It looks like last week’s cover girl, Mary Ortega, was quite surprised to find herself on the cover. Though I’d told my mom that I was going to put a small version of her childhood photo on the inside of the issue, I knew the cover secret wouldn’t last long, with so many family and friends spread throughout Santa Barbara County. I was right: My great aunt called her early in the morning to spill the frijoles.
As my daughter and I drove over to see her, my mom called us but was crying so hard that I couldn’t understand her through the sobs. We didn’t get to see her initial reaction, but after this shy matriarch sat with it for a bit, she embraced all the love she received. The best part of the entire thing was that my Mama knows how much her family loves her.