Leonardo Escalante Jr.

Leonardo Escalante Jr was the second child. According to the documentation I can find, he was tall, with dark hair and eyes. He had three fingers on his left hand that were disabled. Fortunately, he was able to make a living on his skill as a barber.

He is the brother of which I know the least. He was born April 5, 1892, in Mexico. None of the paperwork I found have pinpointed which town, although Sonora is probably the state.

He worked as a barber in Santa Paula, and later in Orange County.

1919 must have been the year of great change. Before Maria’s twin children were born, it appeared that the Escalante’s were already going to Calexico and Mexicali for social events.  I may have mentioned that the Romo’s of Orange County got left behind. But that was okay, because there were quite a few Romo’s in Calexico as well! In fact, these Romo’s, cousins of David Romo Sr, open the social doors to several of the Escalante’s.

mexicalibaptism

The above article was from the Los Angeles Spanish newspaper, “Heraldo de Mexico.” It got quite the write-up. Leonardo was one of the “caballeros” at the baptism of Armando Marcelo Grisanti. His sister, Panchita (aka Frances), was one of the young ladies in the party. (Alejandro Garcia was also in the male listing. Panchita married him. Could this have been their first date?)

The party sounded amazing. Being the foodie I am, after finding family names, I read: exquisite mole poblano, chicken tamales, fresh beer and good wine. Wow!

The only other thing I have found on Leonardo was a listing in the 1926 Imperial County Directory. The address was 624 E. 4th Street. The name Rufina is in parentheses. Was this because he took over the house (or boarding house) after his mom died in 1923?

Leonardo Escalante, 1926 Imperial County Directory.

Leonardo Escalante, 1926 Imperial County Directory.

And that is the last I can find of him. Anywhere. If he had lived, and died, in Calexico, there should have been an accessible death certificate on him. Maybe he went to be cared for in Mexicali, dying there…leaving me no paper trail.

You may have noticed his name was listed as Leonard here. When I interviewed my grandfather, he listed his siblings like this: “Joe, Leonard, Charlie, Mary, Ruben, Frances, Lupe, and Fernando.” My grandfather’s name became Albert, although he went by Tony. The Anglicizing of the names, on formal paperwork,  started early on.

Rumor had been that Leonardo died of the Spanish Influenza. But that period of turmoil was from 1918-1919. If he was still alive in 1926, maybe it was something else that took his life.  Even though he had no family of his own, he shared the name of his father, two nephews and one great-nephew. Not bad. Not bad at all.

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