Some of the most surprising and delightful things about running Facebook ads for my book, The Monsters of Chavez Ravine?

People leaving comments about their connections to the old neighborhoods where Dodger Stadium now stands. Someone’s grandparents lived in Palo Verde, like my mother and her family. Had I heard of them? (Unfortunately, no.) A woman shared that her father-in-law was an Italian immigrant who called the ravine home. Another woman commented that her grandparents, after leaving Chavez Ravine, bought a new home with the payout the city gave in a Los Angeles neighborhood not far from the stadium.

People have also been kind enough to share they read and enjoyed the book, which I so appreciate because this book is very close to my heart.

I treasure every one of these comments.

And then, one day, someone told a woman about my book. Turns out, that woman is Rachel Cantu, ten years old on May 8, 1959, the day of the final evictions in Palo Verde. Her family remains the most famous of the holdouts, the people determined to remain in their homes despite the powerful effort to drive them out.

Rachel kindly agreed to an interview. She also shared the picture on this post. I had no idea the L.A. Police Academy had a waterfall and gardens!

The interview appears in Latino LA. You can read it here:

PHOTO: Rachel Cantu, left, and her sister Delores at the L.A. Police Academy, 1956.
Photo credit: Rachel Cantu