Welcome to the third issue of Narratives, the newpaper component of the U.S. Latino & Latina WWII Oral History Project.
If you’ve already seen our two previous issues, you’ll notice our publication is bigger and features lots more stories from outside Austin.
Again, we have had an excellent “staff” of UT students this semester, as in previous semesters. But this time around, as our Oral History Project gathers momentum, volunteers from throughout the country have shaped our newspaper with their own interviews – each following the guidelines set forth in our training manual while using their own initiative and hard work to bring you more stories of Latinos and Latinas of the WWII generation.
In this issue, you will again find remarkable stories of perseverence and honor. There are two stories about men who served in three wars – one of them would have tried for a fourth, but he was turned down for his age. You’ll also find stories about one man who survived the bombing at Pearl Harbor, a couple of men who served their country by feeding their fellow soldiers, the story of a war bride. Their stories are each unique, but there are some general themes as well: several dropped out of school at an early age to help their large families, many took advantage of the G.I.Bill to further their education.
This issue of Narratives has expanded to accommodate 25 interviews by volunteers outside of our class. Some of them are men and women who are interviewing their parents, people like Austinites Nancy Acosta and Yolanda Padilla, who interviewed their respective dads. Other volunteers are interviewing men and women they did not know before. Joanne Rao Sanchez, a history professor at Austin’s St. Edwards University, has been on sabbatical this semester and took this Project as her research. We, of course, could not be more pleased. She has conducted interviews, set up training sessions for volunteer interviewers and otherwise helped the overall Project. Her other interviews will appear in the spring Narratives.
Then there are the multiples: San Diego State University has been very aggressive in getting interviews. The director of the Office of Educational Programs & Ethnic Affairs has adopted this project as an outreach effort – an effort to demonstrate to minority students that SDSU values the voices of the older generation of Latinos and might not be such a bad place for them to study. Director Gus Chavez, a resourceful and creative man originally from Sonora, Texas, assigned two students to work on the project last summer and this fall. Those two students, Freddy Niver and Rene Sambrano took their job seriously – even printed up very professional business cards with a photograph of one of their interview subjects on it, which they gave to prospective interview subjects. The result: 12 beautifully taped interviews, with accompanying pre-interview forms and photographs. Journalism students – many outside of our class -- wrote stories for credit, based on those San Diego interviews.
Meanwhile, Rea Ann Trotter, a longtime school teacher from the Denver area, had been collecting interviews with Latino veterans for her master’s thesis in history at Northern Colorado University. Rea Ann donated her audiotaped interviews and transcripts to our project, along with photographs. Rea Ann also visited our class for a week and provided guidelines for digging up good material for various facts about WWII combat, ships, records – an area she has gotten very good at. She is also helping us proofread our pages.
As he did last spring, Frank Trejo, a reporter for the Dallas Morning News has come to our rescue to edit stories in one very intense November week. (His newspaper paid his way and Frank took time out of his life to be with us and work like a dog.)
And the Austin American-Statesman again picked up all production costs – design, layout, copy-editing, all the things that professionals do so quickly and, well, so professionally! Our deepest thanks to Sharon Roberts, asst. managing editor over production, Robert Quigley, for layout and design and, for copy-editing. We have written and edited the stories, scanned in photographs and then turned it over to the Statesman. We couldn’t be more pleased and appreciative.
We have many people to thank. Those mentioned above we must say thank you. But beyond that, a special thanks to the folks at the Instructional Media Center, part of the College of Communication, who dub our dozens of tapes. It’s a nccessary part of this project and we’re lucky to have a staff who understands our needs and responds with alacrity.
This, then, is Narratives, Vol. 2, No. 1. We hope you enjoy and we look forward to hearing back from you –
Assistant Professor of Journalism and Director, U.S. Latino & Latina WWII Oral History Project
Tito Aguirre – Senior, Magazine Journalism
Miguel Castro – Senior, Journalism
Jacob Collazo – Senior, Latin American Studies
Karla González – Senior, Broadcast Journalism
Yazmin Lazcano – Junior, English
Marta McGonagle – Junior, Public Relations
Peter Mendoza – Junior, Government
Nora Ramirez – Senior, Broadcast Journalism
Erika Rodriguez – Junior, Radio-Television-Film
Matthew Trana – Senior, Magazine Journalism
Nancy Acosta – Austin
Fernando Dovalina – Houston
Freddy Niver – San Diego State University
Yolanda Padilla – Austin
Louis Sahagun – Los Angeles
Joanne Rao Sanchez – Austin
Rea Ann Trotter – Northern Colorado
Rene Zambrano –San Diego State University
Vanessa Adams -- Junior, Journalism
Habib Battah -- Junior, Journalism
Eric Garza -- Junior, Journalism
Erika Martinez -- Senior, Journalism
Sofia Mena -- Senior, Journalism
Ayesha Mirza -- Junior, Journalism
Will Potter -- Junior, Journalism
Alicia Rascon -- Junior, Journalism
Alexandra Ritchie -- Senior, Journalism
Dennis Robbins -- Junior, Journalism
Veronica Sainz -- Senior, Journalism
Otto Smith-Goeke -- Senior, Journalism
Heather Watkins -- Junior, Journalism
Audio and Video Tape Dubbing:
The staff at the Instructional Media Center at the College of Communication
Frank Trejo, The Dallas Morning News
Ruchika Joshi, masters student in Journalism
Production provided by the Austin American-Statesman. Design and layout by Robert Quigley.
Narratives is a publication of the U.S. Latino & Latina WWII Oral History Project, at the UT Department of Journalism.