I was greeted at the front door promptly as if she was watching me through the peep hole, waiting for me to walk up the driveway. She was in a dress I've seen her wear before and immediately I realized where my love for prints must have come from. I arrived with an idea of what I’d like to ask her and how I’d like to photograph her and sure enough she did, too.
We decided together that this time the interview would be about her life and career and that next time we can do a feature on her collection of dresses she’s kept over the years. Petra is definitely headstrong and she has a lot of ideas. Again, I know where I got it from. Petra is my mother’s mother, my grandmother, and my best friend.
When I was younger, her stubborn and controlling nature was something I thought I’d never understand. She used to wait for me after school when I was in middle school just to make sure I went straight home. It was mortifying and totally the end of the world but I got over it eventually. Now that I’m older I have this overwhelming feeling of understanding and compassion towards her. My love for her is so deep that the ocean would be jealous. Petra Fierro Tinajero was born February 15th, 1936 on a small ranch in Chihuahua, Mexico. She was the first girl in her family and she tells the story of her mother having to be rushed off to labor during a wedding and her father returning later that night to make the big, joyous announcement. When she was 19 she moved to California against her father’s advice and showed up on her cousin’s doorstep in San Jose, CA determined and ready to make moves. Not wasting anytime she began working right away. Her first couple of months in San Jose she worked at a waitress then with Levi Strauss for over 8 years. Below is one of her amazing stories.