Archive for the ‘Non-Fiction’ Category

Memories of Robert Elizondo by Armando X. Lopez

July 25th, 2020 No comments

The following was written by ARMANDO X. Lopez

Poetry From The Pandemic #127
July 24, 2020-Galactic Frontera and the World

Eyes Of The Tigers (And Future Longhorns)
For Roberto Elizondo

The last time I saw Roberto I put this photo in his hand.
Today I put that same photo in his wife’s hand.
It is a defining moment frozen in time.
We were academic team warriors and champions.

His son wanted to hear stories.
His wife confirmed what we all loved about him.
He shared his philosophy of life with them.
It is a sturdy border mantra instilled by our parents.

The last time we spoke in person was before the pandemic.
It was an afternoon of reflection and hardy laughs.
Time had predictably taken its toll on our waistlines.
We had few regrets and counted many blessings.

Today Claudia said it best. Roberto lives.
He is in the music that he grooved to.
He is in the music that he danced too.
He is in the stories that we tell about him.

He is in the heart of those he loved.
He is in the spirit of those he befriended.
He is in the memory of those he worked with.
He is the in the souls of those he inspired.

It is hard to accept that he is no longer on this earth.
It is harder to accept that he went too soon.
But to hear his family today brought great joy.
They will tell his story. And he will live on.

Categories: Non-Fiction Tags:

Our Ralphie

May 12th, 2020 No comments

Ralph was born in Carrizo Springs,Texas, on a hot summer day,
But moved and raised in Crystal City.
I know him well enough now that he must have been a kind, & gentle soul even back then.
Never knew his Dad but certainly his dear Mom raised him right,
But he did not know then that he was destined to someday shine bright.

Ralph’s story starts with meeting Katherine through some friends in San Antonio,
A single Mom with five little kids,
I’m sure that he then saw his purpose in life, I must convey,
To love them unconditionally and become the father figure they needed,
The light shining bright to help them guide their way.

Now Ralphie together with Kat, his love,
Have made a great life
With the kids he’s helped raised,
Who are now almost all grown,
Surely their Ralphie has been their greatest, brightest gemstone.

Bob Collazo, 5/12/20

Categories: Non-Fiction Tags:

The Rosales Branch of the Collazo Family

April 30th, 2020 No comments

Some of my earliest memories when around five or six,
Was when we moved to San Antonio was staying at Ramon & Mary Rosales’s home,
Where much love, food and laughter flowed.
For you see, Ramon & Mary’s Grandma, Asuncion, was my Papa Gerardo Collazo’s sister,
So we were, and still are, all family, and the love showed.

Recalling their Dad, Nicho, telling us stories,
Along with Ramon, his sister, Mary, their Mom, Tina, with my Mom & Dad,
Always much laughter from that little home on W. Salinas Street,
That, along with the sweet smell of Tina’s tortillas and beans,
Were all we ever needed, and the love showed.

Then I recalled that much excitement was brewing,
For Ramon was soon to be married to the love of his life so sweet,
So then we all traveled to Piedras Negras, Mexico
To the beautiful church where Ramon and Mela were betrothed
As one, and their love showed.

Over the years growing up
We lost touch a bit,
But still recall sweet memories & love we had growing up complete,
For now seeing each other as grownups,
Remembering & recalling great times so sweet.

Bob Collazo, 4/30/20

Categories: Non-Fiction Tags:

Our Dear Cousin Ricardo

March 18th, 2020 No comments

Ricardo was born an innocent Down syndrome child in the 50s,
With an ever present smile, and a sweet personality.
He had his own language in which he would speak,
Giving you your own special name that only he could bestow,
Making him so special, and even more unique.

Ricardo was unspoiled from the world’s evil,
With all his innocence, the family’s “true joy”.
Nothing but love in his heart tenfold.
He was our brother, our cousin, our blood,
A truly one of kind special man, He was our family’s gold.

Of course as little kids we could not pronounce Ricardo,
So we all lovingly called him “Cayo”.

Until we see you again one glorious day, Cayo!

Your cousin,
“Woowee” – Bobby Collazo

Categories: Non-Fiction, Poetry Tags:

My Sister in Law, Guadalupe

December 9th, 2019 No comments

The first born from Letty & Jess
Would tell you flat out
That family is everything.
Of course, we would not expect anything less
From their daughter named Guadalupe.

Born on the 11th of December & named after the Blessed Virgin,
She was the first born of four siblings,
Lupe, as she is called, is blessed with four kids of her own,
Grandchildren galore, and great grandchildren now too,
To top that, Lupe and my brother Frank will be celebrating their golden milestone soon.

For to say her maternal instincts run high
Would not be a joke,
For to mess with her family, I can assure,
Would transform her from normally mild mannered and calm,
To an enraged protective Mother Bear for sure.

Now Lupe has been blessed in so many ways,
Having Frank and a very close family,
With a multitude of lifelong friends from grade school,
I’m sure our family and friends will all attest,
That she is our family’s diamond jewel.

Love you, Lupe, & Happy Birthday!
Bob Collazo, 12/11/19

Categories: Non-Fiction, Poetry Tags:

I Woke Up At 68 This Morning

October 14th, 2019 No comments

I opened my eyes at 68, groggy but feeling good.
Waking up with remnants of a dream of my sweet Mom,
The good times Terry and I have had with her along the way,
Thanking God for giving me another day.

Waking up fully now,
All kinds of things going through my head,
Is this what it’s like to grow old?
Will I feel like this on my deathbed?

Slowly getting off the bed, bones creak, neck aches,
Recalling Dad’s saying that the “horses we’re getting old”.
I smile & think how we always said we’d never reach this age,
But for now, I just want to keep seeing wonders this world has yet to behold.

Bob Collazo, 10/14/19

Footnote: My dear Dad had a Mexican “Dicho” or saying, that he always said toward the end of his life, “Ya esta vieja la caballada”, literally translated as, “The horses are getting old now”.

Categories: Non-Fiction, Poetry Tags:

Coming Out of the Silence

October 8th, 2019 No comments

As a person with hearing loss with words unheard or incomplete,
From accusing my wife of speaking Mandarin or Chinese,
To asking people what they said or to repeat,
The frustration of living in a wall of silence or tomb,
You can understand the disability that is in a nutshell,
Of not hearing well.

So now you can imagine how ecstatic I was
Getting new the latest hearing aids so sweet.
Now marveling at being able to actually hear the spoken word,
From hearing the beauty of music
To once again comprehending my wife,
Are all again like magical wonders for me in my life.

This piece is dedicated to my Audiologist, Holly Kay Spiser Foley, Alamo Hearing Aid & Audiological Service,
The savior from my wall of silence. Thank you so much!

Bob Collazo, 10/8/2019

Categories: 99% Non-Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry Tags:

Jose Efrain Elizondo

September 16th, 2019 No comments

Jose was my dear Mom’s uncle, her Dad’s brother.
A World War II Veteran, a modest, and quiet man,
Who talked a little bit about being in Iwo Jima
But never discussed much more,
I found out later, many medals he wore.

He was a sharpshooter in the famous 147th “Lost Regiment”
Who fought bravely in combat alongside Marines,
Won the war, and came home a real trooper
Who kept it all inside to deal with life,
Three kids and a loving wife.

For nintety-five years
He lived life to the brim, yet quiet and reserved,
Died in his sleep, a quiet farewell.
Went to meet his maker, his God,
A quiet hero we salute today, who did his duty well.


I did some research on the 147th, my Uncle Joe was in, and found the following information, according to Google:

At the beginning of US involvement in World War II, the 147th became a “lost regiment” when it pulled out of the 37th Infantry Division to triangularize it in 1942. The regiment went to war in the South Pacific as an independent regiment, and fought in several battles alongside a greater number of United States Marine Corps troops. The 147th first engaged in combat during the Battle of Guadalcanal, where it took part in the assault on Mt. Austen.[2] During this battle, General Alexander Patch was forced to reorganize his forces due to combat losses, and created the CAM (Composite Army-Marine) Division, which consisted of the 147th Infantry Regiment, the 182nd Infantry Regiment, and the 6th Marine Regiment, along with artillery elements from the Americal Division and the 2nd Marine Division.[2] In early January 1943, I Company and a platoon of M Company cut off the Japanese escape routes along a 20-mile front while the CAM pushed the defenders back towards the western beach of Guadalcanal. Along the coast, the CAM Division began its attack at the same time with a three-regiment front: the 6th Marines on the beach, the 147th Infantry in the center, and the 182nd Infantry abreast of 25th Infantry Division on the left. Alternating the lead attack position, the 147th Infantry, the 182nd Infantry, and the 6th Marines progressed from one to three miles a day through weak resistance. By 8 February these units had reached Doma Cove, nine miles beyond the Poha River and the same distance short of Cape Esperance.[2] By 9 February 1943, the Americans had cleared the island, and the 147th moved on to its next assignment.

The regiment relieved the 4th Marines on Emirau Island[3] on 11 April 1944 and performed garrison duties until they were relieved by the 369th Infantry Regiment in June. While they were on Emirau, they assisted the US Navy Seabees in constructing an airfield, because the 147th was the only infantry regiment who’d constructed an airfield before (at Tonga in 1942). The regiment then moved to the island of Saipan in the wake of the first landings to conduct mopping up operations behind the 2nd Marine Division, the 4th Marine Division, and the 27th Infantry Division. The island was declared secure on 9 July 1944, but Japanese resistance continued for months afterward. The 147th next moved to the island of Tinian to follow elements of the 2nd and 4th Marine Divisions as they assaulted through the island. The 147th rooted out stubborn Japanese defenders and continued fighting after the island was officially declared secure on 1 August 1944.

The regiment’s next assignment would prove to be their most difficult; in the spring of 1945, the Ohioans fought in the Battle of Iwo Jima. In the early days of the Marine landings, the 147th was ordered to climb from landing craft with grappling hooks to scale a high ridge about 3/4 mile from Mount Suribachi. The mission was to fire on the enemy opposing the Marine landings on the beaches below.[4] They were soon pinned down by heavy Japanese fire, and engaged in non-stop fighting for 31 days. Once the island was declared secure, the regiment was ostensibly there to act as a garrison force, but they soon found themselves locked in a bitter struggle against thousands of stalwart defenders engaging in a last-ditch guerilla campaign to harass the Americans.[5] Using well-supplied caves and tunnel systems, the Japanese resisted American advances. For three months, the 147th slogged across the island, using flamethrowers, grenades, and satchel charges to dig out the enemy. Some sources credit the regiment with killing at least 6,000 Japanese soldiers in those anonymous and merciless small unit actions.[5] The 147th would go on to fight in the bloody Battle of Okinawa, once again in charge of rooting out stubborn Japanese defenders who remained even after the island was declared secure. Company D, which remained on the island of Tinian, earned the distinction of transporting and guarding the Little Boy atomic bomb.[6] When the war ended on 2 September 1945, the 147th Infantry was sent home piecemeal, and the last men to return home arrived in March 1946.[4]

During World War II, the 147th Infantry Regiment fought in the infamous battles of Guadalcanal, Saipan, Tinian, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. These battles are often associated with the US Marines, but no US unit other than the 147th fought in all of these battles.

Until I see you again, my Dear Uncle Joe, I salute your bravery!

Bob Collazo, 9/16/2019

Categories: Non-Fiction, Poetry Tags:

My Brother Bill’s Life

September 14th, 2019 No comments

He overcame a disability as a young sprout,
Never letting polio get in his way.
That he was the strong-willed one, there was no doubt.
The third of four sons complete,
When we all lived in a little house on 38th Street.

Overcoming a disability and adversity at an early age
Probably laid the cornerstone for what he does today.
For you see it was the late sixties when hispanic kids
Were supposed to work blue-collar jobs and the like,
Didn’t get too far in life.

Yet Bill married early; had a beautiful family,
Was not content to be mediocre, always striving,
College, med school, becoming a doctor, making us proud.
Then ten years in the Army serving our country all over,
Always striving to be the best in the crowd.

Well, thirty-something years later,
He is a respected cardiologist in his area
That’s my brother, the heart doctor, saving lives so sweet,
Making me think how far he’s come,
From that little house on 38th street.

I love you, Brother!
Bob Collazo, 9/14/2019

Categories: Non-Fiction, Poetry Tags:

In My Mother’s Shadow

August 2nd, 2019 No comments

Knowing my Mom is in the winter of her life, saddens me.
However She and Dad had prepared us all for this moment.
For they raised us to not only enjoy the good times,
But to prepare for the tough times up the road.
I see her holding on to life in bits and pieces,
Yet also reaching out to her next journey.

For She had told me the previous day that her “Sweetheart” was waiting for her.
My first reaction is that I’m sad.
But then realize and smile because like anyone who ever knew them,
I remember them laughing, dancing, doing everything together.
And so, isn’t this what life is all about?

Bob Collazo

I actually wrote this 8 days before my dear Mom passed to be with her only love…

Categories: Non-Fiction Tags: