Frank & Lucy San Luis have called Elysian Valley home since 1969. They met while living in the Philippines and have been married for 55 years. Frank recalls having limited income and needing to borrow a wedding ring from his cousin to place on Lucy’s hand during the religious ceremony. They are proud parents of five children and have seven grandchildren. While in the Philippines, Frank recalls working in farming, carpentry and local water systems (i.e., irrigation dams & artisan wells). Frank describes himself as a “handyman and self-taught electrician.” He is proud of having put all these skills to use for the benefit of his family, friends and neighbors-often at no cost.
Frank worked as handyman for his sister’s rental property before landing full time employment with Lawry’s Foods Co. He recalls the application process and writing in the comments section that he “wanted good things for the company and for himself.” When asked by the hiring manager to explain further this statement, Frank told him “I have a family to support and will do any job.” He was hired on the spot as a forklift operator and retired 22 years later as Warehouse Leadman. Lucy, in addition to being a full time mom and wife worked for 14 plus years as a seamstress operator for a local uniform garment manufacturer. Together, she and Frank bought their first house on Blake Ave./Oros St. for $8,000 and purchased their current house on Riverdale Ave. in 1974 for $25K.
Frank has a fond memory of what both he and Lucy describe as a “mysterious/magical frog” the size of a toe- found inside a bamboo shoot that Frank was handling for fence mending splints- while still living in the Philippines. The described frog was both beautiful and elusive as it could not be caught. Less elusive but equally beautiful is the memory Frank and Lucy have of the abundance of frogs on the LA-River that could be seen and heard throughout the neighborhood. They enjoy gardening at Elysian Valley’s Jardin Del Rio community garden, where Frank has been garden manager since 2003.
Frank and Lucy credit their faith in God for their success and are thankful for the love of their children. They want to be remembered by their children as loving parents. For Frank and Lucy, having a family presence in EV, good friends, friendly neighbors, peace and quiet, small town feel and convenient location is what made Elysian Valley appealing then and now.