High School Graduation with Bobby

High School Graduation in 2001.  Bobby was my teacher for Government and Economics.

I often talk about my friend, teacher, and mentor Bobby Salcedo.  His life was cut short when he became an  innocent victim of the senseless violence associated with the war on drugs south of the American border, but I am thankful that he is more well remembered for his contributions to society and his aspirations for a more educated world.  I’m continually inspired by him and I’ve written poems and retrospective letters from time to time.  I think it’s because I think about him often – especially when life gets hectic and I’m dealing with more questions than answers. I think about him most on the anniversary of his unexpected passing and today – on his birthday.   For the past few years I’ve written him a poem to commemorate the day.  His birthday crept up on me this year, but – much like Bobby himself – it wasn’t difficult to find inspiration.

Happy Birthday, my friend. I will always miss you.


Paths by Charity C. Tran

in memory of Bobby Salcedo

If things had gone another way
Today I might be wishing you happy birthday
A casual statement
Posted on a wall
Inundated with other wishes
Wishing you the same
But your age remains now fixed
And the years that we count
Are now inseparable
From when we had to say goodbye
From all the unexpected reasons why

If things had gone another way
Today might just be just another day
Where people grow older
And time passes on
And I might wish you happy birthday
With some silly song
And you might laugh and make a joke
And I won’t think how
It’s your humor that I miss the most

But having taught me history
And economic tales
And how one person can persevere
Change everything
Today is not the day
To think of paths that cannot be

Every day people grow older
Every day time passes on
And with your memory
I remember
To live every moment
To sing every song
And with that spirit of celebration
Marked by your enthusiasm for life
You will always be here with us
You will never really be gone

: The Bobby Salcedo Memorial Foundation has a fundraising dinner tonight and accepts donations year-round.  Proceeds fund scholarships to local students in the area.