Please tell me your life story in two or three paragraphs.
My name is Laura Gutierrez Tijerina. I was born in Wharton, Texas, and I moved to Galveston when I was about 3 or 4 years old. Went to school here all my life, grew up and graduated from Ball High in 1982.
Did a little bit of college, met my boyfriend in my last year of high school. Married him about 10 years later, and we had one son, Ryan. I love him to death. I have two brothers; my mom and stepfather live in Dickinson.
I worked a long time. I started working when I was 13 at Burger Chef on the Seawall. Then I worked at the Martini Theater. I sold the tickets or was behind the counter selling popcorn or whatever. I also worked at Speedy’s Quick Copy when I was young.
And then I worked through SER (Jobs for Progress) and I got a job at UTMB, and I worked there for over 20 years, on and off. I worked in the radiology file room. In-between that I eventually got divorced, but I’m happily married now.
We love The Strand. I actually moved to The Strand before I met my husband now. Now we consider ourselves ‘Strand wrecks’ and we sit on The Strand a lot. Basically, we love it on the island, and like I was saying, the only time we have a bad day on the island is if it’s raining.
What is special about The Strand?
It’s just that everybody is so friendly and talks to each other. A lot of them are not from here, but we have a lot of locals that we sit with, and we’re not scared to talk to anybody.
Galveston is not just on the regional map, but the national map and the international map. What is it about Galveston that is special?
Oh, it’s the island life. When you’re on island time, it’s always a good time.
What is island time?
You don’t really have a time. It’s island time.