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Syndic Literary Journal


By LeRoy Chatfield, Publisher

10 years!  Tenth Anniversary of Syndic Literary Journal

~  2010 to  2020 ~

I tell you, it does not seem possible! Where have the years gone? I know the older you get, the faster time goes by, but 10 years is a decade, and it came and went, just like that!

Sixty-nine years ago, I was assigned by my religious superiors to teach at Sacred Heart High School in San Francisco, located at Franklin & Ellis St. It was only my second year of high school teaching.

My first year of teaching had been at Garces High School in Bakersfield CA located at 2800 Loma Linda Drive where  I taught six class periods a day – Religion, English and Geometry.  My extra curricular assignment was Coach of the Speech and Debate teams and I was a cafeteria monitor during the lunch hour.  Zero experience, but somehow I made it through the year.  Let me be the first to tell you, I learned a lot . . . the hard way!

The first Syndic Literary Journal started during my second year at Sacred Heart.  I got it in my mind that if high school students were given the opportunity to publish their literary and artistic work, they would be more motivated to read, to write  and be creative.

I published 5 hard-copy issues of Syndic, each one 16 pages long. The students whose work was published, loved it, the elderly religious faculty members hated it and groused about it – “Our students shouldn’t even be reading this kind of stuff, let along writing it!”  “What’s wrong with the way we have always taught English?”  At first I ignored this faculty feedback but when it carried on into the following year, I threw in the towel.  I was too inexperienced and too insecure in my new religious teaching career to ignore or cope with their criticism.

Fast forward 50 years ~ August 2010.  Now 76-years old, and just retired from eight years of research, compiling, organizing and publishing online my Farmworker Movement Documentation Project, which documented the 31-year history of Cesar Chavez and his farmworker movement, 1962-1993, I came to the realization that my documentation of the farmworker movement could never be finished, but now having filled 7 DVD’s of documentation and  published them  online ~ available 24/7 to anyone on the planet with an Internet connection, I knew that I was finished,  it was time to move on and find something new.

But what?

I asked Jennifer Szabo ~ my very young  whiz tech  who taught me how to publish the Documentation Project on the Internet ~   if she w0uld design a Website and teach me how to publish my  50-year old defunct Syndic Literary Journal?  Sure, she said, no problem!

She featured some artwork I had collected in the 1960s in the design of the Website,  chose WordPress (an Internet publishing platform) and gave me a half- dozen or so tutorials about how to use WordPress to create a Syndic issue.  One day she said: You can do it. You’re on your own,   call me if you need any help.

  I say again:  the young shall forever teach the old. 

So, I began to publish Syndic Literary Journal in August 2010.  I have published 37 issues, averaging about 35 chapters in each issue – approximately 1,300 chapters of literary content – stories, artwork, photographs, essays, poetry, narrations, music presentations, one-act-plays, commentary, videos,  the list goes on – if you can create it, I can  publish it!

Before you ask:   Yes! I did need help,  I called Jennifer many times, especially for the first 3 issues, but she was always encouraging and never gave up on me. You’re doing fine, she would say!

So far, so good!  This 10-year anniversary issue ~ Syndic No.37 ~ is over the top –  70 chapters!  But as I thought about it, I said to myself, you know what? At my age, there is never going to be a 20th Anniversary Syndic issue, so go big or go home!  Big it is!

I hope you enjoy Syndic No.37 as much as I enjoyed working on it ~ or even half as much!

Jennifer, I leave you with a homeless blessing: Thank you! God bless you! You saved my life!








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