Santa Fe Living Treasures – Elder Stories

<<Back to Treasures Index

John "Bouncer" Sena


Honored May 1990

John "Bouncer" Sena

I still see a lot of kids when I go to the grocery store. What should have been a two-minute errand turns into an hour," said Bouncer Sena. Bouncer's "kids" are his former students, who stop to talk with the man who was vice principal of Santa Fe High School for nearly twenty-five years.

Born John Sena to Abran and Elena Sena in Santa Fe in 1927, Bouncer was the youngest of eight children. "1 was a little guy, about eleven, when one of the guys said, 'You know, you're getting to look more like a bouncer every day.' The name stuck," said Bouncer.

Bouncer grew up "on Agua Fria Street, right down from the Guadalupe Church," and attended Guadalupe School. "My father was a professional politician and worked for the New Mexico Highway Department for many years. My mother had a real commonsense philosophy, even though she only had a third grade education." When he was a small boy, his mother was accidentally burned. "During the time that she was indisposed, we never made a meal. Santa Fe was a community that cared for one another," he said.