WJFD 97.3 FM in New Bedford, Massachusetts, is the only 50,000 watts FM radio station broadcasting in the Portuguese language 24/7/365 in the United States. Travis was a featured guest in June. Click the audio player below to listen to the interview.
Of course, I donned my period clothing and showed the kids what it might have been like for Peter to swing the formidable broadsword. They look a little nervous, don't ya think? Brought this shot to mind.
The second class wanted to challenge "Hercules" to an arm wrestling match.
They thought if they could double team that they would beat me. Little did they realize...
Even the girls wanted to arm wrestle me. They had gumption!
The boys especially loved the sword and wanted their picture taken with it.
Some of the girls wanted their photos with me too. A few of the kids said I looked like I was in my twenties. Huh? At my event the week before, an eighty-year-old woman said the same thing! C'mon now, I just don't buy it.
The arm wrestling continued as the kids were looking for the tallest and strongest in the class to try and beat me.
I had changed back to my "street" clothes, and the third class came in. Of course, I couldn't leave before I told them about Peter Francisco, too. They also enjoyed holding the sword.
Visiting this school was a great opportunity for me to share Peter's story with an audience that doesn't often hear it. It reminded me of my son's wax museum project.
My sweet grandmother was 92 years young when the Lord took her gently into the good night on October 25, 2010.
A graceful, God-fearing woman, she loved her children and grandchildren unconditionally, overlooking our imperfections and encouraging us with the wisdom of her years. If not for her, I may have never heard the name Peter Francisco, and you likely wouldn’t be reading it now.
Grandfather Barret may have given me Francisco blood, but grandmother gave me roots. Despite my youth and probable indifference to ancestral heritage, she still chose to share Peter’s notoriety with me when she did. Maybe she didn’t know when she’d have another chance. Maybe she just liked telling a good story. Maybe she knew something I didn’t.
I served as pallbearer at her funeral. Her soul already with the Lord, I helped carry the remains of her fragile body to that final place. I imagine years from now, when I revisit the plot – occupied by both Barrets and Franciscos -- the swell of the ground will have settled, the roots beneath my feet taking hold of that fecund earth.