Lorenzo Garza

Duration: 32mins
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Interview with: Lorenzo Garza
Interviewed by:
Date: April 27, 1981
Archive Number: OH 336.2

Interviewer
0:24:58.1 This is an April 27th, 1981 continuation with Mr. Lorenzo Garza. Mr. Garza, you said you operated the first barbershop here in—

Lorenzo Garza
The first barbershop here in Magnolia Park.

Interviewer
Where did you learn to barber?

Lorenzo Garza
Myself.

Interviewer
You just taught yourself.

Lorenzo Garza
0:25:12.0 Yeah. There was no college, no nothing at that time. You don’t need no license.

Interviewer
Didn’t he? I see. Was that your only business? Did you have other businesses or other stores or businesses?

Lorenzo Garza
No, no, no.

Interviewer
Just the barbershop.

Lorenzo Garza
Just the barbershop.

Interviewer
And you started this band.

Lorenzo Garza
And the same time I played.

Interviewer
I see.

Lorenzo Garza
Work in the daytime and play in the night.

Interviewer
0:25:43.8 Playing at night. Well, I’ll be.

Lorenzo Garza
Two dollars an hour.

Interviewer
You all got $2?

Lorenzo Garza
Two dollars an hour.

Interviewer
An hour.

Lorenzo Garza
Four hours, $8.

Interviewer
Apiece.

Lorenzo Garza
Apiece.

 

Interviewer
Apiece. And this band here—there were 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 people in the band.

Lorenzo Garza
Eight people in the band.

Interviewer
Now, after you and Jesse got out of the band, then Frank Alonzo took the band over, right?

Lorenzo Garza
Yeah.

Interviewer
0:26:14.7 I see. But at first, you and Jesse started it. Where were these men—Octavio Estrada, here on the left, where was he from?

Lorenzo Garza
The professor.

Interviewer
He was the professor?

Lorenzo Garza
For the bands, you know. The professor of band.

Interviewer
Where was he from? Do you know where he was from?

Lorenzo Garza
I have no idea.

Interviewer
Did he live here in Houston?

Lorenzo Garza
Yes. He worked in the SP—for many years he worked on the SP.

Interviewer
At the SP.

Lorenzo Garza
He had a band on the SP. He had a big band.

Interviewer
Oh, really? At the Southern/Pacific he was in the band there.

Lorenzo Garza
Yeah.

Interviewer
Octavio Estrada. Now, this man—your brother, here—

Lorenzo Garza
Yeah, that’s my brother.

Interviewer
0:27:00.2 He played the accordion.

Lorenzo Garza
Yes.

Interviewer
Where Estrada played the trumpet. You played the guitar. And you and Jesse were both from Matamoros. I see. So the drummer—you don’t remember who the drummer was?

Lorenzo Garza
I don’t remember. I tried to remember, and I can’t. He was the very big professor.

Interviewer
Bañuelos.

Lorenzo Garza
Doctor professor.

Interviewer
He lived here in Houston?

Lorenzo Garza
He lived in Houston but maybe I think about 10 years. He was going to California, and he died in California.

Interviewer
He died in California? Was he from Mexico originally?

Lorenzo Garza
0:27:52.0 He who?

Interviewer
Bañuelos. From Mexico?

Lorenzo Garza
Yeah, I think, yeah, he was. The same fate as Albino Torres. You know Albino Torres?

Interviewer
Yes.

Lorenzo Garza
Was pretty close to him. Big professor. Big.

Interviewer
Frank Tijerina—he played saxophone. Where was he—was he from Houston? Frank Tijerina.

Lorenzo Garza
Yeah, he came here from Gonzales, Texas.

Interviewer
Gonzales, Texas?

Lorenzo Garza
Gonzales, Texas. Gonzales, Texas.

Interviewer
All 3 of those saxophone players are from—and Murillo took the photograph.

Lorenzo Garza
Jesús Murillo.

Interviewer
Jesús Murillo.

Lorenzo Garza
Yeah.

Interviewer
Well, I’ll be. But this was the first band in the area that you all had.

Lorenzo Garza
The first, first, first. And the first barbershop in Magnolia Park.

Interviewer
0:28:41.2 Did you live in Magnolia the whole time when you—?

Lorenzo Garza
The whole time. From 1922.

Interviewer
You came here in 1922? Why did you decide to move to—I mean, why did you come to Magnolia Park?

Lorenzo Garza
Well, I don’t know. We come in Galveston. And from Galveston I moved here to Magnolia. I stayed in Magnolia Park because I like, and I stayed and stayed and stayed. Since 1922.

Interviewer
Where did you work when you first came here?

 

Lorenzo Garza
I worked in the water line in Galveston. Before I came here to Magnolia Park. I lived in Galveston, but to me it was 3 years.

Interviewer
Three years.

Lorenzo Garza
Before coming here to Magnolia Park.

Interviewer
I see. And then you—what did you do when you got here? Did you just have the barbershop or did you work somewhere too?

Lorenzo Garza
0:29:37.1 No, no, no, nothing. Nothing. I just work in labor work.

Interviewer
Day-labor work. For the ship channel or—?

Lorenzo Garza
Anything. Railroad.

Interviewer
And you worked there—worked around and then you opened your barbershop?

Lorenzo Garza
No, no, no, no. When I first got the idea to barber—to be a barber, in 1925—1924 I put the barbershop right here. You know where YWCA on Navigation? I put a barbershop right there. I’m not barbering, and that’s what I like. And I do. I’m the first barber in Magnolia Park. Nobody beat me. Nobody beat me.

Interviewer
And that was right across from the Salon Muates?

Lorenzo Garza
I got 3 little houses—4 little houses. One of the houses I make into the barbershop.
Interviewer
When did they build that building that’s Salon Muates? I mean Tiatre Muates. When did they build that? Do you know?

Lorenzo Garza
Oh, I think in 1910 or something like that.

Interviewer
Before you came here.

Lorenzo Garza
Yes, it got them already. Three—3 or 4 people. Mr. Duran, Mr. Ramirez, and Mr.—I know 3. I know 3—I know 3 people from this place.

Interviewer
I see.

0:31:59.3 (end of audio 1)

 

0:00:01.7 (beginning of audio 2)

Lorenzo Garza
0:00:05.4 In 1932, I think.

Interviewer
And you all started the band in what year? What year did you start the band?

Lorenzo Garza
In 1928.

Interviewer
In ’28.

Lorenzo Garza
Yeah, 1928.

Interviewer
And you all played mainly ranchero music or what kind of music—?

Lorenzo Garza
The first time, yeah. The first time we played the ranchero music. And the second time—and the last time—you know sometimes I had 13 pieces—orchestra.

Interviewer
In the band.

Lorenzo Garza
Orchestra. Yeah. Because I buy the—the music I buy for Parker Brothers—you know play—buy the whole thing and just play for everybody, you know.

Interviewer
Oh, you got the music at Parker Brothers.

Lorenzo Garza
Yeah.

Interviewer
So, you all played American music, too.

Lorenzo Garza
American music. Same music you know we played, too. Lawrence Welk—I played all the pieces I played. You know sometimes I had 13 pieces in the orchestra. Yeah.

Interviewer
Was everybody—?

Lorenzo Garza
0:01:29.2 This professor was really good, these 2.

Interviewer
Un-hunh. They were from Mexico, though, weren’t they? I mean, they learned in Mexico or—?

 

Lorenzo Garza
Yeah. In Mexico. Same thing, too, Albino Torres—he come from Mexico. Very good, very good.

Interviewer
Did he die in Mexico? Did he go back?

Lorenzo Garza
Who?

Interviewer
Albino Torres.

Lorenzo Garza
No, he died here.

Interviewer
Oh, really?

Lorenzo Garza
Yeah.

Interviewer
Is his widow around?

Lorenzo Garza
0:01:56.2When he come and he come a little young—little young—I think he was like 20 or 22. But I mean he was really good. He played accordion and piano real good.

Interviewer
When did you all start playing American music?

Lorenzo Garza
In 1930.

Interviewer
In about 1930? But the first couple of years you all just played the ranchero music.
Lorenzo Garza
Ranchero music, yeah. I played for the whole club—Siesta Club and other big clubs here in Houston.

Interviewer
Un-hunh.

Lorenzo Garza
And the barbershop, too.

Interviewer
In the barbershop.

Lorenzo Garza
I got the pictures in the barbershop.

Interviewer
Oh, you’ve got those here?

Lorenzo Garza
Si.

Interviewer
Can I see them? Let me—

Lorenzo Garza
I can find it. (recorder turns off and back on) I had 2 chairs—1 for him, 1 for me. And I don’t know nothing about barbering.

Interviewer
But you bought 2 chairs to begin with.

Lorenzo Garza
Yeah.

Interviewer
0:03:14.1 Did you rent the house or buy it?
Lorenzo Garza
No, I rent.

Interviewer
You rented the house?

Lorenzo Garza
I rent.

Interviewer
How long did you have the barbershop?

Lorenzo Garza
I paid $15 a month.

Interviewer
Fifteen dollars a month. All at 1 time. (laughs)

Lorenzo Garza
Just $25 haircut. Twenty-five cents.

Interviewer
Twenty-five cents a haircut.

Lorenzo Garza
Twenty-five cents a haircut.

Interviewer
0:03:38.5 No hippies in those days.

Lorenzo Garza
No, no, no, no hippies. No machines you know.

Interviewer
No machines.

 

Lorenzo Garza
No electric machines, no hand machines.

Interviewer
Scissors.

Lorenzo Garza
Yeah, scissors.

Interviewer
I’ll be. Oh, now this 19—this is 1925, too?

Lorenzo Garza
No, this is 19—let me see. It was 1927.

Interviewer
This is—but this one’s 1925, right?

Lorenzo Garza
No, this is first year—2 chairs. Wait a minute. It has 2 chairs? That’s 1925. Then I bought 3. That’s 3. Then we buy 4.

Interviewer
That’s about 1926 then, isn’t it?

Lorenzo Garza
That’s ’27, I think.

Interviewer
That’s ’27? What was the name of your barbershop?

Lorenzo Garza
0:05:00.0 Preferencia. Preferencia.

Interviewer
Preferencia. Well, I’ll be. Right there on Navigation, huh?

Lorenzo Garza
Right there on Navigation.

Interviewer
I’ll be. Everybody lived in Magnolia that worked there?

Lorenzo Garza
Yeah.

Interviewer
The band—all the fellows were from Magnolia, weren’t they?

Lorenzo Garza
They from Magnolia. All of them from Magnolia. We tried to make it, tried to make it, tried to make it.

Interviewer
I’ll tell you what, you’ve got to—got to do every—a lot of things to make it.

Lorenzo Garza
I make it with nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing.

Interviewer
Was it a pretty hard struggle? Pretty hard to make it?

Lorenzo Garza
No, no, no, no. Feel young and good. Nothing get hard. All the time nice. Everything nice.

Interviewer
Do you have children? Do you have any children?

Lorenzo Garza
0:06:28.3 One daughter.

Interviewer
One daughter.

Lorenzo Garza
One daughter. She died already.

Interviewer
Oh, I’m sorry. But you had 1 child.

Lorenzo Garza
One child.

Interviewer
Did you ever go back to Mexico? Did you ever go visit in Mexico?

Lorenzo Garza
I took a vacation or something like that.

Interviewer
A vacation. In Matamoros?

Lorenzo Garza
Matamoros.

Interviewer
Did you ever want to go back and live or not?

Lorenzo Garza
No. I liked Galveston. Galveston was nice a long time ago. And then I got a good job here, and I moved here.

Interviewer
0:07:13.1 But you never moved back to Galveston.

Lorenzo Garza
No. I go back some day. Not to live.

Interviewer
When did you open Boyd’s?

Lorenzo Garza
Boyd’s opened—let’s see. In 1936.

Interviewer
In 1936.

Lorenzo Garza
In ’36.

Interviewer
Was that your other business? You just had this 1 business? The barbershop and Boyd’s.

Lorenzo Garza
No, no, no, no, no. The barbershop was here. The other Boyd—that’s different. Restaurants. Restaurant and the same time I have play to dancing you know. Have to go to the café. That’s friends—all friends, yeah. Some dancing.

Interviewer
You opened this in the ‘30s? Boyd’s?

Lorenzo Garza
In ’36.

Interviewer
In ’36. And you’ve had it ever since.

Lorenzo Garza
This is my car—Oldsmobile.

Interviewer
The Oldsmobile?

Lorenzo Garza
0:08:58.9 Un-hunh, 1937.

Interviewer
Oh, it’s a Cadillac.
Lorenzo Garza
Oldsmobile, I think.

Interviewer
No, it’s a Cadillac.

Lorenzo Garza
That’s not mine. I don’t have a Cadillac like that car. Looks like Oldsmobile.

Interviewer
Well, it looks like it, but it says Cadillac on the side.

Lorenzo Garza
No, Oldsmobile.

Interviewer
Is that Oldsmobile?

Lorenzo Garza
A ’37. And by that time, I had a little money and I buy the car. It’s mine. I’m a big shot now.

Interviewer
Un-hunh.

Lorenzo Garza
You know, it been pretty good—try to make it, try to make it, trying to make it, trying to make it little by little. The other thing—I don’t do nothing crooked in my life. Not for me. And I worked, and worked, and worked it straight. Nothing crooked. I don’t like nothing vice. You know, a lot of people were smoking marijuana and things like that. Last time was nothing like that.

Interviewer
0:10:26.3 Did it have marijuana—?

Lorenzo Garza
No, no, no. I never hear something like that.

 

Interviewer
When you all had the band, there wasn’t marijuana around?

Lorenzo Garza
No, nobody smoking marijuana in those days. That’s the truth. Nobody. And the first place—I never hear that—marijuana. I never hear somebody smoking—no, never, never, never. Marijuana been—in 1936, in 1940, ’42 when the war starts something like that—out here to marijuana—I never hear that until later. Not at that time.

Interviewer
And in these days, it wasn’t around. In these days it wasn’t around, huh?

Lorenzo Garza
Nobody—nobody smoked marijuana. All different. Good people in other words. Bad people now. Bad people.

Interviewer
0:11:31.5 Did you belong to any of the mutual aid societies? Did you—were you in groups like Benito Juarez Mutualista?

Lorenzo Garza
Mutualista, yes.

Interviewer
Were you in it?

Lorenzo Garza
Yeah. And not many people in Magnolia Park. All of them were good people. Nice. No fight. Never see fight, nothing like that. Different people. Very good.

Interviewer
In the band—when you had the band at the dances, were there any fights or anything like that?

Lorenzo Garza
No. No trouble because it was dry—no, no liquor.

 

Interviewer
You played at the—the Rancheros played at the Consentida. Did you all play at the—?

Lorenzo Garza
Consentida.

Interviewer
0:12:30.7 Did you all know Mr. Gomez—Melesio Gomez?

Lorenzo Garza
Yeah, really good. Mary. Mary Gomez. Do you know her?

Interviewer
Yep, she’s dead. She’s dead though.

Lorenzo Garza
She’s dead. I know the sister Stella.

Interviewer
Stella, sure.

Lorenzo Garza
Still living.

Interviewer
Yeah. Was it a pretty nice—their café was a pretty nice place?

Lorenzo Garza
Yeah, pretty nice. Well, not very nice, but still it had a good business. Had a good business at that time. Mr. Gomez—pretty good man and Mary. Nice people. Very nice. Everybody liked the Gomez’s.

Interviewer
0:13:04.6 That was on Washington Avenue.

Lorenzo Garza
Yeah.
Interviewer
Did you all play up on the north side of town? The band—did you all play on the north side?

Lorenzo Garza
Well, naturally because we played everywhere—not that I remember.

Interviewer
Here in Magnolia—

Lorenzo Garza
0:13:37.0 I played a lot of times in the Aragon Ballroom.

Interviewer
In the Aragon?

Lorenzo Garza
Do you remember that?

Interviewer
Sure.

Lorenzo Garza
Very nice. Here in Houston.

Interviewer
For Mexico Bello?

Lorenzo Garza
For Mexico Bello. No, I play for Tia Cheros.

Interviewer
Tia Cheros. Woodmen of the World.

Lorenzo Garza
Yeah. Tia Cheros we play. Mexico Bello—I play for them and different places you know. The club. Yeah.

Interviewer
0:14:05.8 Did you know Mr. Tijerina? Felix Tijerina?

Lorenzo Garza
Oh, yeah. Good friend of mine.

Interviewer
Good friend.

Lorenzo Garza
Yeah. A very good man.

Interviewer
Did he ever hire you all?

Lorenzo Garza
I know Mr. Felix when he got nothing—he was just a waiter. That’s all. Just a waiter.

Interviewer
Where was he a waiter?

Lorenzo Garza
At the club—at the restaurant Fiat on Congress. At 1800 Congress. The 1800 Club.

Interviewer
He was a waiter there?

Lorenzo Garza
A waiter. Waiter and nothing—make him nothing there. But I mean it’s a good waiters.

Interviewer
Was he a little boy or a young man?

Lorenzo Garza
0:14:53.8 I know him when—

 

Interviewer
Was he a young fella?

Lorenzo Garza
No, he was about 18, 20. He put 6 glasses of water here, and a lot of people—on the counter, you know. And he gave 1, and the other 1, and the other 1, and the other 1, and the glasses—they in the right place.

Interviewer
But he was a waiter there at the Fiat.

Lorenzo Garza
Yeah.

Interviewer
What year was that? Do you remember what years—what, 1920’s?

Lorenzo Garza
Let’s see—1922, I think, 1923 or something like that.

Interviewer
In ’23?

Lorenzo Garza
Yeah, something like that. Yeah, that’s a waiter like everybody. I mean a good waiter. Good.

Interviewer
0:15:51.5 Didn’t he also work there at a place called Caldwell’s Original Mexican Restaurant on Main? Did he work there, too?

Lorenzo Garza
What blocks on Main?

Interviewer
On the 1100 or 1200 block. Maybe closer, I don’t know.

 

Lorenzo Garza
Is it the Mexican restaurant?

Interviewer
Un-hunh.

Lorenzo Garza
I know that him is still—big man. Big, big man.

Interviewer
Renaga?

Lorenzo Garza
Renaga. You know everybody. Mr. Renaga. Good friend of mine.

Interviewer
Really? Was he from Mexico?

Lorenzo Garza
0:16:40.2 From Mexico. Yeah, he go to Mexico.

Interviewer
He went back to Mexico?

Lorenzo Garza
I know everybody. He had big boys, big women. Women are big, big, big, big—

Interviewer
His daughters?

Lorenzo Garza
Yeah, his daughters, big.

Interviewer
But Felix worked at the Club Fiat—at the Restaurant Fiat, too.

 

Lorenzo Garza
Yeah. I see with my own eyes.

Interviewer
Oh, I see.

Lorenzo Garza
I see. And I remember he like.

Interviewer
0:17:12.6 I’ll be. Was he from Mexico or not from there? He was—

Lorenzo Garza
Not from Mexico but he got the papers you know when he got the money—something like that.

Interviewer
But he was from Mexico. Yeah, well he had a—

Lorenzo Garza
I remember the only story—you know.

Interviewer
What do you mean? Oh, about him?

Lorenzo Garza
You know, he don’t born in the United States. He born in Mexico.

Interviewer
Did you become naturalized? Did you become a citizen or are you still a citizen of Mexico?

Lorenzo Garza
No, I’m from Mexico.

Interviewer
Un-hunh.

 

Lorenzo Garza
I paid for my passport. I paid $8. Eight dollars.

Interviewer
Did you come by land on a train?

Lorenzo Garza
0:18:08.4 No, in a little—what do you call it—launch.

Interviewer
A launch? A little boat?

Lorenzo Garza
No, no boat. This.

Interviewer
A rowboat.

Lorenzo Garza
Yeah, I paid 3 cents—making money. Three cents coming here. Three cents.

Interviewer
And you came across and then did you walk or—?

Lorenzo Garza
Yeah. This is Matamoros, this is Brownsville. You know, we couldn’t come there. He only got 2 mules—put on this side, and the car run this way to Brownsville. And then when it through—turn around, put it this way. They go to Matamoros. And here, I have been put—by about 10 people. Paid 3 pennies—making money to come on this side. Three pennies. And I paid for my brother’s passport. I paid $8 the first time.

Interviewer
Did you keep any old papers? Did you keep your papers—you know books and stuff. Did you keep them or did you throw them all away?

 

Lorenzo Garza
No, when I started working—when I started make some barbershop, I had no time to make everything—something like that. That’s all.

Interviewer
0:19:39.7 What about—did you have any—did you print up any circulars or things to pass out to people? You know advertisements. Did you make any advertisement for the barbershop?

Lorenzo Garza
No time for everything. Have nothing like that.

Interviewer
What about for the band? Did you all have any advertisements?

Lorenzo Garza
No. No radio, no nothing like that.

Interviewer
No, nothing. That was that.

Lorenzo Garza
The only way to get people to know us—when the people can hear.

Interviewer
Word of mouth. What did they have to pay to get into the dance? How much money to get into the dance—the people?

Lorenzo Garza
In the Aragon Ballroom? They paid 50 cents I think.

Interviewer
Fifty cents.

Lorenzo Garza
Fifty cents.

 

Interviewer
What clubs did you all play for—like did you all play for Mexico Bello? You all played for—

Lorenzo Garza
0:20:42.1 Mexico Bello, Siesta, Fiat—there were about 4 or 5. And the women, too. Only 4 or 5 clubs.

Interviewer
All the Mexican-American clubs here in town, you all played for. You stopped it in the ‘40s? You all didn’t play any more in the ‘40s. When did you stop playing?

Lorenzo Garza
In the ‘40s.

Interviewer
In the ‘40s. And then Frank Alonzo picked it up.

Lorenzo Garza
He picked it up. Yeah, Frank Alonzo—the wife, she had an accordion. All right. And Alonzo played the guitar. But it’s easy. Alonzo—he take my place, and Mrs. Alonzo take my brother’s place—Jesse’s place.

Interviewer
You all played the guitar and the accordion.

Lorenzo Garza
Same, same thing.

Interviewer
0:21:42.2 Who sang in it? Was there a singer?

Lorenzo Garza
Johnny. Johnny Velázquez.

Interviewer
Johnny Velázquez was the singer. Did Frank and Ventura play with you all at all or not?

Lorenzo Garza
What Frank?

Interviewer
Alonzo. Did he ever play with you all?

Lorenzo Garza
No.

Interviewer
He didn’t play.

Lorenzo Garza
No, Frank Alonzo—he got opportunity to do that, and he probably didn’t do it. He played guitar a little bit—something like that.

Interviewer
Well, I’ll tell you, Mr. Garza, I really appreciate—you know. I want to take them and make reproductions of them you know. Take and make a copy of them, and I’ll bring you the originals back. But I want to make reproductions and put them in the library. Is that all right?

Lorenzo Garza
Yeah, sure.

Interviewer
0:22:41.9 Why did you call it Boyd’s Lounge?

Lorenzo Garza
I buy his place, and I buy a name, too. You know this place—it’s on Harrisburg and Maryland. That’s a big name, like Prince’s or something like that. That’s why I keep the name.

Interviewer
Boyd’s.

Lorenzo Garza
Yeah.

Interviewer
I see.

Lorenzo Garza
I buy everything.

Interviewer
Was it expensive?

Lorenzo Garza
I owned the café. That’s a drive-in café, just like Prince’s. Exactly.

Interviewer
Where it is now or not?

Lorenzo Garza
No, no, no. I have many quick business. Very good man and very good businessman. Very quick going to the shows. Get everything down to the shows. No more business. And I paid $1000 for the café. Everything. And I move it here, too.

Interviewer
0:23:46.6 I see. What was that address? Where did you move it to?

Lorenzo Garza
To 1401 76th.

Interviewer
To 1401 76th—down this way.

Lorenzo Garza
And Boyd’s is for long time on the Maryland and Harrisburg. You know the coffee company there? Right across—just right on the corner—Maryland and Harrisburg.

Interviewer
When did you move it to where it is now? What year did you move the business to—down you know to—?

Lorenzo Garza
When I buy the place.

Interviewer
On 36th?

Lorenzo Garza
Yeah, I buy and put in here.

Interviewer
Oh, I see.

Lorenzo Garza
And I buy the name that I’m going to call—American Café .

Interviewer
I see. Did it make pretty good money?

Lorenzo Garza
0:24:41.6 I make pretty good money. Still make good money.

Interviewer
Better than the barbershop?

Lorenzo Garza
Better. That’s why I give up the barbershop. I can’t work in the barbershop because I been working too much. I’m working day and nights and my hurt—my back—

Interviewer
Your back hurts. Yeah.

Lorenzo Garza
That’s why I quit barbering. Put it by cleaning places. Remember I showed you the cleaners? I got the barbershop in the front, the cleaner in the back.

Interviewer
I see. There on Navigation.
Lorenzo Garza
Right there. On 75th.

Interviewer
0:25:17.4 Did you make pretty good money?

Lorenzo Garza
Yeah, I make money all the time. A little bit same time.

Interviewer
Did you get married?

Lorenzo Garza
Do you know the Depression when Mr. Roosevelt—Mr. Roosevelt got up to president? That’s when I meet everybody. I made it because I don’t need nothing. I never go on the line. Never. None of my people go on the line. No. Still got a little bit.

Interviewer
Was the Depression pretty rough here?

Lorenzo Garza
0:25:49.5 Oh, man. Nobody worked. I was still barber you know. I can make a little bit because 1 or 2—I cut hair. One haircut was 25—25 cent haircut. Going to the store for the stew meat. You get a big, big, big burn. Stew meat. (inaudible) I never go on the line.

Interviewer
Always could make a living.

Lorenzo Garza
Always make it myself. All my peoples—none of them go on the line. Little bit, little bit, but I still got it. And everybody go on the line. Everybody. Everybody.

Interviewer
Did you cut everybody’s hair around here? Did everybody come to your barbershop?

Lorenzo Garza
Yeah. Just like that. Easy, easy, easy.
Interviewer
You try to take it easy? You must have worked pretty hard, though. I’ll tell you.

Lorenzo Garza
I’m working pretty hard when I started because I work in the railroad—in the railroad track.

Interviewer
SP?

Lorenzo Garza
SP. No here—right here in the ship channel.

Interviewer
Oh, what were you doing with them? What kind of job?

Lorenzo Garza
Well, you know you’re on the railroad line. Yeah, you know where it is.

Interviewer
0:27:12.7 Fixing the track?

Lorenzo Garza
Yes.

Interviewer
(whistles) That’s pretty rough.

Lorenzo Garza
Yeah, pretty rough.

Interviewer
You—Jesse too? Your brother?

Lorenzo Garza
No, Jesse, no.

 

Interviewer
Where did Jesse work?

Lorenzo Garza
Jesse don’t know nothing. He don’t know nothing. When he was young, I put him in the barbershop.

Interviewer
But he worked there in the barbershop with you?

Lorenzo Garza
Yeah. He was young. I say, “You stay there. You stay there.” They don’t like it. He don’t like it. But he started. He was pretty good.

Interviewer
Was Jesse younger than you?

Lorenzo Garza
Younger.

Interviewer
You’re older than Jesse.

Lorenzo Garza
0:27:52.8 Oh, yeah. Eight years.

Interviewer
Eight years. But he didn’t like this?

Lorenzo Garza
The first time he don’t like it, but the second part of when I know it, he liked it all right here.

Interviewer
He’s already passed away? He died?

Lorenzo Garza
He died.
Interviewer
Where did you go to church? Did you go to church at Our Lady of Guadalupe or Immaculate Heart of Mary?

Lorenzo Garza
Guadalupe.

Interviewer
Guadalupe.

Lorenzo Garza
That’s a very nice church.

Interviewer
At Immaculate Heart of Mary?

Lorenzo Garza
Yeah. When I come first—of course I stay here, and I move. I buy houses close to the station—railroad station—and I go over there. That’s where they go to the church—the Guadalupe church. But I’m like this in my church.

Interviewer
0:28:52.8 Were you ever involved with the revolution in Mexico?

Lorenzo Garza
No. That’s why I come here.

Interviewer
Was there fighting around?

Lorenzo Garza
No, you go to the United States. You never stay here.

Interviewer
Did the army want to come and get you?

 

Lorenzo Garza
No.

Interviewer
You just—

Lorenzo Garza
When the first war here in the United States, I’m too young. I’m 17 years old. When I was 18 and the war is over. All right. Second war. I’m single, and that’s what they want the first time—all the single the first time. Only single. And I went to work in the Shell refinery as a—how do you call it—the shipyard, the fence yard. I stay there, stay there, stay there. It’s a 1-A. I’m a 1-A, ready to go. Because I’m single you know. That’s what they want at that time. Single people go in the first line. And I’m single. All my friends single, and they going. And I’m staying. First class but I stay—stay here, and they’re not taking me. When I’m ready to go, why the lawyer say I don’t want a 37—I don’t want a 37. You’re 37, that’s all. I’m 37. He don’t want me no more.

Interviewer
0:30:51.4 And you were older than that?

Lorenzo Garza
Yeah. I don’t go to the war. I’m going to stay here and just try to—

Interviewer
Right on. Never did have to go.

Lorenzo Garza
That’s the first war. And the second war the same thing. I stayed here the 1-A but I stay here. They never take me. Never.

Interviewer
Did you—at Boyd’s, did you all ever have sailors come in there?

Lorenzo Garza
Yeah.

Interviewer
Pretty good people or—?
Lorenzo Garza
Very nice. Very nice.

Interviewer
They would just come in and drink—don’t cause any trouble?

Lorenzo Garza
No trouble, no. You know 1 thing. That’s the truth. I never fight in my life.

Interviewer
You never have?

Lorenzo Garza
I never fight in my life. Nobody just tried me nothing, and nobody have some. That’s something. Something real, real, really very nice. People—that’s just what their main thing. They fight just to fight now. I never fight in my life. And I been in—

0:31:55.9 (end of audio 2)