Ready to know more about San Diego?


70 & Sunny: Alma & Andrew

Two San Diegans, decades apart, talk home goals and life lessons
Jenny Seigwart

Alma Sisco- Smith, 81 Retired Academic Administrator

Who had an early influence on your life?

I remember visiting my grandmother when I was seven or eight and her telling me, “I expect you to do good things in life.” It stuck with me forever.

No pressure! But it really wasn’t! I’ve never carried anything with me as a burden or an obligation; I look at everything as an opportunity.

What have been some of your most memorable opportunities?

I had my first female professor in college when I was studying to become a medical lab tech. She helped me realize that the pressure shouldn’t just be on the learner; there are different learning styles and different teaching styles. I now help the North County African American Women’s Association with their scholarship programs, and I always remember that when working with these young women.

How has it been staying at home more?

My husband and I miss going out to breakfast at Don’s Country Kitchen, but he has his space and I have my “peace room.” He always tells me, “Thank you for making such a wonderful home.”

What’s the trick?

Music. We love jazz and classical music. I also love working on my garden—we have tangerines, lemons, avocados… My neighbor always says to me, “What about getting old do you not get?”

Andrew Atienza 6, First Grader Mira Mesa

Your mom tells me you know all about the US presidents.

Right now I’m learning about Roosevelt. But my favorite is George Washington because he fought in the Revolutionary War. I have a book all about how it started and what kinds of guns and swords they used.

Would you ever want to be president?

No, I want to be the next great martial artist. Since Bruce Lee died, we need another.

That’s amazing! Have you been practicing?

I take taekwondo classes and watch a lot of Bruce Lee films, so my brain gets filled with all of the tricks. I carry my nunchucks with me wherever I go—just in case. But I also want to be an engineer so I can have money and fix my house.

What kind of house do you want?

It will be big, but not too big. In the backyard I want a pool and a treehouse with a diving board in it. I also want a garage that’s full of tools and bikes and stuff like that. I just don’t want things to get dirty!

You are really smart. How else would you describe yourself?

“Kind” and “makes you have serotonin”—that means “happiness.” But wait, can I ask you a question?


How are you going to get my picture in the magazine? Are you going to draw it or take a picture and place it in with tape?

Alma Sisco-Smith & Andrew Atienza

Jenny Seigwart

Share this post

Contact Us

1230 Columbia Street, Suite 800,

San Diego, CA