Saturday, September 28, 2013

Instead of the family tree

Nowadays there is a lot of talk of ancestry and genealogy on the net and on TV.  Having a website like, USGenWeb Project, Jewishgen, and Find A Grave to use as a reference helps to spur on this interest.  "Who Do You Think You Are?"  Is both a television show and a phrase that most of us have thought - where do I come from, who were the people who were my parents, my grandparents, my great-grandprents; the curiosity seems to get stronger as the years add on.  The answers often become more and more vague.  

The Mejia family came to Pasadena at the turn of the 20th Century.  They have flourished in business and are active in community service.  They have a very large family.   They use a family nopal - a family cactus - instead of a family tree.  This is one way they keep track of who was here before and who was related to whom.  

Pasadena, CA

The explanation I was given for this choice was that "the nopal symbolizes the strength that our families have to flourish where 'planted'".   If it is strong and well tended, it will flourish even in harsh conditions.  A tree that's transplanted may have weakened roots and may not survive in its new spot. 

Sutter County, CA

There is another aspect to the transplanted nopal that's worth noting.  Despite it being transplanted, it has something of the original cactus that informs future generations.  At some level there is an essence of the original nopal about it.

Bill Hathom, Llano County, TX

Years ago Liz Espinoza, an artist who lives in Altadena, designed an image that was transferred to papel picado work that she did.  We have used this image so that students, big and small, might add the names of those in their family circle.  We hope that his activity helps them learn a bit more about their family and will help them flourish wherever they are planted.

We will have this available for children and their family circle at the jamaica on October 19th.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Girls at Garfield School...

Courtesy - Archives of the Pasadena Museum of History
half hidden by the archival sleeve that protects the image

The text on the back is written in three distinct handwriting styles and reads:
No one to talk to I am all by myself
Garfield School
Pasadena 1920
Written in pencil is number 27. 

Many children from Garfield School were sent to Junipero Serra - one of two Mexican Schools in Pasadena.

A couple of reflections on Garfield School can be found at:

Thursday, September 19, 2013

October 19th is just a month away!

Thanks to Vannia de la Cuba, Field Rep for Council member Victor Gordo, who designed this year's poster.  She has many talents, not the least of which being her ability in graphic design.

The poster captures on one sheet so much of what the event is about.
Yes, it is our 15th!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Latino Heritage Parade & jamaica forms.

October 19, 2013
Parade 9:00 a.m.                         jamaica 12 noon to 4 p.m.

Celebrando los 15/Celebrating 15

Both the Entry and Exhibitor forms are online.

General Planning meeting

If it's Wednesday, it must be a Parade & jamaica planning meeting. 

Drop on by and join us - 805 N. Madison, Pasadena, CA 91104
5:30-6:30 p.m.
There'll be talk about a quinceanera waltz, Latino authors and educational activities.

Carmel Meza Collection, Courtesy of Archives, Pasadena Museum of History

Monday, September 2, 2013

Labor Day 2013

In Pasadena we have phenomenal buildings.  They are architectural wonders. 

On Labor Day it's good to remember that the vision and the architects' skills are part of what allows us to experience these beauties.  

The other part is the blood, sweat, and tears that come from the workers who helped build these wonders.

Carmel Meza Collection, Courtesy of Archives, Pasadena Museum of History

The back of this photo reads: 
1932 Civic Audit.
Eso - Fighter & Joe.

Thanks, guys.