- Read Daddy’s history from the class reunion. (I’m sorry I don’t have this document anymore)
Many of you here knew my daddy during the early years of his life. I bet a memory of a time you had with Artie crossed your mind as I read his biography. In the past week I’ve heard some fun memories that some of you have: our cousin Ralphie, who is one of our Pall Bearers, can remember sliding down the banister at Horton’s Corner as a little boy and my dad saved him from getting a spanking for doing it; My Aunties can remember when my mom and dad were dating and dad would announce himself by spinning the tires of his 52 Chevy on the dirt road when he’d pick my mom up for a date; My Auntie Gloria was a little girl back then and she would run around the house yelling, “El Artie esta aqui!” but it sounded like “Lardy esta aqui!” Others know my daddy from the V, or Jordi’s, or Brighton Bar. He sat on a bar stool next to you and had a beer or two with you. And of course our family remembers Uncle Artie with a Coors Beer in his hand sitting at the kitchen table in their homes on Christmas day, at family reunions, or when we dropped by to have dinner and a cold one.
Throughout his life my daddy liked to have a good time. He loved to be the center of attention and make people laugh. He would dance, sing, tell jokes, argue, whatever it took. He was often the life of the party. I remember one time when we were at a wedding at the Dome at the Adams County Fairgrounds. He was dancing up a storm with a beer in his hand. When my daddy had had enough beers her would do this flip while he was dancing. (Note – I saw a lot of people’s faces light up at the Rosary at their own memory of my dad doing this.) Sure enough he went and did the flip with the cup of beer in his hand and do you know he didn’t spill a drop of beer! Artie the Great – defies gravity! One summer, when I was a teenager, my mom and dad, and I went to The State Fair in Pueblo with Hal and Charlie from KHOW radio. It was a super hot day. We had gone to cool down in one of those tents where there is live music. This particular tent happened to have a live Mariachi band. They began playing one of my dad’s favorite songs. He had been drinking beer most of the day and so when he heard the music start he stood up and with a strut walked up onto the stage, took the sombrero off of one of the musician’s heads, walked up to the mic and began singing…Hay, hay, hay…canto y no llores. Of course everyone loved him, they sang along with him, laughed at him and gave him a standing ovation! As a teen, I was appalled, my mom informs me that I stood outside the tent and cried from embarrassment. Now as an adult I treasure the memories of my daddy’s antics. And quite frankly wish I would have had the wisdom to join him in them. I’d get up there and sing, “I’m going to Kansas City, Kansas City Here I
Since his youth Artie wanted to be the boss, weather it was at work or at home. I don’t know how many thousands of times I heard him say, “Because I’m the jefe!” This fun-loving man was not always the easiest to love. He had a hard exterior that he didn’t let down very often and he didn’t know how to show love very well. Here’s an example: Please raise your hand if my dad ever called you Ugly-Dugly or Stupey-Dupey. It took many years for me to understand that these terrible nick-names that he would call me were his way of saying that he loved me; I want each of you who raised your hand to know that, when he called you Ugly-Dugly or Stupey-Dupey, it meant that he cared about you.
Many of us here have been raised by fathers who didn’t show that they loved us very well…and it hurt. In fact, throughout my teenage years and early adulthood I both hated and loved my dad. But, I knew about a part of my his heart that not very many were acquainted with: the soft side. At home, when a movie or story moved him, he would shed a tear or two. When we were together watching a movie or listening to a story on the radio, and I would start crying he couldn’t help himself – he would openly cry too. When I couldn’t control by tears at my cousin, Eddie Albert’s, funeral he held me and cried too. I absolutely loved laughing with my daddy, but the times we cried together were beautiful.
As an adult I have loved my daddy more than I thought possible. It wasn’t because he changed his ways, in fact when I would ask him, “Daddy, why do you do that?” He’d tell me, “That’s the way I am, I’m not gunna change.” He didn’t apologize to me one day nor did he suddenly start saying “I love you hita,” whenever we talked. It was nothing that he did. I am able to love him because of what Deacon Antonio spoke of tonight, the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. You see, I am just as much of a sinner as my daddy ever was. I have MY own issues that affect MY family. It was at the foot of the cross where I realized that we are all equal. All of us have sinned and none of us deserve to be forgiven. God’s amazing grace is poured out for each of us. Jesus suffered and died a horrific death so that he could bear all of our sins, including my dad’s, and wash us white as snow with his precious blood. If God loved ME so much that he would forgive ME, how could I not forgive my daddy? In forgiveness there is freedom to love.
Our family is so blessed to see each of you here tonight. It is a testimony to the laughter shared, the songs sung, the beers tapped and the “one-for-the road” lifestyle of Artie Sanchez. He truly did live life like one of his favorite songs speaks of: “I did it my way.” Thank you all for being here and the love that you have given us tonight. My daughter and I would like to close this service with one of our favorite worship songs. It is a song of hope and adoration for the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The words will be displayed for you to follow along. If you know the song please worship with us. Thank you again for coming tonight.