Old Pueblo Abuelo: Be Thankful

Thankful my grandmother Marina made it across the border with my mom Elsa (bottom left), my aunt Norma and my uncle Oscar.

This is the 19th installment of “Old Pueblo Abuelo,” a Sunday night thought on positive things happening in the Old Pueblo from a sometimes cranky and often times humorous grandfather actually born in Tucson and writing from my desk in Tucson.

This is the time of year when we are supposed to reflect on all those people, places or things that we are thankful for so here I go.

People? I’m thankful for my parents and for Jim for being there for my mother in the late autumn of her wonderful life. I miss my dad. I miss him every day.

I’m thankful for my siblings. My oldest brother Hector has had a life full of pain but I remember him in his younger days when he was a bright star. I’m thankful for those memories and I’m thankful he is still with us and he’s the biggest Wildcat fan there is. I’m thankful for my older sister Debbie and I’m thankful she is there to comfort me like after I had to walk my mom down the aisle at my daughter’s wedding because my dad had already passed away.

I’m thankful for my other brother Carlos who was the bridge between the older set of siblings and the younger ones, including me. He was the perfect older brother who taught me how to get in trouble and how to avoid getting in trouble. I’m thankful for my younger brother Javier and all that he has given to me over the last decade or so like this webpage. He was criticized for “starting a website in his kitchen” by the bigger guys who now try to copy what he has created and AllSportsTucson is now a monster. Our dad would be proud.

I’m thankful for all the nephews and nieces my sibling have added to our family and I’m thankful for my wife Jane for letting me do all this when I had no business being out every night watching high school games. Had she said no 14 or so years ago, then high school reporting would be dead right now in Tucson. It would be like volleyball, tennis, wrestling, golf, swimming, cross country and track didn’t exist. But, beyond that, she’s the mother of our three girls, Arianna, Brittney and Maggie. Jane was the better parent and now she’s the better grandparent.

I’m proud of all my children and I grow more proud every day and now the grandchildren are coming. Wren and Rowan have made me the Old Pueblo Abuelo and I had to get that trademarked.

I’m thankful for my grandmother Marina who made it to this country for a better life.

More “Old Pueblo Abuelo” can be found here.

Places? I’m grateful for Southern Arizona, Pima County and Tucson. A few others who try to make a living off of our high school kids seem to get some bizarre pleasure out of attacking Tucson but this is our home. I’m grateful for the businesses that sprang up here and for those that relocated to be here. I’m also grateful for my time in Kensington, Maryland – that was probably the best time of my life because it was high school.

I’m thankful for my home and for Rio Vista Elementary School. I’m thankful for my principal for allowing me to paint and paint and paint murals and murals and murals.

Things? I’m thankful for tamales, tacos dorados and tortillas. I’m thankful for my Spanish, Mexican and Yaqui heritage, mostly for my skin color but also for the food. I’m thankful for my camera. I had to teach myself how to click and it’s work out – mostly.

So, be thankful this week. I’m thankful for yams and pumpkin pie. That’s what I’ll be eating because my mom stopped making sweet tamales.


Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014, he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017, a 2019 AZ Education News award winner and he has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. He was the first in Arizona to write about high school beach volleyball and high school girls wrestling. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here and on AZPreps365.com. Andy is the Southern Arizona voting member of the Ed Doherty Award, recognizing the top football player in Arizona, and he was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Andy was named an Honorary Flowing Wells Caballero in 2019, became a member of the Sunnyside Los Mezquites Cross Country Hall of Fame in 2021 and he was a member of the Amphi COVID-19 Blue Ribbon Committee and he earned a Distinguished Service Award from Amphitheater. Contact Andy Morales at amoralesmytucson@yahoo.com

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