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Life of Pedro Sanchez

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Life of Pedro Sanchez

For my project I interviewed my good friend Derick Layne's grandfather, Pedro Sanchez. Pedro was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico on April 20, 1941. Pedro had 11 siblings, 5 of whom were girls and the other 6 were male. This huge family lived in a small, shanty house, which he described as all but glorious. Pedro's family was very poor however he stated that they were always happy with what they had. Pedro's father shined shows for a living and his mother was just a housewife. Everyone in the family did what they could to help support the family and put money on the table. Pedro was into gymnastics at an early age and eventually became very good at it. After a few months of practice, Pedro put together a small routine that he did on the street and people would give him money. Pedro kept preaching to me how "work comes before play". He started working at age 12 at a supermarket. Pedro stocked the shelves at the supermarket. Pedro was the only one of his friends who had a job at age 12. One day while working Pedro took an unannounced break to watch his friends play soccer and baseball out the window. His manager saw him taking this break and told Pedro, "you can either go outside and play with friends like a boy, or stay and work like a man. Whichever you choose, stay focused." These words stuck with Pedro for the rest of his life. Pedro ended up staying inside the shop and worked there until he was 18 years old.

At the age of 18 years old, Pedro came to the United States of America illegally. His journey from San Juan into the United States was incredible. Pedro paid almost every dollar he had just to get onto this boat to go to America. This boat was no big, expensive cruise boat. Pedro remembers looking at the run-down boat upon entering and praying to god that he would end up alive in their final destination, New York City. He recalled several rough days at sea, however eventually the boat made it to its final destination and Pedro was now in the United States of America.

In New York City Pedro found his new passion, cars. Pedro began to work at an auto body shop as a mechanic. Pedro learned everything on the go and had a great work ethic, something he learned at a very young age. At this auto body shop Pedro met his future wife, Minerva Santos. Pedro described the day he met his wife with great detail. She was a beautiful Puerto Rican woman who was born in the United States of America. Minerva and Pedro dated for 6 months before they decided to get married. Their marriage was simple to them, they fell in love instantly and have never spent a day apart since that first day at the auto body shop. The two got married in a Latin Catholic Church in New York City. Since Minerva was a U.S. citizen Pedro now also became a United States citizen due to their marriage. Pedro and Minerva went on to have four children of their own, Yvonne, Peter, Jaime, and Susan.

The family lived in New York City together for five more years after all the kids were born. Pedro and his wife agreed that living in New York City with four kids was not ideal and they decided to move into a suburban town. The family finally settled down in Pine Bush, New York. They ended up finding a nice midsize house that had a pool and two acres of land. Pedro began to get excited when he spoke of his first owned home. This midsize home with a pool and two acres of land was the biggest place he had ever called home. He went from a very cramped house in Puerto Rico with 11 siblings, to a small one-bedroom apartment in New York City. So this house was like living



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