Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Rita Perez Torres (left) and her sister Maria Torres Limtiaco (right)
Sinajaña, 1945

Jobs connected with the military were readily available right after the American return during and after the war, with Guam serving as a major base of operations in the war against Japan.  Still, some people tried to make money running their own businesses.

My grandmother (Maria Perez Torres Limtiaco, on the right in the photo above) had run a small store before the war, and made some money selling locally-made arts and crafts, like the shell purses seen in the picture.  She was doing this before the war, selling them to Atkins Kroll who mainly sold them to U.S. military and civil service personnel as island souvenirs.  After the war, my grandmother continued doing this for a few years.  The lady on the left is her younger sister, Rita Perez Torres, who never married and who ran the kitchen and the family altar.

My grandma would hire teenage girls in the village to help her with this enterprise and earn some money.

As a kid I remember one or two big barrels (like the ones used for diesel fuel) of shells left over from the 1940s stored in the påpa' såtge (underneath the raised house) of my uncle's house which was next door to mine.

My grandma and auntie never wore the mestisa as their usual attire, so I'm sure someone (government? military?) asked them to pose for this photo.  Those are some pretty snazzy mestisas, though.


  1. I miss running through grandma's house, sneaking on to the swings at CL taitano on the weekends, and Uncle Ben and Auntie Anna's kitchen; always something to eat. Do you remember the pomegranate tree in the back?

  2. Yes I remember; it's called Granada in Chamorro/Spanish. I remember the purple interior and the millions of seeds. And to think it's all the craze now with the health food people. We could have made lots of money! Lol