This is Us
Northern California is known for stunning redwoods, mountains, and ocean views. It is also home to some of the most fascinating people in the country. This is Us profiles remarkable people who live in Northern California - barrier-breaking individuals who have made our area the special place it is while influencing the world beyond.
Latino Heritage (#208H) Duration: 27:13 STEREO
* Dr. Ruben Mendoza, archaeologist - visit the Mission at San Juan Baustista and take a look behind the scenes of one of California's best kept treasures. Archaeologist Dr. Ruben Mendoza gives us a special tour of the "Mission of Music" that includes the River of Life and just a touch of Indiana Jones and the Secret of the Illumination.
* Luis Valdez, playwright/film director - The famed writer currently lives in San Juan Batista and has been assisting the local high school Theatre Arts programs. Luis Valdez was the founder of El Teatro Campesino in California and is thought to be the father of Mexican American Theater. Valdez was born in San Francisco and attended San Jose State where his play "The Shrunken Head of Pancho Villa" was staged in 1964. In 1978 his play, Zoot Suit, an account of racism in 1940s Los Angeles, was the first Hispanic American play to reach Broadway. He followed the landmark show with the popular 1987 film La Bamba, which launched the screen career of Lou Diamond Phillips.
* Greg Smesstad, 8th generation Californian - Greg Smesstad is a descendent of the Bernal family, one of 30 families who came from Mexico with Spanish Captain Juan Bautista de Anza in 1775. Smesstad has written the book on the de Anza Trail, a National Parks Historic Trail, for the Park Service. In it he documents the history of the first 30 families in California. The Bernal family helped to found San Jose.