Oral history interview, Mary Martinez, 1988 (video and detailed summary)
Mary Martinez describes her childhood during the Depression. She first lived in Denver; after her mother died when Mary was five, she lived in Milliken, CO with grandparents who were immigrants from Mexico. She describes working in the beet fields. After her grandparents died, she and her five sisters had to support themselves. They hired out as agricultural workers in Johnstown and were helped by the WPA and relief programs. She describes how the family and others stole coal from trains during the Depression for heating. She married a coal miner, came to Longmont in the 1940s. She tells about her drive to obtain an education and do meaningful work, which included acquiring her GED degree at age 42, becoming a nurse’s aid, and later a Licensed Practical Nurse, the first Latina in the area to become an LPN. She worked at Longmont United Hospital for many years. She also talks about her other community involvements, serving in the state Office of Volunteers, and the close-knit nature of her family.
Longmont; Denver; Milliken; Johnstown; Mexico
Oral history, Mary Martinez, born 1921
People Shown or Mentioned:
Mary Martinez; Rosalie Martinez Salazar; Debby Martinez Morales; Mr. Kibbey?, farmer in Johnstown, Colo; Mr. Dempster, Pres. Of Lions Club, Longmont;
Location of Original:
Rosalie Martinez Salazar, personal copy