|Bibliography, etc. Note:
|| Jess San Miguel Martinez was born to Guadalupe and Jesus (J.P.) Martinez in the town of Villa Acuna, Coahuila, Mexic o in the mid 1940's. Jess was the fifth born of eleven children, seven boys and four girls. When Jess was young, his family migrated first to the Santa Clara Valley in California, then to Corcoran, Kings County, in central California. Corcoran was a small agricultural community, with a population of about 5,000 residents in the early 1950's. The author, along with his older brothers, began working in the Corcoran cotton fields beginning at about age 12, chopping cotton, chopping weeds, and in the fall, picking cotton by hand. The sisters in the family also worked in the fields, but started at a little later age. The author's father became a farm labor contractor in the early 1950's, and ran several work crews during the spring, summer and fall. Winters were slow due to heavy rains, and work was few and far between. During lean years, the family would migrate to the Santa Clara Valley to pick plums or other crops available during certain harvest seasons. The author graduated from Corcoran High School in 1963, and, marrying young, got his first "real" job, working with Gilkey Farms Inc, as a tractor or caterpillar operator, or working in the Gilkey cotton gin. The author retired from the Fresno County Sheriff's Department in 2007, however, remained extremely busy with his community work as an officer or board member of the N.L.P.O.A. Kings County Chapter, Corcoran District Hospital, and KCAO. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
|| HARVEST OF TEARS is a story of the lives of migrant farm workers in the cotton fields and labor camps of Corcoran, California. The reasons for writing this book are threefold; first, the author wanted to illustrate the difficulties of living in the labor camps of the San Joaquin Valley in the 1950's; secondly, the author wanted the reader to know that despite hardships, people can overcome poverty, intolerance and indifference, and they can still succeed. The third reason is to show that hard work during the formative years is not a bad thing, and that it builds character and instills the work ethic in the person, regardless of your social status or ethnicity.