Tracing a route back to Watsonville


Editor’s note: This is the second entry of a two-part series about Watsonville High graduate Joanne Buob Martin, class of 1962. For the first part view the Nov. 22 edition of the Pajaronian.

WATSONVILLE—Joanne Buob Martin went on to receive a PhD from UC Berkeley School of Public Health in 1985. 

Buob Martin received a four year National Research Service Award with a three-year payback agreement to teach at a university.

“This is how I ended up in Indiana,” she said. “I took a position at IU School of Nursing. I primarily taught health policy courses to graduate students and later taught research to undergraduate nursing students. About 20 years ago, I was the Director of Healthy Families America at Prevent Child Abuse America in Chicago.”

Buob Martin retired from IU in 2011. 

“That lasted two weeks,” she said. “Then I consulted with Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana to implement and evaluate Nurse Family Partnership (NFP), another model of home visiting for pregnant and parenting families.”

In 2015 she was inducted into the Watsonville High Hall of Fame during an annual ceremony in the Mello Center.   

In 1962, according to ads in the Register-Pajaronian, pork roast was going for 35 cents a pound and iceberg lettuce was three heads for 25 cents at the Daylite Market. A fine pair of men’s Kingsway shoes was going for $8.95 at Van’s Shoes. At Prescription Pharmacy on Main Street, a Timex watch was $9.95, and Kodachrome 20 exposure film was $1.57 a roll. An unfurnished 3-bedroom home with a two-car garage rented for $98 a month; a two-bedroom remodeled home, near St. Patrick’s Church, with a double garage was selling for $13,350. 

Before getting her license, Buob Martin said she and her friends commonly walked or rode bikes to school and games. 

Buob Martin said one of her best friends at WHS was Nancy Mizokami.

“Though people didn’t talk about it then, I learned much later that most of my Japanese-American fellow students were born in internment camps,” Buob Martin said. “It was a topic that was just left alone.”

She said returning to Watsonville triggers mountains of memories like these. Memorial Day means heading out to Pioneer Cemetery to tidy family graves.

“Whenever I’m back in Watsonville, I tend to reminisce a bit,” she said.


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