gmhTODAY 10 gmhToday Sept Oct 2016 - Page 104

gilroy LIVING WITH SAM BOZZO Meet Gena & Fortune Gonzales Forty Something In Gilroy Sam Bozzo has lived in Gilroy since 1976. He has served as President of the Gilroy Garlic Festival Association and has been a demonstration chef at the event for many years. He is co-writer with Gene Sakahara of the local best seller, So You Think You Can Cook cook- book and has been part of the SakaBozzo comedy duo for many years. He lives in Gilroy with his wife, Judy. They have two sons who, with their families, also call Gilroy their home. 104 I have known Gena Gonzales for many years. When we had our Fourth of July block parties on 5th Street, we would recruit her for the kids’ games. She is a natural born leader. Gena was born in Carmel at Community Hospital of Monterey Peninsula. Her family moved to Gilroy when she was nine months old. Her dad Gene took a job with the Gilroy Unified School District at San Ysidro School out on Highway 152. Gena began her early school years Las Animas Elementary School when it was located on Wren Ave. From there she went to South Valley Middle School and then to Gilroy High. Following in her father’s footsteps, she graduated from Chico State. During her college years, her grandparents lived close to campus in the Chico suburb of Durham. I came to meet Fortune some years later, just in time to attend his bachelor party. We started with a tail gate at the Oakland A’s stadium. Still tailgating by the third inning, I asked if we were going into the game. Afterward, we headed across the San Mateo Bridge to Redwood City where we raced miniature cars and then took the Dumbarton Bridge to Milpitas to enjoy the food and fun at Dave and Busters Restaurant.  What a great night.  Fortune was born in San Jose, He grew up in his family’s home on New Avenue in Gilroy. They had horses on the property, so as a young boy, part of Fortune’s daily routine was tending to and riding the horses.  Fortune and Gena attended Gilroy High School at the same time. They met while taking a ceramics class together. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 Little did they know then that Gilroy High would become a focal point in the story of their lives together. Fortune went on to San José State where he got his teaching credential and later a Masters Degree in Educational Administration. After college, they both landed jobs at Gilroy High. Fortune taught U.S. History, Government and Economics. Gena worked as the school’s athletic director while studying for her Master’s Degree. She coached the Gilroy High women’s softball team to a league championship! They started having lunch together, but not romantic lunches – typically they ate in the classroom sur- rounded by students. “We don’t have crime like other cities and while some people think there’s more traffic, we have the ability to move across town in a short time.” They dated for a while, and got married during Garlic Festival weekend in 2004. They made their wedding vows at Gilroy Presbyterian Church where I had the privilege of being a part of the wedding ceremony. The reception followed in Monterey. The time came to start a family. Bode was their firstborn son, followed by Kaiden. This fall, Bode (11) is a student at Solorsano Middle School, while Kaiden (9) continues at Glen View Elementary. In their infancy the boys were well cared for by grandma and grandpa Sakahara. Grandpa