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THE INSTITUTE OF TEXAN CULTURES
Tejano Commun i ty Meetings
INTERVIEW WITH : Pe t e Perez- Mo ntalvo , Joe Ca rrillo ,
Mrs .. . ... Bernal , Lucy Garcia ,
Father .. .. . Rameriz (Tape 2 of 2)
DATE: 16 October 1994
PLACE: St. Joseph ' s Church, Lubbock, Texas
INTERVIEWER: Phyllis McKenzie
M: This is tape 2 , side 1, of the Lubbock Communi ty
Meeting , Phyllis McKenzie fac i litating , today ' s date is
October 16 , 1994.
We were just ta lking about the poss ibility o f having a
migrant-laborer t r uck in the Tej ano exhibi t and I was asking
you all your reactions to this . We thought it could
possibility even be a story telling area where a l ive acto r
could tell some of t he stories t hat we ' ve all been t a lki ng
about now ... about t he background . .. about what conditions
were like. How do you feel about this as an e xhibit
R: I think that t he mural that we have down there in the
park is a very clear express i on of t he history of t he
Mexicano here i n West Texas. The part of i t . .. not all of
it ... the Mexicans picking the cotton ... the tra iler . . .
or truck there ful l of cotton ... and then the church ...
Our Lady of Guadalupe .. . all that .. . I think those 3
things they express very much our history in this part of
Texas. Don ' t you think so Pete?
P : Very much . The people that settled this area ...
whether they were Anglos or whether they were Hispanic
Mexican- American pioneers .. , whatever their background
now .. . they met a very hostile enviornment ... thi s is a
very cold area ... the weather is very hostile ... whether
it's in the winter or the summer . .. and so those were
adverse adversaries that we .. , our people had to
overcome . .. just like everybody else. But in addition to
those elements that everybody had in common our people also
had the hostile envionment of the rest of the community.
And so the work that we did needs to be emphasized .
r '" ,
M: ...... .. ?
c: I think that the talking ... what we ' re discussing
right now ... the young people now say l ike .. .
they don ' t relate to any of this. " you know . .. they never
had to work. I mean you know ... they ' ll go to
,.,', ... . they don ' t even touch cotton . I mean . .. even
though we ' ve got thousands of acres they don ' t even go out
there and touch the cotton anymore . Or they never have . So
Tejano Community Meeting - St . Joseph ' s Church - 3
Lubbock , Texas I Phyllis McKenzie (Tape 2 of 2)
there ' s no relation between our past and t he future as far
as .. . you know ... they ' re just stories like . .. you know
... the war stories .. . or whatever i t is. And I think this
is why . . . . . just a story about cotton picking and what is
cotton picking? And I 'm glad the machinery came in when i t
did . (laughter) I think it helped us a .... . 100 percent
... I'm glad it came in when it did . All this machinery .
Even though it hurt a lot people
-G.. I ~
100 percent ..... education part
I t hink it he l ped us a
M: Yeah . Everyone who has actua l ly picked cotton has
mentioned what exhausting work it is.
1~' J r I~.X I ,..1 t'
C: Oh .... ... . . you know ... you ' r e constantly
R: It was a way of living. It was a way of . . ...
C: Yeah . . . it was ... you know ...
R: It was the only thing that we could do without being
discriminated . And so we went for i t . And we enjoyed it
and we lived up to it. I have nothing to be ashamed of .
C: Well thi s machi nery ... what I was saying that the
yeah , the work itself was a back-kil l er . I don't care
somebody has worked in those fields .. . ...... . killed
Tejano Community Meeting - St . J oseph 's Church - 4
Lubbock, Texas / Phyllis McKenzie (Tape 2 of 2)
you r h .. : .' .. ..... .. if not it gets your backbone out of
whack ... so ...
M: Sally just gave us the 5 minute signal and one question
I haven ' t asked is extremely important so I hope we can fit
this in a little bit of time we have left and that you all
will give me your ideas . What should the message of the
exhibit be? What should a visitor leave the exhibit
thinking or feeling? And maybe another way to phrase the
question is ... just what are the most important things
about your culture? That you would like to communicate .
Would each one of you take a turn wrestling with this
P: I like the fact . .. I would like to leave a visitor
feeling good about the fact that we are different but we are
Americans. We're slightly different because of the
well , f or many reasons whatever they might be ... and
that will be addressed in the exhibit . But the
contributions that we've made ... the development of the
land are many contributions that we ' ve made in time of
war are many .. . we have defended very faithfully the fla g,
Tejano Community Meeting - St . Joseph ' s Church - 5
Lubbock , Texas / Phyllis McKenzie (Tape 2 of 2)
the Stars and Stripes . Our origins were of conflict and we
had an opportunity in this region in this state .. . to
Pn i' .', ~'I
become .... .. .. and fight among ourselves and continue as
they have done in parts of the world ... in the Middle Bast
... I mean Bastern Burope .. . and in other parts ... we
don't do that here. And that's a great pity ... not only to
the Mexican but t o the Anglo that we've dealt with . And
bas i cally I guess my message would be . .. Hey, respect us
and give us a chance to do .. . continue to be Americans.
M: Thank you . Mr . Carrillo? What should the message of
the exhibit be?
C: I think i t should be something between the past and the
present and future. I don't know e xactly what but I t hink
i t should be
M: Talking about the fact that there was a continuity from
the past to now and will continue.
C: we must get educated I thin k
that ' s one of the things .. . ..... educated . .. you know
if you succeed in this country ... in this time and age
not only in this country anywhere in the world .
Tejano Community Meeting - St . Joseph ' s Church - 6
Lubbock , Texas I Phyllis McKenzie (Tape 2 of 2)
M: And what else is continued through time as far as t he
va l ue to your culture?
M: Mrs . Bernal?
B: The faith and the unity in the fami ly .
M: Faith and family unity . Real good . Father Rameriz?
R: I think we ' re just as much Americans as any Americans
and we ' re just as much Mexicanos as we ever will be . And so
we ' re proud of being ... of 2 ... being part of 2
nationalities and yet being unique in our own. That we can
.. . we have contributed a lot to this nation as a race of
Mexicanos. And we deserve to be treated equally in every
level of society. And ... but still we are unique and
separated because we are Mexicanos.
M: Okay . Thank you all. One thing that's arisen more
than once today a r e some of negative experiences you ' ve all
had ... the discrimination or the conditions that you ' ve
been forced to live in ... or being punished for speaking
Spanish ... which of these should we include in the exhibit?
How should Be include them? Or should we include in? Some
Tejano Community Meeting - St . Joseph ' s Church - 7
Lubbock , Texas I Phyllis McKenzie (Tape 2 of 2)
people have said that would make the exhibit negative and
other people have said t hat that ' s part of the experience
• I ,
t-R-at-t-hfrio-Ts' part of the truth .. . and it s houl d be
there . And many other things that we haven ' t talked about
but the fact that the Texas Rangers sometimes dispossessed
people of their land ... some of the negative and abusive
thi ngs of t he past .. . how should we address this?
P : Joe.
c: Well, . .. life was tough.
P: If you don ' t address the past you ' re going to make the
SIn '"'_" J ~I ; ... _, .1,('1
same mistakes and so they need to be addressed . The ..... .
Museum . .. I think the r e ' s another one that just opened in
New York . ,. Washington that deal s with the Holocaust . ..
M: The Holocaust Museum . .. uh-huh .
P : Those things .. . while the indignities that our people
suffered are not as great on the l evel of what was done to
the Jewish people in Germany they do need to be
included . I think that they need to be addressed. The
format ' " how it ' s going to be done ... you don ' t have time
to address I 'm not the person to address either . .. but
Tejano Community Meeting - St. Joseph ' s Church -
Lubbock , Texas I Phyllis McKenzie (Tape 2 o f 2)
I strongly feel tha t they need to be recognized .. . they
need to be recognized ... and even talked about
M: That was obvi ously the signal f rom Sally that I 'm
imprisoning you all here (laughter) but if any of t he
res t of you woul d like to say something on that topic I ' d
sure like to hear it before I shut it off ... about how do
we address and tal k about
c: I think it should be tape I think a tape . . . if
anybody wants to hear . .. you know ... don ' t you t hink?
P : Yeah . .. maybe that
M: One possibility l et me tell you .. . if our tape i s
c lear enough there ' s a possibility tha t we'll take some
excerpts of what you all said today .
C: You have a tape
M: It let ' s v isitors hear that .
c: .. . it ' s automation .. . and just want t o hea r t he story
story- teller from . . . you know
you don't have to . . . ... pictures . . . you just hea r the
stories like the radio . .. used to hear the radio ... you
remember that radio we used to have ' way there . .. with one
Tejano Community Meeting - St . Joseph ' s Church -
Lubbock , Texas / Phyll i s McKenzie (Tape 2 of 2)
light and .... ... radio What was i t ... wha t was the
show 'way back then ... ? (laughter)
R: I don ' t know of any way ...
C: The Shadow I think was the ....
M: Thank you all ... and I apologize for being a slave driver
. You probably r e ali ze some of the ot her groups we r e
C: I en joyed it . . ...... .
M: getting an eas i er time of i t . But thank you all so
much for talking t o me . I ' ve really learned a lot.
Appreciate i t a lot f or you all t aki ng the time to talk .
P : Thank you fo r t he opportunity .
M: There is a light supper being served and just mingle
in f ormally with anyone out the r e .
R : Ma k e sure you :5 1. -..",. .
C: Oh , for supper I ' l l ... we'll stay .
END OF TAPE 2 , SIDE 1 .
SI DE 2 - BLANK.
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