Cesar Chavez

Tell us what you did
to help Cesar's cause

"Memories of UFW Days In Salinas during the '70's"

First of all because of my up bringing my parents and my grandparents always taught me to help those in need.  My Father a 25 year Army Veteran born in Watts, California in 1922 believed this very much.  This had a lot to do with the struggles they lived during the depression.  My father was one of twelve children. After WWII my father was stationed in Southern California for a while.  Years later while on leave, my father went to visit extended family in Mexico met my mother married and settled in Salinas.  They had eight children.  As I was growing up I would see people working in the fields but never really understanding a whole lot until I started to work in fields picking strawberries from a rancher that would hire High School Students during the summer and the onion sheds.  This is when I realized how difficult it was for those that had to do this as an every day job.  The conditions were not very good!!!!  Right about then ‘70 is when there was a lot of action in Salinas.  People were going on strike.  Families that lived in La Posada Trailer Park were now camping outside the park!  It was right about 1971 when quite a few of us stepped up to the plate and helped the UFW people at the Wood Street Office and started doing Friday Night’s dances to raise money for the people that were helping with the strike.  Most of us were at Alisal High School in our Junior year.  I remember at one point we marched to the jail because Cesar Chavez had been arrested.  Ethel Kennedy had come to visit him.  There were hundreds of us outside the jail that night.  A couple of years later I was working at KCTY Spanish Radio Station in Salinas.  Cesar Chavez was marching and stopping in key areas of South County to call the Radio Station to give his update.  He was being prerecorded.  I was told by the Program Director to inform him not to be so long in his speeches.  I will neve forget the one day he called in and yelled at me for telling him this.  My heart was crushed.  I had still kept in touch with several of the UFW people that worked with Cesar.  They had informed him of my loyalty to the cause.  He never apologized directly but sent some of his support staff to apologize on his behalf. I knew it was very hard for him.  I always admired him for what he stood for.  He taught several of us to stand up for what we believe in and never give up!!!!!!!!!!!