J.C. (III) – pleasant, amicable and nimble-minded -- pointed out that his grandfather has ahd a huge impact in his entire family and many other persons in Robstown, Texas and the surrounding area. His late grandfather – J. CRUZ GONAZALEZ, Jr. -- a short, pleasantly plump yet gutsy man, was a noted trailbrazer. J.C. (III)’s grandpa (J. CRUZ GONZALEZ, Jr.) was both a businessman and one of the first Hispanic Councilpersons and an former mayor, and historical community activist; he was a powerful voice in economic development.
J.C.’s grandpa despite his humble beginnings, opened a grocery store on Lincoln Street, but was able to come up with a recipe for establishing name recognization that is difficult to counterpart (especially during those days). His Grandpa’s store would become one of the most popular informal meetings for activists in politics and economic development. His grandpa even to this day lives on as folk hero in the native community of Robstown – he was charismatic and help boost the spirit and the socio-psychology of the people, especially those who stemmed from humble beginnings.
J.C. (III)’s father was J.C. II – he died a few years ago. J.C.(III)’s father was a down-to-earth man that despite having his occupational career had a daily link to his dad’s activisties at the cited store which was known as CRUZ GONAZALEZ JR. GROCERY STORE which was located on Lincoln Avenue (the store is now defunct). The store, which emerged historically in a segregated community known as CASA BLANCA, also served other functions. It was a daily orbit of interactional discussion to decryptic and make collective make sense of many a political, social or educational issue of the day. It was a natural institution. This palce had a distinctive creative aura – if anyone wanted to get elected or push a cause: this was the catalyst.
Now J.C. (III) is trying to see how he can use the business and socio-political knowledge that has been passed via family to help him expand his social networking enterprise in 2010. “On a daily basis I get flashbacks of when I used to work at the store on Lincoln, remembering the discussions, how a better life can be crafted. I’ve realized that many of the principles my father and grandpa used were still applicable today; however, they just need to be applied realistically in our modern day. Who know I might put together a manual of some of the bullet points that I feel need to be followed for personal success.”
J.C. III added: “Why is my grandpa and the efforts of my father so important in my realm of work? Let me put it simply – it is a spiritual connection. One have a positive historical link to where he comes from: it boost my self-esteem as well as reminds me of the long struggle, the struggle from humble beginnings to get to where I am. I have a name – J.C. – that has been in the family for quite a while. Why were we named J.C.-es…? Because I feel each J.C. will be a measure of where our family is each generation – sort of like a measuring stick… However, I feel that I have an advantage now over the precious JC-es… This is the age of the internet. I use facebook and other sites to daily apply what has been passed on to me and what I feel should also be added to suit the times. Social Media is potent.”
His Grandpa’s (J.C. Jr.’s) family came to Robstown during the early pioneering days. His Grandfather’s dad – J. Cruz Gonzalez Sr. -- first came to Robstown to work in the building of the railroad.
J.C. (III)’s mom said: “I had to give my son some room to be creative. He is a good family man.
“I feel that the name I have J.C. is a reminder to me that there is a higher cause involved than me. I have learned to summon the spiritual energy that I need when I feel trapped. If there is a wall in front of me, I will not give up – my family before me didn’t either. I will go over that wall, under it, around it: life is a journey of continus flowering and continous extension. I thank God for this survival culture and roots he has given me,” he concluded.