THE NERONA FAMILY
My mom is Margaret Gonzalez, a genuine country girl from San Antonio, Texas. She fortuitously met my stepdad while working grueling long work shifts in the fruits and vegetable processing plants along the gateway to Salinas Road. They continued their romance while working at the canneries
located on Beach Road. Two years later, my beautiful little mestiza sister Leilani was born on Mother's Day, May 11, 1952. Indeed, tales-of-two-worlds but much more since Dad was not 'risk- averse' but instead risk-tolerant daring. Because his first trek was a brief discovery of the Hawaii Territories, he often quipped he was fortunately employed in the hospitality business at the still enterprising Volcano House on Hawaii Island (big island).
Later at age 30, he was shipped out to various south seas ports as a Cardinal O'Connell ship crew member. After visiting Yokohama, Japan, he finally arrived to find firm footing on the hilly slopes of San Francisco. First employed in a variety of assorted jobs, he finally discovered the financial profit and freedom of farm work in the Salinas Valley. Dad was never boastful or innately inclined to petty vanity except for two twin caveats: Sweet Leilani, his daughter and my little sister, and his shiny varnished 1949 Ford Woodie Station Wagon. He would dutifully polish his car before his Saturday morning outings to the Country Club (along Salinas Rd - sorry the original name escapes me) with me, his "consentido" in tow. Recollections: I recall dad's repetitive due diligence sharpening his lettuce and broccoli knife and his trusty field hoe.