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Tell Your True Tale

Volume 5

Jasmine De Hora okay dad

“Okay, Dad”

“Okay, Dad” 1024 683 LA County Library

I never lived in the same home as my father. Or at least, when I did, I was too young to remember. My mom removed my siblings and me from his home when I was 10 months old. What remains of my life with him are bizarre moments.

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Tell Your True Tale volume 5 cover and logo

5 | Introduction

5 | Introduction 1024 683 LA County Library

The search, the trip, the obsession with finding some knowledge – these themes have provided fodder for wonderful stories through history – from the Odyssey to Star Wars, Sherlock Holmes to Frozen.

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Celia Viramontes braceros hands

Bracero’s Hands

Bracero’s Hands 1024 683 LA County Library

Don Luis tucked his work contract into a small bag and boarded a bus at the U.S-Mexico border near Texas. It would be a long trip to Nebraska – a place closer to the Canadian border, a rancher’s representative warned the men on board. But to Don Luis, distance didn’t matter.

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Sylvia Castaneda bringing luz

Bringing Luz

Bringing Luz 1024 683 LA County Library

In the 1920’s, Luz Solís was living in San Diego with her husband and their two young children. Luz was raised in Tijuana and had crossed the U.S. – Mexico border daily to attend grade school in San Ysidro.

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Daryoush, VJ, Simón and Al

Daryoush, VJ, Simón and Al 1024 683 LA County Library

In 1984 I returned to L.A., my hometown, after being away for almost 17 years. With my 3-month old son Tomás in tow, I arrived from Mallorca, Spain with the clothes on my back, and a few battle scars from a tumultuous relationship with his father.

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Fabiola Manriquez echoes from the past

Echoes From the Past

Echoes From the Past 1024 683 LA County Library

One day, when I was in second grade at Brooklyn Avenue School, I was at lunch, which they called nutrition. I happened to put back a cookie that I didn’t want and decided to get another one. Before I knew it, my teacher, Ms. Childs grabbed me by my shirt, threw me against the wall, and called me a dirty Mexican.

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Jian Huang Made in USA

Made in the U.S.A.

Made in the U.S.A. 1024 683 LA County Library

During the summer of 1997, Timothy McVeigh was tried on television for killing people in Oklahoma. The English stood along the streets outside Westminster Abbey to bid farewell to Princess Diana. And in Los Angeles, our closest thing to Sears – the Woolworth’s on Broadway and 8th — closed its doors after years of declining business.

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Felicia Howell Liberian Kids

Red Dust and All

Red Dust and All 1024 683 LA County Library

I lay in bed early one Friday morning as the radio crackled with the voice of Liberian President Samuel Doe. “This is your President speaking. Anyone caught on the streets after 7:00pm will be executed, ” he said. “Do not challenge me. There will be consequences.”

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Cecella Flores taxi dancer

Taxi Dancer

Taxi Dancer 1024 683 LA County Library

In 1973, I was a single mother of three small children. I was working in a wig distribution warehouse in downtown LA packing wigs in boxes that were sold at major department stores. I was always looking for a better paying job.

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Rita Ray the dress

The Dress

The Dress 1024 683 LA County Library

When I was in the third grade, I was chosen to be the announcer at my school’s spring assembly, which meant I would go on stage and announce each class as they came up to perform.

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