Sig Sanchez

Sig Sanchez Presentation Poster, by Ricardo Alvarado II
Oral History By: Ricardo Alvarado
Submitted December 2013

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Abstract:
Sig Sanchez was born on November 11th 1920 in Hollister California. To a family with ten siblings, four whom were boys, the other six were girls. He grew up working on his family farm, and graduated from San Benito High School. After he graduated he stayed in Agriculture his whole life up to a few years ago. He had farms in Gilroy, Hollister, Merced, Imperial Valley, and Sacramento.
In 1953 Sig was told about an opening in the Gilroy City Council. That was when he started his political career. He stayed for nine years on the Gilroy City Council. He served two terms. He then ran for mayor and was elected in 1958 where he stayed for two terms, until 1963. In 1963 he ran for Santa Clara County Supervisors. He stayed for four terms, from 1963-1978. In 1980 Sig was appointed to the Santa Clara Water District board, where he stayed for thirty years. Sig had a very successful career in both politics and agriculture.

Rito Nunez

Rito Nunez Presentation Poster, by Marissa Nunez
Oral History By: Marissa Nunez
Submitted December 2013

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Abstract:
Rito Nunez is a Mexican-American male born in 1946 to a big family that would later consist of 16 children. he was very family oriented, even though before his childhood was up he departed from his mother and some of his siblings, they reunited later on in his teen years. Rito lived all over the Bay Area during his early life, living with his Uncle and Aunt in Hayward, then finding his mother and living with her in Oakland for a while, where he met his soon-to-be wife Patricia Ramirez. With Patricia, Rito had four children who subsequently gave him eleven grandchildren who look up to him as a role model, and six great-grandchildren. Rito held many different jobs in an effort to make a better life for himself and his family. he worked as a mechanic, he was a field worker, and he joined the Marines in his mid-20’s. During his time in the Marines he was involved in the Vietnam War. his job was an Amphibious Tractor operator. he was not only stationed in Vietnam, but also in Japan, the Philippines ,and San Diego. His time working in the fields coincides with the start of the United Farm Workers Union. During the latter part of his life, after his time in the Marines was up and he got injured while working as a mechanic he moved to Gilroy, California and has resided here for close to twenty years with his wife. This paper will examine his early life, the jobs that he held in pursuit of a better life, more specifically his involvement in the Vietnam War.

Alfred Bonturi

Alfred Bonturi Presentation Poster, by Ismael Torres
Oral History by: Ismael Torres
Submitted December 2013

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Abstract:
Alfred Bonturi was born on August 16 1925. He was born and raised in Hollister, California. Alfred Bonturi’s father Fausto Bonturi, was born in Tuscany, Italy, His mother Amelia Bonturi, was born in La Honda, California. He grew up with a large family of six girls and four boys. Alfred Bonturi went to school for twelve years and finished High School at San Benito High School. He started Junior College but only finished one year. Alfred Bonturi started farming at the age of fourteen after his father passed away. Alfred being the oldest son took over his father’s farm. He has been farming for over 70 years now. He has been part of many agriculture businesses including Sun-sweet growers, Cal-Can, and California Walnut among others. He has worked in the San Benito County Farm Bureau, and with the University of California. Alfred Bonturi has grown apricots, prune, grapes, and walnuts. He now only cultivates walnuts in his farm. Alfred Bonturi married Corinne Bonturi in 1950. They had two children; a son named Greg (53 years old) and a daughter named Brenda (50).

Edward Delgado

Edward Delgado Presentation Poster, by Jessica Gonzalez
Oral History by: Jessica Gonzalez
Submitted December 2013

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Abstract:
Edward Delgado worked most of his life to protect and serve carpenters, and to make sure they were treated the way they are supposed to in a time when that was a rare experience. Edward Delgado was born in Meoqui, Chihuahua, Mexico. He was born to Nacha Delgado who was a single parent. They both moved to California right after the Mexican Revolution when Nacha thought it was a good time to start a new life in the United States. To help provide for her family, Nacha worked at Stokley Van Camp Cannery. Later, when Edward was ten years old, he joined his mother and worked in the frozen foods department. Edward Delgado went to Santa Clara High School where he met and married his high school sweetheart, Mary Delgado. After graduating from high school, Edward attempted to join the Air Force but was rejected because of his citizenship. He continued to look for an organization to be a part of that would give him work to help him provide for his family. The Carpenters Union was that place, a place of refuge for him. Edward worked his way up from apprententice to a labor representative. Later, he becomes a representative for the League of Latin American Citizens (LULAC). This paper tells the struggle against racism of a young Mexican American in the work force and how the Carpenters Union provided help for this Mexican American men in his time of need.

Betty Kelly

Betty Kelly Presentation Poster, by Cassandra Caldwell
Oral history by: Cassandra Caldwell
Submitted December 2013

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Abstract:
Betty Kelly came to Gilroy at age three from Manteca, California. She went to Elliot Elementary School then moved up to Jordan Middle School and finally graduated from Gilroy High School. After high school, she was hired by the Gilroy Telephone Company. Betty tells stories and shares her knowledge of her grandparent’s ranch, the Johnson Ranch, which they had owned and operated until her grandfather’s death. She also shares her knowledge of how Gilroy used to be like. Her grandmother’s ranch and the history of Gilroy are the focus of this oral history interview.

Janet Burback

Oral history by: Robert Ellison
Submitted December 4, 2012

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TILTON RANCH, 1917: Madrone, CA

The Janet Burbacks of this state are a dying breed. A fourth generation cattle rancher, she is one of a handful who are still family owned in Santa Clara County. She vows to continue as long as it is financially feasible and physically attainable. So how did Tilton Ranch get its beginning?

In 1917 Janet’s great grandparents were running cattle on 30,000 acres in Gilroy and decided to retire. Retired they did not stay and they purchased 3200 acres in the township of Madrone, just north of Morgan Hill. In the late 1920′s the ranch was passed to their daughter Lillie Tilton and her husband Jere Sheldon. They continued to operate the ranch until 1960 when Jere passed away. Lillie with the help of her daughter Barbera Sheldon and her husband Harold Baird ran the ranch till 1993 when Lillie passed away one month shy of her 100th birthday. Harold, Janet’s father, passed away in 2005 with Janet and her husband Greg Burback taking over the daily affairs with help from her sister Barbera.

Eugene Victor Routen

Oral history by: Justin Brager
Date submitted: December 4, 2012

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I interviewed my great-grandfather Eugene Victor Routen. He is a survivor of the Dust Bowl and a WWII veteran. He went on to make the military his career.

Eugene was born at home in Seminole, Oklahoma, on April 17, 1919. It was Easter Sunday that year. He had two older brothers, Jesse and William. There were two little girls but they died as babies. Two years after Eugene’s birth, Raymond was born. His papa was a share-cropper. He had to give part of whatever they grew to the landowner every harvest-time. Times were always hard. He remembers having only one pair of overalls to wear–nothing else, no shoes, nothing. They were so very poor. The families picked cotton, all of them, to make a little extra money to get by. He recalled that when he was six, he had to drag a big long sack, picking cotton and crying, but not willing to quit. The boys finally got shoes when the weather got very cold and frosty. Eugene started to go to school in the second grade but quickly caught up, borrowing books so he could do his homework. He looked up to his teachers as people with knowledge of a wider world, and he wanted that.

Bonnie and Dave Robeson

Oral history by: Yvonne Yurek
Date submitted: December 4, 2012

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Bonnie Robeson was born in Minot, North Dakota and has six siblings (3 boys and 3 girls). Her Mother is originally from Puerto Rico and when her father was stationed in San Juan, he met Bonnie’s mother, married her and brought her back to the United States. The family would move from state to state due to her father being in the service, but finally they settled in San Jose, California. Bonnie remembers when South San Jose was all orchards and recalled how homes started to be rapidly built resulting in most of the orchards being torn down. Bonnie attended Andrew Hill High School and participated in a lot of extracurricular activities such as: swim club, synchronized swimming, getting her Red Cross certification and even cheerleading. She also recalled doing some fun things with her family like piling into a station wagon to go on camping trips or up to Lake Tahoe. After high school, Bonnie took a lot of business classes in hopes of being a secretary. Bonnie met her future husband Dave when she was in high school and he was in College. Dave happened to be a good friend of Bonnie’s best friend’s boyfriend and so they were set up on a blind date, got to know each other and started to date. One of the things they would do together in Morgan Hill was go to the Circle Drive-In or the A&W where care hops came out to the car to get your order.

Frances Palmtag

Oral history by: Deborah McDonald
Date submitted: December 10, 2012

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Frances Palmtag was born in Hollister, California on December 5, 1921. Her parents were Carl and Myrtle (O’Conner) Palmtag. She had two sisters, Hazel born (June 2, 1923) and Charlsie born (July 10, 1931). Her maternal grandparents were Benjamin and Mary (Niggle) O’Connor. Benjamin was of Irish descent from Offaly Ireland and Mary was of Swiss-German descent. Her paternal grandparents were Charles and Amelia (Krayer) Palmtag. Charles and Amelia were both born in Germany and came to America separately. Charles was from Emmendigen and Amelia was from Alsace-Lorraine. They were married in San Francisco. They settled in Hollister and had three children, Marie, Carl, and Muriel. They had a butcher shop in Los Banos. Frances believes her grandfather knew Henry Miller. They moved to Quien Sabe Ranch in Tres Pinos where Charles worked as a foreman. He saved his money and bought a ranch in Hollister and grew prunes, apricots and walnuts. He worked at both ranches for a while and when his son Carl came home from WWI he began working at the family ranch with his father. Carl was born on August 12, 1894 and married Myrtle O’Connor in February 1921. Myrtle was a California girl and was born in Hollister on August 4, 1891. Myrtle had a sister Ruby (Nyland) and a brother Benjamin.

Ted Minoru Kubota

Oral history by: Brett Jackson

Date submitted: December, 2011

While I was growing up my grandfather seemed to be a quiet, funny, hardworking man. As it came to be, he lived a very stressful life that was rich in experience, and discrimination, that helped make him the man he is today. Throughout the struggles he endured, he was still able to nurture the loving family he has now and still works hard every day.