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In Loving Memory...
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It was nearly a year and a half ago that I decided to put my column on the auction block at a local fundraiser. The Bulletin hadn’t said I couldn’t, so “Entitlement Chris” decided it was fine to do. I figured it would be a nice gesture to donate something charitable and secretly knew it would give me a week off – while someone else had to toil above their keyboard. It was purchased by Alyce Machado Luis, under the guise that at any point she felt the need to speak her mind, dote upon her kids, or simply have some fun – the column would be hers for a week.
Alyce approached me last week with heavy heart at the passing of her mother Alice Machado on Nov. 23 and decided this would be the time to use the column to pay tribute. The poetic justice in this was especially close to my own heart.
Growing up in Manteca I learned to auctioneer at a young age, and Alice Machado was always a fixture at local charitable/fundraiser events. And in the man’s world of auction bidding and one-upmanship, Alice Machado not only stood her own, she often dominated the room.
She had a sneaky finger lift bid technique, as she never wanted to tip her hand to the others in the room what she was going after. And more than once in my life, she chewed my behind when I didn’t notice.
She was always a pleasure at the auctions, and more than once saved the same behind she’d just chewed – by bailing me out when I didn’t have a bidder. Though I am certain this column will not be the last item purchased in her memory, I’d like to say one last time in my auctioneers cadence “Sold it out – Alice Machado. Thank you Alice.”

A Daughter’s Thoughts
(By Alyce Machado Luis)
The greatest lessons my mom ever taught me was; to hold my head up during times of adversity, to always live with integrity, and be confident the truth always comes out! Such a wise woman. Throughout mom’s life she had a few sayings — sayings she lived by. We called them “mom-isms”. Here are just a few.
u“Don’t cry because an old person died. We’re all gonna die.”
u“When you spit up, it comes back in your face.”
u“A secret is between you and your teeth.”
u“Don’t wait till someone dies to go to their funeral, visit them when they are alive.”
u “Give flowers to someone while they are alive, because it doesn’t do them any good when they are dead.”
u“Blood is thicker than water.”
u“Forty-two years ago men didn’t give women much credibility. So when your father died the banker told me I should sell the business. I told him then how am I going to raise my 5 children that are still at home? It was tough but the strong survive.
  Thank you Mom. You will always be my hero. Love, Alyce.

Thoughts of Avo
(By granddaughter Celisa Souza Mussi)
The night after the funeral I laid on my bed thinking of my Avo. She was such a cool lady. I don’t think I could be as savvy and smart as my grandmother. But she is definitely at the forefront of my mind on what kind of woman I am aspiring to be.
She was a lady led by her Catholic faith, her love for family, community service, and her tenacity for knowledge. She was able to hang in any circle of people; a table full of men, a group of gabbing girls, the banker, the priest, the shop lady, the grocer, even the ladies at Tipton’s who helped her pick out wedding gifts.
She was able to interact with anyone with style, grace, knowledge and respect. She was a strong woman who knew exactly what she wanted, and had the courage to go after it. She also taught me to be in the moment and enjoy the company around you.
Each day I pray to gain some of my grandmother’s wisdom. I am fortunate to have witnessed the legacy of my grandmother and will continue to keep her vision as my vision.

 Our Avo
(By granddaughter Annalicia Luis)
She’s the matriarch, the head of the household,
She’s loving and witty, and funny and bold!
She’s a classical movie, she’s a ride on her walker,
And everyone knows our Avo was quite the talker!
She taught us our prayers, and how to have good handwriting,
While never forgetting to remind us to stop our nail biting!
She’s family pictures on Christmas, full plates on Thanksgiving,
And we’re so proud of her legacy, and the life she was living.
She was a warm hug, big smile, and a heart full of love,
We’re blessed to know she’s smiling down from above.