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Adiós, Al Fonzi 

Well, it seems that Al Fonzi has thrown in the proverbial towel and gone back East to Trump country ("From over here," Dec. 2). Al will soon discover why things are "so much cheaper" in eastern Tennessee. I hope he is not living downwind of that pile of burning leaves, and let's hope the fires are not left unattended.

Just like some of Al's new neighbors, I too am proud of my "colonial pioneer heritage."Four of my mestizo ancestors were with Portolá in 1769 and 14 others came with Anza in 1774. One of them married a member of the Acjachemen Nation giving me indigenous roots to my beloved California, and two more were Africans who helped establish the city of Los Angeles in 1781. But, unlike the pioneers of the "Volunteer State," in 1846 my ancestors, although poorly armed and outnumbered, fought to defend their California home from the invader. I wish others of Al's ilk would follow his example and find a cheaper place to live somewhere back East.

While taking in the countryside of his new Tennessee home, Al may notice that the African slaves have all been replaced with underpaid Mexican migrant labor. Perhaps seeing them stooped over in the fields picking his food will provide him with fond memories of his time in the "woke" Golden State?

Finally, I don't understand Al's comment that people in Tennessee "still wish each other 'Merry Christmas' without hesitation or fear." Many of us here in central California would like to wish Al Fonzi a "¡Feliz Navidad!" ... y gracias por irte.

Lisa Casillas-Lugo de Siemsen


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