My Family

My mother’s parents were Czechs who immigrated first to Chicago and then moved out West to California in the early 1900′s to start a fruit ranch. 

In this photo,my Great-aunt and Great-uncle, Charlie and Rose Petrik, kneel before a long tray of walnuts on the ranch in San Martin. In the background, my Great-grandmother, Marie Petrik, known to us as Big Bubby, stands with hands on hips.


Big Bubby preferred to speak her native Czech, but she was surrounded by her children who could translate for her. Big Bubby, her daughters Georgiana, Mary, and Bessie, and her son Jerry Petrik, all lived with their families in homes on West San Martin Avenue within a short walk of each other.


Here’s Charlie and Rose Petrik standing with Big Bubby in her vineyards in San Martin.

Charlie and Rose remained in Chicago when Big Bubby and the rest of her children moved west to start the ranch in San Martin. This photo and the photo above was taken in 1918 when Charlie and Rose came out West for a visit.


My father’s parents were Italians from the provinces of Genoa and Parma in northern Italy. They also became fruit ranchers in Santa Clara Valley.Here’s my father, Charles Longinotti, working on his family’s ranch in the Willow Glen area of San Jose.



My grandfather, Domenico Longinotti, stands with his shovel in his orchard. My father is on the right. His hair is already thinning, due, he has always told us, to burning brush in the orchard.