Starting a Family Nursery Business in the 1930's

My father was born in Europe.  He was the oldest of nine brothers and sisters.  He had a scholarship to go to a major university.  His parents told him to go to America to earn money to bring the rest of the family to America.

During the 1930’s, my father worked in an iron smelter in Tormey, CA.  It was a company town.  The family was allowed to live on the right side of the tracks because my mother looked Italian.  In fact, she was Mexican.  I was born in the mid 30’s.  My father had already started a nursery in Berkeley, CA.  Talk about guts.

My mother ran the Berkeley place until she could not handle everything – two little children, answering customer’s questions, and stocking new plants.  She had dropped out of school at thirteen and started working.  The money was needed to support her father and his large family.