On the 19th day of November, at 8:10 on a Sunday evening, my mother and father had their second child. That’s when a little 8-pound, 4-ounce brown male (Tejano) was born at Baptist Memorial Hospital in San Antonio. The name my parents decided on was Jesus; it was the partial first name of my grandmother, who was named Jesusita.
My early childhood years were spent on Calhoun Street on the east side of San Antonio and I completed the sixth grade at John J. Pershing Elementary. This is also where my parents owned and operated a grocery and meat market. Our house was part of the same building and was located in the rear with a small carport.
I was 12 or 13 when my interest in art started. My first drawing was in pencil and was a picture of a deer jumping over a log.
After a long time spent in our first home, my parents decided to move to Helotes and settled down in the Scenic Loop area. My parents again got involved in the retail business and owned another grocery store and also operated a dance hall.
This was about the time I started junior high at Pat M. Neff Middle School. My brothers, sister, and I had to ride a school bus for 40 minutes before we arrived at school, where I continued my interest in art. My art teacher, Mrs. Norton, taught us techniques in pencil, pastels, and even showed us basic calligraphy. She was the most influential teacher I ever had.
After two years in Helotes, my parents decided it was time to move again. We moved to the north side of San Antonio, just off Blanco Road, where I continued my education at Whittier Jr. High School and Thomas Edison High School. I continued drawing and taking art classes, as well as getting involved in sports, playing both baseball and basketball. I graduated from high school in 1969, then worked several jobs for a few years and enjoyed going out.
I got married in January of 1973 and the marriage gave us two children, Jesus Jr. and Daniel. Later in the marriage we adopted our daughter, Erika.
On December 17, 1973, I entered the military. I was assigned to Fort Polk in Louisiana for basic training and was then sent to a technical school for drafting and art at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia. I was granted the job title of illustrator in the Army. I spent 20 years in the military, with assignments in Germany (3 tours) and stateside duties at Ft. Sam Houston in Texas, Ft. Huachuca in Arizona, and Ft. Riley in Kansas. In 1991, during my last assignment at Ft. Riley, I was called upon to go to Desert Storm. I retired from the Army in 1994 and continued my artwork, doing family portraits, and Southwestern and Mexican art.
I was divorced in May of 2000 after 27 years of marriage. Then, in September 2003, I married Graciela Salas. We have been married for about eight years and now reside off Mission Glory in San Antonio, where I have a home studio to do all of my work.
We met Olga Ibarra at the Starving Artist show in 2011. She invited us to the Tejas Art Club in Blanco and the rest is history.
For more information about the Tejas Art Club, call Olga Ibarra at 830-833-1966.