Pioneer Families

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Many of the farmers had a good heart and were generous.  They also saw the potential in having hard working people like the Bustamantes and many other families.  The common thread that should make ALL Cheto people PROUD is that the skills, work ethic and dependability was well demonstrated by those who came from this little town called Asherton. The farmers I interviewed had nothing but praise for the migrants from Tejas.  The school officials also were glad to see students who were eager to learn, respectful and had an overall positive attitude.  Also, no surprise that coach Gleason wanted to help you.  In your case, you were also a devoted athlete.  

Thanks to your letter and my conversation with Osvaldo the first school experience for migrants from Tejas meaning you and your brother Osvaldo became defined as Gervais School District in Gervais, Oregon.  Also by coincidence, I would graduate from Gervais High School in 1966; first Mejicano to graduate from the school system.  In my case, I was emancipated from my family and after a few struggles, I went to live and work for the “Borden Family” who resided five miles east of Gervais, Oregon.   Thanks to this fine family I was able to have a place to live, eat and work before and after school.  I also learned more about the white Anglo Saxon way of life.  This transition helped me to better understand the world of migrant people and non-migrant people.  The Bordens were hard working, ethical, and generous and highly disciplined people.  I still keep in touch with Jerry and Edith who are the remaining siblings of this special family.  They have attended our annual REUNION of “Pioneros de Oregon” and were also present at our website launch.

Between the Borden Family and the great teachers and administration at Gervais Hi, I was able to do things that under normal family circumstance would have been impossible.  You will be pleased to know that on October 12, 2012 we launched our website

On behalf of the Marion County Tejano-Mejicano Community GRACIAS - Mando and Ene for your presence at the “Pioneros de Oregon” event.  Your attendance, story and photographs contribute to a story that is being shared for the first time via our family’s website. Below is the photo of your home and mine when we worked in the fields.  Your family lived in cabin #1 and this is the place when I first met tia Antonia, your mom.  She did all the work that women did at that time plus took care of Tomas and George her grandchildren.  Today, the cabins still stand, but are used as animal shelter and storage sheds.


Besides being part of the family, you and I have two things in common.  I also attended St. Paul Catholic School in 1954, and Gervais High School.  We can also add Osvaldo your brother to the list of Gervais alumni as he also attended Gervais Hi.  Just like you he was also offered a place to stay by the Kessler’s.  Tia Antonia, had recently become the matriarch of the Bustamante family and Valdo had to follow his mom’s advice; mother knew best and she had to keep all the family together.


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