Remembering Carlos Guardado


There was a sweet article in the Post today, made the front page. It’s about Carlos Guardado, a food truck vendor who sold burritos at 17th and K for 20 years and then died suddenly of a heart attack. Regular customers wept into their tailored suits and perfect strangers hugged one another in the spot where Guardado’s truck used to sit, the reporter wrote. I found myself sniffling as I read my newspaper on the Metro, but then I folded it up and pretty much forgot about it.

Tonight, I went to a happy hour fundraiser in Farragut North. On my way home, I walked past a little shrine festooned with flowers tied to scaffolding, a handwritten sign, a photograph, and a copy of the article. Maybe this was a divine message that the burrito dude had a lesson I didn’t get the first time around.

“Write your own obituary,” life coaches and motivational speakers tell us. “Then start working toward what you see there.” I’ve often thought about this recently, especially since I turned 30. What have I done with my life? How can I get off my duff and start making an impression in this world?

That concept of writing your own obit spurs us to imagine grand things for ourselves — and then beat ourselves up for not achieving them. But look what Guardado did with some humble beans and rice, a few drink coolers, and a sprinkling of words to each of his customers.



3 thoughts on “Remembering Carlos Guardado

  1. Rhea,
    Just opened up your site. Been a little while since I looked on here. What a great post! Awesome questions you ask. But you have done quite a few things with your time on this earth thus far, my dear. Not the least of which is cooking lots of great food and causing many many tummies to make happy grumbling sounds over the years. 🙂

  2. Wow. Rhea, do not question all of the good you have done and continue to do. The Talmud says that if you save one life, it is as if you are saving the world. You do so many small kindnesses every day — you never know when you are saving a life, and therefore saving the world.

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