Mexican father gives Chicago sons big surprise

January 18, 2014

(Photo courtesy of StoryCorps)

For 11 years, Jose Franco Rubio has lived apart from his children. They’re here in Greater Chicago, he’s in Mexico.

So Franco Rubio decided to give his three sons a surprise: Bulls tickets. But he didn’t tell them he planned to fly in and join them just minutes before the game.

He and his oldest son, Jose Franco (who’s nicknamed Chema), came into the Chicago StoryCorps’ booth to talk about the big surprise.

JOSE FRANCO (SON): We haven’t seen each other for 4 years.
JOSE FRANCO RUBIO (FATHER): It’s been so many Christmases, so many Father’s Days … I haven’t been with them…

StoryCorps’ mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to share, record and preserve their stories. This excerpt was edited by WBEZ.

Franco Rubio said he and his children have stayed in touch by phone and Skype, but it’s not the same. His children had visited him in Mexico, but his financial picture hadn’t allow him to visit here until recently.

Last month, Franco Rubio boarded a plane to Chicago.

FRANCO RUBIO: I was so excited, I was just like a 2-years-kid, jumping around and telling everybody.

To find out how Franco Rubio managed to surprise his sons at the United Center, check out the audio above.