Andrew from Houston

Andrew was born and raised in  Houston, Texas.  He had a typical country boy upbringing. Every summer, Andrew’s father would send him to his grandparents’ farm just outside of town in San Felipe, Texas. His family owned the land for generations since the earliest settlement in San Felipe.  He and his cousin, Leonard, would work on the farm from dawn till dusk  Every day, they would feed the chickens and hogs, and take care of of the crops. The most difficult thing for Andrew was to harvest, grade, sort and field pack the  watermelons.  Sometimes, a watermelon would weigh up to 30 pounds.  Andrew had to load them into the truck while taking great care not to damage any of the fruit.   Nevertheless, Andrew was never really happy there as a kid, and he always wondered if there was more to life than deer hunting, bass fishing, and four wheelin’.

houston-solar-energy-installation-articleAs a “army-brat,” Andrew moved around all over.   Being an “army brat,” Andrew also developed a strong work-ethic, sense of discipline, and love for his country. Growing up, Andrew  always  dreamed of graduating at the  top of the his class at the US Military Academy at West Point. A member of Andrew’s family going back to the founding of the United States had fought in some kind of military conflict.  His father participated in the Gulf War, his grandfather drove a tank in World War II, and his great-grandfather rode a horse in the cavalry during World War I.  Before that, his family had fought in the Spanish American War, US Civil War, Mexican American War, War of 1812, and the War for Independence. Andrew also wanted to go to West Point, so that his father would have to salute him instead of the other way around. Andrew’s father was a Drill Sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps. Andrew also wanted to go to Westpoint, so that his father would have to salute him instead of the other way around. Andrew’s father was a Drill Sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps.

army_brat_excuse His father treated Andrew like one of his soldiers, and he expected him to be disciplined. Whenever he got really drunk he would get out his army belt and threaten to kill Andrew and his mother.  Andrew’s father never really loved and appreciated his mother.  The only reason he married her is because she was the best looking woman he could find. After they got married, he would cheat on her every chance he got. Andrew feels that his father was always hiding his true identity.  On the outside, he tried to appear confident, serious, and mature.  He had an imposing demeanor.  Unlike Andrew, he had a heavy built, and he was a serious weight-lifter. On the inside, Andrew’s father was childish and immature. He was prone to sudden bursts of anger and violence. He was also an alcoholic, pot-smoker and heroin addict. When Andrew was as young as five years old, his father would bring him along to his hang-outs.  Andrew would get a glimpse of the world of junkies, drug users and alcoholics. He would even let Andrew drink beer. He would tell him that the older Andrew would get, the more beer he could drink. His friends and colleagues all said that his father had a lot of potential. However, he lacked the internal discipline and will-power. He was unable to drink alcohol in moderation. Things got so bad, that his mother filed for a divorce and a restraining order, and Andrew’s father had to move out of the house. His drug addiction gradually deteriorated, and he  even started selling drugs at the army base where he was stationed. The only reason he was able to stay in the marines is because his poker buddies covered  for him, so he would sell them drugs at a discount.

kid-alcoholicRight after Andrew turned 17 years old, his father died  after getting drunk and injecting too much heroin. Nevertheless,  he was still honored with a military burial with full honors.  His father’s family tried to raise Andrew with “southern values.”  For example, his grandparents always told Andrew that the  Civil War was about states’ rights and not about slavery. They often frowned upon Andrew’s mother just because she was Jewish. When Andrew asked them what’s wrong with being Jewish, they told him that Christians were better than all Jews. They also made racist comments about people from different ethnicities and nationalities.  They didn’t want Andrew to be friends with kids from African American and Hispanic backgrounds whose families often worked as part-time laborers on their farm.  Andrew never listened to them.  Instead, Andrew has always befriended people who were different from him.  In his view, true Christians do not hate, discriminate, or exclude people.  Ever since he was a kid, h was always questioning his grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, and their biased views. Especially, they didn’t like Andrew asking about how his ancestors could fight for the Confederacy.  Instead of feeling pride, Andrew felt guilt and shame. They also didn’t like when Andrew asked them if they participated in the Civil Rights Movement to stop discrimination.  Usually, they told Andrew that he asked too many questions, and that he should stop.  His grandparents passed away a few years after his father’s death.  Not surprisingly, all their property and farm was left to Andrew’s cousins Leonard and Natalie.  They sold the land and used the proceeds to feed their meth addiction and pay off the loan sharks.

inheritanceAAndrew decided that it would not be wise to follow in his father’s  footsteps and rejected his acceptance to West Point.  Instead, he ended up  double majoring in  criminal justice and economics at Texas A&M University in College  Station. After graduation, he worked briefly selling insurance before he got his real estate license.  Now  Andrew works as an associate for a “big time”  realtor in Austin, Texas.  He lives in an apartment not far from Barton Creek Greenway.  He loves jogging on the trail amid cacti and exotic plants to catch the sunset over Lake Austin.  In his free-time, Andrew loves to listen to ranchera music, which he thinks of as “Mexican Country Music.” Some of his favorite artists are Espinoza Paz, Los Angeles Azules, Los Socios Del Ritmo,  Los Darreyes de La Sierra, and Pesado.   Andrew also likes to listen to the music to “brush up” on his Spanish. Andrew started studying Spanish when he was only 12 years old. The real reason he took Spanish was when he met a beautiful girl from Mexico named Dulce. Dulce didn’t speak any English when she moved to Houston.  Nevertheless, they still fell in love with each other, and she was his first “girlfriend.” Sadly, Dulce moved back to Mexico after only a few months, and Andrew never saw her again.  He knows it’s silly, but he hangs to a childish dream to go to Mexico and find Dulce there waiting for him. He keeps his dream alive by studying Spanish in his free time. He is also a big fan of The Jonny Ramirez in the Morning Show.  Due to his passion for the Spanish culture,  Andrew identifies himself not just as a Texan, but as “Tejano and Proud.”

tejanoAndrew has other interests besides Tejano culture and learning Spanish. He attends  his local community church every Sunday. His favorite bible verse is: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths”(Proverb 3:5-6). Besides Mexican music, Andrew likes Country music as well.  His favorite musicians are Travis Tritt, Toby Keith, and Garth Brooks. he also listens to lesser-known artists like Junior Brown and Joe Ely. Every once in a while, he even listens to Shania and Sylvia.  Andrew’s favorite conversation topics are the teachings of Jesus, the Civil War, and the US Constitution. He is interested in analyzing more modern military conflicts from a strategic standpoint to see what went wrong and what he would of done to fix it.   When he can’t think of anything to do, he heads on over to Barnes &  Noble to read the latest books on Christianity and American History.

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