I was just a mocosa when I learned of Cesar E. Chavez, the great Civil Rights Leader. I did not hear of Cesar in school. It was my Uncle Peter (who later became a Teacher for the L.A. school system) after returning from the Central Valley in support of the UFW’s grape strike who schooled my Mom and I in the 1960’s. “La Causa” information planted a seed. No store bought grapes for me from that moment on. Truth and Justice became my Guiding Light.
About one year after beginning my Public Service Career I became a Union Leader. Recruiting, organizing and representing fellow union members till the end of my Service. In Nuestra Senora Reina de Los Angeles and here en el Valle.
During the 1980’s at a local union meeting in Fresno,CA we all were so honored having Cesar Chavez as our guest speaker. We watched “The Wrath of Grapes” video (yup I still have my copy), and all left so enriched by having the pleasure of meeting Cesar and shaking his hand.
On March 31, 1992, Cesar’s 63rd cumpleanos, I received a pleasant and amazing surprise. A return phone call at my office from Cesar thanking me for the well wishes I left for him at the UFW headquarters earlier that day.
That short conversation was a profound experience for me. I will never forget the joy of that exchange.
Yes, Cesar E. Chavez and the farm worker’s struggles influenced me considerably. “La Causa” will continue to receive my support. We are a loyal and loving bunch! Most importantly we are strong. Very strong!
Stay strong. Always stand up and be counted!
Be Cesar inspired fuerte! Viva Cesar!