Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Judge V.C. Reyes

Hagåtña.  Late 1930s.

My mother's oldest brother Pedro is the son of Joaquin Aflague Limtiaco, the founder of Limtiaco's auto repair.  Joaquin also ran a taxi business and other allied enterprises.

So Uncle Pete got his own car at an early age; the envy of the neighborhood boys, I am sure.  And like an eager young man, had a bit too much bravado in Hagåtña's narrow streets.  He got pinched by a police officer for some infraction and had to appear in court.

Though he was not a judge at the time but the Island Attorney, for some reason the "judge" sitting behind the gavel that day was his mother's brother-in-law, Vicente Camacho Reyes.  Maybe he had to fill in on cases of minor violations that day.

Uncle Pete was shaking in his pants when he saw that the judge was his own uncle.  He was even more frightened by the possibility that his uncle would inform his mother that he was in court.  But Uncle Ben never looked up from the bench.  He just kept glancing at the papers in front of him and said, "Mister Limtiaco; don't ever appear in my court again."

Uncle Pete said, "Yes, sir," and that was it.  I have forgotten whether Uncle Pete ever had to pay a fine or not.

But I think Uncle Ben probably didn't look up in order to keep from laughing.

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