This interview was conducted by Victoria Hernandez on February 1, 2012 in San Antonio, TX. as part of Palo Alto College’s History 1302 – Spring 2012 class.
Victoria Patlan Hernandez was born on March 23, 1933 in Maxwell, TX, to Jose and Solidad Patlan. She was the second of ten children born to her parents. At the age of four, in 1937, her family moved to live to the Westside of San Antonio, TX. She then attended school till the tenth grade, in San Antonio, TX at Edgewood District. On July 11, 1954 she was married to her husband Jesus Hernandez for forty-two years. together they have six children Sandy, Jesse, Mary, Tina, Bea, and Joe and many grandchildren, as well as great grandchildren. She became a widow on February 21, 1996. She worked at two sewing factories throughout her life, Juvenile Sewing Factory for one year, and Texson Sewing Factory for three years. She is an active memeber of Our Lady of Angels Catholic Church. Victoria not only lost her husband, but also lost three of her children throughout the years. She’s had two hobbies that have kept her busy which are sewing and crocheting. She has been my grandmother for twenty-two years and five months, and has made a great influence in my life and continues to do so.
What are your earliest childhood memories?
When I was born it was just a post office, I think the little stores are still there falling apart.
How long did you live in Maxwell, Tx?
I lived there till I was four years old, and then moved to San Antonio.
What was the reason you left Maxwell, TX?
Uhhh…I guess so my dad could come to San Atnonio to work.
What were your parents like? What did they do for a living?
My mom was always telling jokes, my dad was….I don’t know he was…. he would tell jokes, and stories but he was more serious. They were farmers, but my mom didn’t work.
Did you have any brothers and sisters? Were you all born in Maxwell, TX?
Yes, Five brothers and four sisters, including me. No just me, and my two sisters Ramona, Juanita, and my brother Antonio. Most of them were born in San Antonio.
There was ten of you, were you the oldest? Did you have to help your parents with your brothers and sisters?
I was the second to the oldest. I would rather do stuff then help my parents with my brothers and sisters.
What was your childhood like? What about school?
It was okay, I went to school, I would just go to church. My first elementary was, it was on Zazamora, I can not remember it, Middle school and Highschool were in the same building in Edgewood, on cupples. I only went till the tenth grade.
When you moved to San Antonio, what part of town did you move to? How was the neighborhood?
Grew up on the Westside of San Antonio, it was okay it wasn’t the same as today. They were very friendly.
What did your parents do in San Antonio? Did you work when you stopped going to school?
My dad was a parking lot attendent part time and my mom stayed home. Yes, we went to, the first time we went to Minnesota, we worked at sugar beats, we would pick the weeds on the fields, I was 16 years old then.
Where did you shop at growing up? What did you do for medical problems?
Ohhh…probably Santano’s, it was a market, not around anymore. They would take us to the doctor, the hospital Robert Lee Green Hospital.
Any other jobs working outside of Texas?
Oh yes, in Romeo, Michigan in Almond, Michigan working on peppermint fields, also in Delta,Ohio to pick tomatoes. They would call us when they needed help, we did get paid but I don’t remember. Uhhh…we went to Bowling Green, Ohio. We worked uhh…picking tomatoes I was aound seventeen cause when I turned eighteen I couldn’t go.
How did you get to these places? How was it working on the fields? Did you make any friends?
We went in a truck, in a camper, all of us went.(all her family) It was alright until once while picking cherries my sister dropped the scissors and they landed on my head. Thats why I forget things sometimes.(Victoria laughs). Not really.
Did you ever marry? How did you meet your husband?
I did, July 11, 1954, Jesus Heranndez. Uhh…families were friends, we would mostly go to the movies, we were 16-17 years old, maybe younger, we both married at 21 years old.
Did you guys have children? How many? Was it difficult raising them?
Yes, we had six children, two boys,and four girls. Sandy, Jesse, Tina, Mary, Beatrice, and Joe. My first child was born on August 15, 1955. My youngest was born on March 21, 1963. It was fun I thought they’d never grow up, but they did.
Where did you guys live?
We moved to the Southside of San Antonio, in 1954.
What jobs did you obtain throughout your life? What did your husband do for a living?
Sewing factories, Texson, and Juvinile, would make thirty dollars a week, that was alot of money then, helped my parents out with it. Yes, he worked for the city of San Antonio, for 30 years as a truck driver.
What did you do in the factories?
Uhhhh….the loops of the pants. Took a couple of seconds to do. Once I was sewing the shoulders of the shirts.
Did you have any hobbies?
No, I just I was always sewing, I worked in a sewing factory and when I got home I still sewed. Cause I loved to sew and crocheting.
Did you guys travel as a family?
Yes we would go to Corpus Chirsti, Laredo,Tx, Lockhart, Tx.
Did you guys go to the movies, shopping?
The Movies, uhh..huh we would go to the movies almost every week, it was fifteen cents to get in, and for popcorn and a drink about five cents. There used to a Solo Serve, and Nicners.
Knowing that as a family it’s a tradition to visit Lockhart,Tx, can elaborate on that?
Well we would go eat sausage, we would go every year. Ohhh…everybody went, we would go all together, I’ve been going for sixty five years now. It started off as Kruez Market then turned into Smitty’s Market about maybe ten years ago.
Would you say your family lived a good life?
It was okay.
Where there any tough times in your life? If so, how did you get through them?
Yeah, I lost my husband in ’96, but I wouldn’t say it was the toughest time in my life. It was hard but I always had somebody with me, family. It would have to be losing my two sons and daughter. Lost my daught to a disease, and my sons both to a stroke. I pray alot.
If you could give anyone adive to be able to get through times such as these, what would it be?
I think to pray, because I pray a lot.
Do you have any grandchildren? Great grandchildren?
I love my grand children, yes I have thirteen grandchildren, and six great grandchildren.
Do you contine to travel now?
Yes, I talk to my Tia in California every Sunday, and visit her every year with my sisters.
Do you still continue to sew?
Not that much, I have trouble with my hands and shoulders. I’m not able to hold the scissors very well.
Is there anything else you would like to add to this interview?
Well I hope Laura wins an award for this interview.(Victoria laughs)
I learned a great deal about my grandmother Hernandez. My view on this topic didn’t change much, but I did appreciate a lot more after interviewing and learning about my grandmother. I learned that my grandmother was a migrant worker, she travled a lot throughout her life, and she was, is a very strong woman. Ver effective because I didn’t know much about my grandmother other than her hobbies, and she had a big family. to me I got to grow closer to my grandmother, especially cause I was worried about losing a relationship with her after my father passed. Would I do anything differently? Yes, I would of tried to convience my grandmother to tell me more stories about her life. I would like to thank Mr. Myers for this opportunity to get to know my grandmother a little more, it’s something I probably would of never done.
- March 23, 1933-Victoria Patlan Hernandez was born in Maxwell, Tx.
- 1937-Moved to San Antonio, TX.
- July 11, 1954-Victoria married Jesus Hernandez.
- August 15, 1955-First child was born, Sandy Hernandez.
- March 21, 1963-Youngest child was born, Joe Hernandez.
- August 5, 1989-I Laura Ann Hernandez was born, and Victoria became my grandmother.
- February 21,1996-Victoria’s husband passed away.
- October 9, 2000-Victoria’s third daughter Beatrice Hernandez passed away.
- December 7, 2007-Victoria’s first born son, Jesse Hernandez passed away.
- July 3, 2011- Victoria’s lost her youngest son.
- February 1, 2012-I Laura Ann Hernandez interviewed Victoria Patlan Hernandez.
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- Cost-of-Living Calculator. The calculator uses the Consumer Price Index to do the conversions between 1913 and the present. The source for the data is the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Consumer Price Index reflects the cost of items relative to a specific year. The American Institute for Economic Research. P.O. Box 1000. Great Barrington, Massachusetts. 01230.