Youtube Interview by Toni Robles on Podcast: Listen and Be Heard
Mestizo Through My Eyes
Thisbook isabout a man who grew up during a time when life in California was very hard, even though as a child he had no clue of the struggles his father and mother were going through. All he knew at that time was that he lived in an old house somewhere out on a farm where his farmworker father worked tilling the fields for the next crop to be grown. This is a story he put together from his notes, recall and his curiosity by simply listening to people talk over 40 years. It is mainly his experiences and as he grew up, he began questioning many things about life. He spent 40 years remembering to write down these questions which he had no answers to. It is a true-life story of his opinions and experiences, which in his simple ways he writes about. As he wrote this story he began to wonder if other people may feel the same way and wanted to share with them his realizations. In collecting his many notes and memories about his life, he also turned to his wife of 67 years to help with the recall of their memories together.
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Meet the Author
Joe R. Talaugon Sr.
JoeTalaugon is a 91-year-old gentleman who lives in the Central Coast of California. When you read his book, it talks about his beginning years right there in the valley, which was primarily agricultural when he grew up. During those years, as many people do, he started his family and chose to move to northern California to follow his career in the Sheet Metal trade. He returned to the valley when he retired as an empty nester. Joe is a member of the Santa Ynez Chumash Indian Tribe and his wife Margie is of Filipino descent, as her parents immigrated from the Philippines in the 1920s. Joe and Margie became activists in the community in the late 1960s, as they realized at that time much of the injustices presented in the civil rights movement were exactly what they personally faced during their younger years and to date. They also realized that much had not changed, thus they felt their children will be facing the same racial and economic struggles. During these active years they became very involved in the Filipino awareness struggle in California as well as the Native American struggle nationally. They were part of, supporting a Filipino immigrant Resource Center for the Bay Area, and participated in some of the national Native American movements such as the Sports Anti-Mascot Movement during that time. They both continue to support these efforts to this day. Upon Joe’s retirement he decided to go back to his roots and moved back to the Central Coast where his Tribal Reservation was, and their small town had many generations of the Filipino families and friends they grew up with. They continued to participate in the community, helping establish a Filipino Community Center for the area. During this time, he published a local newspaper for their small farmworker town, covering local news and community announcements. Margie and Joe opened a restaurant business, giving their children an opportunity to understand the business of an enterprise. After acquiring and renovating an old building right on the town's main street, they chose to establish the Guadalupe Cultural Arts and Education Center, which reflected all ethnic nationalities in the local valley. Those people were the labor force that built the valleys industries as a main agricultural produce source for California and the Nation. This center hosts not only memorabilia reflecting the towns of history, but it also established a Sports Hall of Fame showing not only generations of sports involvement, but also those individuals who never got recognized on a national and international level. This facility has continued to grow as a resource for local universities, other area organizations, cultural organizations and performing arts, as well as hosting local events such as car shows and community functions. At 91 years old, Joe and his family continues to initiate and participate in both community activities and many conferences addressing the racial and economic issues of today.