Maria's Journey



Home to the book Maria's Journey  
by Ramon Arredondo & Trisha (Hull) Arredondo

August 2010

Authors Blog / Talking Points

San Miguel Allende, Mexico MARIA goes International!

San Miguel Allende is one of our favourite cities in Mexico, filled with history, writers, artists and friendly people.  Some time ago, we were invited to discuss MARIA'S JOURNEY on our local PBS TV Station, WLPR in Merrillville,IN. After the taping, we chatted with our interviewer, Keith Kirkpatrick, who shared with us that his daughter, Meghan, was studying in San Miguel, working with CATIS.  This international organization's project was to train local residents in building homes made of indigenous materials.

When we next visited San Miguel, Meghan picked us up and we drove out to the CATIS site.  We were impressed not only with the building of homes, but also, with other innovations being explored by CATIS. We donated monies from our Educational fund to train three people in learning how to construct these remarkable houses.

Back in town, we returned to our bed and breakfast, Casa Maricela, where we enjoyed lunch, conversing in Spanish with our fellow guests and eating delicious fresh food prepared by our hostess, Maricela. Later Ray and I walked to the local library where we presented them with a copy MARIA'S JOURNEY and vowed to continue our quest to have it translated into Spanish.  Still working on that one!

for more info on:;  CASA MARICELA



Ramon and I have participated in events at Hope CommUnity Center in Apopka, Florida for several years.  Sister Ann Kendrick (who just happens to be our daughter-in-law, Karen's, cousin), Sister Cathy Goram and Sister Gail Grimes have worked for forty years to better the lives of Central Florida's immigrant and working poor communities.

We have been blessed by awarding educational scholarships to worthy students helped by HOPE.  At this year's celebration of Sister Gail's retirement, we donated 34 copies of MARIA'S JOURNEY to be used in classes in citizenship, English language, GED, self-esteem, community leadership and many other areas including inter-generational community ties all offered at the center.  We trust that MARIA will be a role model demonstrating how one poor, Mexican woman, with support of her faith, family, friends and her belief in hard work and perserverence in the face of many obstacles, succeeded in giving a better life to her family.

Congratulations, Sister Gail, on your selfless work and devotion. Enjoy your've earned it.       To learn more, google: HOPE COMMUNITY CENTER, APOPKA, FLORIDA


MARIA's Roadtrip....Keizer, Oregon and "Northwest Marketing Manager"

In June our dear friends, Wayne and Jean DiNardo, welcomed us to their home in beautiful Keizer, Oregon.  Despite being wheelchair-bound for several years, Wayne has been so effective in spreading the word about MARIA'S JOURNEY, that we are now working on a book tour in our great Northwest.  Many thanks, Wayne, and congratulations to you and "Darlin' Jean" on your upcoming 50th wedding anniversary!


Our computer guru, Jason, has advised me that blogs should be short or nobody will read them.  I replied that I write stories and it is hard for me to keep them brief, but I shall try. Here's my first attempt:

WE NEED YOUR HELP TO TELL OTHERS ABOUT MARIA'S JOURNEY. PLEASE "LIKE US ON OUR MJ WEBSITE AND SEND "CUSTOMER REVIEW" TO AMAZON.COM.  We thank you and the recipients of our educational scholarships will thank you, too!

KENNEDY/NIXON: Bi-Partisan Inspiration for MARIA'S JOURNEY.

When Ramon recieved his undergrad degree from the University of Central Florida in l973 (then called FTU), he was surprised to learn the then U.S. President Richard Nixon was to be keynote speaker at the ceremony.  The President did indeed speak, delaring he was "not a crook"; Ray received his diploma, all applauded Nixon's speech and headed off to take up their lives and carreers. In August that same summer Nixon resigned due to the Watergate scandal. Years later, Ray saw the former President in an interview where he lamented the fact that his mother was a great woman and no one would ever write a book about her.

Fast forward to the 1980 campaign when Ted Kennedy made a bid for the presidency.  Ray's brother was running for circuit court judge during that year and his and Kennedy's campaigns merged when Kennedy came to northern Indiana.  Kerry Kennedy, the late Bobby Kennnedy's daughter, was helping her Uncle Ted and she stayed in our home for a few days during that period.  Slightly older than our kids, Ken and Krissy, she was a delightful, poised young woman and very effective campaigner.  As we shared political stories around our dining room table, she noted that the Arredondo family, with its many members involved for decades in politics and other forms of public service, reminded her of the Kennedys in their working together toward a common goal.

"You should write a book about your family," she suggested.  We smiled and thought what a gracious young lady and mentally catagorized her comment as a polite kindness.

Decades flashed by, but Ray never forgot Nixon's comment about his mother, nor Kerry's comment about the book.  "Maybe we should put the two ideas together and write a book honouring my mother, Maria.  And so began MARIA'S JOURNEY.  The rest, as they say, is history! 

Honour our Veterans !

A very special thank you to all the men and women who have scarficed so much so that we may live in the Greatest Country in the World.  It is you who have allowed us to be free, to speak our opinions without fear, to follow our diverse dreams where they may lead us, to worship in the way that we choose.  May God bless all of you who defend us now and those who have served through the ages.  We shall never forget your contibutions that continue to keep us "the Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave."

A personal thank you to my father, Col. Elbert L. Hull, my brother, Dennis L. Hull, Ramon, my husband, and his brothers, Jesus, Miquel, Jose,and Sylvester Arredondo, and to all the many generations of our families who served before and after them.  God bless you and God bless America!



MARIA'S JOURNEY first "road trip" presentation Asheville,NC

Our very first presentation of MARIA'S JOURNEY was in Ashville,NC.   Our dear friend, LOTTE MEYERSON, and her husband, SEYMOUR, had arranged for Ray and I to do a number of talks while other friends, George and Barb Groome, graciously opened their home to us for our stay.

And what a stay it was!  Lotte,who was noted for her great energy in fairness and equality causes when we knew and worked together in Northwest Indiana, had not slowed down one bit in retirement!  On the drive to Ashville, we were interviewed by phone for a Spanish newspaper, LA NOTICIA.                

After having a little car trouble (a test of our endurance), we contacted Lotte and began the marathon "tour" she had planned for us.  It ranged from a presentation at the Meyerson's beautiful retirement village where much of the audience identified with Maria's immigration experiences and shared them with us, to a class in diversity at Ashville's North Carolina University where the students were very receptive and one told us we had inspired her to spend the summer with her grandmother and learn about her "roots."  Then on to Firestone Cafe and Books, followed by the Lyric Opera that night which gave a wonderful performance.

Not over yet, though!  Sunday we were at La Capilla de Santa Maria Church where, after Mass, we shared our book in Spanish to a marvelous group who fed us delicous food.  One of the most moving parts was when a young mother told us she had been advised not to expect her children to achieve too much for it took at least two generations for that to be accomplished.  The story of Ray and his siblings and their success as first generation Mexican immigrants gave her hope.

" If you could succeed way back then, I know my kids can now!"  Wonderful to hear...chose to ignore the age implication!

Both Lotte and Seymour deserve a book all to themselves.  Lotte's family left Germany during the rise of Hitler and began again in the Chicago area where Seymour's family had settled earlier.  She became an intrepid champion for her causes and Seymour, a world reknown scientist.   We and many others owe them for their conributions.  Thanks to you both, dear friends, Trisha and Ray


Meet Dr. James B. Lane

Blog here.DR. JAMES B. LANE  Professor Emeritus of History, Indiana University, NW

We want you to meet Dr. Lane, known to those who know and love him as Jim or "Jimbo."  Jim is a super friend of 30+ years who was instrumental in encouraging us to submit MARIA'S JOURNEY for publication and held our hand throughout the process!  He wrote the introduction, as well as the blurbs at the beginning of the chapters that give the reader historical context. He also kept us on point throughout the preparation of MJ for publishing.

Jimbo is co-director of Calumet Regional Archives, edits Steel Shavings Magazine and is highly regarded in his role of historian, winning the Hoosier Historian Award. He has kindly agreed to present MARIA'S JOURNEY to groups within the Northwest Indiana Region when Ray and I are not available.  You can contact him at .

Thanks, Jim!!!  You are a VIP friend.....Ray and Trisha

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