Historical/ Biography/ Memoir
This is a large scale ongoing project that involves numerous collaborators and entities, in both the United States and Mexico. Since 2010, I have been dedicated to researching and locating the families of the victims of all 32 passengers killed in the famous 1948 plane wreck at Los Gatos Canyon. My first installment of this narrative was All They Will Call You, published in 2017 by the University of Arizona Press. I am currently working on book two of the series. I also produce, direct, and perform in a staged adaptation of the book, although since the pandemic struck I have not been able to travel and showcase this for the past two years. I hope to bring it to audiences again soon. In 2018, the California Latino Legislative Caucus, with the support of Senator William Monning, held a formal recognition ceremony on the floor of the California State Senate in Sacramento. Family members of some of the passengers were present, as well as folk singer, Joan Baez. That video can be seen here.
This project centers around the famous 1948 plane crash in Los Gatos Canyon, Fresno County, which took the lives of 32 passengers, 28 who were “Mexican Nationals.” This is the same crash made famous by Woody Guthrie and Martin Hoffman, in the song “Plane Wreck at Los Gatos (The Deportee Song),” which has been recorded by musicians such as Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Dolly Parton, Joan Baez, and Pete Seeger. You can listen to the version that my good friend Lance Canales recorded, and the incredible video which features me reading the names in the background here.
In the past decade I have accumulated hundreds of records, files, personal testimonies, documents, photographs, and ephemera of this single incident. As of my book’s publication in 2017, I had located the families of seven of the passengers, and as of 2022, I have since located six more. My search continues… Enjoy some of the photos from this life long project and journey, and please check back here for updated info.
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