Maya Chavez as "Sis" in Letters Home to Hero Street.
Copyright Fourth Wall Films.
People often ask us, who was Frank Sandoval's sister in Letters Home to Hero Street, as portrayed by actress Maya Chavez?
Frank Sandoval came from a large family of ten children--he had five brothers and four sisters. The film's "Sis" is a composite of two of Frank's sisters: Georgia Sandoval Herrera and Jennie Sandoval Garcia.
While serving in the Army, Frank wrote numerous letters and sent them home to his sisters who would then read the missives to their parents in Spanish.
Frank's mother, Angelina, kept his letters wrapped lovingly in a blue scarf with ribbons tied around the large stack to keep them safe. It was obvious they were precious to her.
Now in her possession, Georgia untied the bundle and shared the yellowed correspondence for use in the documentary Letters Home to Hero Street. She also showed us a photograph of herself as a young girl. That photograph was the image used to create Maya's "Sis" for the film.
Georgia Sandoval. Copyright Georgia Herrera.
Jennie also received approximately 30-40 letters from Frank during his military service. The letters were discovered by her daughters after she passed away, and were shared with us for the documentary project.
Jennie's daughter Thomasa shared a rare photograph of a young Jennie posing with her brother Frank in front of a box-car home on 2nd Street (Hero Street) in Silvis, Illinois, during his only furlough. It was the last time Jennie saw her brother.
Jennie Sandoval and her brother Frank on Hero Street in Silvis, 1943. Copyright Jennie Garcia family.
These special images bring Frank's story to life and we can hear his voice through his letters. Our thanks to Georgia Herrera and to Jennie Garcia's family for sharing their photographs and Frank's personal letters with us, and allowing us to glimpse so clearly his love for his family back home.
The award-winning Letters Home to Hero Street by Fourth Wall Films and WQPT is available on DVD at Amazon.com, and in the Quad Cities at The Book Rack, The Quad Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau, and at Porkie’s Restaurant on the corner of Hero Street in Silvis, Illinois.