THE SALES FAMILY
Florendo Macadangdang Sales was born in Bacarra, Ilocos Norte, Philippines in 1910. He migrated to the United Sateswhen he was nineteen years old, arriving in Watsonville right before the deadly, 1930s race riots. Florendo originally planned to work in the fields in Salinas Valley,
but it did not take long for him to determine that he would rather be a barber. Upon completion of barber school and obtaining a license, he went to work with a group of fellow barbers in downtown Watsonville. During these early years, Florendo met his future wife, Dora Esther Tomlinson. When World War II broke out, Florendo enlisted in the US Navy. He was stationed in Seattle, Washington. He invited Dora to join him to avoid California’s anti-miscegenation laws and become legally married.
In Watsonville, Florendo and Dora owned a farm where they had ten children— Thomas, Vicky, Fred Jr., Alex, Richard, Sharlene, Adrian, Dana, Bebeng, and Rosario. As a family, they grew strawberries, bush berries, zucchini, and tomatoes. They also raised cattle, chicken, and of course—goats. Dora worked on the farm, in the canneries, and as a bus driver for many years.
Eventually, Florendo opened his own successful barber shop on Main Street across from Watsonville City Hall. Unfortunately, many decades later, the City of Watsonville used Eminent Domain to acquire the 200 block where the barber shop was located. Through this action, the city eliminated the highest concentration of minority-owned businesses in Santa Cruz County in the name of so-called “urban renewal.”
In 1989, Florendo passed away. Fifty years later the Sales family farm was sold. Now, Dora spends time with her family who are currently living in Sacramento, Greenville, Oregon, and Washington. Florendo would take great pride in the success of his family spread across the United States.