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New Info About Woody Guthrie's Deportee

DigiTrad:
DEPORTEES


Related threads:
(origins) Origins:Deportees-seeking original Woody recording (126)
Looking for a particular recording of 'Deportees' (49)
(origins) Origin: Plane Wreck At Los Gatos (background) (44)
happy? – Jan 29 (Los Gatos crash) (12)
ADD: The Grape Pickers Tragedy (Jack Warshaw) (8)
song challenge: deportees/illegal migrants (6)
W. Guthrie's Deportees: meaning? (57) (closed)
(origins) Origins: was Deportees based on Bold Robert Emmet (13)
oranges and creosote (10)


DianeV 29 Sep 16 - 07:03 PM
DianeV 29 Sep 16 - 07:06 PM
DianeV 29 Sep 16 - 07:49 PM
Steve Shaw 29 Sep 16 - 08:34 PM
Rapparee 29 Sep 16 - 08:47 PM
DianeV 29 Sep 16 - 08:56 PM
Steve Shaw 29 Sep 16 - 09:02 PM
FreddyHeadey 30 Sep 16 - 01:20 PM
DianeV 03 Oct 16 - 02:19 PM
Mrrzy 03 Oct 16 - 04:48 PM
Steve Shaw 03 Oct 16 - 05:26 PM
DianeV 19 Oct 16 - 03:09 PM
DianeV 06 Nov 16 - 02:25 PM
Andrez 07 Nov 16 - 01:54 AM
Mark Clark 07 Nov 16 - 04:35 PM
BrooklynJay 07 Nov 16 - 05:55 PM
DianeV 22 Nov 16 - 04:51 PM
DianeV 22 Nov 16 - 04:53 PM
Andrez 23 Nov 16 - 05:39 AM
Andrez 23 Nov 16 - 05:00 PM
Joe Offer 23 Nov 16 - 05:38 PM
GUEST,Workers to deportees? 24 Nov 16 - 06:31 AM
DianeV 06 Dec 16 - 03:28 PM
Joe Offer 06 Dec 16 - 07:38 PM
GUEST,Tim z hernandez 02 Jan 17 - 01:18 AM
GUEST,DrWord 02 Jan 17 - 10:22 AM
DianeV 26 Feb 17 - 04:43 PM
GUEST 27 Feb 17 - 06:34 AM
Joe Offer 08 Mar 17 - 12:20 AM
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Subject: New Info About Woody Guthrie's Deportee
From: DianeV
Date: 29 Sep 16 - 07:03 PM

In 2011, I posted on a couple of threads that I believed I had found the original recording of Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos Canyon). It turned out that I had a copy of the original - mine was a cassette tape, and the original was a reel-to-reel which was in the possession of Dick Barker, who passed away not long after I was able to contact him.

Timing is everything . . . I was searching for answers at the same time as Tim Z. Hernandez, an author, was also searching, and happened to see my posts. Joe Offer asked permission to put Tim in direct contact with me, and I will be forever grateful.

Tim's book, "All They Will Call You" will be released January 28, 2017, and a documentary about his search for the families of the victims will follow. There is a lot of information available at this link: https://timzhernandez.com/ - follow links on the page to other articles and photos. Tim is currently posting trailers and other info on Facebook on his page 28 Deportees Headstone & Documentary Project: https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=28%20deportees%20headstone%20%20documentary%20project . I'll post other links as they become available, and will copy & paste text for those who aren't on Facebook. If you have specific questions, please don't hesitate to ask. I may not know the answers, but will be glad to ask Tim directly!


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Subject: RE: New Info About Woody Guthrie's Deportee
From: DianeV
Date: 29 Sep 16 - 07:06 PM

Here's the first book trailer, which Tim shared on Facebook September 16: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkES7xkcvaQ&feature=youtu.be


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Subject: RE: New Info About Woody Guthrie's Deportee
From: DianeV
Date: 29 Sep 16 - 07:49 PM

By the way, if you watch the trailer on youtube, the music you hear in the background is a new version of the song recorded by Lance Canales & the Flood. You can hear the entire song & see the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CeCstLTB0EI


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Subject: RE: New Info About Woody Guthrie's Deportee
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Sep 16 - 08:34 PM

Great song. They should force Trump to listen to it a hundred times in a row!


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Subject: RE: New Info About Woody Guthrie's Deportee
From: Rapparee
Date: 29 Sep 16 - 08:47 PM

Feelings and compassion are required.


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Subject: RE: New Info About Woody Guthrie's Deportee
From: DianeV
Date: 29 Sep 16 - 08:56 PM

In case you visit the Facebook page, I just got a notification a few minutes ago that Tim changed the title from "28 Deportees Headstone & Documentary Project" to "All They Will Call You." It's still the correct page.


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Subject: RE: New Info About Woody Guthrie's Deportee
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Sep 16 - 09:02 PM

That's a superb, gritty version of the song. Thanks for the links. A great thread.


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Subject: RE: New Info About Woody Guthrie's Deportee
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 30 Sep 16 - 01:20 PM

Link to current Facebook site

https://www.facebook.com/All-They-Will-Call-You-by-Tim-Z-Hernandez-506810902693455/


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Subject: October 3, 2016 New trailer
From: DianeV
Date: 03 Oct 16 - 02:19 PM

This link will take you to the trailer released today: http://www.uapress.arizona.edu/news/HernandezATWCY2.php

And this one will take you to the article referenced in the trailer:http://www.vidaenelvalle.com/news/article28171921.html


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Subject: RE: New Info About Woody Guthrie's Deportee
From: Mrrzy
Date: 03 Oct 16 - 04:48 PM

Love this site! Thanks, all.


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Subject: RE: New Info About Woody Guthrie's Deportee
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 03 Oct 16 - 05:26 PM

I echo that.


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Subject: RE: New Info About Woody Guthrie's Deportee
From: DianeV
Date: 19 Oct 16 - 03:09 PM

Update about book release events on Facebook by Tim Z. Hernandez


Save the dates:

Sat. Jan. 28: Fresno, "All They Will Call You" Book Launch & Concert w/ special guests

Tues. Feb. 7: San Francisco, City Lights Bookstore, Book Release event w/ Lance Canales and special guests

More dates and details to come...

------------------

When I shared the above post, Tim added: I'll be at the Tucson Book Festival too . . . March 11 I believe... I'll confirm or correct this info when he does.


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Subject: RE: New Info About Woody Guthrie's Deportee
From: DianeV
Date: 06 Nov 16 - 02:25 PM

More dates published on Facebook:


Would love to see you at one of the book release events in 2017

1/27, Friday, Official Book Launch Event, CSU Fresno
1/28, WordFest, CSU Fresno
2/7, 7pm, City Lights Books, San Francisco
2/8-11, Washington D.C., AWP Conference
2/17, 7pm, Houston, Texas, Gulf Coast Literary Series
3/10-12, Arizona, Tucson Book Festival
3/23, College of the Sequoias, Visalia, California
4/7 - 9, San Antonio Book Festival
4/24, Tulsa, Woody Guthrie Center, Book Release

In the works: MA, CO, TX, Los Angeles, and MX


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Subject: RE: New Info About Woody Guthrie's Deportee
From: Andrez
Date: 07 Nov 16 - 01:54 AM

Dianne V, two days ago about 2000 of us were marching in our city as part of a national event to tell our government (Australian that is) that we want their refugee hellholes on Nauru and Manus Island closed and that all these people, adults and children, should have their rights as human beings acknowledged and be brought to Australia ASAP!

So relatively fresh from that activity, the Lance Canales clip about events reported by Woody in his song long since in the US fair brought tears to my eyes. Beautifully produced and performed. Thank you so much, will share it as widely as I can around here.

Cheers,

Andrez


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Subject: RE: New Info About Woody Guthrie's Deportee
From: Mark Clark
Date: 07 Nov 16 - 04:35 PM

Great news! I've got mine pre-ordered.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: New Info About Woody Guthrie's Deportee
From: BrooklynJay
Date: 07 Nov 16 - 05:55 PM

Nothing scheduled for the NYC area?


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Subject: RE: New Info About Woody Guthrie's Deportee
From: DianeV
Date: 22 Nov 16 - 04:51 PM

A new trailer: http://uapress.arizona.edu/news/HernandezATWCY3.php


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Subject: RE: New Info About Woody Guthrie's Deportee
From: DianeV
Date: 22 Nov 16 - 04:53 PM

Andrez, Lance isn't on Mudcat. May I share your post with him? Thanks!


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Subject: RE: New Info About Woody Guthrie's Deportee
From: Andrez
Date: 23 Nov 16 - 05:39 AM

Hi Dianne, please ignore my confused reply to your PM and do feel free to share with Lance.

Kind regards and very best wishes,

Andrez


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Subject: RE: New Info About Woody Guthrie's Deportee
From: Andrez
Date: 23 Nov 16 - 05:00 PM

I cant believe it, I watched Lances video clip again and came close to having the same reaction as I did the first time. Wow, what an amazing performance!

I'm not sure what will come of it but I know some people directly involved with the Asylum seeker and refugee action groups here and will ask them to pass the link around through their networks so that Lances work and message of the clip can touch and inspire other people as I have been and still am.

Sadly you may be aware that Australia is now planning to 'offload' our imprisoned refugees and their children to the US after having having imprisoned them for no better reason than getting onto a boat and trying to find a better life for themselves and their children. Not much seems to have changed have they?

Cheers,

Andrez


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Subject: RE: New Info About Woody Guthrie's Deportee
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Nov 16 - 05:38 PM

I hadn't seen the Lance Canales video of the song until today. I wonder where it was filmed. I recognize the tombstone that was erected recently in the graveyard in Fresno where the victims are buried, but I can't identify the mountainous site where the band members were filmed. It looks very much like the area west of Coalinga where the plane crashed in 1948. Can anybody tell us about the filming of the video?
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: New Info About Woody Guthrie's Deportee
From: GUEST,Workers to deportees?
Date: 24 Nov 16 - 06:31 AM

In 2012 I was working on a production of Woody Guthrie's American Song which includes this song. It came to my attention at that time that the plan crash victims were not being deported as it is now known, but were braceros hired to work in the fields and returning home by airplane, not being banned from the USA.

Thus it was a tragic accident, not a crime against humans. Is this true do you think?
and
Does the coming book report that in the process?


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Subject: RE: New Info About Woody Guthrie's Deportee
From: DianeV
Date: 06 Dec 16 - 03:28 PM

My gift copies of "All They Will Call You" arrived today. The book is absolutely beautiful!


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Subject: RE: New Info About Woody Guthrie's Deportee
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Dec 16 - 07:38 PM

Hi, Workers to Deportees -
I think the center of Woody's complaint, was that the migrant workers were not named, while the Anglo members of the flight crew were identified by name.
Woody wrote the song after reading a brief article in the New York Times. I posted the text of the article in another thread (click). According to the article:
    Irving F. Wixon, director of the Federal Immigration Service at San Francisco, said that the Mexicans were being flown to the deportation center at El Centro, Calif., for return to their country.
    The group included Mexican nationals who entered the United States illegally, and others who stayed beyond duration of work contracts in California, he added. All were agricultural workers.


I worked at that deportation center in El Centro for three weeks in the summer of 1996. At the time, it was called an "Immigration Detention Center." It was not a particularly horrible place. The center's employees were mostly Hispanic. They weren't cruel or abusive - but long-term detention of innocent immigrants is bad enough.

This was only a brief article on the NY Times, but it was front-page news in all the California newspapers for three days in January, 1948, until Gandhi was assassinated. At the time, this was the biggest plane crash ever to have happened in California, so it was big news - but the California papers didn't name the workers who were killed, either.

We have several other threads that cover this story and song in detail - look at the crosslinks at the top of this thread. I took photographs at the crash site and at the cemetery, and did a page on the song on my Website:


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Subject: RE: New Info About Woody Guthrie's Deportee
From: GUEST,Tim z hernandez
Date: 02 Jan 17 - 01:18 AM

Hi all, glad to see the interest here!! I'll try and shed some light on
a few of the questions raised on these past threads:

-- The newspapers were not correct. It's those kinds of
generalizations that make for bad reporting and perpetuation of
falsities. Only some of the passengers were here as braceros,
others were here "illegally," and still others were only
considered "illegal" because they decided to leave the
abuse of one farmer for better treatment at another,
and this move would make them "illegal." It wasn't as black
and white as the papers portrayed it at the time.

-Woody's gripe wasn't necessarily that they were
being "deported," or why, so much as the fact that they
we're not given their names, in the papers or in
death. We know that names meant a lot to Woody
because he wrote a few songs that also raised this
concern, Sinking of the Ruben James, and
Ballads of Sacco and Vanzetti.

- As to my good friend Lance's amazing rendition
of the song, his role in this story was that he helped,
along with Fresno Diocese and myself, to
raise the money so that we could install the new headstone.
Contrary to some reports, the actual research to locate
the names and people were the product of my own work,
as I tell about in my forthcoming book, All They Will Call You.

- As for readings in the NYC area, yes, we do have plans
underway, but it likely won't be until fall 2017 the soonest.

Thank you all again, especially Mudcat for this wonderful forum
where I made the initial critical connection with Diane V, which
got the ball rolling in my research! Thank you Joe!

Tim


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Subject: RE: New Info About Woody Guthrie's Deportee
From: GUEST,DrWord
Date: 02 Jan 17 - 10:22 AM

Joe: notes on the video "This video was filmed in Fresno, Northfork, Dinuba, Orosi, Reedley, Madera and Stockton"
keep on pickin'
dennis


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Subject: RE: New Info About Woody Guthrie's Deportee
From: DianeV
Date: 26 Feb 17 - 04:43 PM

Tim's book is now available, and it is a must read for anyone who has been interested in this song and the story behind it. In addition to finding and interviewing family members and friends of 7 of the victims, the story of how the song was carried forward for almost 7 decades is included. The inside covers truly took my breath away . . . Woody Guthrie's original poem, with the words "The peaches are rottening" . . . just as Martin Hoffman and my father always sang it. Next book launch event for us will be the weekend of March 11/12 in Tucson, AZ.


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Subject: RE: New Info About Woody Guthrie's Deportee
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Feb 17 - 06:34 AM

There's a wonderful version of this great song on a new CD by the great Co. Fermanagh, Ireland singer Rosie Stewart and her four sisters, Peggy, Mary, Anna and Kathleen- the McKEANEY SISTERS!


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Subject: RE: New Info About Woody Guthrie's Deportee
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 Mar 17 - 12:20 AM

Here's a San Francisco Chronicle review of Tim's book:
On a clear January morning in 1948, a plane carrying 32 passengers departed from the Oakland Municipal Airport, destined for El Centro, a city near the U.S.-Mexico border. As the Douglas DC-3 soared above the Los Gatos Canyon, some 60 miles southwest of Fresno, the left engine caught fire and exploded. The left wing detached and plummeted to the ground, followed shortly by the plane itself.

It was a spectacular crash. During the violent descent, passengers still attached to their seats were sucked out of the hole in the plane’s left side, screaming until they crashed to earth. The plane plowed into a creek bed and erupted into a giant fireball that scorched the tops of trees. There were no survivors; few bodies were left intact. The tragedy was the deadliest airplane disaster in California history, the sort of grisly affair that would typically attract widespread media attention and sympathetic articles about the deceased.

These weren’t typical passengers, however, but 28 Mexican farmworkers being deported. Just three days later, they were buried in a mass unmarked grave in a Fresno cemetery. The U.S. government made no attempt to locate and notify their families. News reports identified the four dead Americans — two pilots, a flight attendant and an immigration agent — by name. They lumped the Mexicans together as a brown mass of “deportees.” For most people, the tragedy came and went.

One person who lingered was folksinger Woody Guthrie. Angered at the erasure of the names of the dead, he wrote a poem called “Plane Wreck at Los Gatos (Deportee),” in which he asked, “Who are these friends all scattered like dry leaves?” The poem would be put to music by a college student named Martin Hoffman, who would teach it to Pete Seeger, who would turn it into one of the century’s great protest songs.

More than half a century later, Tim Z. Hernandez, a poet and novelist who teaches at the University of Texas at El Paso, became consumed by Guthrie’s haunting question. His search for the dead sent him across the U.S. and into remote Mexican villages, often with little more than a copy of an old Spanish-language newspaper article for a guide.

The result, “All They Will Call You,” is a stunning piece of investigative journalism and a lyrical meditation on memory, meaning and the immigrant experience. It is also unlike any book I’ve read before, combining oral history, dogged shoe-leather reporting and imaginative leaps into the unknown.

“While the telling itself is true,” writes Hernandez, “its loyalty is not to people of fact but rather to people of memory. Which is to say, all of us. ... And how reliable is fact anyway when the ‘official’ documents themselves have been proved incorrect, beginning with the names of the passengers? Officialness too has its inconsistencies.”

In less skilled hands, this approach could be distracting, or subtracting. But Hernandez, who grew up in a string of farmworker towns in the San Joaquin Valley, has a deep empathy and familiarity with his subjects, and he steps with care and compassion.

We find Luis Miranda Cuevas picking strawberries in Watsonville, shortly before he will be rounded up and placed on the doomed flight. Cuevas takes a break to pull out a creased photograph of the girlfriend he has left behind. Hernandez writes, “He remembered a dicho he once overheard an old man at el jardín utter: ‘El recordar es vivir.’ To remember is to live again. Perhaps no one understood this more than Luis. If he had a favorite pastime, it was nostalgia.”

Hernandez was able to track down the family members of seven passengers, whose memories restore humanity to the deportees. Cuevas, we learn, dressed up as a woman and sewed next to his girlfriend, lest her strict father realize she was talking to a boy. (The ruse didn’t work for long.) José Sánchez Valdivia was a Babe Ruth-obsessed young man who took breaks in the field to smack dirt clods; soon he had organized teams of Stockton farmworkers into a Mexican baseball league, where they used wilted heads of cabbage for bases.

Hernandez’s attention isn’t limited to the deportees. His portrait of the pilot and his wife — the flight attendant — is tender and moving. He also recounts the tragic story of Hoffman, the unknown student who turned Guthrie’s poem into a song and passed it along to Seeger. Either everyone matters, or no one does.

This earthy book is thicker than its 223 pages, and Hernandez’s attention to detail and insistence on the dignity of a forgotten people recalls “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men,” another genre-bending book.

“If I could do it, I’d do no writing at all here,” proclaimed James Agee. “It would be photographs; the rest would be fragments of cloth, bits of cotton, lumps of earth, records of speech, pieces of wood and iron, phials of odors, plates of food and excrement.”

Like Agee, Hernandez stretches what a book can do, going deep into a story and returning with a stirring portrait of a long forgotten-incident and a never-known people. “All they will call you will be ‘deportees,’” wrote Guthrie. Thanks to Hernandez, that’s no longer the case.

Gabriel Thompson is the author of “America’s Social Arsonist: Fred Ross and Grassroots Organizing in the Twentieth Century” (University of California Press) and “Working in the Shadows: A Year of Doing the Jobs (Most) Americans Won’t Do” (Nation Books). Email: books@sfchronicle.com

All They Will Call You

By Tim Z. Hernandez

(University of Arizona Press; 223 pages; $26.95)


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