Biography of Phillip I. Elkins
My parents emigrated from Russia and lived on Llano Del Rio, the most successful utopian socialist community experiment in the US. Aldous Huxley, the author, also lived at the community.*
When Llano Del Rio fell apart, my grandfather went back to Russia and the rest of the family moved to East LA. My father had to quit school in the 7th grade and raise his four younger brothers and sisters. I am his youngest child, who grew up in East LA and became a Jewish “cholo” (or pachuco, low rider or street tough). I became completely immersed in the Mexican subculture where I wasn’t really accepted completely by either the Jewish or the Mexican community.
I was drafted and sent to Vietnam as a medic with the First Cavalry Division. I survived that, came home to California in The Summer of Love and all the changes taking place in society in the 60’s.
I went to school at East LA College and Cal State LA, receiving a BA in sociology. I was a social worker in Ventura for 3 years, left for Northern California and went to Cal State, Chico for 2 years taking writing and art classes.
I took a writing scholarship from Schiller College (A German school off the coast of Greece - on Paros Island).
I managed Chico Natural Foods Co-op for 4 years and began making Senor Felipe’s Organic Salsas in 1980, which at times, has been available nationally in many natural food stores.
I ran the English Resource Library at Chico High School for 2 years until I began doing my radio show on KZFR, Chico Community Radio 90.1 FM. I produce and program “L.A. Sounds with Sr Felipe”; a show playing do-wop, rhythm & blues, soul, Latin and cholo music as well as social commentary and my readings.
I’ve done many readings of my writing in various locations, I’ve also published a number of articles in various publications for the past couple years and for the past several weeks I’ve been reading a book I’ve written (that covers some “you are there” multiculturalism in East LA, some history of the war in Vietnam and some history of Llano Del Rio) titled “Running from the Fire” and “Finding My Birthson at 35 Years Old” on KZFR, 90.1 FM, Chico.
*If you would like more information about Llano Del Rio just check online for Llano Del Rio. My grandfather, Meyer Elkins, was the official photographer for the community.
Books by Phillip Elkins