Many of you knew one, two or three of them.
Enar came from the Philippines in 1931, and his wife Paz came from Hawaii. They met in San Luis Obispo, where she worked in a pool hall.
He was a farm worker but played music during war time. Paz wanted to be nun until she met Enar.
Their oldest daughter was born in Stockton, and the family says her operatic voice came from being raised with roosters cock-a-doodle-dooing. They moved to Concord in 1941 with eight of their 11 children. The last were born in Concord.
They moved from Market Street to a three-bedroom brick house on Detroit Avenue in 1954. Enar saved up $11,000 in war bonds to buy the house.
There was a tank house on the property where the boys all slept except for the eldest, Richard. In Filipino tradition, the eldest was spoiled. His sister Sophia said he had his own room. As soon as he finished school, they packed his belongings and he moved out. They never let him come back.
Hard working family man
Enar held three jobs to support his family. Everyone loved him and thought he was a good, hard-working man.
He was a machinist at Mare Island during the week and owned his own barber shop called Enar’s. Many prominent politicians and Lions Club members were his clients. He also had his own band that entertained plenty a socialite in the day.
As you can imagine, Paz stayed just as busy with the home and kids. The family always enjoyed plenty of traditional food, and friends were always welcome.
After talking to some of their kids, I learned they felt like they lived a life filled with fun, love and pride.
The Omania children were educated through the Mt. Diablo School District. Three of the girls were cheerleaders at Mt. Diablo High School.
Take a look at that picture again and look at the beauty of this family.
Now, back to the story. Louie Omania, the second to the youngest, went to kindergarten at the old Masonic Temple in the ’50s. His grandson Peyton wrestled for De La Salle and then went on to Michigan with a wrestling scholarship. He has graduated after several winning seasons. His goal now is to win a spot at the Olympics.
From 6 to 8 p.m. July 28, the family has rented the Historical Society hall – the same Masonic Temple where Louie went to kindergarten.
If so inclined, come on down and join the celebration with many old friends and family and help Peyton with his Olympic dreams.
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Carol Longshore has been a Concord resident since 1950. She is a community leader and past president of the Concord Historical Society. Send comments and suggestions for future topics.