Imperial Valley families celebrate Father's Day
Three generations of the Plascencia family of Imperial gather at Jalisco's Restaurant to enjoy a Father¿s Day brunch on Sunday afternoon in El Centro. (STEVEN ESPERANZA PHOTO / June 16, 2013)
In pop-quiz fashion, the older Plascencias asked one of the younger ones to explain what a father’s role is.
“A provider,” said Damian Plascencia, who represented the second of three generations present.
With another child soon to be added to their first, Damian said fatherhood can be quite the challenge.
“You find out it’s harder than it seems,” he said.
His father, Alfredo Plascencia, in typical fatherly fashion, offered Damian some perspective.
“(Damian) didn’t realize how much I love him until he became a father,” Alfredo said.
Also working in his favor, Damian has had predecessors that have all proven to be capable providers.
Most notably was the example set by Damian’s grandfather, who had to drop out of school in the third grade to become the household’s father figure after having been orphaned by his father, said Damian’s uncle, Ramiro Plascencia.
He would go on to spend 46 years of his 83-year existence as a farm worker.
“He was a hard worker and that’s what he taught us,” Ramiro said about his father, who died some time ago.
Little by little, the tables where they held court at Jalisco’s Grill would begin to fill with more of the Imperial-based Plascencia family. Afterward, they would reunite for a backyard carne asada, another Father’s Day tradition.
The El Centro restaurant was also the first of three stops on Tony Gonzalez Jr.’s Father’s Day itinerary.
“Back to back to back,” Gonzalez said. “Breakfast, lunch and dinner.”
The Father’s Day gatherings, which include parents, siblings and in-laws, are deeply valued by Gonzalez.
“It’s always been like that,” he said. “We’re trying to make so our kids do it, too.”
On Sunday, he, his wife and two children were expecting to be joined by about 10 other family members, including his father.
Gonzalez said he enjoys a really close relationship with his father, who is a trucker. Despite the extended road trips associated with such a job, Gonzalez said his father made it a point to be home for holidays and special occasions.
“By him doing that, I knew that family always came first,” he said.
When the now 31-year-old El Centro resident initially found out he was going to be a father, Gonzalez said he felt scared and excited all at once.
Holding his son proved to be even more of an extraordinary experience.
“When I held my son in my hands I knew I had a big responsibility on my hands,” he said. “From then on I knew my life would never be the same.”
Staff Writer, Copy Editor Julio Morales can be reached at 760-337-3415 or at firstname.lastname@example.org