Friday, September 19, 2008

Olive, citrus, Mendez v. Westminster, etc.

Founded in 1812, Olive is a small community just inside the bend of the Santa Ana River in what is now part of the City of Orange. It was long known for its flour mill and for citrus packing. You can learn much more about Olive on Daralee Ota’s great “Olive Through The Ages” website.
Today’s first image (top) is a “Celeste” brand label from the Olive Heights Citrus Association around the 1930s. According to the Orange Public Library, "The Olive Heights Citrus Association was located by the railroad tracks on Orange-Olive Road, and was incorporated on November 14, 1914. It burned down in 1927 but was rebuilt across the street and when it closed in 1984, it was one of four remaining packing houses in Orange County." The second photo shows Olive as it appeared in 1912. (Click the image to enlarge it.) Note the mill on the far left side of the image
Yesterday, the Register featured some stories of Ricardo Juan Valverde’s family, which came to Westminster several generations ago. His grandparents were significantly involved in the landmark Mendez v. Westminster school desegregation case, yet never told him about it. “No one in town, to my knowledge, had ever mentioned the case,” he writes. Interestingly, the Mendez family has similar stories about discovering the case by reading about it later in life. Anyone know why this wasn’t discussed among the families or in the community?
The Register also published a fascinating review of Gustavo Arellano’s new book. I haven’t read the book myself, so I can’t yet comment. But the review makes it sound like his book is very similar to his work elsewhere.


itsnotaplace said...

Enjoyed looking at the "Olive Through The Ages" website! I grew up in east Anaheim and we spent a lot of weekends at Eisenhower park... it always fascinated me know that that area was not a part of the City of Orange. Reading about the community's history makes the area even more interesting. Thanks for the link Chris, and for the website Daralee!

itsnotaplace said...

that is amazing that the story of the Mendez V Westminster case was not told to the children and children's children by the families involved. I would be interested in hearing if anyone knows why this was not something that the families and community talked about.

Gustavo Arellano said...

Ooh, what a cryptic remark, Chris! Larsen and others can snipe at my approach--I'm just happy that about 500 people (including Huell Howser!) came out to the historic Yost Theater to hear me speak about my book and applauded at my critiques of orange crate historians (I also admitted my errors, which I had published in the Weekly before). Of course, I don't see you linking to that. Typical.

Itsnotaplace: Sylvia Mendez and Sandra Robbie (who did the Emmy Award-winning docu on the case) have spoken about this before. The parents involved in the case didn't mention their roles out of humility. The more important question is what took so damn long to get this case the widespread attention it deserves. I know the answer, but Chris would just say I have a chip on my shoulder.

ockid said...

Gustavo - If you're going to critique the work of other writers, you need to be ready to face a few critiques yourself.

Along that line, I have read your book, and your corrections column, and I can assure you that you have not yet admitted all of your errors.

Phil B.

colony rabble said...

I guess I will go for my own cryptic remark, and say, "Gustavo, you are starting to sound like a Gigante Executive". You and I know what that is about. Please reconsider the way you snark at people. You are a better man than that. Let me maintain my respect for you, which erodes each time you take a swipe at others.