Ben Garcia, Sr., and his wife, Eloise, moved to their home at 315 Mission Street in 1968. Their son, Ben, Jr., who still lives in the neighborhood on Forke Street, and his two sisters were also part of the family.
"We had long outgrown our little house on Forest Ave. off South Flores Street," says Ben, Jr. "Looking back years later, it was hard to believe that five of us could have possibly lived in that tiny house."
"Both my sisters went to Brackenridge High School but I went to Fox Tech on North Main. I sometimes walked to school but what I really wanted was a car so I could drive. My mom said, 'If you want a car, you‘ll have to get a job to help pay for it.‘ So I got a part-time job after school working in the basement at Joske‘s on Alamo Plaza as a stock boy making $1.60 an hour – minimum wage."
"After graduation from high school, my mom, who worked at Kelly Air Force Base, encouraged me to apply for a job there. I got the job but after working just a few months, I got my draft notice. After doing a tour in Vietnam, I was able to get my job back at Kelly where I worked as a sheet metal mechanic for 33 years. Now, I‘m a sheet metal/paint quality inspector for T56 engines for Standard Aero, a contractor for Lockheed Martin Aviation."
"My dad worked as a custodian in the 1950‘s at Security Hill AFB eventually working up to lead man. He also worked for SAISD as a school security guard. He worked part-time for the Sheriff‘s Department for several years before going full-time putting in 44 years of service. Like many of the deputies, he also
worked part-time security jobs for various events like basketball games, rodeos and fiesta events. His regular pay from the Sheriff‘s Department went straight to my mom who was the family money manager. What he made from his part-
time jobs, he kept for himself. That was his pocket money."
"He loved to gamble and play lotto. He and my mom would go to Las Vegas at
least once a year. Although my mom always went with him, she did-n‘t really care for that sort of thing. She was practical and frugal and thought Las Vegas was a frivolous waste of money."
"My dad was fun-loving and made friends easily. He got along with just about everybody. My mom was quieter, more serious. She was really the brains of the family. Oh, my dad was a smart man and he might put up a convincing argument but in the end, he‘d always defer to my mom. She always had the last word."
"My sisters and I inherited several pieces of rental property when our parents passed away. It was my mom who managed to acquire all that. She was an astute businesswoman. She could recognize a good deal when she saw one and she wasn‘t afraid to act on her intuitions. Both my parents were hard workers. My mom worked as a machinist at Kelly for 38 years."
"Our parents always provided for our every need – food on the table, a roof over our heads and guidance in life but they were always so busy working they didn‘t have time to socialize and make many friends. An exception was Carlos and Mary Hernandez and family, who lived just around the block on Adams Street. They were good friends since their younger years and always kept in touch."
"While my parents were inseparable and loved each other very much, there was always a lot of playful teasing and arguing going on be-tween them. My mom said she should get the Congressional Medal of Honor for putting up with my dad. He said he should get the Pur-ple Heart."
"My parents had a long and happy life living on Mission Street. We love you Mom and Dad and miss you both very much."
Ben and Eloise were married for 68 years. Eloise died in September