The Journey Continues: Pifa Pastrano
My journey this week took me to the home of Pifa and Tomasa Pastrano. I met Pifa soon after arriving in San Marcos in 1989 and we became good friends.
I often say, “the only thing better than a friend is an old friend.” And that applies to Pifa and me.
Pifa’s story: “My father was a sharecropper in Staples and I was the oldest of 12 children. My mother did everything in the home every day – cared for the children, did the laundry and made multitudes of tortillas served with eggs, potatoes, chilis, beans, etc. that she cooked for our large family. I dropped out of school in the seventh grade to help support the family.
“To make a living, our family traveled for seasonal farm work in a 1948 Chevy sedan to Chillicothe and Vernon, Texas, either chopping or pulling cotton. The Torres, Hernandez, Rodriguez and Pastrano families normally worked together. Our living conditions during the harvest were challenging – no electricity, no running water, with each family sharing an assigned room in an old farm house.
“In 1965, I married Tomasa Rodriguez and I went to work at the Coat Hanger factory in Maxwell, Texas. Next, I farmed for $30 a week and then moved to Big Spring for $70 a week farming.
“I returned to San Marcos to work for ‘Peewee’ Doherty Wrecker. Next, in 1974, I worked for Love Tire Company where I learned tires, brakes and alignments for all sorts of equipment. I became a white-shirt assistant manager.
“In 1989, my friend, Tony Garza, owner of the Chili Dog Stand, encouraged me to start my own business, Economy Tire. Brother Jim, pastor of Redwood Baptist Church, started to use my shop for his personal vehicles and church vans and also made referrals – especially single mothers who needed car repairs from someone they could trust for a fair diagnosis and repair price.
“It is my conviction that honesty and fairness are what God demands of business owners. Regretfully, I had to close my business in 2002 for medical reasons. I pray every night, asking God to help me feel better and not be sick.”
Pifa Pastrano’s business model was based on helping others – always considerate and respectful of everyone. A scripture application for his business transactions is:
“Better a little with righteousness than much gain
I am thankful for Pifa and others like him.