J W Johnston • Photography




At the age of sixteen Francisco walked from Mexicali, Mexico to Yuma Arizona. He and a friend thought crossing the desert would take few hours, but it turned out to be three days. Because they had no food or water with them, they nearly died of thirst before they reached the U.S.


Francisco started living with us in the early 1980s shortly after he arrived in the United States. He was about eighteen. Eric and I bought our own house after moving out of one of the large communes that flowered in San Francisco during the 1970s. Several of our former communards moved in with us. Friends and acquaintances crashed at our house. That period was filled with freedom and optimism. Francisco ended up at our house one night. He could not speak English, and we spoke no Spanish, but the next morning he swept and mopped the floors. He did that every day, and we were happy to let him stay. At the beginning he came and went, one time working the harvest in Washington for six months. Francisco only finished sixth grade in school but he was smart and picked up English quickly. By the mid-1980s our friends had moved out but Francisco remained.




1 -  18   >  NEXT