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An Interview With Mary Bustamante
Not available online
TitleAn Interview With Mary Bustamante
AbstractInterviewer: Irene Ruiz. Interview recorded May 26, 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 printed guide to contents.
NotesMary Bustamante was born in Kansas City, Missouri, on May 2, 1924. In the interview she recalls her early life and living in the West Side, her own family, Guadalupe fiesta, etc.

Number 4 on MP3 disc.
LocationSC69-1, Tape 5, CD 5
Local SubjectHispanic Americans
West Side
Oral History
Bustamante, Mary
Item TypeArchival Material
TranscriptionSynopsis of the Interview:

Born May 2, 1924, in Kansas City, Mo., of Manuel Lopez and Silveria Garcia de Lopez. Parents from San Louis Potosi, Mexico. Father had worked in Texas and sent for the family. Grandfather refused to send the family, so father returned to Mexico. Became paymaster for one of the generals in the Mexican Revolution, eventually escaped and brought family to U.S. Father came to Kansas City to work for the railroad. Lived several places on the West Side. Five children in the family. Most neighbors were young families.

Recalls closeness, sharing among community members. Mostly Mexican, some Italian. Father employed by Frisco Railroad. Mother a homemaker, never learned English. Father became a U.S. citizen. Attended Guadalupe school and two years at Manual Vocational High. Quit because she was not interested. Worked several years at a local engineering firm before marrying. Husband from the Argentine.

Remembers West Side as a pretty, lively area. Many stores on 24th Street. Family walked around 24th Street on Saturday nights. Attended Guadalupe church, belonged to Catholic Youth Organization; had dances with WPA orchestra during depression. Embroidery was main hobby.

Everyone was poor during the depression, but still happy. Father did not know from day to day if there would be work. Family traveled to Chicago on railrod employee passes. Brother served in Air Corps in WWII. Father had been promoted to foreman of the crew that rescued wrecked trains. Traveled overnight to wreck sites. Only family on the block who owned a telephone.

Married Jesus Bustamante in 1946. Husband joined Merchant Marine; became an officer. Still works for them.Home was torn down when the freeway came through so family moved to Washington Ave. No one in family lost home during the 1951 flood. Railroad offices were moved. Did not work after marriage. Had 13 children. At time of interview, oldest was 31, youngest was 11. Still has five children at home; eight grandchildren. One daughter went to college. Had extra time after several children left home; began selling Avon. In charge of kitchen for annual Guadalupe fiesta. Details of the work involved. Feels parents were the greatest influence on her life. Hopes to keep health, independence for the future.
Access This ItemYou may come to the Missouri Valley Room to listen to the interview.
Item ID210407
CONTENTdm number36368
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