Martin Meraz-Garcia would drive his mother to the Tri-Cities fields at 4:30 in the morning and together they picked cherries and his nose would bleed, stinging with pesticides, and he would think back to his childhood in Mexico, one of 14 children, the son of a murdered father, and how he worked shining shoes in the street until the family moved to the United States, and he was teased so ruthlessly his first day in sixth grade that he told his mother he would never return, and she insisted he go back, and then one day as a teen in the orchards he realized that even if he were the fastest cherry picker in the world, he would never rise out of this poverty. He decided that day to be anything but a field worker.
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