1110 Broadway, Lubbock, TX
Interview (unrecorded) with Mr. Cavazos, Lala's husband
July 24, 1992 by Dedra McDonald
After dining in the restaurant, I spoke with Mr. Cavazos about
the restaurant and Lubbock in general. He said that Lala' s is
quite a gathering place and mentioned that a Lubbock-based
politician (I did not catch the name) was scheduled to make an
appearance at the restaurant the next day. Hillary Clinton even
spoke there while campaigning before the Texas Primary. When
people, including a reporter from San Francisco, asked Mr. Cavazos
why Hillary chose Lala' s as a speaking venue, he answered, "Why
not?" Mr. Cavazos is confident that the Clinton/Gore ticket is a
strong one and that it will win in November. He says that Lubbock
is very Republican but thinks that the Democratic Presidential
ticket will win the area because the economy has been so bad while
Bush has been in office.
He said that the farmers are the economic basis of the Lubbock
area and when they are hurting everyone else is affected. He
predicts that the cost of beef will increase because of the closure
of area cotton gins due to a late cold snap that destroyed much of
the area's cotton. Less cotton production means less cotton meal
available to feed cattle. Substitute cattle feed such as alfalfa
is more expensive to purchase.
The restaurant's menus remained at the same price levels for
eleven years, until last year when the Cavazos had to raise menu
prices. Their prices are still comparatively low, mainly because
the three Cavazos daughters work in the two restaurants as
waitresses, which keeps overhead costs low.
During Jimmy carter's campaign for the presidency, the
headquarters in Lubbock were located across the street from Lala's,
where Goodwill is now located. According to Mr. Cavazos, Billy
Carter was there once. Apparently, he was nervous because he was
not a politician and he did not enjoy being in the spotlight.
Carter asked Mr. Cavazos what was in his paper cup. When he found
out it was Scotch, Carter said that he normally only likes to drink
beer but, given the stress of politics, he thought Scotch would do
just fine. He then drained the cup's contents.
Mr. Cavazos' family is from McAllen. His father and Lloyd
Bentsen went to school together. He has known Bentsen since he was
5 years old has and autographed photo of Bentsen and Dukakis at the
1988 Democratic Convention next to the restaurant's cash register.
Although I did not get to speak with Lala herself (she was at
the other restaurant, located on 50th street), I think she and her
husband, in the setting of the restaurant, would make excellent
Bidal Aguero Papers, 1949-1988
Southwest Collection, Texas Tech University
Topics covered in papers:
Chicanos Unidos-Campesinos, Inc., 1978-1985
C. o. M. A.
comite de Soporte, Texas Farmworkers Union
Hispanic Association of Women
Lubbock Centro Aztlan
L. U. L. A. C.
Mexican ~~klore Dancers of Lubbock
Raza Unida Party 1974-1980
Eliseo Solis, 1981-1985
west Texas Mexican-American Softball Players and Umpires
*Phone numbers from advertising lists:
C. o. M. A. (Paula/Leticia) - 762-5059
Jose's Dining Room - 744-3784
Texas Tech University Affirmative Action - 742-3627
*El Editor - "The Hispanic Market Newspaper in Spanish and English"
Address: Amigo Publications, 2305 19th, Lubbock, TX 79401 763-
3841 or P. O. Box 7797, Odessa, TX 79766
Circulation: Lubbock - 15,000 printed weekly on Thursday; Odessa -
10,000 printed weekly on Tuesday
A clipping from Advertising Age lists Lubbock as 22nd in the
nation in Hispanic influence and lists Odessa as 24th.
*percentage of Mexican-American population in towns surrounding
Slaton - 33%
Post - 25%
Tahoka - 25%
Brownfield - 33%
Levelland - 25%
Plainview - 32%
*Bidal Aguero personal history:
born July 23, 1949 in Lubbock
1978 - ran for County Commissioner-Precinct 4 on Raza Unida Party
ticket; platform - "concerned about people"
Education: B. A. Texas Tech University, 1972, in Music Education
M. S. University of Wisconsin at Whitewater, 1974, in
M. A. Texas Tech univ., in Mass Communications
Raza Un ida Party
Comerciantes Organizados Mexico Americanos (C.O.M.A.)
Founder and first President, 1975.
Arnett-Benson Neighborhood Council
Also publishes El Portavoz - quarterly bilingual magazine
married to Juanita Aguero - past president of Association of
address: 2902 Grinnell, Lubbock 806/763-3841
*Collection contains many campaign broadsides, posters, and
*Filed a discrimination suit against the South Plains Association
of Governments in 1976; EEOC ruled in favor of S.P.A. G.
*Helped form Banco de Corn ida of los Llanos Estadados Region in
*Helped launch Basic Employment Skills Training joint venture
between LULAC and Southwestern Bell Telephone
*Addresses and Phone Numbers from Advertising Lists
Templo Bautista, 175 Panhandle st. East, Slaton, TX 828-4951
Instituto Bautista Biblico, 206 Ave. T, Lubbock, TX 744-6091
Iglesia Bautista El Calvario, 2914 Baylor, Lubbock 763-8825
Our Lady of Guadalupe, 915 42nd st., Lubbock 763-0710
st. Joseph Church, 102 N. Ave. P, Lubbock 765-9935
Pasatiempo Hispanic News (Ernesto Barton), 125 No. Uni versi ty,
Auxilio Inc . , 1638 Main, Lubbock 763-9578
763-8541 / American G. I. Forum, 1717 Ave. K, Lubbock
LULAC Council #263, 1202 Ave. F, Lubbock 747-5775 /
COMA, 1946 Ave. Q, Lubbock 762-5059,
Centro Aztlan, 2305 19th, Lubbock
Assoc. of Hispanic Women, 1715 Ave. K, suite 104
Brown Berets, 1638 Main, Lubbock
Texas Migrant Council
Guadalupe Neighborhood Council
Arnett-Benson Neighborhood Council
Chicano Law Students
Lubbock Asoc. of Bilingual Educators
LEARN - Educational Talent Search, 1203 University,
Logia Masonica Lib #19
Manuel Daniel, Chicanos Unidos Campesinos, Drawer 588, Muleshoe, TX
Eliseo Solis, 1720 E. 2nd Place, Lubbock, TX 79404
Froy Salinas, Metropolitan Life Insurance, 2302 24th Street,
Lubbock, TX 79411
Gilberto Herrerra, Brown Berets, 2823 Clovis Rd., Lubbock, 79417
James A. Goss - Professor and Director of Ethnic Studies, Texas
Olga Ruejas, Managing Editor, El Editor, P. O. Box 11250, Lubbock,
Discussion with (in order of arrival):
Leonardo and Paulina Cortez
405 Ave. M
Abernathy, TX 79311
P. O. Box 157
petersburg, TX 79250
Petersburg, TX 79250
1201 Ave. K
P. O. Box 83
Abernathy, TX 79311
Louis Jr. and Alma Lopez
Brenda and victoria
407 Ave. A
Abernathy, TX 79311
205 E. 13th
Abernathy, TX 79311
Abernathy, TX 79311
505 Ave. K
Abernathy, TX 79311
Jean and John Kveton
Rt. 2, Box 141
Abernathy, TX 79311
Tape numbers: TDSM92-5-1:1a and TDSM92-5-1:1b (need transcribing)
Jean and John Kveton, long-time friends of Phyllis McKenzie,
graciously invited several of their friends to meet with me over a
light dinner on July 24, 1992. Because everyone showed up at
varying times, r had to re-introduce myself and my mission several
times. The size of the group inhibited intense discussion, but
some interesting topics were covered. By the end of the evening,
everyone seemed to have warmed up and relaxed. Several had ideas
or stories that they particularly wanted to share with me.
r tried to begin with my usual questions about identity and
labels for the "Who Are We" video, but r did not get much of a
response. r went on to other subjects of interest that would
perhaps be easier to talk about in a large group. Everyone told me
how or why they or their ancestors had settled in the Lubbock area.
We then talked about quincenearas, their significance, and the
As we moved to the dinner table, we discussed wedding
proposals. Traditionally, a third party would act as a go-between
and would approach the bride-to-be's parents about the possibility
of an engagement. Even today, Mexican-American parents of the
would-be groom ask the would-be bride's parents for her hand in
marriage. Leonardo and Paulina Cortez had recently participated in
this ritual, asking their son's girlfriend's parents if she would
marry their son. They gave me an invitation to their son's
wedding, which is a great example of a traditional bod a with laso
and arras and lists of padrinos.
Most of the quests were involved in Melissa Lopez'
quniceneara, which would occur the next day. Melissa is the niece
of Louis and Alma Lopez. Their daughter Brenda was one of
Melissa's attendants and Jean Kveton made the cake for the event.
Reyes Trevino, who is also Melissa's aunt, and Rebecca Barrera
served food at the dinner that followed the quinceneara. Please
see the following report on the quinceneara for more details.
All of the participants seemed interested in the Tejano
exhibit videos and would be willing to be interviewed on videotape.
One important point to be made in the videos is the settlement of
the Panhandle region by migrant farmworkers who decided to stay put
instead of returning to the Valley. All but one of the
participants had roots in migrant labor.
I greatly appreciated Jean and John Kveton's efforts to make
my visit a successful one. They expressed their willingness to
help us in the future and kindly sent me a few pictures from
ABERNATHY -- MELISSA LOPEZ' QUINCENEARA
July 25, 1992
Mass was held at st. Isadore Catholic Church, Abernathy, TX. A
barbecue dinner and dance followed the mass.
As Jean and John Kveton and I entered the church, Melissa and
her attendents were gathered in the foyer. Piano music played in
the background as the priest crucifer, and altar boy processed in.
The male escorts, who had been sitting in the transepts, walked
down the aisle in twos from the altar to the back of the sanctuary.
They stood at the ends of the pews, facing each other.
The young women also walked in by twos. Each one handed a
long-stemmed red rose to an escort. They wore sleeveless straight
pink satin dresses with a lace inset on the bodice. The escorts
sported white long-sleeved button-down shirts, black pants or black
jeans, and pink bowties and cumberbunds. The attendents carried a
pink carnation with ribbons.
As they walked up the aisle, the attendents lined up in front
of the alter. The escorts formed arches with outstretched arms
holding the roses that the attendents had handed to them.
Melissa's godparents walked through the arches and down the aisle,
followed by Melissa and her parents, one on each arm.
Her dress was carnation pink, floor-length and long-sleeved.
The bodice and tops of the sleeves sparkled. The skirt featured
layers of pink ruffles. She carried an all pink bouquet of silk
flowers, ribbons, and lace.
Melissa sat in a rattan chair next to the altar while the
scriptures were read by her attendents. She had selected the story
of Mary's anunciation as the gospel reading. The priest's homily
concerned maturity, self-discipline, and making one's own
decisions. An affirmation of baptism followed the homily, after
which Melissa gave a little speech, offering thsnks to God, Mary,
her parents and godparents, and friends and family. She was then
presented with the traditional gifts: a bible, a rosary, and a
Melissa then faced a picture of Mary while her godparents sang
"You are a magnificent creation." They continued singing while the
congregation watched a slide show of Melissa's childhood.
The priest then proceeded with the regular mass (the Great
Thanksgiving, the Prayers, the Holy Communion). Melissa's family
brought in the wine and the bread and Melissa communed first. Her
godparents and their daughter sang the "Our Father."
The recessional was led by the crucifer, the priest, and the
altar boy. Melissa and her escort walked down the aisle, followed
by the attendents and escorts in male/female pairs. Melissa
greeted the congregation at the door.
While photos were taken inside the church, guests ate a
barbecue lunch in the church hall. Melissa, her parents and
godparents, and her attendents sat at the head table. The hall was
decorated in pink tablecloths and balloons. Sparkle confetti had
been scattered along the tablecloths.
The dance was held later that evening at The Other Warehouse
in Lubbock, a former factory turned into a dance hall. A deejay
played Tejano and conjunto music. The dance began with a Grand
March, followed by a solo dance for Melissa and her father. The
escorts and attendents circled and rushed Melissa and her father
while they were dancing. Punch and cake were served about halfway
through the dance. Alcoholic beverages and sodas were BYOB.
Before the cake was served, Melissa blew out birthday candles while
everyone sang "Happy Birthday" and "Las Mananitas." Melissa cut
the cake, cutting a pice for herself only, and ate it as guests
clapped and cheered. The cake makers, Jean and John Kveton, were
profusely thanked. Melissa later made a little speech. She
thanked everyone for coming and requested to have the next dance
with her maternal grandfather. She also mentioned her regret that
she would not be able to dance with her recently deceased paternal
grandfather. As Melissa danced with her grandfather, everyone
clapped and cheered.
Interviews with: Yolanda McAtee, EI Mensajero, P. O. Box 895,
Amarillo, TX 79106 806/371-7084
olga crespin, 2201 S. western #114, Western Plaza, Amarillo, TX
Coco Medina, 116 East 7th, Amarillo, TX 79101 806/376-6640
Yolanda McAtee publishes and edits EI Mensajero, Amarillo's
spanish-language newspaper. She founded the paper in 1989.
Although she has only lived in Amarillo for ten months, Yolanda is
well acquainted with community leaders and organizations. A native
of Mexico, she previously lived in Dumas for 26 years. Yolanda is
very excited about the Tejano exhibit videos and was extremely
helpful. I walked into her office with no prior warning and she
dropped everything to spend time with me. She called up several
friends (listed above) and had them meet me for lunch. She also
took me with her to Hereford and introduced me to several Mexican-
American elected officials in town.
According to Yolanda, railroad jobs brought the first Mexican-
Americans to Amarillo in 1910. The area's agriculture and
meatpacking industries continue to draw both Mexican-Americans and
recent arrivals from Mexico to the area. Also, the recent
Immigration and Naturalization laws have increased migration to the
Yolanda is willing to set up appointments and introductions
for us. She is also a good source for information about area
events, such as the Virgen de Guadalupe image on the wall of a
small vegetable processing factory in Hereford. She was interested
enough in the Tejano exhibit to write and print a story about my
visit to Amarillo in EI Mensajero. We should definately stay in
contact with her.
Olga Crespin and Coco Medina joined Yolanda and me for lunch.
Both are outspoken on issues of identity, feminism, and relations
between Mexican-Americans and recent arrivals from Mexico. Coco
knows much about the history of the Mexican-American community in
Amarillo. Her parents were among the first Mexican-Americans to
settle in the Barrio in Amarillo. Coco's husband, Hugo Medina, is
currently writing a history of the Barrio. Coco and Hugo run a
translation business and recently took over a Tejano radio station.
She is involved in many community organizations and would be not
only a good contact, but also a great video subject. She is
articulate on any number of issues, from migrant farmworkers to
Olga Crespin moved to Amarillo from San Antonio two years ago.
However, she already knows much about the Mexican-American
community in Amarillo. She speaks especially well to educational
problems and discrimination. Olga's take on the question of
identity is an interesting one. She doesn't care what label is
used as long as her name is pronounced correctly. She would also
offer great comments for our videos. Both Olga and Coco are
interested in our project and very willing to help in any way they
Important points to be made in our videos about the Amarillo
area: the agricultural and meatpacking industies' reliance on
cheap labor, which is a drawing factor for immigration from Mexico;
relationships between Mexican-Americans and recent arrivals from
Mexico; and the issue of Amnesty. (Both Coco and Yolanda can speak
For more complete information about Amarillo and the issues
mentioned above, please see the tape transcript.
July 28, 1992
Interview with Margarita Del Toro, county Tax Collector-Assessor
Short meeting with Lupe Chavez, county Commissioner
Both Margarita Del Toro and Lupe Chavez have interesting
stories regarding their entrance into politics in a county long-run
by a minority of anglo politicians. They feel strongly about being
among the first Mexican-Americans to hold office in Hereford,
despite a population that is 60 percent Hispanic. Due to time
restraints, I was unable to record a conversation with Mr. Chavez.
However, Ms. Del Toro's comments provide a clear indication of the
changning political climate in Hereford. Both would fit well into
our "Individuals Who Made It" video, showing that Mexican-Americans
in the Panhandle can aspire to hold public office.
Please see the tape transcript for Margarita Del Toro for a
more complete account.
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