4th of July and his greatest gift…

My son and I just had lunch with my sister Rose the other day at Centro Basco in Chino. It’s one of our favorite restaurants in the area. It’s been around forever and for good reason. The food is outstanding but more importantly, the food and the people remind you of family.  My next post will be a review of Centro Basco.  Keep an eye out for it as I guarantee you will love the place.

While we were enjoying our lunch, we started reminiscing about our family.  My sister reminded me about our dad and how he used to love to grill whenever we had a party. He would invite everyone he ran into and tell them to come enjoy the party and the food. In particular, he loved grilling on the 4th of July for he loved being a citizen of this great country. My dad has been gone for over 30 years now, but he’s never far away from us especially around this time of year.

One of the biggest responses to what I have written over the years came a couple of years ago at this time when I wrote about my father becoming a US citizen years ago and how he instilled in us the great pride and love for his new country.  Guy Clark – who passed away in May 2016 and who is considered one of this country’s greatest poets/songwriters – wrote a beautiful song about his grandfather, also an immigrant to this country,  and how his grandfather gave him the gift of this great country.  As we celebrate our nation’s birth this Fourth of July, let us always remember and welcome the immigrants who have helped make this the greatest country in the world.  I know that if we all look back at each of our family trees, we all have someone to thank for coming to this country as immigrants, and giving us this greatest of gifts. Thanks Dad for giving me one of the greatest gifts I have ever received.  Happy Fourth of July!


Oh, Ellis Island was swarming
Like a scene from a costume hall
Decked out in the colors of Europe
And on fire with the hope of it all

There stood my father’s own father, stood huddled
With the tired and hungry and scared
Turn of the century pilgrims
Bound by the dream that they shared

They were standing in lines just like cattle
Poked and prodded and shoved
Some were one desk away from sweet freedom
Some were torn from someone they love

Through this sprawling tower of babel
Came a young man confused and alone
Determined and bound for America
And carryin’ everything that he owned

Sometimes when I look in my grandfather’s immigrant eyes
I see that day reflected and I can’t hold my feelings inside
I see starting with nothing and working hard all of his life
So don’t take it for granted say grandfather’s immigrant eyes

Now he rocks and stares out the window
But his eyes are still just as clear
As the day he sailed through the harbor
And come ashore on the island of tears

My grandfather’s days are numbered
But I won’t let his memory die
‘Cause he gave me the gift of this country
And the look in his immigrant eyes

– Guy Clark

Here’s a link to youtube of Guy Clark singing Immigrant Eyes   Guy Clark Immigrant Eyes

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