Photography by Michelle Kilfeather
So, we're doing something a little different here.
Way, way back in Season 1, on Episode 14 (Part 1 / Part 2), we had friend of the show H.P. Mendoza on. Back then, we were all about stories, not necessarily people's stories, like we are today. And so, we asked H.P. to come back on and share his personal history with you.
He starts off with his birth (St. Luke's in the Mission) and his childhood (on La Grande Avenue in the Excelsior). Then he backs up to go into some depth about his paternal grandmother, who taught English and adored H.P., her first grandchild born in the U.S. She had a piano and that's how H.P. learned to play.
A tangent leads to H.P. talking about his love of movies from an early age. He credits his brother Joe with that, as well as H.P.'s continued interest in storytelling, video games, cartoons, and more.
H.P. shares stories from his school days. Being the first U.S.-born kid in his family, there were higher expectations placed on him. His early curiosity about kids who were different from him and his family led to some pretty funny mischief. His parents pulled him out of public school and sent him to Epiphany Catholic School.
After skipping second grade, H.P. experienced ostracism from kids older than him and kids his age. Because of this, he added one year to his age well into his twenties.
He ends Part 1 rattling off different obscure, adult-ish movies he was into as a kid.
Join us for Part 2 on Thursday, when we'll hear the rest of H.P.'s story.
H.P. Mendoza's Dad, the Pac-Man King
We recorded this podcast at Casements Bar in the Mission in May 2021.