Written by Louise Benavidez Sanchez. One in a collection by Allen Bachoroski, Local Historical Writer and author of “Tales Along the Highway of Legends”
The saddest part of our lives was when Albert passed away on December 7, 1979. He had just retired on July of that year. He had moved his barber shop from Greg Browning’s Barber Shop to the Elks Barber Shop on Commercial Street. When the Coronado Hotel burned down, the Greg Browning Barber Shop also burned, so he had to move. I was glad when he retired. He just wasn’t feeling well at all. We flew to Massachusetts in July to attend our grandson’s wedding. Albert really enjoyed the plane ride, he never wanted to ride in an airplane, but he liked it a lot. Our life seemed much better as we got older.
I’ll never forget the morning that he had a heart attack. He woke me up at 5:00 am and said, “I don’t feel very good”, I asked him, “What’s wrong?” He said, “I felt funny in my chest.” He motioned with his hand over his chest, and he said “My arm feels funny and it hurts.” I told him “You might be having a heart attack, do you want us to take you to the hospital?” He said “Yes, I think I’d better go.” He never liked going to the doctor. I knew he must be pretty sick if he wanted to go to the hospital. I asked “Shall we call an ambulance?” He said “No I’ll walk to the car, but he couldn’t even walk from one side of the bed to the other. By this time, Florence had come to take him, but we had to call the ambulance. It seemed like it took them forever to get there. He had a massive heart attack, the doctor said “There was no way he could survive.”
He lived ten days. The kids all came to be with him. Betty came from Massachusetts, and JoElla came from Denver. The kids, Betty, Flo, Al, JoElla, Vernon, and the in-laws Lynda, Peggy and Danny stayed with him day and night. They took turns, I’d go two or three times a day to see him. He didn’t want me to stay there because I was having a lot of problems with my legs at the time, so he would tell me to go rest. He died about five days after he was admitted, but they brought him back to life again. One night I went to see him, he said “I don’t think I’m going to make it Honey”, I said, “You’ve got to, I can’t live without you.” We both cried a little. Then on Friday night, December 7, 1979, he passed away. Our lives were torn to shreds, we all were devastated, but life must go on. Everything must come to an end, and ours ended there.
My children are very good to me, they are always there when I need them. I’m so thankful for our five children, nineteen grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren. The one thing I don’t like is that my house is not big enough. I only wish we could all be together again, like it was when Albert was with us. We often think of the earlier years when the kids were growing up. Albert use to take us for rides on Sundays (to Hoehne mostly). The kids would play in the river of go exploring in old abandoned houses. Al and Albert would go hunting for rabbits or quail. We would have rabbit for supper almost every Sunday. He also loved to fish, we would all go to Monument Lake or North Lake. Vernon also loved to fish, so he and his friends would go with Albert when I didn’t go.
Al was born to Albert and Louise Sanchez on November 22, 1937. He graduated in 1956 and got married in 1958. His children are Teri (May 9, 1959), Ivy (October 24, 1960), Sheila ( May 3, 1962), Storm (July 19, 1967) and Shane (January 19, 1971). He retired in 1993.
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