Home ] Services ] Publications ] Links ] Forum ] About ] [E-mail HG]


Heidelberg Graphics home page


Search site for:

Book Reviews

Faces of Chico by Isabella A. Godinez and Lois A. Morrison
Interviews of 43 personalities from Chico, California, chosen at random.

"The idea is simple. Snap the pictures of 43 Chico residents, briefly interview them and print the results in a book. Faces of Chico ($24.95 in hardcover) by Isabella A. Godinez and Lois A. Morrison is one cool volume. A product of M & G Publishing of Chico, and printed by Heidelberg Graphics, the book is available at the Chico State University AS Bookstore, Bidwell Perk, Made in Chico, the Naked Lounge and the Phoenix Building Gift Shop. Interested readers can e-mail the authors at MGPublishing@cs.com.

"In the introduction, the authors say they wanted to provide 'just a glimpse of Chico and those who populate this town. ... Each interview was random, a face we'd seen in passing, an enticing environment or a name passed on in conversation.'

"Part of the fun is looking for familiar faces. Some of those pictured are part of the business world or community organizations and have a bit higher profile than others. But most of the stories are of everyday folks, strangers we may have seen only in passing. Reading them gives one a greater sense of what Chico embodies.

"In a publicity letter, the authors note that 'Lois grew up in southern California and made Chico her home in 1978. Isabella has called Chico home most of her life.' Both women have found Chico's population to be colorful and eclectic. 'We've all wondered about the woman that we pass each day on the way to work or the guy painting the sign on the corner. There's not a soul without a story to tell.'

"Faces of Chico is a snapshot of the city at a moment in time.

"The large black and white portraits blend well with the text, which offers a friendly and nonjudgmental introduction to each life. There is Mother Sophia, who manages the Heavenly Realm bookstore in downtown Chico and hosts the weekly Oh Gentle Light on community radio KZFR (90.1 FM), which features Eastern Orthodox liturgical music and spiritual encouragement. There is Brian Kneebone, a First Responder paramedic; Juliette ('woman, mother, nurse, psychic and ghost hunter'); Harriet Pope, a retired elementary school teacher who started the Vision Impaired People support group; and Yia.

" 'As a Hmong boy growing up in the mountains of Laos,' the authors report, 'Yia worked in the fields from the age of seven with this family, mostly growing rice and corn. ... When he became fifteen in 1970, Yia joined the CIA army and fought with the United States against the North Vietnamese. But when the United States pulled out in 1975, he was forced to flee to the mountains with his wife where they hid for five years. ... Two small children of theirs were killed during these years from enemy attack. His son Kong (who acted as translator) was born on Christmas Day in 1979 one month before they escaped into Thailand, where they lived for eight years in a refugee camp before arriving in the United States on December 8, 1988.'

"Moving to Chico in 1993, Yia and his family 'farm several pieces of land around Chico, growing flowers and various vegetables to sell at the Farmers Market on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Yia says he's happy to be in the United States where there's no war going on, no running from soldiers and where his children can grow up with a full education.'

"Reverend Warren Robinson pastors Chico's historic Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church on Linden Street. Appointed pastor of the church in 1999, Rev. Robinson also has a 'day job' as a high school teacher in Reno. 'He instructs a program called Nova Net that allows for individual studies on computer.'

"Nik is a tattoo artist studying computer graphics; Claudia 'plays locally in a band with African, Indian and her own Peruvian influence.' Kimberly Scherba plays the cello.

"Bill Lee 'retired from his position as editor of the Enterprise-Record in 1983. ... He rode from Dunsmuir to Stockton with Harry Truman who, he shares, instituted the whistle-stop tour.'

"Faces is a delightful and sometimes poignant record of some of the many lives that make Chico Chico. Bravo! "–Dan Barnett, Chico Enterprise-Record

Top of page

Order Faces of Chico, ISBN 0-9708661-1-9, $24.95

Order Faces of Chico by Isabelle A. Godinez and Lois A. Morrison

Home ] Ordering ] [ Reviews ] Contents ] Other ] [Top of Page]

For best viewing use Internet Explorer set at 800 x 600. Click here to download.

This site is copyright © 2002 by Heidelberg Graphics, Chico, California

E-mail Heidelberg Graphics

Hit Counter