Friday, February 6, 2009

Hey Jose, That is cool your little brother is reading East Side Dreams. Tell him that everything in the book is true. In fact, I had to cut some things down a little. Such as the drugs, when I wrote East Side Dreams I went back and took out about 30 pages of taking drugs because I did not want young people to think and feel it was cool to take drugs. Drugs are very bad for you. My brother Eddie and I used to take a lot of drugs and now that we are older we are very sick with all kinds of stuff. When I first started getting sick I asked my doctor why I was so sick so young. He asked me if I use to take drugs. I answered, "yes." Then he said that is what causes people to die young and be so sick. So remember that and tell your bother.
You asked, "How is it possible to love my father because of the way he was with us?" That is just way life is. You said you feel that you have two fathers, one when he is drinking and another when he is not. When you get older, you are going to remember the father who was not drinking. You will always love your father no matter what, you came from him and he is your flesh and blood. I remember a few years ago I went to Santa Anna to give a book talk. A man wanted to talk to me after the event was over and he waited until everyone left. When we were alone we sat down and his eyes became watery. He was about 40 years old. He said that after he left home when he was a kid he hated his father and would not speak to him. This was because the way his father treated and beat him when he was a kid. Then he said, "After reading East Side Dreams, it made me think about my father and he was still my father even though he treated me this way." So the day he was done with reading East Side Dreams, he went to his father's house to fix things. And from that day forward, he and his father are best friends! All of this because of my book, it sure made me feel good knowing that my books had changed his life and many other lives.
Yes, as you said, those are old bad memories. Everyone has those memories of growing up. Even people who had good parents have these memories. When my children were very young, I told my wife, "We have to treat these kids good, because when they grow up they are going to remember everything we did, both good and bad! I am now glad I put everything into raising my children.

Also remember this; at least you have a father around. Many, many kids wish they had fathers. They do have fathers but they do not know them at all and the fathers do not care about them. So count your blessings. We all have our lot in life. Some people were born in a third world country and cannot find food to eat for the day. Some are born in a war torn land, where they cannot believe of a life like ours here. So be happy and work hard in your education, it is so important. That way later you can do more things, you can go to more school or take a trade and make OK money. Money does not bring happiness but it sure makes life easier!

Thanks for writing again, Jose, and do good so your little brother can follow your footsteps. I am glad you learned from my books about life, makes me feel good. Thanks for letting me know. If you have any other questions just ask.
Art Rodriguez

Thursday, February 5, 2009


You are welcome, Robert. I am glad you enjoyed it. If you liked East Side Dreams you will also like Those Oldies but Goodies. Yes, I went back to Preston two years ago to give the graduation talk. I took my wife and we got a tour. I showed my wife where i company was. They changed the names now.
Yes, San Jose has a lot of people here. I raised my 8 kids here and they are all grown up fine. None of my kids got into trouble as I did. I worked hard on them because I did not want them to have teenage years full of heartache as I did.
Thanks for your email, Robert,

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Answering emails

Raeana, I am glad you are still going to school. And yes, sometimes our parents treat us different ways and it is because they think it is the best way. Later when you baby gets older you are going to tell your baby "NO!" and she will not do what you say. What are you going to do? I know, I raised 8 kids and it is important that your child knows, "no means no!" But you do not have to hit your baby. I taught my children that time-outs work just as good. Kids hate time-outs so they will want to be good. Maybe at first you might have to give her a little wack so she minds you when you say time-out you mean time-but, after that she will know you mean business.
When I first wrote East Side Dreams I had an ending and told the reader where everyone was now a days. But my editor crossed it out and said, "End the book here!" I asked, "why?" because the reader will want to know what happened to everyone. He said because that way when your next book comes out they will have to read it to find out! So you have to read the other books!
No, Victor lives in the state of UT. He had two sons with his first wife and two with his next. He is now raising his grand daughter. He is doing well and happy. Eddie lives in San Jose. He has two daughters. One works at Yahoo and the other at Standford. He is 60 years old and has bad health. Tita lives in San Jose, raised 5 kids and now she is taking classes and has started writing. I did not take classes when I started writing. I learned how to write on my own. Learned how to read also.
I had 8 kids and four are girls. You can read the whole story about my kids in my book, Those Oldies but Goodies.
Yes, I am married and I am 21 years old! No, I am 59 years old. In my head I feel young still but my body is telling me I am very old because of bad health. Time went so fast now I am old. How have I been. I am a very happy man with my wife, kids and grand kids. I count my blessings because if I would have not straightened out my life I would not be here today. If I am going to write another books? I do not know. Not right now. I am so busy going to schools and taking to kids and writing emails I do not have time.
I am very glad my book has helped you and gave you courage for life. That is one of the best things in my life, I can help young people. I used to tell my kids my stories and tell them that they do not have to learn the hard way, they can learn from me and my life. Now I tell all kids this, learn from my books!Raeana, thank you for your nice email and keep working hard in school. Read a lot because reading makes your brain grow. Start now to read to your daughter, she will love it and learn how to read at a young age.
Your Friend, Art Rodriguez