The last few weeks of this fundraising campaign and the book research have been especially trying. Just when I think I’m close to discovering one of the surviving descendants of the deportee passengers I hit a roadblock. But then, from nowhere I get a phone call or an email from someone, telling me how they are connected to that flight. Or, to that day. Or, to the song. Or, to the land itself. Or, how they are an aviation expert or historian or geologist, and want to help. Connectivity is the word here. This incident, 65 years later, still carries weight. Even the donations, though a little slower than we had expected, have been coming in from all parts of the country. And they are typically accompanied with letters of encouragement. It’s inspiring to know that people in the world could feel so passionate about a group of “others” they never knew or met. Perhaps it’s because these are the same people who also believe in connectivity. The possibility that there really is no “other.” We are it.

photo (2)

Just last week I was back up in Los Gatos Canyon. Along the way we saw a snake crossing the road. We got off to move it back on the shoulder so that it didn’t get hit by a car. Just then I remembered this photo (above). The one of my parents, my uncle and aunt, and my grandparents, all working the sugar beet fields in Wyoming. When I was a child, my father (on the far left) used to wear me on his back while he hoed. Sometimes though, my mother (far back on the right) would set me on the warm soft earth and work around me, watchful of rattlesnakes. It’s taken me a long time to undo my fear of things I know so little about. So much goes untold in the conditioning.


Growing List of Contributors to the Deportee Memorial Headstone

Ilan Stavans – Amherst, MA
Christine Murray dela Hofer – Fresno, CA
Luis Bravo – Fresno, CA
Shelly Catterson – Evergreen, CO
Cesar Chavez Foundation
Diane Vigeant – Colorado Springs, CO
(In Loving Memory of Jerry Davich and Martin Hoffman)
Bill Spence & Sue Edelstein – Carbondale, CO
(in memory of Martin Hoffman)
John McCutcheon – Smoke Rise, GA
Ronald Scudder – Livermore, CA
Joseph Offer – Applegate, CA
Barbara Davis – Witchita, KS
Armstrong-Hagen – Tehachapi, CA
Judith Major – Mars Hill, NC
Jacqueline Dwyer – Henrico, VA
Carol Giles-Straight – St. Louis, MO
Sylvia & Robert Ross – Lemon Cove, CA
Chris David Rosales – Denver, CO
Robert V. Hansman – New York, NY
Roberts Family – Fremont, CA
Berenice Guzman (and students of Dinuba High School)- Dinuba, CA
Riley Family – Newington, Ct
Aris & In-Sun Janigian – Los Angeles, CA
Rascon Family – Bakersfield, CA
Consuelo Romo – Visalia, CA
Holly Hisamoto – El Monte, CA
Richard Stone & Billey Adams – Fresno, CA
Tom & Linda Farrell – Indianapolis, IN
Dini Karasik – Kensington, MD
Darren De Leon — Oakland, CA
Shubin Family- Fresno, CA
Maceo Montoya – Woodland, CA
Carlos Francisco Jackson — Sacramento, CA
Camille T. Taiara — Oakland, CA
Malaquias Montoya – Elmira, CA
Javier O. Huerta — Berkeley, CA
Matt Espinoza Watson — Fresno, CA
Chuck McNally — Fresno, CA
K.A. Elias & S. Shena – Three Rivers, CA
Corrine Hales – Fresno, CA
Ester Hernandez – San Francisco, CA
Hallowell Family – Friant, CA
Daniel Sullivan- Walnut Creek, CA
Joseph Rios — Berkeley, CA
Mia Barraza Martinez — Fresno, CA
Jaime Montiel — Sacramento, CA
Nolan Family – Palm Desert, CA
Tim Hernandez & Dayanna Sevilla – Boulder, CO
St. Francis of Assisi Parish – Bakersfield, CA
Roth Crane – Fresno, CA
Berry Construction – Madera, CA
The Woody Guthrie Foundation – Bethel, NY
Conjunto Califas – Visalia, CA
Jemmy Bluestein Band – Fresno, CA
Lance Canales & The Flood – Fresno, CA
Melanie Cervantes – Oakland, CA
Jesus Barraza – Oakland, CA
Bezayiff Family – Sabillasville, MD
Rosenberg Family – Los Angeles, CA
Jonathan Segal – Menlo Park, CA
Abelino Bautista – Fresno, CA
Shannon Johnson – Fresno, CA
Diego Monterrubio – Lindsay, CA
Sylvia Savala – Fresno, CA
Ole Frijole – Fresno, CA
Donna Odierna – Oakland, CA
Jennifer Douglas-Larsson – Boulder, CO
John Sierra – Fresno, CA
Robert Marshall – Visalia, CA
Janet Flores – Fresno, CA
Catherine Campbell – Fresno, CA
Thomas Quinn – Fresno, CA
Alex Espinoza – Fresno, CA
Pedraza Family – Fresno, CA
Griggs Family — Fresno, CA
Herrick Family – Fresno, CA
Robin Wheeler – Belleville, IL
Arlene Biala – Sunnyvale, CA
Jane Oriel – Albany, CA
Allison Kosch – Palmdale, CA
Nora & Kenneth Albert – Northampton, MA
Fulton 55 – Fresno, CA
Bell Memorials – Clovis, CA

*If I have accidentally left out your name please inform me right away! We wouldn’t want to repeat history.