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An Interview With Louis Soltero
Not available online
TitleAn Interview With Louis Soltero
AbstractInterviewer: Irene Ruiz. Interview recorded July 25, 1981. 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. Some of the interview in Spanish.
NotesAt the time of the interview, Mr. Soltero was a retired captain of waiters and room service at the Muehlebach Hotel. He was born in 1903 in Mexico. His first job in Kansas Cty was at Cudahy's packing house. In the interview he recalls his early life, West Side, beginning at the Muehlebach in 1924, Union Cultural Mexicana, celebrities he served at the hotel as several presidents, Margaret and Bess Truman, Clark Gable, Mamie Eisenhower, etc.

Number 53 on MP3 disc.
Date1981-07-25
LocationSC69-1, Tape 58, CD 58
Local SubjectHispanic Americans
West Side
Soltero, Louis
Oral History
Hotel Muehlebach
Item TypeArchival Material
TranscriptionSynopsis of Interview:

Mr. Soltero is a retired captain of waiters and room service at the Muehlebach Hotel. Born in 1903 in a small town in the state of Galisco, Mexico. Father was Rodrigo Soltero, mother Guadalupe Gomez Soltero. Had 9 sisters, 8 brothers, but only 6 survived to adulthood. Father was a farmhand.

Soltero came to Kansas City with a brother at 19. Brother traveled on to Chicago before settling down. Attended school through 3rd grade in Mexico, then worked with dad on farm. First job in Kansas City was a Cudahy's packing house. Lived on Monitor Street. Began at Muehlebach in 1924 as busboy.

Recalls businesses on West Side. Attended Guadalupe Church. After a few years as busboy, was promoted to waiter. Met dignitaries, movie stars. Married Manuela Castillo in 1924. Met on West Side (Refers to West Side as the "colony"). Had 4 sons, one daughter. Member of Union Cultural Mexicana for 12 years, beginning in 1935. Was president for 4 years. Not active in annual Guadalupe fiesta.

Has photos, letters from presidents Truman, Eisenhower, Johnson, Nixon, who all ate at the Muehlebach. Also served President Aleman of Mexico, Eleanor Roosevelt. Two sons served in the Marines in World War II. Daughter lived 20 years in Japan with husband who was in service. Has 11 grandchildren. Retired in 1967 after 45 years at Muehlebach.

Wife died two years prior to interview. Lives alone, has garden, does own cooking and cleaning. Likes to read, watch TV, visit children.(Conversation changes to Spanish)Lived on 23rd Street for 18 years. Two sons went to work as waiters. One now has his own restaurant, Bob Soltero's on Independence Ave.

Many people have encouraged him to write an autobiography, but he needs an interpreter. Anecdote about Clark Gable. Recalls little Margaret Truman singing a song in Spanish to him. Bess Truman, during her stay at the Muehlebach, always asked for "ice tea al a Louie". Served Mamie Eisenhower many times, was asked to serve the Eisenhowers at a post-election banquet. After returning to private life, Truman dined with friends weekly at the Muehlebach.
Access This ItemYou may come to the Missouri Valley Room to listen to the interview.
Item ID210417
CONTENTdm number36376
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