Books Have Always Been Part of my Life (Part 1)

Reading has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Even during my earliest memories I can recall my mom having 2 or more books going at once. Both my parents came to Michigan as migrant farm workers. They grew up following the crops. My dad dropped out of school in the 5 th grade in order to work the fields to help provide for his family. My mom worked the fields in Michigan as well, but another town all together. My mom spent much of her free time reading books, learning English, and learning about the “American Way”. My mom would later graduate in the Top 10 of her class in St. Johns, MI 1957. Much later in life, my dad recognized the importance of an education and went back to school to get his GED. My dad graduated from Adult Ed. in 1981 as an Olivet Eagle just as my brothers and I had.
As we grew up and were making our way through the school years, none of my brothers or I were anything near a Rhodes Scholar. Even though, my parents never denied us books or the opportunity to learn. My parents always made sure we got at least one thing from the Scholastic book orders that the school sent home with us. During those school years, I remember my mom still having 2 or 3 books going on at once. She always said that she kept more than one book going depending on her mood. She had shelves of books waiting for her to get to. My dad soon found some books that would pique his interest as well. His taste in books could often times be found on the outer edges of the norm. I remember him reading books about Abby Hoffman, The Black Panther Party, Malcolm X, Cesar Chavez, The Brown Berets, Poncho Villa, Emiliano Zapata, and the Zoot Suit Murders to name a few. He would eventually move on to more spiritual reading and self-help books.
I think for the most part, my brothers and I got our thirst for knowledge from our mom and maybe our daring to be different from our dad. As we got older, moved out of the house and started our own families, reading and writing remained a constant in our lives.
Big B