1949 - sergeant and mrs. bustillos

Documenting Your Journey assignment: Three Tales from Yours Truly

I gave my media students the following assignment:

Important images from my life.


In this assignment you will share a story about yourself, and about family and friends important to your family.

It’s important to tell your story because if you don’t, someone else will and they will probably get it wrong. Also, it turns out, there is almost always someone in your family history who played an important role in the story of your family. You might need to ask family members for help getting information to write these stories. You may also need to get images for each person in your story.

Video Lessons:

Documenting My Journey: Video Example


Now it’s your turn!

  • Click the Google Doc “A28: Documenting Your Journey” posted at the bottom of this page.
  • Click in the Name: box and type in your full name
  • Next to the Tuesday box type a one- to three paragraph story about yourself that you want to tell. It can be a funny story, sad story, story that makes you think. Do not try to write your whole life story, just one incident, one event, one story.
  • Add a selfie. It can be a current image, or something from when the story takes place. Insert the image either before your story or after your story in the Tuesday box.
  • You will continue with a new person each of the following days.
  • You may want to ask your adults or siblings for stories and images about friends and family that you will use for the next three days.

Here’s my example stories:

“Little Joey Gets a Gift from Dad”

I am the middle kid of five siblings, but the oldest boy. For my birthday one year my dad gave me a baseball mitt, which was great. One slight problem, my dad bought me a right-hander’s mitt and I am decidedly left-handed. I mean, we sat together every night for dinner, and he didn’t notice that I picked up my fork and spoon with my left hand? Or it could have been that there wasn’t a left-hander’s baseball mitt in the store or maybe the left-hander’s mitt cost more than my dad was willing to spend or had available to spend. Either way, this was back in the day when we didn’t say anything to dad about this “mistake.” Basically, I was forced to learn how to play baseball right-handed. Not too surprisingly, I was never any good at playing baseball. Also, I had pretty bad eyesight that was never diagnosed until I was an adult, so that didn’t help. But one good thing from the experience is that I became a little ambidextrous, being able to do things left-handed and right-handed, but baseball was not something I ever got good at.

5. 1960s – hands-on-hips joe, mich & kathie.

“A Man and A Horse: Grandpa and Grandma Reyes”

This story is really about the choice my grandmother Reyes made. Originally I thought of it as a story about my grandfather, but that’s not quite right. It seems that my grandmother had to choose between several suitors who wanted to marry her. I’m sure that this was not solely her choice alone, meaning that I’m sure her family made the choice with or more likely for her. So, from what I understand, one of the reasons she chose my grandfather instead of the others was because my grandfather was the proud owner of a beautiful white horse. Again, I have no idea how much of this choice was hers, but the ownership of a horse played a part in Jose Reyes becoming her husband and eventually my grandfather. There you go, a family journey began with a woman marrying a man, in part because he was responsible enough to own a horse. That might sound pretty crazy, but I have a friend who ended up with her husband because, in her words, she always wanted to be with a blond guy. Yeah, turns out a white horse isn’t the worst reason to marry someone.

Mexican Gothic - Grandma & Grandpa Reyes (with an uncle)
Mexican Gothic – Grandma & Grandpa Reyes (with an uncle)


My mom and dad grew up a block from each other but didn’t meet until high school. I’ve heard stories that mom’s sisters pushed them together when they walked in the school hallways near each other. It would seem that during one of these encounters my dad teased my mom that she didn’t even know his name. She quipped that she’s not stupid, that his name was right on the letterman’s jacket he was wearing. Stupid boy. “Your name is ‘Bruce’!” she declared. But the joke was on her. Dad was wearing someone else’s jacket. Doh. I guess the incident left a big enough impression on their relationship, such that many, many years later, when I was born, they gave me the middle name “Bruce.”

“Bruce” seemed like an odd name for a Latino child in the late 1950s, but I guess it could have been much worse. I could have ended up with a middle name like “Oswald” or “Theodore.” or “Harvey.” “Bruce” wasn’t a great name growing up in the 1960s and 1970s, but it could have been much worse. There would seem to be a life theme for me here.

1949 - sergeant and mrs. bustillos
1. 1949 – sergeant and mrs. bustillos

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