National Steinbeck Center, Salinas July 2022

Access Information at: Home – Steinbeck Center

We live in a time of conflict. It is a time when lies that have been repeated for years have led to confusion and darkness. Fantastical lies are part of the belief system of many who do not want to think for themselves. There is a famine of critical consciousness in the world. Recently I was reviewing a manuscript for an academic journal, where I am an assistant editor. The observation of a homeless woman in Pakistan elegantly summed up what many believe across the globe:

“People no longer care; everyone has lost their humanity.”

She looks like someone with a story that John Steinbeck may have written about. This led me to visit the National Steinbeck Center and John Steinbeck’s grave. Where is John now that we need him? We are fortunate John is a light across time with a message for all ages through his memorable stories.

Let us ponder how we treat our brothers and sisters. When we treat others as Objects (Subject > Object relationships) we diminish who we are, and they are, as human beings. When we treat others as Subjects (Subject<>Subject relationships) we are on equal standing and everyone wins. More than ever we need to find the path of truth where we are all part of the human family. We need to come together in a metaphorical Tent of Meeting where, as equals, we work together to build good will among all humans.

What follows is a tour of the legacy of John Steinbeck’s literature at the National Steinbeck Center, Steinbeck House, and a visit to his grave.

Main Entrance One Main Street, Salinas, California

Steinbeck House is not part of National Steinbeck Center

  Access information at: The Steinbeck House

This is the birthplace and childhood home of John Steinbeck.  It is a restaurant and offers tours of the family home.

132 Central Avenue, Salinas, CA (within 3 blocks of the National Steinbeck Center)
Posing with an image of one of my Heroes
Mural across street from National Steinbeck Center
A number of his Works: Why is the 1940 Pulitzer Prize winning:  The Grapes of Wrath missing?
Profound Wisdom

Sampling of John Steinbeck’s Works

1933
1935
Mural Commemorating the NovelPublished in 1936
Of Mice and Men Poster – Novel Published in 1937
1938

As a student at Monterey Peninsula College in the early 1970s I was introduced to John Steinbeck’s work The Long Valley as part of an assignment in an English course.  His focus on the human condition, of light and shadow, and cruelty among humans is something to ponder. We have entered into another time where the frightful energies of the past appear to have grasped this moment. One can hope and work for a positive transformation of our society. I have decided to read these short stories again to discover new meaning, and figure how our Tents of Meeting may expand to include all people.

Master Piece 1939
1945

This was one of the first novels that I read. There are no longer Canneries in Cannery Row. The Steinbeck Theatre of the 1960s was replaced by a restaurant. 

In life we are always confronted with change.  Change is part of living.  Forgetting does not work and has us repeat familiar cycles that are painful and threaten our learning from experience.  This ignorance of the past threatens our ability to compassionately embrace hope and wellbeing of humans, other sentient beings, air, water, land, fire/energy, trees, and the planet in general. 

1951
Sea of Cortez Mural
1952
1961 – John Steinbeck’s last novel

While the Nobel Prize was awarded for Mr. Steinbeck’s whole body of work. The Winter of Our Discontent demonstrated to the Nobel Prize Committee his ongoing contribution to literature.

Travels with Charlie

1962

May all of our trips that take us on an odyssey of discovery be as rich as the Travels with Charley in 1962

Special Memory with Charlie

Honors and Awards

The 1962 Nobel Prize for Literature

History is circular as greed, money and power become more “brutal” over time
Receiving the Nobel Prize in Literature at City Hall Oslo, Norway 1962

Presidential Medal of Freedom – 1964

Commemorative Postage Stamp 1979

Commemorative Stamp
Experiencing the Creative Flow in Nonlocal Consciousness
At the time of his Death he lived In New York City
Where is John now when we need him?

John’s Best Friend

Ed Ricketts
The Murals at the beginning of this Blog of Portola and In Dubious Battle resulted from this Mural Project

Visit to John Steinbeck’s Grave

John Steinbeck is Buried in Gardens of Memory at Abbott Street and Romie Lane in Salinas, California
About a half of a block from the entrance on the right you will see the grave at a distance. I had to ask a grounds person how to find it.
John in buried in the Hamilton Family site
Arrangement on July 20, 2022
Grave Marker
Floral Tribute with Charlie
Travels with Charlie Forever together
John was returned to his Place of Origin, Salinas, California: The soil of his stories and his home.

In regard to the quote at the beginning of this blog.

People no longer care; everyone has lost their humanity.”

The soil of John’s stories throughout his life may be a path to assist us in reflecting on care of others who do not have access to the resources necessary to meet their basic needs. Compassion for others may be the successful way forward. Caring may be a way to recapture our authentic humanity if we have lost our way.

Published by gjacinto

Dr Jacinto is a licensed clinical social worker in private practice working with nursing home clients. having completed an PhD in Social Work at Barry University, MSW degree from Florida State University, MEd degree from College of Idaho, and BS degree from California State University Fresno. He retired as an Associate Professor from the University of Central Florida School of Social Work in 2016. Dr. Jacinto was also an Associate Professor at Arkansas State University, St. Leo University. His focus of research has been in the area of spirituality and social work, Alzheimer's caregivers, LGBT issues, long term care, and macro social work.

One thought on “National Steinbeck Center, Salinas July 2022

  1. As an English major this stunning tribute by Dr. Jacinto to the great Steinbeck amazed and delighted me. The excellent photos accompanied by comments and quotations offer such valuable insight into the Nobel prize winner’s life. Every English teacher (from high school to college level classes) in the country should present this in the classroom when introducing Steinbeck’s works.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: