Tag Archives: Oklahoma

Eugene Victor Routen

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

Listen to Justin Brager’s Interview of Eugene Victor Routen


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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

Listen to Yvonne Yurek’s Interview of Bonnie and Dave Robeson


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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.