|A photo I shot in 1976 in San Benito County where I was born and grew up|
"You've come a long way," a fellow editor had said to me (out of the blue I might add) as three of us co-workers were eating lunch on a lovely Saturday afternoon (it could've been Sunday, but does it really matter) many years ago.
If I had been quick on my feet, or just less shy, I would've retorted, "You came further." She, after all, had migrated from Chicago to San Francisco, while my hometown was less than a 100 miles away.
But, she wasn't talking about distance. She was referring to the fact that my parents were "uneducated" immigrants from an impoverished country who did not have a grasp on the English language, and who were only able to "achieve" farm jobs in the United States. As if all that would make a difference on their ability to do well in a new world or for their daughter to complete college and become a —gasp—professional.
After all these years, I still don't understand why my colleague said such a thing nor why she had a need to say it. Could it have been insecurity? I don't know. I was reminded again about that moment by some of the things I've been hearing and reading lately.