We always had chiles in our house. They were homegrown, straight from the garden. My grandpa would plant them and my grandma would make a spicy and tasty chile using a molcajete. Before grinding the chile with la piedra, the chile would have to be toasted on the comal. That would cause anyone in our household to cough uncontrollably.
Coughing was always followed by laughing and then crying. Sometimes, my grandma was the only one unphased by the burning sensation the smell left in our throats. She was like the queen of the chiles and my grandpa was the king.
I have a quick story about chiles and my grandpa who we call Pops.
Victor, Juan and other friends of mine came to my house one day after school. I was in the eighth grade at Hamilton Middle School. I didn’t have friends over often but I knew there was an unspoken rule about having boys in the house.
I did however have a front porch and that is where I decided to hang out with my guy friends. I remember this day clearly because ever since then, I refused to invite anyone over that myfamily was not already used to. It all started because Victor Gonzalez accidentally stepped near Pops’ chile plant.
My grandpa had been watching us from the kitchen window. Victor barely even got near his plants and all of a sudden, my grandpa swung the black spring door open and started screaming like a madman. My grandpa is the type of man that everyone respects or pretends to respect because they fear him.
All of a sudden, there were a swarm of boys running in the front lawn. They looked like cockroaches that knew they were going to get stomped on if they didn’t make a run for it. I was so embarrassed!
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