Josefina has always been a big influence in my life. I ran away so many times just to be with Josefina and my step grandfather Joe. I felt safe with them and I knew without a doubt that they loved me.
Josefina came to the United States from Mexico at the age of 34 years old to be with her new Polish American husband Joe Kavaloski. They had been pen pals for 3 years. All of her correspondence to Joe had been written with the help of an interpreter.
I found her hand written letter accepting Joe’s proposal of marriage. Josefina and I were going through her family photographs when I happened upon this envelope with the letter to Joe. I asked her if I could make a copy of it.
You can almost hear her accent and little bits of Spanglish. Spanglish: Spanish/English it is something that she still speaks today. It’s hard to keep up with if you don’t understand Spanish. Let alone English with a very thick Latin accent. Think of Ricky Ricardo’s accent from the “I Love Lucy Show” and imagine her reading this letter:
Photo of Audrey B and Josefina taken in a photo booth in Sun Valley, CA aprx. 1960
19 Abril 1952
Sr. Joe Kavaloski
I’m very glad to have received your letter in my hometown. I’ve told my parents about your and our marriage. They answered they have no objection. Caring each other the way we do, I am sure to love you very much.
I wouldn’t know how tell you the happiest I was with my family there (Cadereyta, Nuevo Leon, Mexico). Its quite different, every people live very calmly, with no hurry at all. Opposite to the way we live in the City (Mexico City). All my relatives and friends went to see me and I went to a province town dancing which was very amazing. Swell! My girl friends already know I have an American boy friend. They all wonder if we really will get married, well you know that kind of people.
Don’t forget to tell mi if you’ll come by plane and the tiempo (time) you have so my daughter and I can go to the airport to welcome you. Anyway, I think for such a long trip it’s much better to come by airplane and I’m so anxious to see you. I also dream like you do about the joy and happiness we’ll have together and the beautiful places we’ll go travelling to.
Tell your brother not to be in such a hurry to write to my (English) teacher. I also have a girl friend who wants to meet him.
I hope you feel better during these days when you are to love. I am always praying our Lord to keep you O.K. and bring you to Mexico better.
Meny kisses and embraces for you darling, with all my love and tenderness.
P.D. Greetings from my daughter for you.