Same House, Different Decade

What are the chances that we help two generations from the same family, with a twenty year span in between? In 1998, Meals on Wheels San Diego County delivered meals to Ruth Romero at her home in Barrio Logan which allowed her to age in her home where she raised her family for 60 years. Today, twenty years later, her son Adolfo is receiving meals as part of the new Promise Zone Initiative.

After a terrible fall, outside his home, Adolfo laid for hours until his daughter in-law found him. He was rushed to the hospital for care. His son Juan, who lives in Hemet, suggested the service Ruth received, Meals on Wheels. Knowing that we deliver every day, Adolfo would have people checking in on him, giving him some companionship and allowing Juan and his brother, Isaac, peace of mind. Adolfo was happy to open his home to us, a home he wants to be able to continue living in. Aldofo quipped “I never was much of a cook, so this is wonderful knowing I have a meal each day and delivered to my door. I remember my mom receiving meals and what a difference it made to her."   

Adolfo has many fond memories of his life and is proud that he has lived in this very house for 80 years! At 94 years young, it is hard to keep up with all the stories he has to tell about the changes in his neighborhood and San Diego over the decades.  He feels fortunate to have grown up in this home, raised his children here and where he definitely plans to stay with our help. 

The photos of his family cover the walls, creating a kaleidoscopic wallpaper of a life well lived. His pride shows through as he shares the care his two sons, Juan and Isaac provide, and the achievements of his grandchildren and great grandchildren.  The collage wouldn’t be complete, without the many photos of Waldo, his German Shepard mix and faithful companion for 16 years who passed on six months ago - creating a great loss to this day.

Adolfo reminisces about the changes he has seen from his front porch. Growing up in Barrio Logan was a friendly and neighborly experience. San Diego had a small town atmosphere. The neighborhood went through tough times and is currently being gentrified. Beyond the neighborhood, San Diego became a big city. One of the most exciting change was the opening of the iconic El Cortez (built in 1927). “It was the tallest building in San Diego for many years and the skyline of San Diego was changed forever.”

As he stopped to look at another series of pictures, he shared that he was drafted into the Army prior to graduating from San Diego High School. Adolfo was shipped out to North Africa for additional training and then into battle in Northern Italy. Misty eyed, he pointed to his brother in arms who lost his life and where Adolfo almost lost his.  

After the war, Adolfo headed back to his hometown of San Diego, where he married his high school sweetheart and started a family.  Like many returning soldiers, opportunities were plentiful in the aeronautics industry and his training fit the criteria. Over his career, he worked at Rohr, Ryan, and Convair and retired 28 years ago from Solar Turbines to enjoy life, a life in his family home.

At 94, his mind is sharp, but the years have made him less steady on his feet.  He would be lost without his walker that gives him the security to freely move about the house. Adolfo is a perfect candidate for community programs in the Promise Zone and other services Meals on Wheels provides through our various partnerships. Our Service Saturday volunteer team will also access his property to make it safer for him to walk.


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