Sunday, June 28, 2:00-3:30 pm

John Steinbeck Library, 350 Lincoln Avenue


One Salinas: Making a City

Neighborhood Stories

The National Steinbeck Center under construction in 1998

A community conversation that explores the stories of Salinas’ neighborhoods and the challenges of making one city, will take place on Sunday, June 28, from 2:00-3:30 pm at the John Steinbeck Library. “One Salinas” is the latest in a series of community conversations convened as part of the Salinas Stories program, exploring local residents’ experiences during important events in the history of Salinas.

During the first hour of the program, Salinas residents will relate stories about their different neighborhoods, where many people define their community, their identity and their loyalties. This will be followed by a conversation, “Making a City,” led by Salinas Mayor Dennis Donohue, exploring what it might take to knit these disparate storylines into a tale of one city.

  • Theodore Cominos Sr. will tell stories of Oldtown Salinas as seen from the Cominos Hotel, one of Salinas’ oldest landmarks (established in 1856—at the intersection of the two stage routes, between Monterey and San Juan Bautista and between San Francisco and Los Angeles) in an area later the location of downtown Salinas. The hotel was owned by the Cominos family since approximately 1913, and Theodore Cominos worked at the hotel while in high school in the late 30s and remembers the vital life of Main Street. The building was severely damaged in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake and was torn down shortly afterward. The former building’s site is now the parking lot in front of the National Steinbeck Center. (The Monterey County Historical Society provides a history of the Cominos Hotel at http://www.mchsmuseum.com/halfwayhouse.html)
  • City Councilman Tony Barrera will relate stories of East Salinas, the neighborhood known as The Alisal, where he has lived for thirty years. In addition to his representation of the Alisal on the City Council and other philanthropic activities, for twelve years Barrera has served on Parent Patrol, monitoring the streets in the mornings as Alisal students go to school.
  • Ron Cacas will tell tales of growing up in South Salinas in the late 40s and early 50s, when he would ride his bicycle all the way from South Main to Leidig’s grocery store, and play with lots of friends in the neighborhood.
  • Stories from North Salinas will be presented by Roger Patterson, former owner of Roy’s Drive-In, a Salinas landmark and center for hot rods and milkshakes for forty years. Roy’s Drive-In was founded in 1962 by Roger Patterson’s father-in-law, Roy Kreeger, who bought the drive-in in 1976 and ran the family business until it closed in 2004. The site is now La Costa Taqueria.


You Saw It in The Californian!

SATURDAY, JUNE 20, 2–3:00 pm
John Steinbeck Library

Join Salinas Californian Senior Editor for Local News Mike Nemeth for a retrospective of front pages and photos from Salinas’ newspaper coverage of major historical events, from the first edition of the Salinas Index in 1871 to the present.



6:30-8:00 pm
Cesar Chavez Library
615 Williams Rd. in Salinas


Lluvia de Oro (Rain of Gold),

by Victor Villaseñor (En Español)

Three generations of a Mexican-American family’s migration from revolutionary Mexico to 20th century California.

JUEVES, 18 DE JUNIO, 6:30–8:00 pm

Biblioteca César Chávez

615 Williams Rd. en Salinas


Lluvia de Oro (Rain of Gold),

de Víctor Villaseñor (En Español)

Tres generaciones de la migración de una familia mexicoamericana desde el México revolucionario hasta la California del siglo 20.


SUNDAY, JUNE 14, 2–4:00 pm

El Gabilan Library 1400 N. Main St. Salinas


Story the Map!

Memory Maps Workshop for Families



Mapas de Memoria Talleres para las Familias

BE CREATIVE @ YOUR LIBRARY! Create living art out of your life in Salinas in this mixed media workshop in which participants will decorate maps with their own stories. Community maps will be shown in libraries. Come and map out YOUR story!

¡SEA CREATIVO @ SU BIBLIOTECA! Cree arte viviente a partir de su vida en Salinas en este taller de medios múltiples en el cual los participantes decorarán mapas con sus propias historias. Los mapas de la comunidad se exhibirán en las bibliotecas.



Saturday June 13

2:00–3:30 pm

John Steinbeck Library

350 Lincoln Ave. in Salinas


Tour History

Resources at the Library:

A History Methods Workshop

Join Salinas Public Library’s history librarian for an informal tour of the history resources available at the Salinas Public Library, from microfilm of local newspapers from 1873 to historic artwork, to our local history collection, and a sneak peak at our archive.


Conversation: Books – "Space" by:

El Gabilan Library 1400 N. Main St. Salinas

Space, by James Michener.

An exploration of 20th-century space development, and the lives of six men and women dedicated to it. President John F. Kennedy challenged Americans and demanded that America put a man on the moon by the end of the 1960's, and in 1969 astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon.

Do you remember that proud day? Do you remember what Salinas was like that day? Or have you read about it in your history book? What do you think of people going into space? Would you like to go into Space one day? What would you do if you could actually go into Space?

You can find the book in the Salinas Public Library by clicking here, and join our librarians Tuesday night at El Gabilan Library for a fascinating conversation about Space, and how we got there!


Documentary Film Screening: BRACERO STORIES

SUNDAY, JUNE 7, 2–3:00 PM
John Steinbeck Library 350 Lincoln Ave.

This documentary film explores the Bracero Program through interviews with people
on all sides of the controversial U.S.-Mexican government program which granted
temporary work contracts to millions of Mexican laborers from 1942-1964.

Bilingual, with subtitles.

DOMINGO, 7 DE JUNIO, 2–3:00 pm

Biblioteca John Steinbeck 350 Lincoln Ave.





FRIDAY, JUNE 5, 6–7:00 pm National Steinbeck Center

FILM: “Vinegar in the Valley”

This documentary film short explores the human story behind the UFW and agricultural business labor struggles in the Salinas Valley through interviews with people on all sides of the issue. The film was commissioned by the National Steinbeck Center and was made by students of the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University.

Click here for an article by the Monterey County Weekly


JUNE 1-30:

Conversation: Books ONLINE spotlights:

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test,
by Tom Wolfe.

In 1964, writer Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters turned America on to a dangerously playful way of thinking as their Day-Glo bus, Further, made one of the most influential bus rides of the sixties.

Go to www.salinasstories.wordpress.com and check it out today!

The Monterey Herald


Here's a link to an article in today's issue of The Monterey Herald on the panel discussion, then talk by United Farmworkers co-founder Dolores Huerta held yesterday afternoon at Cesar Chavez Library in Salinas.

Nearly 150 people came to listen to and ask questions of the panel members, and Dolores Huerta including Salinas City Councilman Sergio Sanchez. General Manager Terry Feinberg of The Californian was the moderator for the discussion.

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