L&BH Podcast Episode 4
Tony Robles speaks with Chumash elder Joe Talaugon, author of Mestizo through My Eyes. Virtuous sings original reading songs for National Reading Month. Pilar Uribe contributes quotes from prominent women for Women’s History Month. Your host and producer, Martha Cinader, speaks with DJ Jeannie Hopper, Chicken Talk from Martha Kitchen Garden and of course, poetry.
- To order your copy of Mestizo Through My Eyes http://www.mestizothroughmyeyes.net
- FAHNS (Filipino American Historical Society): www.fanhs-national.org
- Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center: www.guadalupeculturalarts.org
- Junie B. Jones
- Black History Collective of Henderson County https://www.facebook.com/BHofHC/
- Black Business Network of Western North Carolina
- Exploring Diversity Through Literature
- Literacy Connection, Smart Start Partnership for Children and Children and Family Resource Center
- Everton Sylvester
- Sarah Jones
- Latash Natasha Diggs
- Nuyorican Poets Cafe
- Laura Flanders
- Martha’s Kitchen Garden
- Sabine Worthmann
- Jay Rodriguez Sierra
- Crystal Clear Waters
L&BH Ep#4 - Transcript [0:00] It's kind of like a hollow, hollow of genres. And we're trying to get to the bottom of the pot of rice where it's burnt. And that's where the best part of the rice is, right? So can I make mistakes? Yeah. We're just gonna have fun with that, okay? All right. All right. Even though if you're tribal, if you're indigenous, you come from ancient people, learn about it. Learn about it. Because that's gonna make you the whole person. A lot of stuff I have to work out. Just trying to get this together, you know, and... But it's exciting that there is information out there. That's true. I'm Pilar Uribe. It's Women's History Month. My grandmother used to do the same thing. She would use the rice on the bottom to make tea. If you make rice tea. There's all different ways for audio to travel these days as we share our craft. [0:53] And here are some things you can do. Watch a documentary about women's rights. Read books about women's rights. Watch TED Talks by women leaders. Learn some Women's History Month stories. Welcome to Listen and Be Heard, where we are creating community culture. My name is Martha Senator. We're going to start off tonight hearing from Tony Robles, who spoke with Chumash elder Joe Tologan, author of Mestizo Through My Eyes. Also, for National Reading Month, Tony Robles spoke with Virtuous, who sang and spoke at the library in Hendersonville, North Carolina. Lina. Coming up a little later, a conversation I had with DJ Genie Hopper of Liquid Sound. [1:44] Music. [1:56] Lounge. Please stick around. [1:59] Music. [2:20] I grew up here in Guadalupe, California, it's a little farming town up the coast of California, Santa Barbara County. My father, stepfather is a Filipino immigrant that came to this part of the country back in 1932. And the reason they came to this part of the state, during that period of time in 19, in the late 20s and early 30s, there was a very large population of immigration of Filipinos coming to California, to the West Coast, to work. So he was one of those recruits that was recruited out of the pool in the Philippine islands back in 1927, and came out here to go to work as a laborer. And that's what he did. He ended up working in appeals because at that time, historically, United States was in a deep depression period of history. And so there wasn't hardly any work for anybody at the time. But the Filipinos came in a kind of a bad time of the era. [3:37] And they came right in the middle of a depression. So most of these guys were single young men like my father, and they went to work in the fields. And he ended up here in Santa Maria Valley. He met my mother who was a two-mast Indian and he married her. And I was already a born child of my mother. He's not my biological father, but he still raised me as a baby. I look at him as my father. And he passed away in 1969. From the beginning, my mom was a teacher at my school. Told me how to sound out my consonants and my vowels. Went from ABC to reading out full words. And then I learned how to read, hold it in... [4:30] Music. [5:16] The story. Because letters make sounds and sounds make words. Don't quit reading. Don't make a fuss. Keep trying. Yeah, keep pounding out all singing it out. And don't throw those books. But keep reading to yourself or out loud. Ask for help. But don't give up. I'm gonna say that again. Ask for help. But. [5:36] Music. [6:07] Come and read with me. This is a poem that you wrote, it's called, you and Margie actually, and it's dated 1974. And it's called Mestizo. Columbus called us Indios. Magellan called us Indios. Adventurous travelers, conquerors. We are Indios. Tribal is our people, culture, tradition, life. We will no longer be conquered. Our riches can never be taken away. We are rich in color and heritage. Our wealth is pride, dignity, and the right to give this to each generation. [6:51] Music. [7:01] On in the country and being poor and living in the country like that they didn't socialize very much, with you know other nationalities they kind of stuck to their own countrymen that were living in their area so they would get together on on the weekend maybe on a Sunday and, and socialize and speak their own dialects. And that's the only thing that I could remember my father being when he was happy and having a good time when he was with his friends. And he had many friends. And I grew up around these men. And some of them, like I said, established families, but majority were Miss Tingle. And, but yeah, they kind of look for a companionship either in town in a pool hall. And like I said, in the book, many during those times was a time when, a lot of illegal activities were going on in the town. I mean, as far as gambling and other activities that were illegal. [8:25] When my father came here in 1932, there was a lot of immigrant landing here, on the Philippines so that they lived in labor camps, farm houses, and that's how they kept busy and working. [8:44] And like I said earlier, most of these men were young, single men that settled in the valley. Over the years, in the 30s and 40s and 50s, they continued to work in the fields, and established their own families, established businesses. So you had a large Filipino community in Guadalupe itself, surrounding areas like Santa Maria, Lompoc, Roy Grande, all of these were farming areas, so you had large populations of Filipinos, throughout those years until today. But in those years, it was more of a more larger community that had a lot of activities going on. You know, metaphorically, you know, it was a metaphor for, you know, that you had the gambling, right? But of course, of course, you know, when these immigrants came to the US, you know, that was a gamble itself. Yeah. You know, that was a gamble. And as they say, you know, you know, You can't win if you don't gamble. The thing that I really want to emphasize strongly on this story was that, you know. [9:58] The Filipinos at that time, when they came to America, they were kind of like recruited from the Philippines to come to America. Their propaganda was out that, oh, go to America, the land of opportunity, you're going to get rich, you make money and you go back home with a lot of money. So they did come, but unfortunately a lot of those men stayed single all their lives, worked all their lives and lived out in these camps and died, ended up dying in old age. But I think that's a tragedy of the history is that these men came with the hoops and dreams that they're gonna come and get rich and work and go back home someday. My father always said he wanted to go back home. [10:54] Music. [11:02] Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness. Oprah Winfrey. [11:09] Music. [11:23] Okay, this is Listen and Be Heard. We're at the Hendersonville Main Library for National Reading Awareness Day. And this is the wonderful, wonderful artist, virtuous, who did about three songs that really, address literacy. Tell us about yourself and your music. Yeah, so my name is Virtuous and my music is all about faith, hope, love and identity and through that you know just really just being able to inspire and encourage people through my music is my whole goal. I've been a singer-songwriter now like professionally for the last seven years and just really look forward to continuing this journey you know putting out music that that uplifts. So what what inspired you because I know the three songs that you did were very much You don't towards young children and getting them engaged and excited about the written word. What was it that inspired you? [12:13] Yeah, so knowing that I was coming to this event today, I really wanted to actually create something specifically for this event. My song Clarity I had already written because for my, own pursuit I was seeking clarity, seeking knowledge, and reading is one way to do that. So I wanted to write a song that talks about that pursuit, the reading. And then with the song called that was specifically about reading today. What inspired that was really just the idea, of me wanting to encourage you. We wanted to make a fun song that gets people thinking and dancing and just kind of, just high energy. I wanted a high energy song that addressed reading, specifically, my mom's a reading teacher, so I even mentioned that in the song. And just, yeah, just to try to encourage the kids, like, hey, reading is fun. Well, I know your mom definitely had to have been an inspiration. You know, she was a teacher. But were there some authors of different books when you were coming up that really, that kind of stick to your mind, things that you, books that you remember and that inspired you? One, number one book of inspiration I would think was Junie B. Jones. [13:21] I loved Junie B. Jones growing up and my mom would actually... Junie B. Jones? Junie B. Jones. My mom would actually impersonate Junie B and go to the classes and read the books. But she would dress like the third grader or fourth grader, whatever grade Junie B. Jones was in. And she would just kind of impersonate her character. And that for me was really inspiring. It's like, okay, she was able to make the book come to life. And so it was kind of like, that was one of my favorite books growing up, definitely, was Junie B. Jones. Well, I tell you, it was really an enjoyable, memorable event. Tell us, you know, for folks that are interested in picking up your music, you have a website or you know, if they would like to contact you for an event or... Yes, so my name is Virtuous and my email is www.virtuousmusic.com. I'm also on social medias as I underscore amvirtuous and all of my events are typically posted on my website as well as my social media page. So if you follow me on any of those places or platforms, you'll definitely see the music. All right, Virtuous, thank you so much. It was great talking to you. Nice meeting you. you. [14:30] And I was 19 years old, she was 17. And we eloped and we got married and we had children. I went back to the Peels and worked with the Pinoy's out in the Peels, which was not a very good choice because it was, you know, at that time. And I think that I did go into the service before I came back. And I was already married, but they drafted me into the service. One of Margie's poems really kind of shook me up. [15:05] Oh, the one that's called... Silent Tears, where she talks about the workers of the fields. But I'll just read through it. It's a Silent Tears. It's a Silent Tears. I am the worker of the fields. Migrant worker, they call me. Nowhere in my dreams did I know. America, you cannot see me. America, you cannot hear me. I am on your produce shelves, on your dining table, your fancy picnics and camp outs. My most simple dreams were shattered by you, America. I cannot be bitter for the early years of pain and anguish were all washed away by my silent tears. I shall be gone soon, never known, so never remembered. I shall still haunt you in the beautiful fields throughout this vast country. You will see my legacy to you in the crisp spring mornings and the soft summer dawn. Make no mistake, America. Do not see do but silent tears. [16:23] The title is Mestizo Through My Eyes, and that's just the way it reads. I mean, it's through me telling a story through my eyes. I mean, other people have stories. I have my own opinions. I have my own take on what it is to be a mestizo. And it was not easy. I mean, you know, when you're a mixed blood and during that time, Filipinos were really being discriminated against by not only the whites, but also by the Mexicans. There was a constant race, discrimination. So me being part Native American, I didn't have any Filipino blood in me, but but my heart was a Filipino. I was raised by a Filipino, so that's all I knew. And so wherever I went, I had this difficult time of identity. [17:34] So identity was a big thing. But what I learned over the years, Tony, that the best way to overcome something like that is to learn about your own ancestry, learn about where you came from, where you're your grandma, your grandpa, where did they come from, who are they? And you learn that history, you learn this a part of your life that makes you a full human being. Because if you're out there just wandering around as an individual, and I've seen a lot of them, become drug addicts and end up in prison because they didn't have an identity. [18:15] Music. [18:22] She called it, passing time. And that's all they did. They only had each other to talk to. Yeah, some of those poems were, we've got several poems more, and hopefully in the future, I'm gonna put together a poetry book. That would be a great poetry collection, actually, passing time, yes. We pass the time of day watching, walking, standing around and talking, watching cars passing through, work trucks laden with produce on the way to the markets. We were once part of that world, working, working, working, sun up to sun down. Now we pass the time as observers. We are past our prime, they say. So we pass the time observing, walking, talking to one another, sharing our thoughts, sharing our past dreams, hours spent on dialogue of the past that can no longer be had. We look forward to only one thing in the streets, the sunlight and warm friends we know. [19:40] Yeah, in chapter 16, I do stress the fact that in the Philippines, In Mexico, in parts of the Western Hemisphere, the Spanish came and conquered these people, subdued these people to slavery, took away their religion, took away their language, took away their heart, their soul. And I think that is part of history that sometimes people don't want to admit to or recognize. I think we accept a lot of people, not me, but a lot of people accept things the way, it was given to them. Religion is good for people. You know, I have no objection to religion, but the way I learned it, I as an individual, the way I learned about religion and what it did to my people doesn't leave a good taste to my mom. [20:42] One of the things that used to irritate her and make her so upset when the white delivery guy would come, he'd just be a truck driver. He'd bring the stuff and throw it on the table. And her father was so humble, so, you know, so willing to be, you know, humble. And she she would get mad at her father for being so, not subservient or anything like that, but she wanted him to be strong. And I think that's what kept her fighting strong within her own heart to become a civil rights activist because she's seen that with all her relatives, in the Filipino monumns at that time, for having such hard times and she lived right with them and seen the hurt, the sorrow. And so, but a lot of times when they're very humble, hardworking people, they never complain about anything, they work hard, they might even work a little extra. And that's the part I think she always wanted to, you know, make them become a little stronger. [22:01] Music. [22:07] You know, she always wanted to have a cultural center, a building where people could come and sit down and talk or meet and get together. So I told her, you know, we'll build one. We'll have one built here in Guadalupe. So we bought this property, old house, right up the street here, and we converted it into a nice cultural center. And it's got a museum and stuff like that, meeting room, sports hall of fame. But then it got too small, so we decided to buy the property next door, because it was a bigger lot. So, but she had passed away before we bought, she passed away by that time, right? Okay. That's kind of, by the time we bought the new property. So we've had this new property about 10 years maybe. And we built a barn building, like a red barn metal building on the building right now. And I'm just getting it finished up. And that building will represent Margie. It'll represent the cultural center, not only Filipinos, but the history of the people that settled there in Guadalupe, Japanese, Mexicans, Native Americans. I mean, we want that to represent the history of Guadalupe. [23:37] Music. [23:43] If anybody travels through Guadalupe, it's on the 101. When you get to Santa Maria, you just take Main Street Top Ramp and drive west nine miles and you'll be in Guadalupe. It was a real honor to speak with you. This is just a wonderful, wonderful book, and I plan on reading it again. I already read it, but I plan on reading it again. it should be in the schools and it should be out there more. Well, thank you for that, Tony. And I appreciate your enthusiastic about it because, you know, being an author, I'm not very experienced at it, but I try my best. You know, it's just something that I want to do and I'm gonna keep on doing it. I'm not gonna give up. Living it is. Women are the largest untapped reservoir of talent in the world. Hillary Clinton. Having it to give. If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. Catherine Hepburn. Moving it around. [25:05] Music. [25:15] You've been listening to Tony Robles speaking with Joe Tulogan, author of Mestizo Through My Eyes. And that book is available at mestizothrewmyeyes.net. You can also watch the entire video because this was just short bits from actually more like an hour long conversation that the two had on a Zoom conference. So you can go to ListenAndBeHeard.net and watch that entire very interesting video. Joe shared a lot of historical information as well as personal information about his journey and it's well worth your time to look into not only the video but we've posted additional resources to links and things that he mentions along the way. [26:27] Virtuous gave an inspired performance at the Hendersonville Public Library in North Carolina, singing about reading to the very enthusiastic children who were there. And those were original songs that she wrote for the event and Tony spoke to her. You can watch more videos from that event of Virtuous and also some other things that happened there that were fun. And again, we've posted resources along with that article of literacy organizations and other community organizations that were involved with that. And that was actually organized, I should say, by Crystal Colley, who does a lot of great work around there in Hendersonville. [27:28] Music. [27:34] Jeannie Hopper and I, we crossed paths back in the 90s, And she produced the theme song for this podcast, Living It. The fabulous bass playing, by the way, is by Sabina Wirtman, who currently lives in Berlin. And Jeannie is currently in New York City, where she produces the Laura Flanders Show, and her own Liquid Sound Lounge, which she has been doing since back in the 90s, when for a time I got to improvise on the show every once in a while. [28:14] Music. [28:20] When you're falling apart, it's writing poetry. How are you doing? I'm doing good. That's good. You've been busy. And tell me something, you do, you still do Liquid Sound Lounge. You used to be on WBAI. Um, yeah, we seamlessly moved in 2018 at the hit of our 25th anniversary to just going fully virtual versus terrestrial. And how's that going? I was already extremely aware of both mediums working in both, on other projects, even outside of the terrestrial station. So it was comfortable for me. It was seamless. Seamless. Yes, that's amazing, actually. [29:10] I just say there's a difference between what you're doing and podcasting, or is it the same thing? Well, there, I mean, one's a live show. Yeah. I mean, a podcast is really a subscription to audio series or otherwise. But you have. And so, I mean, I could, I mean, I could, I could do the show and then offer it as a podcast. It's just an audio subscription versus just being live. Being live means we're live. That's it. downloading a podcast, downloading an audio file and listening later. That's the big difference. But people can, right? No, they can't download it. [29:55] But they can listen afterwards on demand through the streaming platform I use, which is called Hear This.at out of Austria. And yeah, so they can listen there. distinction between listening on demand and a podcast. Subscribers podcast is audio being delivered to you, just like if you old school analog had a magazine subscription and it came to your house through the mail. Instead of podcast is an audio file. Yeah, but it's an you but it's an RSS feed. You don't have to give it away. Right. You could also have it as a membership and then they get to. Of course. Right, okay. Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. It shouldn't be that women are the exception. Ruth Bader Ginsburg. [30:53] In this tech world that is finally, I would say since about 2014, 15, finally podcasting, and the tech world merged to have it be kind of a force that people started falling in love with. Audio again. So that podcasting has been around since 2000, since RSS feeds. A long time, right? Oh, my God. Since like 2000. It seems to be really gaining like steam. Well, full speed ahead. I would say steam and crested already. And steam what? And crested already. Oh, and crested. Yeah. Really. So why do you say that? [31:36] Well, um, if you know the, the business side of podcasting, um, and you followed that it's, it's, it's compared in a similar way to what happened to Hollywood and the movie theaters and how they suddenly, there was all these different production houses and then they got consolidated into just a few. So that's, that's what's happened with, um, the podcast world. Um, there's been a tremendous consolidation over the last, I would say, especially five years. So I can give you an example. Um, an independent production house that was created out of a couple of guys that came out of the radio series, uh, that's carried on NPR this, this American life, right? Um, so they broke off and they created, uh, an audio production company called Gimlet. And the first show was called Startup. And it literally was him talking about how he was going to create this new audio offering, new show. And it was his process of building up a show and then podcasting it and getting interest for it, etc, etc. So what's so interesting about Gimlet? Gimlet then, you know, branched into producing a bunch of other audio content. And it became very popular, especially that show. So much so that... [33:06] As it grew, it grew in its value and Spotify purchased it about four years ago for a few million dollars. So that's an acquisition. So this kind of has happened across the board. So the big players like think of the big Hollywood houses from Universal to Warner Brothers to Disney. In this scenario, in the podcast world, think of iHeart Media, which has even another higher parent company. And then I think it's Liberty, which is like SiriusXM. And then it breaks into a bunch of other stuff that they've acquired. And then Spotify is a big one too. And of course, Amazon with Audible and other aspects of their media empire. And so out of all of these conglomerates, really, what would be a good acquisition besides the production, right? The means of distribution is what else would be a good acquisition? The means of monetizing. [34:26] So there's also companies that created how to do those aspects. And they've also grown on their own and then been acquired just like Gimlet being an actual. [34:37] A producer of original content. [34:41] Music. [34:49] Tell us a little about Liquid Sound Lounge and why you've been doing it for so long. Well, for me, music is solace. I used to do a lot of heavy reporting and I discovered a lot of these great underground, community-focused, centered parties around New York City. They felt more like a community gathering than like what we think of as kind of a commercial club or festival. And there's just a DJ and great sound. And it was, you know, a lot of people gathering and it became, like I said, an escape. And it also became my second family, the people that I danced with and enjoyed the music with. And then from going to a lot of these events and parties, then I did a special on a handful of them. A special where? A radio special. A radio special on WBAI in New York for the Pacifica Radio. What was that? Radio network in the country. When was that first special? The first special was July 18th, 19. Well, there were some before that, but the first show was that led into Liquid Sound Lounge was July 18th, 1993. [36:17] And I called it an audio party. All of a sudden people actually found the address of the radio station and they showed up at the station thinking that there really was a party there. A physical party for people to come to because they had a flyer in their hand. Even though there was no address. It was like a party. [36:37] Music. [36:49] There is always more information. True. [37:00] Music. [37:09] False information. Good information. Bad information. Information. [37:38] Useful. I had a lot of great tracks that I would get along with music that had great lyrics in it, but I really wanted to get more of those messages out because the poet is the griot of the street, right? Of what's going on. And thinking of the richness of that moment when the slams came from Chicago, to the New Recon Poets Cafe. And suddenly there was a lot of attention, but there was a lot of activism that was going on as well, even though people kind of, I don't know how many people really think about that. Outside of the 60s, like did it just leave off or did it leave off with the women's movement in the 70s? Certainly not in the poetry scene in New York at the time. And that's exactly it, right there, right? Messages and stories. And when you go back to even dub poetry and storytelling. [38:42] There's always been also kind of a way of having some rhythm to that rhyme, right? And so that's what I started to get into incorporating into the show itself. Subliminal information. Everton Sylvester, who was part of Brooklyn Funk Essentials, which was a band that I definitely love playing on the show. Sarah Jones. Sarah Jones and Latasha Natasha Diggs. And Sarah's just blown up. Her One Woman Show that she was building way back then. The playwright program at New York and Poets Cafe. Right, all those different voices she was developing at the time. Yeah, all of her personalities carry on too. I did do a record label and we released some great music together. And because the natural progression is you feel good having these fun improvisational moments but then to actually capture them and produce them and put them out as well was exciting. [40:03] Music. [40:10] I kind of grounded myself from touring because I was offered an opportunity to create the, first online streaming station for a very prominent contemporary art institute. So it was for PS1 MoMA. And that was exciting. So I took the principles of what we learned at Community Radio, which is to empower and give the skills of working in audio to somebody to bring to life their messages and use it as a tool to connect greater with their community, right? So it was like being at the university of contemporary art from past, present and people envisioning their future projects and capturing that in sound and a vast archive at ClockTower.org now. [41:23] Then Laura Flanders came to me because her show was a TV show and she wanted it to be improved, and adapted for the ear for podcast and for radio. And so I took it from there and I've done the same for other clients as well. And it pretty much just branched out with all of my skills as an audio engineer and producer into a lot of different creative ends. It's been fun. [41:56] Music. [42:19] Analyze information. [42:28] Quantify information. [42:36] Translate information Codified. Information. Sensor. Information. Information. In finish. In finish. In finish. In finish. The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any. Alice Walker. [44:01] Music. [44:10] I gotta take care of my tree first. That is a good spot for a tree. I'm really trying to make this garden chicken perch, but I'm not there yet. It's a mulberry tree, and I planted a fig tree too, a black fig. Oh yeah, I had it there, but I moved it here in the pot. I hope it's a rat. I hope. My chickens, sometimes they make me mad. [45:03] I want to welcome Pilar Uribe, our newest contributor from Los Angeles. We heard her giving us some women's history thoughts and quotes. We also heard Joe Talogin, in Guadalupe, California, interviewed by Tony Robles in Hendersonville, North Carolina, who also spoke with Virtuous at the National Reading Month event at the library there. It's both National Reading Month and National Women's History Month. [45:41] Jay Rodriguez contributed some of the music tracks that you heard, as well as Jeannie Hopper, who I spoke to in New York City, and we heard some of her music while we were talking. [45:59] And at the very end you heard me cussing out my chickens, a video produced by Crystal Waters, my daughter here in Greenville, South Carolina. I want to thank you for listening. And I also would like to hear from you. You can email me at editor and listen and be heard dot net. Record your comment on your phone. Send it to me just like my rooster. Don't be shy. And maybe I will play it, if it's nice and polite, on one of the next podcasts. I would also like to ask you to leave comments at listen and be heard dot net. I invite you to contribute to this podcast so that we can hear from you and your community. For more information, please visit ListenAndBeHeard.net. My name is Martha Senator. You've been listening to the Listen And Be Heard Network Podcast. I want to thank you for listening. [47:13] Music.
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