By G.P. Avants
My grandpa, John Cubero was the model for Juan. He had adventures and missed opportunities that would have propelled him into some recognition. What Grandpa lacked in stature, he made up in wild inventive ideas, fearless risk-taking, and the spirit of adventure. In our family Grandpa John was a legend. He was the man who was hit by a train twice, ate poison toadstools (with enough poison, the doctor told him, to kill ten men) and tagged team with his brother Benny to become entrepreneurs in the middle of the Great Depression. Grandpa was a man ahead of his time. He was into eating healthy and exercise before it was a thing. Using his own hands, Grandpa could work on anything and if it needed to be created or didn’t exist, invent a solution. However, He didn’t copyright any of his ideas and others around him is positions of influence took credit. Grandpa cared more about helping others than making a name for himself.
No, he wasn’t a perfect man and struggled with his anger. I think all his many battles and short comings did open doors for him because before he passed he did become a man of faith. He did change and it did affect those around him.
Grandpa began to share a lot of advice to family members. “Work with two hands and you get things done faster.” Or “Instead of paying me back for me helping you, pass on that help to someone else.” He told both of my older brothers, “If you are a hard worker you will always have work.” Then added, “Always live within your means. It’s about saving.”
In my novel, Chronolocity: A Fistful of Chronotons, Mr. Cross used Juan’s personal story as proof that many important people never made their impact on history. But maybe their struggles and shortcomings are part of their story we should not erase. Under dogs need to have their story told. The funny thing is about people who have made history books is that they were just ordinary people. Everyday people have issues. Sometimes fame ruins people and having anonymity is a blessing in disguise. The real impact might be what Grandpa shot for. Make a real difference in the lives of people around you. In his own way he did influence the world by the lives of his own family applying what he taught then. He would have agreed to just be faithful with what God has given you and love the people in your life. That is how you really make history personal.
Do you have a family member who is a local legend or an inspirational to you? Tell us their tale.
Praise God your grandfather came to faith! He must have been a powerhouse of purpose and energy. Yes, I too have personal heroes on my family tree! I wrote about my grandparents on my blog a number of years ago: The God of Rachel, Henry, and Clara–Part 1 and Part 2. They made a difference in the lives around them–including me!