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An Interview With Julia Gutierrez
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TitleAn Interview With Julia Gutierrez
AbstractInterviewer: Irene Ruiz. Interview recorded September 27, 1978. 1 sound cassette (ca. 90 minutes): analog, stereo.; 5 7/8 x 2 1/2 in., 1/8 in. tape; 1 sound disc; digital; 4 3/4 in. Has typed guide to contents.
NotesMrs. Gutierrez was born in Rogers, Texas, her parents were natives of Chihuahua. In the interview, she discusses her early life, working as a riveter during World War II, helping to support her family, etc.

Number 16 on MP3 disc.
Date1978-09-27
LocationSC69-1, Tape 19, CD 19
Local SubjectOral History
Gutierrez, Julia
Hispanic Americans
World War II
Item TypeArchival Material
TranscriptionSynopsis of Interview:

Mrs. Gutierrez works as a parent visitor in the Switzer Elementary School Follow-Through No. 2 program. She was born in Rogers, Texas and also lived in Temple and Port Arthur, Texas. Her parents were Jesus Villarreal and Petra Villarreal. She attended elementary school in Lookeba, Oklahoma. She recalls the older son of a local farmer trying to run them down with a hay wagon as they walked to school each day. Her father was part owner of a farm and was losing his eyesight. She attended 6 years of school in Oklahoma.

Her family moved to Kansas City as her father's sight became worse. She quit school to help support the family when her father could no longer work. Her oldest brother also quit school and worked for $.22 1/2 an hour. Mrs. Gutierrez washed and ironed for money and found work in a suitcase factory. Her parents are natives of Chihuahua, Mexico. They had 6 children total--3 boys and 3 girls. She wished to continue her education, but found she was too old for elementary school and did not have enough education for high school. She had a strong desire to learn and wanted to be a pilot. She and one of her brothers worked so the younger siblings could attend school. She worked at a bomber plant building B-25's during WWII. She worked 3 months solid but had to cut back because of eye strain. She was a riveter. She recalls being told not to discuss anything that happened at the plant, including serious industrial accidents. Description of some of the accidents she saw at North American Aviation.

She met her future husband and he went into the service. Her older brother also went, leaving her as sole supporter of the family. A younger brother was seriously burned during trianing for the Korean War. He was not expected to live and he now operates a theater. Her family attended Mr. Carmel Church. Her mother taught Spanish classes at the Armourdale neighborhood center, near where they lived. The children played sports, participated in the church choir, and the yearly fiesta. She was not allowed to socialize much; girls were strictly chaperoned. She had to be home by 9:00 p.m. Details of meeting her husband and her courtship. Her husband was wounded in the war. They married while he was still recovering. Her younger brothers and sisters are now working and no longer dependent on her.

Mrs. Gutierrez thinks families now are not as happy because parents give their children too much. She stayed home until her youngest child was 2 years old. She worked for awhile, but decided the children needed their mother at home. She returned to work again after all her children were in school. She worked at Wolferman's. All 3 children are now married and she has some grandchildren. Her civic activities include Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, American Legion Auxiliary, UCM Femenil (Women's group of Union Cultural Mexicana), and the Human Resouces Corp. She began working in Follow-Through around 1974.

Description of her job.She got her high school diploma and now attends Penn Valley College. Mrs. Gutierrez used to work on the annual Sacred Heart Fiesta, but the new priests aren't interested in continuing it. Mrs. Gutierrez has enjoyed life with her husband. She hopes to continue her interests in dancing and civic duties although she wants to slow down and have more time for herself.
Access This ItemYou may come to the Missouri Valley Room to listen to the interview.
Item ID210304
CONTENTdm number36335
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