. We looked at each other, smiled and gave each other a big hug. We never spoke of it again.
It is hard to believe it has been 17 years since his passing. My brother, my tormentor, my dear childhood friend, I love you and I still miss you!