THE “AMERICAN DREAM” HAS DIED
San Francisco, CA– If someone were to ask people outside of myself, they’d say the “American Dream” (Dusty Rhodes) died June 11. For me and some others, the real “American Dream” passed away June 13, 2015 in a local hospital. It took a Stroke to deck Espedito Martinez, a man of humble origin who went from driving a Taxi in Tijuana, to cruising The City in a classic mint Mercedes Benz convertible.
Many moons ago, Espedito, whom I only called Sir or Mr. Martinez in the 40+ years I knew him, told me about the struggle to get out of Mexico with wife Eleanor and first son Alfredo “Fast Freddie” Martinez. How he spent a few years in National City, a border town between TJ and San Diego. “That’s where Hector was born,” his second son. “Driving a taxi for little money, I knew I had to leave if I wanted a better life.”
Ending up in South San Francisco, CA, Espedito bought a house on Orange Ave and had his only daughter Rosie. Realizing that a Union job was the key to ascending the economic ladder in the then late 1950s, he ended up with a Teamster gig at the local trash company.
Hard working and far more intelligent than his basic schooling might indicate, Espedito and Eleanor saved some money and before you knew it, they had financial security outside of his work after purchasing a six unit apartment building when California property was probably worth 1/10th of what it is now.
Never one to splurge, at least around me, Espedito enjoyed a few nice cars, a condo in Mexico City and some other real estate ventures in which he did well. Unsettled early in retirement, the man who had worked almost every available day from his teenage years on, my friend’s father implied he was incredibly bored.
But in time, Espedito came into his own and settled into retirement on Erica Dr. When I would see him about, he treated me like a son, always asking if I needed something, etc.
So when I say the “American Dream” died when Espedito took his last breathe, I say that with incredible sincerity. For nobody today could take Espedito’s blueprint and attempt to duplicate his feat in 2015. Union jobs aren’t nearly as plentiful and certainly nowhere nearly as rewarding as they were then.
In closing, Espedito made the right decisions at the right time and that propelled him from a poor and meager life in Mexico to being a landlord with the nicest cars in the neighborhood. If you add the three successful kids he and Eleanor raised, this man clearly epitomized, Espedito Martinez was the “American Dream.” Rest in peace, Sir!
Note: Mr. Fernandez is an award-winning writer, TV commentator, radio talk show host, former San Francisco Policeman and four-time Golden Gloves champion who also pens feature stories for the soul band Tower of Power at TowerOfPower.com
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THE “AMERICAN DREAM” HAS DIED