Some of my earliest memories are of my grandpa sitting at the table in the mornings as my grandma served him his breakfast. He had already gone outside and picked up the latest edition of The San Bernardino Sun and was going straight to his favorite section, the obituaries. He would look through them so carefully and from time to time he would announce, “my friend died.”  I didn’t realize it then but he read that section first because he wanted to stay informed. As I got older I too began to read through the obituaries even though I had no idea who the people were I did it because my grandpa did. Then I discovered the comics and the original column by Ann Landers. Eventually I started to read every part of the newspaper. I was fascinated by the stories and I liked to annoy my mom by getting ink all over my fingers. I can still hear her shouting “Liliana, don’t touch anything until you wash your hands!”

When I got to high school I was so excited to pick up my first issue of the Pepper Bough and was somewhat disappointed. I had been reading a “real” newspaper since I learned how to read. It was then I decided to take journalism and make the newspaper better. My junior year I finally got that chance and sadly I didn’t change much. I wrote a few sports stories since I ran cross-country and wanted to report on more than just football games. After all, we were athletes too. Just like the golfers, swimmers, badminton players, and etc. I also wrote a few opinion pieces, which usually I had to argue against the popular view. But I never really made the impact I wanted to. Looking back on those days I shouldn’t have been so hard on the high school newspaper. We were just kids learning the craft. The real disappointment came not too long ago when my sister now in high school told me that the newspaper is no longer printed due to lack of funds. It brought a tear to my eye as I thought about my time spent in that old, moldy, and creaky second story building that housed the decaying art of newspaper.

As I’ve grown I’ve only become more fascinated by journalism. One of the first things I do every morning is check CNN and read up on the latest news, food blogs, entertainment, and opinion pieces. I’m always on the constant lookout for a good story and love when they link you to related sites. I tried to link some here but technology is failing me, or it could be I that is failing technology and doing it incorrectly. However, one thing is certain, tomorrow when I walk over to the dining room table and sit to have breakfast I will do the same thing I’ve done for  nearly twenty years. I’ll reach for the newspaper, glance at the front page, and turn the pages straight to the obituaries because just in case grandma is watching from above he can read too.




About ocbarrios

Professor for Cal State Fullerton's Barrio Studies class for Fall 2011 semester

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