As a young man in his early 60s, Othon Guasso left Mexico to start over in America. He established a reputation as an expert tailor on Michigan Avenue and lived for another 45 years, making it to 107 years old. Even as a centenarian, he enjoyed a taste of cognac and tequila now and then, according to his son Jorge.
Born in the town of Zimapan in the state of Hidalgo, young Othon learned how to sew suits and fine fabrics from his father, a tailor who made uniforms for the soldiers during the Mexican Revolution.
Before Mr. Guasso died Sept. 20 at his home on the North Side near Peterson and California, his mind would drift back to those revolutionary days.
“In the past few months, he used to say, ‘Oh, it’s good the war is over,’ ’’ his son said.
Mr. Guasso was 3 or 4 when his family moved from Zimapan to Pachuca, the biggest city in Hidalgo.
He met his wife Maria Elena in Mexico City. They were married for 69 years, until her death in 2015 at 99.
He first came to the United States in the 1940s, when the government’s Bracero Program recruited Mexican guest workers for farm and rail jobs left unfilled when American men served in World War II. His job was washing trains in California, his son said.After the war, he returned to Mexico.In 1973, his children brought him again to America, where they’d immigrated. In a 2017 Chicago magazine article about some of the city’s […]
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