I organized the on campus grape boycott so that campus food service would discontinue serving table grapes to support Farm Workers. My activism was a response to losing my good friend Mark DeFrange to the Vietnam War. Mark was very active and concerned with social justice, he wanted to join the peace corps and have a family after he served; it never happened. The best thing I could do to deal with my grief was join a cause that used nonviolent resistance to facilitate social change.
My parents supported my efforts and even helped picket the local Kroger store, this was the winter of 1969 and it was cold. My mother said “let’s just take these signs and walk through the store, they won’t say a thing.” So she lead and we followed, warmed up and had a memorable evening.
I also vividly remember riding to Cleveland in a freezing pickup with two UAW workers one evening and we met Cesar in person! He was very special as you all know; but the experience of being 19 years old and meeting this gentle leader is indelibly etched in my mind. The greatness of this man was in his message, his method and his sacred sincerity. It is a blessing to have been such a small part in the movement.