An inspiring remininscence of an ambitious and energetic boy exploring the joy of becoming an imaginative and dedicated newspaperman.
It is a joyful journey to follow in the footsteps of a young Arizona-born, California-reared, half-Mexican, half-Irish-English boy as he experiences his earliest introduction to eventually becoming a tireless, relentless and dedicated newspaperman in California's San Joaquin Valley. Lopez has crafted a story that every young man or woman of his generation will recall with new-found pride and self-esteem, characteristics that were not easily found in a culture with few role models when he was trying to cope with the daily challenges that confronted someone who was trying to straddle a fence between two cultures. Teachers simply were not accustomed to dealing with Hispanic youths who were bursting with curiosity and driven to achieve as when Lopez was being yanked in and out of schools frequently as his family followed his ex-prizefighter father from job to job and town to town. Although it seemed to him that he was always playing catch-up, Lopez none-the-less succeeded in skipping half-grades three times en route to graduating from high school just a few weeks after his 17th birthday. Lopez became a fulltime sports writer on a daily newspaper while he was still 18 and retired after 44 years of chasing deadlines. He has vividly recalled how it all began, not an easy journey for one so young and without professional role models to emulate. How did it begin? He wrote a school play as a seventh-grader in Oakland. He then wrote for high school and junior college newspapers and was a stringer for hometown papers for as little as a nickel-an-inch. After one year of Junior College, he was a professional, earning $21.50 per week in Madera. His next stops were Bakersfield and Fresno, followed by some freelance travel writing when he retired. Ink in My Veins will not be forgotten easily by anyone who reads it.