Cindy Mosqueda interviewed her father, Carlos Mosqueda, about his youth — and her grandfather — in East Los Angeles.
Cindy Mosqueda interviewed her father, Carlos Mosqueda, about his youth — and her grandfather — in East Los Angeles. StoryCorps
For more than two decades, Bartolo Mosqueda worked at a plumbing supply company that makes pipes. But that was just his day job. In his community, the late Mosqueda's work as a healer created a long-lasting legacy.
As his son Carlos and granddaughter Cindy recently discussed, Bartolo helped people cope with dislocated joints and bad backs for more than 30 years. Cindy, now 29, says that she often saw folks arrive at her grandfather's house in pain, and leave feeling better.
Carlos says that when his father came home from work, there would already be a handful of people waiting for him in the backyard, where he kept a bench and a workshop.
"My dad never charged for his services," Carlos says. "People that played sports would come with a dislocated ankle, shoulder, what have you — they'd come in limping, and they would literally leave walking."
"Dad used to say, 'To him who is upstairs, there is no impossible thing' — Para el de arriba no hay ninguna cosa imposible."
Bartolo died in 1998; for months after his death, his wife would have to tell those seeking help that he was no longer alive. In addition to a loyal customer base, Bartolo's legacy includes eight children — Carlos has five older sisters and two younger brothers.
Carlos currently works as a financial representative in California.
"Just recently, I happened to help a client," Carlos says, "and he said to me, 'I used to know a Mr. Mosqueda. He used to live in East L.A. He was a sobador'" — a masseur.
"And when he said that, my jaw nearly dropped," Carlos said.
The man remembered the healer's name.
"Se llamaba Bartolo," he said. "Alguna relacion a usted?" — Any relation to you?
"And I looked at him in the eyes," Carlos says, "and I said, 'That's my father.' And tears ran out down his eyes."
Carlos says the man then told him, "Your father cured my wife when nobody else could."
"Grandpa made an impact like that, that has lived on," Carlos tells Cindy. "To have seen him do that, to make a kind of difference like that, that's an incredible thing."
Produced for Morning Edition by Nadia Reiman. The senior producer for StoryCorps is Michael Garofalo. Recorded in partnership with KPCC. This interview is part of StoryCorps Historias..