A Move for The Better to McAllen

The Texas Story Project.

It was the spring of 1976 when my father moved from Albert Lea, Minnesota to McAllen, Texas. Only being thirteen years of age, he wasn't given much of an option when migrating from the North to the South. His father decided to move to Texas to open another salvage business. As my father was used to moving around a lot due to his father's businesses, never did he expect for the small city of McAllen, Texas to become his forever-home.

By the time he reached the age of sixteen in 1979, his father decided to move his family back to Minnesota, but my father decided to stay behind and live on his own due to the frustration from constantly being moved around as a child. To provide for himself, he started to work for a salvage yard, Don's Auto Parts. Due to the circumstances of him living and providing for himself, my father came to the decision to drop out of high school at sixteen without ever pursuing a further education to this day. His life became a constant cycle of working to get to where he is today.

Along the way of pursuing his career at Don's, he regularly made business trips to Mexico where he met my mother. After marrying my mother and moving her to McAllen with him, their first child, my brother, was born. My father decided to take another step in his life and branch out his career into being a business owner. The year 2006 is when he quit Don's Auto Parts. He purchased a multi-acre salvage business in McAllen to run and take over himself. As he became more involved with the salvage business independently over time, he decided to acquire other business as well. Over the years, he has grown as a business owner and even socially.

Though he was relocated to McAllen without consent and had to raise himself from just the age of sixteen and make big decisions, my father has described McAllen as the best part of his life yet. Professionally, he was able to survive financially and prosper and provide for our family without doing the normal education like others. Personally, he appreciates all the people and friends he has made along the way from living in Texas. Even though it is very different from living in Minnesota, my father says that he loves living in South Texas.


Victoria Helmers is a second year student at St. Mary's University studying for a degree in International Business.

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