Americano: My Journey to the Dream

Bottom photos: Father, Joseph; Mother, Jennie

Author: Thomas Rodriguez
Published by: Amigos Publishing Company
Graphics and layout: Jack Cobos Graphics
Printed by: Josten’s Printing & Publishing, Inc., January 2004
ISBN: 0-615-12494-1
Pages 420 pages

In his book of memories, Rodriguez writes nostalgically about his experiences growing up in “The Bottoms,” a long ago demolished low-income, high crime neighborhood, but one that  was rich in cultural, racial, and ethnic diversity.  It was there that he learned about racial tolerance and where he acquired his strong work ethic.  Rodriguez tells a story about growing up in a country very different from the one we live in today.  It was a time when families still ate all of their meals together, listened to the radio as a family every night, when home owners sat outside on their porches during hot summer nights, it was the time before television and air conditioning, and a time when everyone knew their neighbors and helped each other out when times were tough. From beginning to end, Rodriguez takes us on a remarkable journey through the different stages of his life, from his adventuresome formative years in the 1940’s to his wild, delinquent teenage years in the 1950’s, his young manhood in the 1960’s when he served in the Army in a still untamed Anchorage, Alaska, to his full adulthood in the 1970’s and 1980’s when he settled down, earned several college degrees, got married and had children.  Rodriguez also shares with readers his insights into his career successes and his many activist involvements on behalf of Latinos in Topeka, Kansas, and Las Vegas, Nevada, and his many years writing six books documenting the Latino experience in the State of Nevada.