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Interview with Frederico "Fred" Saucedo Jr.



Frederico "Fred" Saucedo, Jr., was born March 1, 1934 on St. Paul's West Side and grew up there as the youngest of six children. He joined the Marine Corps in 1952 and was president of the men's club at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church. He married Sylvia Ruiz, and they have four children at the time of this interview. SUBJECTS DISCUSSED: Personal history - history of the men's club at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church - role of the Catholic church in the Mexican-American home and family - pat





World Region




This interview was conducted as part of a series on the Mexican American in Minnesota. Frederico Saucedo was born on March 1, 1934, in St. Paul, Minnesota. of six children and was raised in the West Side. 1955. They have three sons and one daughter. He tells us a little bit He is the youngest

He married Sylvia Ruiz on October 8,

Fred Joined the Marine Corps when he was seventeen years old. of his life as a Marine.

Fred gives a little background on his life in the West Side, He also tells his reason for moving away

his involvement in the church and in sports.

from the lower West Side area and his involvement in West St. Paul where he lives now. Fred works for the trades of air-conditioning and refrigeration as a pipe fitter. This is a transcript of a tape-recorded interview edited 'to aid in clarity and ease of comprehension for the reader. The original tape recording is available in the Audio-

Visual Library of the Minnesota Historical Society.



August 17, 1976 Noosbrugger: This is Grant Noosbrugger interviewing Nr. Frederico (Fred) Saucedo on August 11th, 1976, in his home 85 W. Nore1and, West St. Paul, Ninnesota, for the Mexican American History Project. interview you? Saucedo: Noosbrugger: Saucedo: You certainly have. Can you tell us who you are and where and when you were born? Fred Saucedo and I was born Narch 1, 1934. be born in Bethesda Hospital. I was the first Mexican to Do I have your permission to

But don't hold me to that because my

father might have left the bill unpaid! Noosbrugger: Saucedo: Moosbrugger: Saucedo: You are the youngest in the family, right? Yes, I am the youngest of six children. What can you tell us about your early life and what schools did you attend? The first school I went to was for kindergarten at the Neighborhood House. I remember the first day going to school. Up until that time, there was

very little English spoken at home, at least, I hadn't been indoctrinated with too much English. mind. I went to school with a real terror feeling in my

How I was going to be able to survive the first day in school? I remember

After the first meal at noon, everything went on real fine.

the hot meal, there were quite a few foods that I hadn't tasted at home. It made it a pleasant experience. on the lower West Side. in fifth grade. After that, I went to Lafayette School

I remember having a hearing problem, when I was

The teacher thougt that I wasn't paying any attention.

She told me that I had a hearing problem and that I couldn't handle the course, that she was going to hold me back a grade. I went to James J. Hill School. The following year

They had facilities for hearing aides. Then I went to Roosevelt Jr. High

I went there for a couple of years. through ninth grade.

I was active in the Student Council, metal shop and At that young age I

wood shop they seemed to fascinate me the most.



thought of going into 'the mechanical field, but 'somehow I got into construction field. While I was at Roosevelt, I became interested in singing,

I don't know how, but I ended up on the stage as Master of Ceremonies and a singer in a talent contest. Then I went to one of the better high schools After class I went to

in St. Paul, at that time, it was St. Paul Central.

work for a fellow across town in a tailor shop, I used to clean-up the shop, and fill up the coke machine. service. Moosbrugger: Did you have to get a specai1 permit to go to Central High School because you didn't live by that school? Saucedo: Yes, they knew that I worked across town, so I got a special permit from the courthouse to attend Central High School. Moosbrugger: Saucedo: Moosbrugger: Saucedo: Moosbrugger: Saucedo: So that you could go from school to work? Right. What was the name of that tailor? Carl Tufenk, he still owns the apartments on Fourth and St. Peter. Where was his shop? His shop was located at 48 West Fourth Street. While I was at Central, I became aware of the fact that there were different classifications of people. minority, being different. I found my first experience of being a After Central High School, I went into the

People dressed different, they had better

clothes, they had cars, all the kids were better educated than from the area that I was from. It was difficult holding a conversation with them, After awhile I did make a

or you might say getting "in" with the crowd. number of friends.

I wore jeans everyday, which is the standard fashion

now, but at that time everybody would be wearing suits and jackets. Moosbrugger: Saucedo: So you didn't feel comfortable? No, I didn't feel comfortable at all. I ended up going into the service I almost found a home for

at the age of seventeen, in the Marine Corp.

-3Saucedo: myself. It was a whole new way of life.. I could make my own decisions, I went to Korea.

handle my own money and see a lot of the world. Moosbrugger: Saucedo: Moosbrugger: Saucedo: What year did you go in the service? That was in 1952~ Was that befpre the Korean conflict? Yes, I was in training camp at the start of it. and spent so time traveling around in Japan. United States. exciting. for me. Moosbrugger: How did you happen to pick the Marines? at that time? Saucedo: Then I flew to Puerto Rico.

I found myself in Korea

Then I came back to the It wasn't all that terribly

As far as service life is concerned, it was a new experience

Did any of your buddies enlist

Yes, a fellow that lived downstairs from us, Henry Verdick, he said "I'm going into the Marines." would have gone with you." "Fine, I'll sign up." had my dad sign them. the papers. I said "Gee, why didn't you tell me about it, I He said, "Well, you can still go." I said

So I went down and signed up.

I got the papers,

I went over to Greg Gonzales and had him notarize(', He ended up broke I

Henry tu!ned out to be a bad apple.

ended up paying his airplane ticket home, because he lost all his money gambling. Moosbrugger: Going back to your childhood, what did you do for kicks? hang around the church, as an altar boy? Saucedo: Yes, I was an altar boy. I spent a lot of time down at the church. I Did you used to

spent a lot of time at the Neighborhood House, playing basketball, football, and other sports. The teams were sponsored by the Neighborhood House. I

played end of all places, for a small little kid. they would at least expect me to carry the ball. would take the ball around the end and score!

Being as small as I was, They had a play where I

.-4Moosbrugger: When was this, it seems to me that you were always kind of a determined kid, weren't you noted for that? Saucedo: Yes, I always liked things that were challenging. Sometime just knowing I used to

that I was going to be in a race was enough excitement for me.

do a lot of running, at that time we never heard of the olympics, we didn't have any TV's or anything like that. that sponsored kids for the olympics. There weren't any programs

I think that if the opportunity

had been there, I would have been involved in some of the areas, maybe I would have become an 01y~ian. Moosbrugger: You used to have a bunch of buddies who wore derby s, did you have a

club or a game? Saucedo: No,. we would just go around, trying to find things to get into. while we wore all kinds of loud clothes. apart from the ordinary. For a

We wanted to set ourselves

For a long time I wore a jacket that had corporal

stripes, an army jacket, a light jacket, that set me apart from the rest of the kids. Another time I found a black derby in somebody's trash. One time I dyed my hair. I

ran around with that for about a year.

A fellow

said, "Your hair will turned red is you use peroxide." tried it.

So, sure enough I I was really a

I was the only red-headed Mexican in the area. mother would have liked to pull my hair out.

~:t my ,

But, she didn't get

too excited over that, she did tell me that all my hair was going to fall out before I reached thirty. Moosbrugger: Saucedo: It is interesting to think of what kids do for excitement. The first time that I really realized that there was a difference between Mexican, Anglo-Saxon and Jewish people, was when my dad had a Victory garden during Second World War. Victory garden. My brother, Ramedo and I went down to the

We were playing in the corn field and I tried a corn stalk,

it tasted very sweet, I asked my brother what it was, and he said that it

-5Saucedo: was "cana" (sugarcane). that's sugarcane." we eat sugarcane." loud." "cana." Moosbrugger: Saucedo: I said, "No, it's not sugarcane." He said, "yes,

So I started jumping up and down, saying we are Mexican, He kept telling me, "Don't say that, don't say it too We are Mexican and we do eat

I said, "What is wrong with it"?

He pulled me down and said, "Be quiet."

How old were you at that time? I was probably about nine. disadvantage was. neighborhood. I think that I realized at an early age what a

I was very perceptive to what was going on in the They would

I realized that everybody would go to church.

give all their money to the church. They didn't have anything. body was helping the church. system.

Everybody around there remained poor.

The church was planning to expand, so everyI think that something was wrong with the

You would think that the church would help to improve the lot of

the people, instead the people were always giving and never getting anything in return. Moosbrugger: It wasn't bad to be Mexican, but it was different. So for that reason it

would be considered cool to jump up and down and say, "We are Mexican and we eat cana?" Saucedo: Moosbrugger: Right, that's the reaction I had in my mind. Did the church have some kind of influence in your life? of a community center for you? as a kid? Saucedo: Well, no, regardless of everything else we had, we always had the church. That was all there was at that time, besides the Neighborhood House. whole life revolved around a little section of the city. Our Wasn't it kind

Did you get kind of drawn into the church

Most of us didn't

know anything over the Robert Street bridge or the Wabasha Street

We were mostly confined down in this small area, this was our whole life. Outside of being on the basketball team for the church or the football



team for the Neighborhood House else.

or programs, there wasn't really anything

Not until televison came along in later years.

Moosbrugger: What roles did the church play in the Mexican American home, other the fact that it was one of the social organizations? Saucedo: Well, most of the older people, of course, literally lived for the church. That was their whole life. They would go to work, come home, eat supper

and if anything had to be done, it would be done at the church, or done for the church. There were always Novenas going on. There was always

some type of program, they were all religious ceremonial type gatherings. They were good, no question about it. Moosbrugger:. You are saying that they dedicated themselves to the church as well as to their family? Saucedo: Right. They try to get their family to follow along in


Unfortunately that is not the way it turned out.

Most of the second I

generation Mexican Americans found it to be too severe to follow it.

think the first generation's mentali·ty was restrictive as to things they could accomplish, things they could understand. force in their

Religion was the dominant

The second generation realized that there are other As they learned the English language,

things, like sports and movies.

difference came into play and they just went in different directions. As Wv\ 'Q; \i "' L .. soon as they cut that unbileeal cord, they just moved out of the area. Psychologically, they probably figured there is more opportunities elsewhere, than down at the church. doing anything. Like I said before, the church wasn't That was to

It never accomplished what it should have.

make the Mexican American more reliant on themselves. bigger and wider goals.

To make them seek

I think the church would have done well to make Send them out to learn

them that way, or to teach them along those lines.

other things and today the church would be twice or three times as large.

-7Saucedo: Moosbrugger: They have lost many parishoners. They kept the people huddled together when they should have been reaching out and branching out on their own? As the second generation came along, Go down

the first thing that came into my mind was getting out of here. the hill where there are other people, different people. pattern of living. This isn't getting us anywhere.

Change our

It's just like pulling That will be one

all the wagons around in a circle, just keeping us here.

big significance, the difference in mentality between first generation Mexican Americans who came up from Mexico, or Texas, and second generation who were born here. Are there any other big areas of differences in

mentality between those generations? Saucedo: The second generation sought to lessen the tensions between the Ang1oSaxon and the Mexicans. English language. Getting new found ideas in school, learning the There was a time They weren't

The started to go out to the beaches.

when there wasn't any swimming areas for Mexican Americans. allowed in some of the taverns, restaurants and hotels.

In 1932, there

was a move by the Welfare Department to deport some of the first generation people back to Mexico. They

applied for Welfare.

After much a-do,

they rescended the directive. was the second generation.

The first generation was very passive, as

They were passive to a point, but they made

in-roads, with their new-found education and language, in showing that they could work. They were good solid workers. If they were going to be

denied the right to swim in a certain area, they would accept it, but they would accept it with dignity and not be forced out. the third generation. They became a little more militant. Then along came They became a

little more reluctant to accept things passively. higher goals. socially. This is my generation.

They want to obtain

They became active politically and

They started to move into areas that other generations would

-8Saucedo: not move into before. Many of the third generation moves, forced the

second generation to react, to become more vocal and state their position more clearly. People like Frank Rodriguez, who was a member of the He was put on the spot several times, and

Carriers, a business agent. reacted favorably. Moosbrugger: Saucedo: Put on a spot in what way?

He was asked, at-one time, to require or request more jobs for Mexican Americans. There was a time when the second generation thought, "I am not

going to look after these guys, why should I, no one looked after me." With the younger crowd today, that's not good enough. after each other. Moosbrugger: Do you think there's a fair percentage of Mexican Americans in the trades and in business? Saucedo: No, there isn't. out. Proportionally, they are not. They aren't being sought We have to look

When they do become involved, problems crop up, mainly in the line Trades have a certain pattern of training

of understanding each other. that they always follow. Moosbrugger:

There's no deviation from that.

Patterns that would make it a little tougher fora Mexican American k:"d, than an Irish, German or French person?



The paternalistic patterns that take place in a lot of unions.


you are related to someone, you sail through, there's no problem.

If you

are an outsider, you get asked certain things like, "Why are you here?" You know you don't belong here. secret meetings. These are asked on the side during

They are not recorded in the minutes of the meeting. They try to sway you into leaving before you I have had that happen to me. These

They get you in the hall.

get iniated into certain unions. are different tactics. pure harassement.



They call you into an excutive board meeting for

Not for anything specific, not for anything that you

-9Saucedo: have done wrong. They just try to irritate you. They know they are They just try

taking up your time. to give you problems.

They know they have no goods on you.

You dread every time you get a letter from them. You get

You don't know if someone said that you said or did something. chastised and just sit there. accused of.

They don't tell you what you are being

They say come on down at a certain time for a certain meeting If you don't appear, it will cost you a fine.

of the excutive board. Moosbrugger: Saucedo:

Are there many Mexican Americans in the union? In my union there are three or four at the most. about 400 or 500. The total membership is


How about Mexican Americans working together in groups by and for Hexican Americans. Does there seem to be more criticism of one another and more

internal harmony than there is in other nationality groups? Saucedo: In my experience, I have been involved in both. in Mexican American groups. Moosbrugger: Saucedo: In Anglo-Saxon groups and

I am past President of the Men's Club.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Men's Club? Yes. I have been on the Fiesta Committee. I have also been involved in the My experience have been

West St. Paul Jaycees, the football program. both types of organizations. always problems that crop up. volunteers.

There are always mistakes made.

There are

There is always the problem of getting

I think the problem centers on the fact that Mexican Americans They seem to over

are more sensitive about the particular problems.

emphasize the fact that if a person doesn't have leadership quality, he shouldn't be there. They will just literally harangue the guy to death for Other organizations have the same problem,

not doing one thing or another.

they just remagnify ours to the point where we become critical of each other. other. After awhile we become enemies. We can no longer work with each

If a guy could emphasize that to a point, then people would pay

-10Saucedo: attention to him.

happens in all organizations, Black, White, Brown, We are just over-sensitive about our particular

whatever the case may be. situations. Moosbrugger:

Do you think there is a need for a Mexican American political organization? Any local or national one?


Well, there has been a need for an organization for the last ten years. It's ironic, at each general election, the lower West Side consistently votes majority wise for the Democratic party. Yet if you look at the

over all picture of the West Side, they have so little to show for the vote that they give for this particular party. It's really tragic that If a

they don't have an impact, a greater impact, for the City Council.

guy would go down the line, always making it a point to check the Ward by Ward results, after each general election, or for that matter, in the Fourth District, which is Karth's district. Democrats. Moosbrugger:

I always go over them for the

far as political impact, it's non-existent. Why isn't there a

The Mexican American does vote in a block for DFL? political system?


Most Mexican Americans are not politically savvy as to how to use the political system. They have very little knowledge as to how the system What benefits they can derive from it. In We The

works and what it is all about.

Our generations have not been the type that are overly demanding.

wanting to compensate for some of the things missing in their lives. are still the type of people that get along with little or nothing.

generations that are now growing up on the West Side, have almost never try to reach a goal, they give up completely. They say, "Forget it." They use

They get Welfare and think that's the best thing they can do. the political system in that way, by getting Welfare. shame, because there is a lot more that can be had.

That is really a If they had people in



the state government, if they had people close to the governor's office. I am talking about people in this area. in this area. People who were born and raised

We have the people available who could go out and run for

office, but we don't have the type of mentality that really wants to get behind it and push it. We are too critical about any individual. It's

always, "He is this way or that way." ,They are not, looking at the overall picture. If he gets in, why it's a beginning. A couple of years ago

we had a re-district." The first legislative district got enlarged, it now includes West St. Paul. So what happens, West St. Paul got its first We could have had

legislator,! first district, he lives up in this area. somebody from the lower West Side run for office. overwhelming vote down there. Moosbrugger:

We would have had the

So, in other words, your chances are better now for getting someone in office?


They are better now, then they were before. ceptive. area.

West St. Paul is quite re-

The people up here are not as prejudiced as they are in the other


There are more people in this area that know and like and trust Mexican Americans?



Those of us who moved up here have set a pattern.

We have been We have

involved in community organizations, PTA s, school programs etc. exposed ourselves to front line situations. P.T.A. at Moreland School for several years.

I have been President of the We have started programs

there and ran them through.

I was involved in a fight at City Hall to It was a fight, in fact, to tax myself.

get sidewalks on Moreland Avenue.

The P.T.A. and I felt that we wanted and needed sidewalks on Moreland. Now that one side is paved, the kids don't have to walk out on the street to get to school. We have led our fights through the courts and City Hall

-12Saucedo: Chambers. We came out ahead. We have kind of displayed a situation where

we are not passive anymore, we are active. Moosbrugger: You have unity in this area with Mexican Americans and all other nationa1ity groups? Saucedo: Right. They realize that we are here. Those of us that are here, are

well accepted in the Neighborhood. Moosbrugger: How do you think the Mexican American thinks, acts, believes, and reacts different from the usual? Saucedo: One of the areas is the feeling that we have towards other people. Blacks. an equal. My feeling towards Blacks is as an equal. Like

I look at the White as and find

The relationship, looking back, as I talk to people

out what the~e feelings are, the Blacks don't feel that way. They look 4 at us in a different perspective. They look at us politically, as if we are taking away something from them. for themselves. minorities. They feel they have earned something

They feel they have earned the right to call themselves

When the Whites talk about minorities, they are actually When the Blacks talk about minorities, they try to

talking about Blacks. encLmpass everyone

like Chinese, Mexican Americans and the Blacks. In

Mainly for greater gains that can be had from the Federal Government. terms of funds that are available for different programs.

When the pro-

grams are put into effect, they are mai1y put into effect for Blacks only. The Whites look at it in a way that, "Well, the Mexicans aren't applying for the programs. They don't want to get involved in the programs." It's


not that, it's just that we feel we should be allowed to operate our own programs. We are uniquely different from anybody else. We should have a

say and input in all types of minority programs. Moosbrugger: How about in respect to the family life and family unity? Do you think that

the average Mexican American family is any different from the Anglo-Saxon

-13Moosbrugger: Saucedo: family? The main difference is that in the Mexican family, the father dominates. He operates his house. He has been brought up all his life to look at Whatever he says goes. He has to carry through

his father as the head man, the decisQon maker. As he grows older, he becomes cast into a role. the light, too.

It makes it difficult for him to become involved with an

Anglo-Saxon woman because in her life (Anglo-Saxon) the mother has been the dominant force. She is the one who makes the loudest noise in the You have a conflict when you have a marriage

house and directs things.

between a Mexican and an Anglo-Saxon because you are both fighting for the top spot in the home. of a few years. A lot of times it ends up in divorce in a matter

When you have a marriage between a Mexican girl and a

Mexican boy, she usually accepts the second-spot without too much hesitation. She realizes that that is the way it has to be. She's been

brought up all her life to accept second-position. Moosbrugger: Are there any compensations for her, typically, in the Mexican American home? Saucedo: Generally speacking he has.

Mexican male is more then generous with what ever Although

Usually he dedicates it all to his wife and children.

being the disciplinarian that he is, it may seem at times like it isn't worth it all. He feels that he has to have order and he has to have Anything that happens

control of all situations that arrive at his home. in the house ship. has to go through him.

It becomes very close to dictator-

He realizes that he can't become his boy's or daughter's buddy; Hopefully, He

that's the price he has to pay for the leadership he gives.

his kids will look at him as a man who can stand on his two feet. makes up his own mind, and does his own thing. Anglo-Saxon family Today's kids

in the

are looking at their parents and are all confused.

-14Saucedo: They don't know what is happening, they don't know who to ask, their mother or father whether thy can do this or that. wants to accept the responsibility. Neither one of them

How can they possibly grow up to

make decisions if they have been confused all their life? Moosbrugger: You say that there's more of a tendency amongst the Mexican American father to be a good provider? Is there more pressure on him to be a good

provider than other nationality groups? Saucedo: Yes, I think so. Along with being a dictator, it makes him responsible to

see that his kids are clothed and fed and have the best possible education. If he fails in those areas, he has to answer to himself. When he turns If his kids

around and looks back, and says, "I didn't do the job right."

turn out bad, he has to be able to stand up and say, "Well, I did the best I could. I gave them all that I could. I tried to direct them as well as

possible, and they turned out bad. point a finger at me.

Well, the last thing they want to do is That is

I'll put them on their ear right there.

not the way I played the game." Moosbrugger: Saucedo: Moosbrugger: So it is mighty important that they give it their best? Yes, it's important that each father does the best'> that he can for his kids. Are there any other aspects of inter-marriage that you can think of dealing with Mexican Americans marrying Anglos or Blacks? Saucedo: Some are uniquely different in talking about father dominating the home. When I see most young Mexican American girls getting involved with Blacks, they look at their father. He's often harsh in making .decisions. In

todays world, kids don't like to hear the word "NO" especially when they hear constantly or too often. They get turned off by their dad. They

figure, "I'll never marry someone like that. to do with anybody that is strict."

I don't want to have anything

So when they first get involved with

a Black person, a Black male, he is a passive person, as far as they are

-15Saucedo: concern. They will do anything for them. Mainly because although he

doesn't see Brown as the ultimate, he still treats her with respect and with a great deal of want. So he puts on his leading dance for her.

They get her, you might say, "Cornered" into marriage, or into living with them. Of course, they have all the conveniences of having someone that They don't have to be put under the

will do as they say for a change.

strain of being pressured into doing things. Hoosbrugger: Saucedo: Hoosbrugger: Saucedo: Hoosbrugger: The Hexican women is not being pressured? Right. They find a certain amount of freedom with the Black male? Right. Hore so then they would find with the Hexican male.

Is there a different application to Hexican boys or Hexican girls marrying Anglos?


I have a definite feeling for one who wants to marry a Hhite girl. seems that for a lot them it's a status symbol.


I think they look at their My'oldest

mother and they say, "I don't w.ant- anybody that is that passive." boy says, "I am not going to marry a Hexican girl." don't know who else would put up with you." wouldn't put up with you.

To which I reply, "I

Then I say, "Anglo-Saxon girls You better Boys The

You are too dominant, too forceful.

marry a Hexican girl or else you'll be in a heap of a lot of trouble. change, we have never had too much of a relationship with our father.

third generation parent didn't have any contact as far as being buddy, buddy with their sons, like the Anglo-Saxon. We always respected him. He went

to work and we wouldn't see him for the rest of the day. matter what, that we would have food on the table. different outlook.

We knew, no

It was just a whole

So we don't have the type of training that's going to We kind of set

lead us to do anything different then our prdecessors did. ourselves aside.

When the kids need help, we show them how to solve the

-16Saucedo: Moosbrugger: prob1em._ That is about it. You have been active with coaching teams. Haven't you been, in a sense

"Buddy, buddy" with your sons by taking an interest in their interests, which isn't typical of a generation ago? Saucedo: Yes, it is changing. in football. out. I think it's one of the reasons I did get involved The other two missed It is a much better

One of my boys is playing on my team.

Even so, you hold an arm's length relationship.

relationship, I think, than I had with my father. talking to each other on a different level.

Mainly because we were

I never had a chance to sit I have It

down with my dad to discuss things, or talk about my problems. done that several times

my boys,_


is actually unparallel. Often times, the

just doesn't get done too often in Mexican homes.

father has too many problems of his own to be worrying about your little life or your little world. Now my boy plays football. He has been

playing football for two years. saw my father, I am sure of that. ferently, also.

He sees me in a different light than I My other kids look at me somewhat dif-

I remember, a couple of weeks ago, the older one was He is going to run away." He always takes care of us. The How

saying, "Father doesn't ,)love us any -more. little one said, "No, that can't be true. can he not like us, anymore?"

So, I am sure he sees me in a different light.

In coaching teams, we have won three chanpionships in the last five years. We have been close on the other two. with kids in the area. We have developed a different respect

I think its a growing process for myself and the

people in my generation who are involved in sports. ' We are getting more oriented. We are learning more about children. We want to get a little

bit closer than our parents were to us. that we missed something. Moosbrugger: We only have a certain amount of control.

Maybe it's because we realized

If you had your wish, or way,

-17Moosbrugger: would you have your daughter marry an Anglo, a Mexican American, or a Black? Saucedo: How would you try to influence her? Mainly because I would feel that

I would rather see her marry a White. he had a better economic standard.

I wouldn't mind a bit if she married

a Mexican American, although I know her capability of living happy would be somewhat less. Moosbrugger: Saucedo: She would have to buckle under, so to speak? Right. I am sure she would wind up working. That's not to say that she Up here in this The chances of

wouldn't wind-up working if she married a White fellow. area, we are the 29th wealthiest county in the nation.

marrying a White boy are higher, or at least it wouldn't her chances at all. As far as a Black would be concerned, it wouldn't be a totally devastating situation. It wouldn't bother me. If that is what she chose, that's the

way it had to be. Moosbrugger: Do you feel there might be a certain segment of population that might disapprove? Saucedo: I am sure there is that segment of society left. family there would be jJl feelings about it. wouldn't be bothered that much', fifteen years ago. Even within my own

Right now, my own feelings

Not as much as it would have ten or

One of the reasons that I moved up into this area was It narrows the chances of their

because of the opportunities for the kids. getting involve with the lower-class. marrying down in the lower class.

I didn't want the kids to wind up You can

You can call it what you want.

call it segregation, that I tried to segregate my family from the lower class or whatever. their lives. Moosbrugger: You were active as Past President of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church Men's Club. When did you start getting interested or involved in'that club? It's a step that I took, Hopefully, it will enriched

-18Saucedo: I became interested in that in 1968. Father Monsour came to the parish. I got involved, when I started

I met him and he asked me to get involved.

there was the same old leadership in the Men's Club, there were ten members. We would meet once a month. They sent out a notice in the paper saying So I took up

that they wanted new leadership, they wanted new members. the challenge to try and build up a new organization.

We met with SBme We

resistence, but it didn't take too long to get a goal established.

elected our new officers and started building a new program that eventually would end up in the beginnings of the Independence Committee. Moosbrugger: Saucedo: Did your membership grow? The membership grew from the original ten people to thirty-five or forty members strong. Moosbrugger: Saucedo: What were your goals? We had fund-raisers. Did you have fund-raisers? We had different projects in the church, like getting

a walk-in refrigerator freezer installed in the church, decorating and land'· scaping the grounds, changing the appearance of the church and school grounds. Moosbrugger: Saucedo: We brought in quite a sum of money in most of the programs. ',) Then, Father Monsour left

How many years did you stay active with that? I was involved with that for about five years.

for Bolivia and I decided that it was time to more on to something else. Moosbrugger: Saucedo: Did the Men's Club stay fairly active and strong? The Men's Club as we knew it then, the priest did nothing about it. almost disbanded itself. as a Men's Club. It

For the next few years, there was no such thing

There were just different groups


The Women's

Club was more active, they carried on several of the programs that we had started. Moosbrugger: Did anyone try, or the parish priest of Guadalupe try to re-establish the Men's Club?

-19Saucedo: Well, they are trying now. They are trying to get something active going. They are

They are having a beginning again starting this next month. getting five or six new members.

I think they are about up to ten members. The older members are tired that we had fall by the People get involveAwhen

Most people don't have time to get involved. now. They saw some of the idealistic programs

wayside after a new group tried to take over.


programs are going along smoothly, people are dedicating themselves, money is coming in and being donated towards the church. You have critics who

say, "people are pocketing the money, it's going to different areas than it should be." They feel that they want to get involved. They want to

get into some of the action.

When they do take over an organization, they

find out that its not all gravy, and there isn't that much money to be had. So, consequently the programs fall apart. I think, we noticed that They

with the Independence Celebration Committee.

It brought opposition.

thought everybody was making a big profit and raking off a lot of money. It turned out that when they took over the program went down to zip. they wind up with a dance every year or small parade, just like it was before. Moosbrugger: Do you find discouragement from the organizations you were in, with the people from the community or other people? Saucedo: Yes, at this time


life, when I can go out and devote my energies to

areas that can really make money for myself instead of for the church. When I have the potential to make two or three times the money, it's foolish to go back down there and invest my time in the church or become involved. church. I thought about it several times, to get involved with the But now that I am going along with a whole new program at home, It would be a waste

it would just be insane to go back down there again. of time, energy and money.


Moosbrugger: Saucedo:

Do you feel any kind of attraction or connection to that parish? Yes, I have always felt that we belong to the parish. If the priest came

over and asked me to do something, there is no question about it that I would help him out. But I am not going to volunteer myself for anything.

The new type of religion that they have going now, you are supposed to dedicate yourself. You are supposed to open yourself up to the new I just don't see it that way. It's

meaning of the church, the new movement.

Also, I look at the church as being a good thing for many people. always good to go to church and become involved religiously. too few people that do that. Moosbrugger:

There are

It is survival, helping them out financially.

In other words, when you are with them, you devote a lot of your time and energy, or else you are not with them at all?



As far as the ceremonial part of it, it really played a very little When I was president of the Men's Club, I was involved If the priest needed anything financially, To me, that is as good as prayer. Some people

in my life.

in more of the function part. we would go out and get it.

get therapy from prayer, I get therapy from doing something for the church, rather than getting something out of it. different than most people. a little and that is it. My views on church are a lot They give They

Everybody goes to church on Sunday.

That is their whole meaning for church'.

forget about it the rest of the week.

As I look at it, if I could do

something for the church every week, than that is my therapy. Moosbrugger: Saucedo: What are your h9pes, or goals, for the future? Anything to do with life?

Well, for the future, as you can see as you look around here, you see a lot of coins, and a lot of rings. putting stuff away. I am out buying every weekend and

Someday as I get older, when I retire, I plan to open To work in buying and selling. To have a little

up a little coin shop. business of some type.

Where a person would sell used and new merchandise.

-21Moosbrugger: So you have that to look forward to your retirement years. You are

working as an ~\r-conditioning, refrigeration and heating mechanic now? Saucedo: Right. I service and install heating, air-conditioning. I work as a

pipe fitter for Air-Conditioning Associates. fitting trade for about ten years. Moosbrugger:

I have been in the pipe

How many more years, do you think you will be able to do that type of work?


Well, our retirement is still to age sixty. fifteen to eighteen years left. ment down to fifty-five. in that hot sun.

I probably have another

Hopefully, they will drop the retire-

It gets a little rough going up on the roofs It It

Just a few days back, I got a letter from the union.

said, "Fill this application out from the Metropolitan Sewer Board." is not an easy job, but it is not one of the harder jobs, either. don't have to go in the hot sun or the cold weather. type job. You

It is a maintenance

They are looking for minorities for the County Sewer Board.

"Fill the application out and give it back to me and I'll see that it gets processed" i t said. state government job. downs. Moosbrugger: Saucedo: So there might be a possibility around the corner that you don't see, yet? I sent the application in,to the Metropolitan Sewer Board. The Metropolitan I am jumping up and down, boy that's a good deal I No more 1ay-offs in the winter time. A

No more slow

Sewer Board sent the letter back saying that they are not looking for any help at this time. They kind of busted the bubble. Then I hear about them

having a Mexican American working over there.

They are complaining that The union

they don't have a Mexican American on their whole entire force.

pointed out to them that they had one Mexican American working there temporarily. Moosbrugger: The following week they had laid him off.

This is at the Metropolitan Sewer Board?

-22Saucedo: Moosbrugger: Yes, the Metropolitan Sewer Board. What philosophy that has added to your life, would you leave to your grandchildren? Saucedo: Since this tqpe will be preserved for may years to come.

I think the philosophy that I have lived with all my life, has run into opposition from quite a few men that I have talked to. hear about people like myself. that lives his own life. what I can't do. They don't like to A person

What I consider a self-made man.

There is no limitations as to what I can do and At the same time, I

Nobody can demand anything of me.

have to be willing to pay the ultimate price of any decision that I make. I am that type of person. to its conclusion. If I make a decision I will follow it through You have got Not letting any

If I don't, I will die in the process. You have got to be your own man.

to be your own person.

outside influences dictate your life for you. up and say, "This is the way I feel. how I am going to do it."

You must be able to stand This

This is what I am going to do.

If a person lives his life that way, he will He just can't be defeated.

never be defeated in anything he does. Moosbrugger: Saucedo:

Make the best decision and stick to your bet? You see persoJs upon persons and you wonder about so many flaws in their characters. people. That is why I don't get involved socially with a lot of

My wife and I would rather be by ourselves than with anybody else. When I talk to

Most people we talk to want to talk about their problems. anybody, I don't tell them"about my problems.

I solve my own problems.

I don't think anybody is interested in getting involved in my problems. I am the only one who can handle those situations. Moosbrugger: Have you ever ran across things in your life that were totally outside of your control? Saucedo: Not really. If I was in the office of the President, I don't think I

would be anymore capable of handling it tb4n Gerald Ford would be.

-23Moosbrugger: There is nothing wrong with that. viewing you. Saucedo: Moosbrugger: Saucedo: Moosbrugger: Okay, it's been a real pleasure inter-

Anything else we should add before we quit?

Well, you might want to catch my book that I will write in 19991 You mean The Great Mexican American novel? "An Epic In Its Time." Why don't you mention, who your wife is and who your children are, from the oldest to the youngest?


My wife's name is Sylvia Saucedo (maiden name is Ruiz).

My oldest boy is

John Allen, the second is Maximilian Leonard, 3rd is Julie Renee and my youngest is Jude Randolph. All the J's were named by my wife. The only

one that I named was Maximilian. Moosbrugger:

Okay, thank you very much for the interview. Okay.