Summer of 1965 (Share Your History)

Title

Summer of 1965 (Share Your History)

Subject

Share Your History entry by Leopoldo R. Barrit

Creator

Leopoldo R. Barrit

Publisher

Welga! Filipino American Labor Archives

Date

11/4/2015 19:19:17

Text

My wife, Gloria, brought home tonight the DVD, 'The Delano Manongs,' loaned to her by her niece, Erika, a Gabriela advocate. She has seen it earlier today and she wanted to bring it home for me. And we watched it together. And she watched me and then asked me how I liked it. I was sad and angry.

There were six of us eighteen-year old boys from Mar Vista, L.A. that summer of 1965. We picked grapes in one labor camp in Delano. There were other boys too from Frisco. And then there were the 'Uncles,' who were the Delano Manongs, to keep us straight.

We learned to wake up very early and get breakfast and get on the bus to the vineyard. And we sort of wasted a bunch of grapes in our fooleries. Supper got done while it was still light out in the summer. So at nights, we hung out in the bowling alley in town. We were in little fights and in little car accidents.

Then everybody got kicked out of camp. The strike was on! We were homeless. And those young boys were oblivious to the inner workings of farm workers unions--and, this and that…and, what to expect next.

We got fed at the Filipino Community Center, where we had attended once a nice Miss Philippines USA 1965 Dinner-Dance, when we made friends with Madeline and Alexandra, beautiful Filipino-Mexican-American girls. It was rough going as we slept in our cars in the parking lot. Eventually, it made sense to go back home in L.A.

In my Filipino heart, there has always been a soft spot for my Mexican cousins. Up to now. Then I heard the Junior Itliong say in the movie that, while growing up, he knew his father was angry to have been marginalized by Cesar Chavez. Larry Itliong was a hero, then and now. And now I know.

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Date Added
February 23, 2016
Item Type
Correspondence
Citation
Leopoldo R. Barrit, “Summer of 1965 (Share Your History),” Welga Project Digital Archive and Repository, accessed July 24, 2017, http://welgadigitalarchive.omeka.net/items/show/181.