Thursday, March 10, 2011

October 1969

I originally picked this image in recognition of the 40th anniversary of my graduating from Garfield High School. I was 17 years and ready to take on the world. Or at least go the Girl Scout Triennial Conference in Seattle, Washington.

The Garfield reunion is taking place this coming Saturday at the Doubletree in the City of Commerce. I won't be able to attend but a bit of my heart will be there. Time has softened any of the more painful recollections and the memories surfacing have been the most positive ones.

Being at Garfield, or any of the other schools in East L.A., during that era was being at a school filled with powerful energy. Many of the teachers at our school had been influenced by Civil Rights issues. They taught at our school because they believed in the potential of the students and because they wanted to make a difference. They were my introduction to an even wider part of the world; their heritage reflected the range of folks in Los Angeles, their politics and orientations were nearly as broad.

This image causes me to think about who that young girl was and how she came to be me. The details would include growing up at a time when pride, Chicano and Chicana pride, was developing all around me. It would include a household comfortable with religion and resolved to make the world a better place. It would include the impact of Girl Scouts in my life. It would be filled with all the reasons that I am smiling so broadly in this picture. All the hope that is a part of our youth and, if we are very lucky, the hope we cling to in these times that are fraught with challenges to our society and our world.


  1. Those teachers had a sharp and willing pupil in you. I bet they remembered you.

  2. Kind words, but I think the teachers that helped me, helped many other students. They were looking for that "teachable" moment. Good teachers are like that.