Margarita and Lorenzo Carriedo lived at 1759 National Ave in one of the bungalows owned by the late Mike Amador. They, like Mike, had grown up in Logan Heights in the 1920’s and 30’s and raised their own children there. Neighborhood House figures prominently in the memories of Margarita and two of her sons– Ruben and Marcos, all of whom I had the opportunity to interview. Mrs Carriedo, like so many of the other women I have interviewed, remembers Logan Heights as a neighborhood filled with maintained, well kept houses and lovely gardens. It was a good place to raise a family. [Read more…]
The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights: The Not-So-Great Depression and WW II Come to Logan Heights – Part I
The Mexican Repatriation and hard times
Editor Note: “Build a wall” and “Send them all back” have become the mantra of the Trump campaign and Republican party. This is not the first time in our history that racism and xenophobia have threatened our democracy and the lives of our citizenry.
Between 1929 and 1944, over two million people of Mexican descent were repatriated to Mexico. Sixty percent of these individuals, 1.1 million, were American citizens. This encore presentation of Maria Garcia’s article originally published in 2015 provides insight into how this policy affected the lives of people living in San Diego at the time.
As William Faulkner observed “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” [Read more…]
Flying Lessons: Centenarian Bill Gibbs’ Path from Logan Heights to Montgomery Field
By Maria Garcia and Connie Zuniga
Bill Gibbs loved airplane flight so much that by the age of twenty-two he had developed barren scrub land in San Diego into his own airport and established a flying service there. Bill, who grew up in Logan Heights, recounted a remarkable story to us at his Mt. Soledad home. He spoke of family hardships during his youth, of hard work and how his passion for flying ultimately led him to develop what is now known as Montgomery Field Airport and a flying service that continues to operate today.
Bill’s story is also a remarkably long one– he will be 105 years old in October. [Read more…]
East Village Homeless Issue Grew Under Faulconer’s Tenure
Roger and Norma Cazares: Four Decades of Chicano Activism
Norma and Roger Cazares are known for their political activism which began while they were both young. They first met each other on a picket line during the Grape Boycott. Chicano politics brought them together and love soon followed.
Last month’s introduction to the activist lives of Norma and Roger provides insight into how they have changed the civic landscape of San Diego. This concluding article fills in more of the details of their commitment to their community and each other. [Read more…]
Maria Garcia Inducted into San Diego County Women’s Hall of Fame
Recognized for writing the people’s history
Five San Diego County women were inducted into the San Diego County Women’s Hall of Fame on Sunday March 6 at the Joe and Vi Jacobs Center. Maria Garcia, Evonne Seron Schulze, Sally Wong Avery, Elizabeth Lou and Christine Kehoe were recognized for their lifetime work and achievements and hailed as role models.
Each of these dynamic women has left an indelible mark on our civic life, making it more inclusive and vibrant. Each of these dynamic women also exemplifies a unique voice and story. For Maria Garcia, her story is history—she was inducted into the Hall of Fame as Historian. [Read more…]
Latinos and Baseball: In the Barrios and the Big League
On February 19, 2016, I drove to San Bernardino to attend what turned out to be a very special project and event. This past summer I attended an advisory board meeting of the Mexican-American Baseball Project, Cal State San Bernardino. As I arrived at the John M. Pfau Library, I took a few minutes to rehash my last visit to the building.
At that time, we were talking about the possibility of San Diego having a baseball book like many other cities. I returned this time as a member of that advisory board.
I had recently completed a chapter for San Diego in a book that will be published later this year. [Read more…]
Roger and Norma Cazares: ‘Action Matters’
Norma and Roger Cazares together and individually have helped change San Diego. They usually share the same political views although there have been a few exceptions. Norma supported Hillary, Roger supported Obama. Once again they are split with Norma once again supporting Hillary and Roger supporting Bernie.
Roger says that he is totally amused with the Republican party. They’re destroying the Republican party similarly to what Pete Wilson did in California. He is concerned that we will not have a two party system. Roger believes this is dangerous. Both agree there needs to be a two party system in order to hold each other accountable. Roger says both Trump and Cruz have helped bring the closet racist out of the closet. [Read more…]
‘Benny Here’: A Tribute to Musician and Bandleader Benny Hollman 1940-2015
By Connie Zuñiga
On December 12 2015, the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Benny Hollman lost his years-long struggle with cancer, surrounded by family at his home in Mira Mesa.
A little over a week before Benny’s passing, I was at my neighbor Ronnie Stewart’s house for dinner. Ronnie is a drummer who knew Benny from back in the day and at one time played in Benny’s orchestra.
As I walked in the door Ronnie was on the phone talking to Benny. I was surprised because I knew Benny was gravely ill. When Ronnie passed the phone to me, I heard an extremely frail voice; I knew I would never speak with Benny again.
We spoke for a minute and I apologized for not following through on getting with him to document the history of Logan Height’s Latino musicians from the 20s through the 40s. There is a rich history there that needs to be documented for the Logan Heights Historical Society. Benny had an incredible wealth of information about these local musicians.
Trabajadores de la Raza in San Diego
The struggle for Spanish speaking social workers, bilingual pay and mental health services
In the late 1960s a small but active group of people formed an organization known as Trabajadores de la Raza (TR). It started with social workers but soon included probation officers and community members. Various members of Trabajadores took the lead on issues and worked together to accomplish their goals. Trabajadores were on the front line whenever there was an important issue for the Spanish speaking community in the areas of mental health or social welfare.
The organization’s most important accomplishments in my opinion were revealing the lack of Spanish speaking social workers serving the Spanish speaking community and securing compensation for Spanish speaking social workers using their bilingual skills. [Read more…]
Jesse Ramirez: The First Executive Director of the Chicano Federation
As we sat down to do our interview, Jesse Ramirez opened the conversation saying “I am a product of the Great Depression. We had to put food on the table so we did everything we could to make money”. He had many stories and memories of various events in the period between the 1930s and 1940s.
Jesse was born on April 22, 1926, in Houston, Texas and raised there. During the Depression he and his brother did various things to “put food on the table”. They sold newspapers and shined shoes to earn a few pennies. He sold the Houston Chronicle for three cents. He says the big thrill would be if someone gave you a nickel for the three cent newspaper and told you to keep the change. On Saturday nights they would stay up late preparing the Sunday paper for delivery. [Read more…]
Lilia Lopez: From Logan Heights to the United Nations
Introducing our new series ‘Latinos in San Diego’
By Maria E. Garcia
If you have not met eighty-seven year old Lilia Lopez, wife, mother, friend, feminist and activist, you have missed out on a woman who has influenced many people. She has worked diligently to improve the lives of women, not only in San Diego, but all over the country and Mexico and Europe.
Lilia says that I am responsible for her becoming involved in Chicano issues. While I was a student teacher at Lowell Elementary School in the 1970s, I invited her to attend a meeting with a group of moms. She says that was when she understood the injustices the women were facing. She couldn’t sit back and do nothing.
Lilia did not need me or anyone else to take the leadership role in so many issues that affected Latinas. [Read more…]
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