When best-selling author Victor Villaseñor was a student in the third grade, a teacher told him that because he was Mexican, he did not have enough white cells in his head, and was destined to do poorly in school. Since he always got poor grades, Victor believed her, and grew up thinking that his heritage and people were inferior. As it turned out, it wasn't Victor's heritage that held him back in school. He was dyslexic. As fate would have it, Victor's father sent him to Mexico, where he developed an awareness and appreciation for his culture. He saw beautiful cathedrals and painting by such Mexican masters as Diego Rivera, and learned that others like him could do wonderful things. Instead of giving in to rage for being misled as a child, Victor listened instead to his father's advice: Fools have rage while the courageous do something. With only fifth grade reading and writing ability, Victor slowly began teaching himself to become a writer. The man, who as a child was convinced that he was mentally inferior because he is Mexican, is now a great American novelist.
Victor’s father had a deep dislike for cowboy movie star Tom Mix. According to Victor’s father, Tom Mix spoke openly about his dislike of Mexicans and often derogatorily. This inflamed Victor’s father and at some point he broke into an empty house previously owned by Tom Mix and took measurements of every room. When he finally built his own home, he purposely made every room larger than the measurements he had taken. This was his personal testament to his Mexican heritage that his home was larger than that of at least one movie star and specifically that of Tom Mix. In the photograph, Victor stands in front of that very house in San Diego, California. Victor has now moved to Tucson, Arizona but plans to keep the house in the family.