Stories Growing Up Portuguese – Didacus Ramos

The Lesson


Didacus Ramos


(Best read with a Guatemala “Casi Cielo” (“Almost Heaven”) and a maple oat nut scone.)


Uncle Frank was pissed.


He slammed the gearbox of the ’41 Pontiac coup and it lunged forward across Winton Avenue.  Richard and Craig grabbed the back of the front seats and the hand loops next to the doors to hang on.  I fell back into the front seat, my feet flying off the floor boards.


Richard and Craig.  I always said the names together—Richard n’ Craig—like it was one word.  My cousins’ names were more an idea than just people’s names.  We all had been raised together more like brothers and sisters than cousins.  But, our homes were named after who we played with.  I called it Richard n’ Craig’s.  My sister called the same place Kristine’s.


Early that day I left home to walk around the block to their house.  My mother admonished, “Be home by dinner.”  Now I wondered if I’d be late.  Didn’t make much difference.  There’d be hell to pay today.


Craig saw them first.  His arm shot past my head like a spear, finger sharply pointing.  “There they are!”  The punks had upturned a wooden baseball backstop.  The one with the mouth was bouncing on it trying to break it.

You may read the rest of the story here:

Didacus Ramos’ writing is loosely based on stories from his family, friends, and childhood, dramatized for the full effect. He lives, and grew up, in Hayward, California (then a blue-collar, mostly Portuguese area of San Francisco’s East Bay Area.) Didacus may be reached at and is writing an entire book of these stories and would love to hear from interested agents and publishers!

3 thoughts on “Stories Growing Up Portuguese – Didacus Ramos

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