This is one of my favorite Rocha family photographs. It was taken at John and Doralice's 25th Wedding Anniversary party in September 1989. We were all so young. (Sierra was only 6 months old.) We're all smiling here, but the day didn't start of that way. This party was a surprise, and Leroy had one heck of a time keeping it from his Dad. At that time, both Leroy and his brother Johnny were working on the dairy. And, being September, we were right in the middle of chopping season. This is not the best time to schedule an event, but hindsight is 20-20. We had made arrangements for John and Doralice to leave the dairy early to attend another event (a wedding, I think) with good family friends Gilbert and Linda Teixeira. But of course, things on the dairy were not going well and at the last-minute, my father in law decided to skip the wedding to finish the chopping. The arguing back and forth (and some name calling) was a fever pitch. Leroy had to do something desperate to get him off the place and he finally decided a mechanical breakdown was the best idea. He booby-trapped the tractor so it wouldn't work. If the tractor doesn't work, and you can't get someone out to fix it until Monday, he'd have plenty of time to go to a wedding.
Needless to say, it worked.
There was a lot of apologizing when they initially arrived. My father-in-law was very surprised and humbled when he realized the extra work that went into pulling off a party of that magnitude. We all had a wonderful time and made lasting memories throughout the whole experience. This is one of those family stories that will be passed around this family for a very long time.