Edgardo E. Rios Mena

» Posted by | 8 comments



I interviewed my grandmother, Eva Nilda Gutierrez. She was born on October 28, 1925. She was very nervous during the interview, and because of that, we had a lot of fun. First, she wasn’t so sure about the date, then all her answers were precise and concrete. It wasn’t as fluid as I had hoped at the beginning, but I really enjoyed it.

When I asked her about her childhood, her only word was “fabulous.” She wanted to make the perfect interview. Then we talked about some of her experiences and how her parents treated her and punished even for minor things. When I asked her later if she raised her kids the same way, she told me that even being straight, things were more easy going. But, when I asked who behaved the worst of her children, she opened her eyes and mimed the name of my mother. When asking if it was indeed my mother, the response was, “You said that, I didn’t.”

We talked about her meeting my grandpa among others. But, the interview had to end when I asked her about some sad moments of her life. Seeing all her brothers die and her husband most recently, it’s natural that she wanted to end the interview. But, later, she was happy again and eager to listen the interview when I was done.

First, I fell very happy, because I saw how through her stories she relived many emotions. She made it feel like it was yesterday and I could see a special glow in her eyes. She really enjoyed telling those stories; she has all those great adventures in her mind just waiting for someone curious enough to listen to them. Then, things started to get nostalgic, because we both knew those times are not coming back. She could only relive them through story telling, but it was not the same. She has lived a good life, and there are many years to come, but the days that marked a difference in her life are in the past. I could see in her eyes, in her voice, how she missed those days. Then I started to feel sad, because I knew that someday I’ll be telling stories of my own and would do anything to relive them.



  1. Gave me great idea. Grandparents are people so important in our life and because of time we have non or very little time to spend with them. Loved your idea, thinking of doing something like this of my own

  2. This is really nice. I used to ask my grandmother about her past a lot, and she would always happily answer. I guess it brings nostalgia to everyone. The interview was really nice, and it looks like your grandmother had the typical childhood of a Puerto Rican in her time.

  3. I’m sharing this with my family. My grandma passed away when I was 16 and though she’s still very much alive in my heart and my memories, I wish I had done something like this.

  4. I really liked your interview. I have done the same thing, and they all have different things to say. The one that I like the most, is my grandfather part of my father, becuase he tells me how from nothing he has become what he is today. He in the other way has passed trough a lot of things that many people will never experienced. I ask him if he regrets something in his life, he told me “Nothing, I am who I am because of why I have been true”. My grandfather is the person who I most admired.

  5. This story is an excellent portray of the Puerto Rican idiosyncrasy and its evolution through the generations. We all have heard from our elders how things used to be so different over half a century ago. The “cantazo limpio” was the way used to educate children. I never had the chance to meet any of my grandparents, so I think you’re very lucky. I’m sure you treasure your grandmother, she’s an amazing woman!

  6. Me encanto escuchar la entrevista a tu abuela. Me acorde de mi abuela “A cantazo limpio” con mis tios William y Robert. Mayores por 5 a 7 years. Nunca le pego a sus nietos y nos portabamos peor que sus hijos mis tios ,…

    This site is very nice “We are puertorriquen-os,…”

  7. This is really interesting and actually outstanding. It’s amazing how there is a different point of view, different stories written about this. Your grandma is a very wonderful person. It really is amazing all of this. Best of luck to your grandma and I wish her the best.

  8. What an interesting lady your grandma is! Loved the way she described how her parents corrected them and her siblings “A cantazo limpio”. Truly a great piece of history in Puerto Rico, it is rather amazing how in each person the is a different history written. It is obvious that none of us would be able to live long enough to hear every piece of history from Puerto Rico. Best of hopes to your grandma.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>