The athletic field’s groundskeeper plants deep roots in the college community.
By Izabella Santana
Keeping Santa Ana College’s athletic fields up to par is an overlooked task and may be seen as a thankless job. Relaxed and amiable, Jesse Garcia spends his days tending the athletic fields so they are neat and playable for all the athletes.
Garcia played sports to stay off the streets. For fun, he’d imitate singer James Brown and even now he says he feels like a child at heart. His warm smile and easy-going demeanor gives a welcoming vibe to each person who meets him.
Although Garcia enjoys his job, he also likes spending time with his wife, Linda. The high school sweethearts met at Santa Ana High School and have been married for 36 years.
Instead of attending college, Garcia jumped right into the workforce.
“I’d followed my friends and decided to start working in construction,” said Garcia. “But I still regret not going to college.”
As a form of educating himself, he watches the History Channel and is fascinated with the idea of space and its unexplored corners. If he had gone to college, Garcia said, he would have either become a physicist or some field along the lines of space exploration.
“When I’m learning something, it takes me a little longer to understand it, but once I’ve got it, I work hard to be the best at what I do,” Garcia said.
Despite his regrets, he is content with his lifestyle. He gets to enjoy more time with his family and loves his job. Off the field he’s got his own cement business. Most of all, he takes pride in his children, one of whom is attending SAC.