Cesar Chavez

Tell us what you did
to help Cesar's cause

"Cesar Chavez and me"

Cesar Chavez and me

In the seventies I was the Director of the Los Angeles Fellowship of Reconciliation, which is the oldest non-denominational pacifist group in the world, headquartered in Nyack, New York.  They decided that they would support Cesar by sending a group of ten youths to help out the UFW in their headquarters in California at the old tuberculosis center where Cesar’s wife was when she had tuberculosis.  So, I headed up there in my little green pinto loaded up with James Taylor’s record of “Shower the People you love with love” and a portable record player and was their coordinator.  It was a WONDERFUL time.  We toured and stayed in the old hospital which was massively haunted.  We admired their fleet of Plymouth Valiants and Dodge whatevers that were the same for parts.  We painted and were bussed to lectures and cooked big, communical meals in a really nice mobile home.  Our FOR leader from Nyack was a really nice, shorter man who came with his son.  I bathed naked in the sulfer springs in a nearby river, the gossip of which flew coast to coast and back to my father.  I was thirty and he never mentioned it to me.  Roger, an FOR member from Colorado, and the others were from all over the USA.  We met Delores Huerta and the man with a missing finger who would use it to gesture wildly when making his points to an audience, and Cesar spoke to us and treated us “roughly” but with love.  It was a wonderful ten days, and I often gaze longingly when on my way up and back from seeing my son in Redding, wishing that I had time to stop and reconnect with my friends at the old hospital.  My favorite moments were playing “Suicide is Painless” the only song I played well on the flute, high atop the watertower watching the trains pass far below us like little toy trains.  We pretended that we were at the controls of the tiny passing train, wending its way through those beautiful mountains.