It was in San Jose in 1965 or 66 when my Mother came to me and asked me to accompany her on a march with Cesar Chavez. I just layed there on my father’s recliner, with my feet propped up on one of the arm-rests. i told her that i didn’t feel like going. Had i realized the importance of the event, i would have jumped at the opportunity. This was one of the biggest regrets of my life.
As a family, we worked the fields since i can remember. My 2 sisters and i were practically born in the fields. They, while we lived in a farm in Freson during the early 50s. I was born at Monterey County Hospital in the lush Salinas Valley in 1949. This is about when my Mother first began working the fields with my Father.
I joined in on a couple of marches during the 80s in the Bay Area. I have also written letters and shared information and messages with family, friends and acquaintences in hopes of achieving a special day to honor Cesar Chavez, and to try and help his cause.
I live in Santa Cruz County and continue to enjoy the beauty of the endless fields and the fruits of the farmworkers labor. I am also constantly reminded of my rich past, and of the continued difficult working conditions of farmworkers today. Sometimes it’s hard to hold back the tears.