Once upon a time, in a land once filled with oak trees, a little baby girl was born. She caused quite a stir, see her parents already had three grown children... SCANDALOUS. The baby girl hung out in her family's tienda everyday since la familia lived over it. Mami tells stories about how she wouldn't touch anything not even the machinery in the rear tortilla factory. But one day the baby in her walker spied the front door and MADE A RUN FOR IT! She was caught in time and promptly had a rope tethered to her just short of the door. This would not be the last time she would run for FREEDOM.
A couple years later, the tienda had to move down the street and the family moved to East Oakland. The baby now a girl only went to La Borinquena on Saturdays. Once she was tall enough to reach the grocery counter, she started helping Mami wait on customers. La Chiquita became her name, not because of her age but because she was so small and short. It took FOREVER for her to be able to work the the restaurant side of the shop since the counters were even higher. Ages twelve to nineteen working at la tienda on Saturdays and school vacations went ok. Then one day Pop and the girl could not deal with each other ANYMORE. The girl had been recruited to another job...she LEFT, wasn't kicked out...SCANDALOUS once again!
She RAN thinking La Borinquena was the LAST PLACE she would ever wind up. LIFE can be sneaky sometimes, you wake up one day and say HOW DID I GET HERE??? The womenfolk in la familia wanted her back, Pop was gonna limit his time working. FINE, she figured she was 27 now and who said you can NEVER go home? Obviously, they didn't come from a Latino family! The girl would go out and about in Oakland and people would look at her and say, "I know you...you're the Tamale Girl!!!" Her fate was sealed, her Pop before her was Tony Tamale, she would become know as Tina Tamale. The restaurant/shop website would become, http://tamalegirl.com
So here I am, Tina Tamale, almost eleven years from the day I returned to La Borinquena still working with Big Sis, Mami and now my grown niece Renee E with Sweet Bratty Niece on occasion. These are my stories, about mi familia, La Borinquena, Oakland, mi amigos, my projects and anything else I find cool. Sometimes I'll include pictures, links and a Yelp review (tinatamale.yelp.com) now and then.
This is mi VIDA in Tamale World...
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