About Author

About The Author

Emma Gonzålez Local RGV Author

This first book Field Mice: Memoirs of a Migrant Child deals with her memories from her childhood, roughly age 5 to 15. It allows us to share the ups and downs, the joys, the sadness, and a taste of the migrant life in the late 1950s and 60s, through the eyes of a child. She was trapped in the nomadic lifestyle which spiraled downward economically throughout the 10 years she was dragged from Colorado to Texas.

Her gifted use of imagery allows us to experience the snippets of her life that are revealed in Field Mice. Moving on is a way of life for migrant field workers and their family. American born, Emma Gonzalez, tells in short, vivid vignettes of her life struggles to overcome the pressures to keep her as insignificant as the field mice she played with to persevere, to educate herself, to succeed in multiple business ventures, finally discovering her calling in the criminal justice system advocating and assisting victims of crime.

The only child of the later in life marriage, decades younger than her half siblings, Emma was an afterthought, an encumbrance, something to be left at the edge of the field all day and picked up when you went home. Yet, Emma had hope, symbolized by the wearing of her pearls, she focusing on a better life. She learned “your family doesn’t provide a better life for you; you have to go out and make it yourself.” Even from her earliest memories, she sensed a spiritual connection that encouraged her to persevere. Originally nameless, in adulthood she discovered her spiritual mentor, the Blessed Mother Teresa, that would direct her to write her memoirs.

These vignettes illustrate Emma’s strength of character and her determination for HER life. She used the family’s Green Stamps, not for toys or games, but for books. From these books she learned about the countries that were far beyond her reach. But she learned that there was a whole world beyond the migrant life. She developed a sense of adventure and a desire to see these far off places.

Her calendar was set by the growing seasons – back and forth from Edinburg, Texas to the Ovid, Colorado area to thin, weed, and harvest beets – to California to harvest grapes and to West Texas panhandle for work at the cotton gin mills and then back to Edinburg, Texas. When one of her family’s employers in Ovid, Tom Kobayashi, insisted that Emma needed to go to school, it opened a new world for Emma – education, purpose, and friends.

The only place she had any stability was in Ovid, Colorado. The teachers prepared worksheets and gave her used textbooks for her to learn until she came back to Ovid. Ovid was also the place where she made her few friends. These friends gave Emma many bright spots in her few leisure moments. After working long hours in the fields, her friends offered her a break from the hardships of the migrant worker. Playing games, running, and sharing shopping, Rock and Roll music, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups were the happy times she shared with them. There were some dark moments that affected her and still cause sadness, but with the joy in her present life, they are fading.

Emma lives with her supportive husband of 40 years and near to her two children and grandchildren who she loves dearly. (“Children are precious gifts of Light; praise them with loving words.”) After fifty years, Emma returned to Ovid, Colorado to revisit her childhood places and to re-unite with her childhood friends and their haunts (many of which are long gone), but she was able to reconnect with her best friends of yesteryear. She will write about that reunion in her next book titled Paths of Pearls as well as her continuing life struggles after the migrating years ended. She would face the most difficult years still ahead.

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