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Book follows imprint of Portuguese in South Bay
By Kel Kanady   - 10/04/2007

Fremont Bulletin

"Gold was the lure, but land was the anchor," proclaims author Meg Rogers, on the immigration of the Portuguese into California. Working as a contributing editor of "Images in America: Alviso," Rogers became intrigued by the number of Portuguese references.

Portuguese immigrants formed a solid fabric that provided the foundation for the rich farming and other cultural influences that became an influential component to the histories of Fremont, San Jose and Santa Clara. Like in their homelands, they were successful at farming in the foothills, with many Portuguese from the Azore islands working as orchardists.

Like any good historian, when Rogers viewed old photographs from Milpitas residents such as Mabel Mattos and Robert Burrill, she became interested in the stories behind the faces. Rogers brings these stories to life including the earliest stories of immigration, celebrating the new world life, and the historical societies that continue to strive to make Portuguese history alive today.

The stories and photos together bring images of celebration, sacrifice, saudade (Portuguese word for something lost which cannot be regained), and triumph.

Recommendation: This book would make an interesting addition to the collection of a local history buff, or someone of Portuguese descent. In addition to local bookstores, it is also available through Arcadia Publishing at www.arcadiapublishing.com.




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