I was with a group of Filipino teenagers, who worked in a farm picking grapes in Delano in the summer of 1965.
The strike came about late in the summer, got kicked out of the farm housing, and we slept in our cars parked around the Filipino Community Center.We finally went back home to Mar Vista in Los Angeles (Zone 90066).
We were fresh out of high school and attended Santa Monica City College. There were six of us boys. We all ended up joining the service in the following spring of 1966.
Tony Alagao, Jr. had relations in Delano who got us work then in the farm. Tony joined the Army, as well as Mariano Tolentino, and they both served in Germany. Leoncio Agustin and I joined the Army, too. We both served in Germany and Vietnam, although Leoncio got sick afterward and passed. Rene Soriano joined the Air Force and served in Japan. Abraham Pagtama joined the Navy and also joined the Army.
The Delano Manongs led these six young Filipino boys from L.A. through an unforgettable summer of 1965, although unknowingly. We served that purpose then for the Filipino Community, and we went on…
Thought I’d write to get on the roll call. (end)
— Leopoldo Roy Barrit