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Origins:Deportees-seeking original Woody recording

DigiTrad:
DEPORTEES


Related threads:
Looking for a particular recording of 'Deportees' (50)
New Info About Woody Guthrie's Deportee (29)
(origins) Origin: Plane Wreck At Los Gatos (background) (44)
happy? – Jan 29 (Los Gatos crash) (12)
ADD: The Grape Pickers Tragedy (Jack Warshaw) (8)
song challenge: deportees/illegal migrants (6)
W. Guthrie's Deportees: meaning? (57) (closed)
(origins) Origins: was Deportees based on Bold Robert Emmet (13)
oranges and creosote (10) (closed)


DianeV 29 Apr 18 - 03:52 PM
Georgiansilver 09 Aug 17 - 06:25 AM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 09 Aug 17 - 01:40 AM
Joe Offer 08 Aug 17 - 09:23 PM
Joe Offer 08 Aug 17 - 08:54 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 08 Aug 17 - 08:34 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 08 Aug 17 - 07:43 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 08 Aug 17 - 07:37 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 28 Jul 17 - 07:52 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 28 Jul 17 - 07:40 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 28 Jul 17 - 07:38 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 27 Jul 17 - 03:30 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 27 Jul 17 - 03:14 PM
Joe Offer 27 Jul 17 - 05:13 AM
Joe Offer 27 Jul 17 - 04:43 AM
Joe Offer 26 Jul 17 - 10:55 PM
GUEST,Gerry 26 Jul 17 - 10:53 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 26 Jul 17 - 09:56 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 26 Jul 17 - 07:59 AM
GUEST,Jack Warshaw 21 Nov 16 - 08:32 AM
Joe Offer 23 Mar 14 - 11:55 PM
Joe Offer 22 Mar 14 - 08:37 PM
Rog Peek 18 Sep 13 - 10:31 AM
Joe Offer 18 Sep 13 - 02:12 AM
DianeV 16 Sep 13 - 04:36 PM
GUEST,henryp 13 Jul 13 - 02:04 AM
Joe Offer 12 Jul 13 - 03:00 AM
DianeV 07 Apr 13 - 02:34 AM
DianeV 09 Mar 13 - 06:23 PM
Joe Offer 27 Feb 13 - 11:16 PM
GUEST 27 Feb 13 - 07:39 PM
DianeV 10 Feb 13 - 08:33 PM
GUEST,DianeV 26 Jul 12 - 09:00 AM
mayomick 29 Jun 12 - 12:10 PM
Dave'sWife 29 Jun 12 - 11:15 AM
BrooklynJay 22 Mar 12 - 08:21 AM
2581 21 Mar 12 - 04:47 PM
Mark Clark 21 Mar 12 - 10:35 AM
Joe Offer 21 Mar 12 - 01:47 AM
DianeV 03 Jan 12 - 04:27 PM
DianeV 28 Dec 11 - 03:48 PM
dick greenhaus 26 Dec 11 - 11:17 AM
skarpi 26 Dec 11 - 09:51 AM
DianeV 25 Dec 11 - 11:57 PM
Charley Noble 25 Dec 11 - 10:59 PM
DianeV 25 Dec 11 - 09:32 PM
Greg B 25 Dec 11 - 03:18 PM
GUEST,Diane 25 Dec 11 - 02:02 PM
Mark Ross 25 Dec 11 - 01:47 PM
GUEST 25 Dec 11 - 01:20 PM
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Subject: RE: Differences in published versions of lyrics
From: DianeV
Date: 29 Apr 18 - 03:52 PM

I'm not here often, having completed my own quest for information and the book about the plane wreck having been published. But I do have some information regarding the original lyrics as written by Woody Guthrie. Tim Z. Hernandez' book, "All They Will Call You" has a copy of the original typed, signed lyrics as the inside covers.

Some specifics from Woody's signed version:

The first line is "My crops there all in an' my peaches all rottening".

"My" is typed as "muy" 10 times by my count, and "mye" once.

There are many misspellings, and many apostrophes replacing syllables.

The typed info at the end says "Woody Guthrie someywheres or the other February Thirde Nineteen & Fortey & Eighte".

Woody's signature is written down the right side in red ink, and "Los Gatos Plane Wreck" in black ink down the left side.

It would have been worth buying the book just to see this incredible document, but I didn't know about it until I received my copy. Tim was thrilled when I wrote to him immediately upon seeing it. Though I've been involved in his research almost since he began it, he didn't tell me about this wonderful surprise in advance.


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Subject: RE: Origins:Deportees-seeking original Woody recording
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 09 Aug 17 - 06:25 AM

Deportees Woodie Guthrie


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Subject: RE: Origins:Deportees-seeking original Woody recording
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 09 Aug 17 - 01:40 AM

Joe:

"Whatever doesn't fit the marketing order has to be disposed of in a way that doesn't create a black market that will undercut the crop standards and prices set by the marketing order. Sometimes, that has involved pouring vile substances on the produce to make it inedible. So, when Woody said creosote, I didn't question it."

An urban legend as old as the law itself. It gets debunked regularly. This time last year it was Michigan Farmers Forced to Destroy Edible Cherries to Prop Up Imports?

In 1940 it was Grapes of Wrath. I think that's your source and that's a work of fiction. Where are the facts? Neither you nor I have ever seen such a thing, right?

THINK about it Joe. Does one grade of fruit cost any less to produce than another? Same tree and all y'know. Year in, year out, orchards process about 3% culls, waste and trash at a marginal profit. It's measured in gross tons. Nothing is wasted.


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Subject: RE: Origins:Deportees-seeking original Woody recording
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 Aug 17 - 09:23 PM

I still haven't found anything official to verify the use of creosote. At the time, I wasn't too concerned about the actual substance. Every year, farmers and the USDA set marketing orders to determine standards for the year's crop - including size, quality, and quantity of the produce. Whatever doesn't fit the marketing order has to be disposed of in a way that doesn't create a black market that will undercut the crop standards and prices set by the marketing order. Sometimes, that has involved pouring vile substances on the produce to make it inedible. So, when Woody said creosote, I didn't question it. It's readily available on farms, and would certainly do the trick.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins:Deportees-seeking original Woody recording
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 Aug 17 - 08:54 PM

Hi, Phil -
I've sometimes wondered how the bracero program affected those farm workers who lived here in the U.S. permanently. This is another of those issues where there are many factors and many sides, and a lot of anger and passion defending each perspective.

I've spent a fair amount of time visiting workers in the field and in the labor camps. It's a really tough life, especially when the weather gets hot here in California. I think we're at 45 days in a row this year with temperatures over 90. I'm glad I can hide inside in the afternoon.

Here's "Bracero," by Phil Ochs. I wonder why Ochs has the braceros wading across the border waters - I thought they came here legally. I wonder how much Woody and Phil Ochs actually knew about the farmworkers. I think it's possible that Woody knew quite a bit, since he spent quite a bit of time here in California.

Thread #17492   Message #3680056
Posted By: Joe Offer
26-Nov-14 - 12:27 AM
Thread Name: Lyr/Chords Req: Songs by Phil Ochs
Subject: ADD: Bracero (Phil Ochs)

BRACERO
(Phil Ochs)

Wade into the river through the rippling shallow water
Steal across the thirsty border, Bracero
Come bring your hungry body to the golden fields of plenty
From a peso to a penny, Bracero
Oh, welcome to California
Where the friendly farmers will take care of you


Come labor for your mother, for your father and your brother
For your sisters and your lover, Bracero
Come pick the fruits of yellow, break the flowers from the berries
Purple grapes will fill your bellies, Bracero

And the sun will bite your body as the dust will draw you thirsty
While your muscles beg for mercy, Bracero
In the shade of your sombrero drop your sweat upon the soil
Like the fruit your youth can spoil, Bracero

When the weary night embraces sleep in shacks that could be cages
They will take it from your wages, Bracero
Come sing about tomorrow with a jingle of the dollars
And forget your crooked collar, Bracero

And the local men are lazy and they make too much of trouble
Besides we'd have to pay them double, Bracero
Ah but if you feel you're fallin' if you find the pace is killing,
There are others who are willing, Bracero

Phil Ochs
On his There But for Fortune & In Concert On Joe Jencks Links in a Chain, Annie Wenz Let's Dance


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Subject: RE: oranges and creosote
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 08 Aug 17 - 08:34 PM

It feels wrong posting more on this subject in the main song/crash victims' thread given the complete lack of sources. But it's not exactly pure BS either. (more to follow)

What Woody Really Sed:

"...the dumped oranges and peaches rotting, just because there weren't enough profit, rotting, running down into little creosote poisoned streams."

This comes from the intro to a 1947 songbook (reprinted in 1961.) The subject line first appeared in the 1948 verse:

"The crops are all in and the peaches are rottn'ning,
The oranges piled in their creosote dumps,
"

Woody Guthrie never said any of the other things being repeated by Mudcatters.

From 1929 – present the only references I can locate on the creosote subject trace by to Mudcat (c.2001)

More than one request has been made but nobody is willing to back it up with scientific, technical or engineering references.

I think it's past time to either put up or withdraw the accusations; set the record straight and put an end the circular reporting.

    I moved you back over here, Phil. It gets confusing when too many threads are open on the same subject. -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Origins:Deportees-seeking original Woody recording
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 08 Aug 17 - 07:43 PM

Here is the official INS version of events. Los Angeles city & county officials mostly led the way in California. Woody Guthrie arrived there in 1937 at the very end of the roundups.

INS Mexican repatriation records


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Subject: RE: Origins:Deportees-seeking original Woody recording
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 08 Aug 17 - 07:37 PM

Joe: Oddly enough I was just trying to decide which of these threads to bump when you opened the BS thread. IMO it's anything but BS & fyi: that 1M 'estimate' has a pretty wide range of awful to it:

Subject: BS: I Million Mexicans Deported from U.S.

The American bracero program was, in part, an attempt by the Federal government to provide "sustainable" levels of migrant labor after some State level vigilance committee travesties of justice a whole lot worse than the Federal Japanese internment camps.

However, many United Farm Worker activists still saw them as the same old strike breakers and so-called "scabs" of old.

Wiki: 1920-1930 - Mexican Repatriation


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Subject: RE: Origins:Deportees-seeking original Woody recording
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 28 Jul 17 - 07:52 PM

Chutzpah - "That quality enshrined in a man who, having killed his mother and father, throws himself on the mercy of the court because he is an orphan." Leo Rosten - The Joys of Yiddish

So what we're actually talking about is The Great Depression & the 1930s labor wars all over Mexico & California. The Cardenistas &c wanted the orchards for themselves, 'for the people.' Grower co-ops disagreed for the obvious reasons. Team effort suicide.

"And the smell of rot fills the country."

The crops sat wherever the striking workers, or beleaguered scabs, left them when they walked or ran off the job; or got locked out by growers.

"And the children dying of pellagra must die because a profit cannot be taken from an orange."

Cutting losses is not maximizing profits and the food safety industry does not have a double standard for botulism.

Brix & tide wait for no man, not even John Steinbeck or Woody Guthrie or a woman. If the whole crop goes past its sell-by, you hose it with kerosene and burn it before the rot takes the trees & vines too.

There were people of all races and classes on all sides of the fight. None of them cornered the market on good or evil. And they're still at it.


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Subject: RE: Origins:Deportees-seeking original Woody recording
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 28 Jul 17 - 07:40 PM

"The works of the roots of the vines, of the trees, must be destroyed to keep up the price, and this is the saddest, bitterest thing of all. Carloads of oranges dumped on the ground. The people came for miles to take the fruit, but this could not be. How could they buy oranges at twenty cents a dozen if they could drive out and pick them up? And men with hoses squirt kerosene on the oranges, and the are angry at the crime, angry at the people who have come to take the fruit. A million people hungry, needing the fruit – and kerosene sprayed over the golden mountains.

And the smell of rot fills the country.

Burn coffee for fuel in the ships. Burn corn to keep warm, it makes a hot fire. Dump potatoes in the rivers and place guards along the banks to keep the hungry people from fishing them out. Slaughter the pigs and bury them, and let the putrescence drip down into the earth.

There is a crime here that goes beyond denunciation. There is a sorrow here that weeping cannot symbolize. There is a failure here that topples all our success. The fertile earth, the straight tree rows, the sturdy trunks, and the ripe fruit. And the children dying of pellagra must die because a profit cannot be taken from an orange. And coroners must fill in the certificates – died of malnutrition – because the food must rot, must be forced to rot.

The people come with nets to fish for potatoes in the river, and the guards hold them back; they come in rattling cars to get the dumped oranges, but the kerosene is sprayed. And they stand still and watch the potatoes float by, listen to the screaming pigs being killed in a ditch and covered with quicklime, watch the mountains of oranges slop down to a putrefying ooze; and in the eyes of the people there is the failure; and in eyes of the hungry there is a growing wrath. In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage.
"

Steinbeck, Grapes of Wrath, 1939, climax of Chapter 25


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Subject: RE: Origins:Deportees-seeking original Woody recording
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 28 Jul 17 - 07:38 PM

"I hated the false front decay of California's fascistic oil and gas deals, the ptomaine poison and brass knucks in the jails and prisons, the dumped oranges and peaches rotting, just because there weren't enough profit, rotting, running down into little creosote poisoned streams."

Asch, Moses, ed., American Folk Song: Woody Guthrie, (New York: Oak, 1961, p.4) Reprinted from the original, New York: DISC, 1947.

The narrative had morphed so I that didn't recognize it at first. It is Steinbeck's kerosene fires but calling that 'crop destruction' is a wee bit 'fake newsy.'

So no crop surplus. No profits. No Federal subsidies. No creosote 'poisoned' food (aka denaturing.) The activist migrant workers and the Great Depression were as much, or more, to blame for the rotting crops as the growers.

Each side has sees own 'truth' and there are no limits on the number of sides.


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Subject: RE: Origins:Deportees-seeking original Woody recording
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 27 Jul 17 - 03:30 PM

Yeah, I saw the other thread(s) and it seemed the meat of the matter was all in this thread though I may have gotten my dates crossed.

I know about creosote. I know about commodity 'price stabilization.' But we're getting way ahead of ourselves there.

The wiki points to Hammond's "Chapel Talk" which is an unsourced dead end. But as noted, it builds on Joe's & Dr. John's:

"...the fruit growers in California soaked their excess fruit, which was going to waste, in creosote to make it uneatable so it could not be "stolen" and eaten by the hungry migrant families. Nice what we do to each other."

Where did this come from and how was it devined from Woody Guthrie's "oranges in their creosote dumps...."?


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Subject: RE: Origins:Deportees-seeking original Woody recording
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 27 Jul 17 - 03:14 PM

Joe:

"But it IS odd that the names were not given until 2013, when a few people took the time to find out the stories of the people who died."

This begs the question. Who had formal custody of the victim's names and what were the 1948 protocols for releasing them to the general public? 1 year, 5 years, 1 week, on demand?

I'm a third gen genealogist. It all seems boringly normal from a grave hunter's perspective. Blood is thicker than... &c.


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Subject: ADD Version: Plane Wreck at Los Gatos (W. Guthrie)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Jul 17 - 05:13 AM

Up above, Doc John says that "Deportee" was published in John Greenway's American Folksongs of Protest (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1953). I wonder if this could be the first printed edition of the song, or if it was printed elsewhere first.
I have a 1960 Perpetua edition of the Greenway book. The song appears (without music notation) on pp 294-295.

Notes: Guthrie's sympathy for the migratory worker is international. In this ballad he tells of the death of twenty-eight Mexican migrant deportees in an airplane crash near Coalinga, California, on January 28, 1948:

PLANE WRECK AT LOS GATOS
(Woody Guthrie)

The crops are all in and the peaches are rottening
The oranges are piled in their creosote dumps;
You're flying them back to the Mexico border
To pay all their money to wade back again.

REFRAIN
Goodbye to my Juan, goodbye Rosalita;
Adios muy (sic) amigo, Jesus and Marie,
You won't have a name when you ride the big airplane
All they will call you will be deportees.

My father's own father, he waded that river;
They took all the money he made in his life;
My brothers and sisters come working the fruit trees
And they rode the truck till they took down and died.

Some of us are illegal, and some are not wanted,
Our work contract's out and we have to move on;
Six hundred miles to the Mexico border,
They chase us like outlaws, like rustlers, like thieves.

We died in your hills, we died in your deserts,
We died in your valleys and died on your plains;
We died neath your trees and we died in your bushes,
Both sides of this river, we died just the same.

The sky plane caught fire over Los Gatos Canyon,
A fireball of lightning which shook all our hills.
Who are these friends all scattered like dry leaves?
The radio says they are just deportees.

Is this the best way we can grow our big orchards?
Is this the best way we can grow our good fruit?
To fall like dry leaves and rot on my top soil
And be called by no name except deportees?

Composed February 3, 1948

As you can see, the chorus has some problems. I wonder if the mistakes are from Woody Guthrie, or from Greenway.

I'm glad to see "Mexico border" - that's the way I sing it.
-Joe-


For contrast, here are the lyrics from woodyguthrie.org:

Plane Wreck at Los Gatos
(also known as "Deportee")
Words by Woody Guthrie, Music by Martin Hoffman

The crops are all in and the peaches are rott'ning,
The oranges piled in their creosote dumps;
They're flying 'em back to the Mexican border
To pay all their money to wade back again

Goodbye to my Juan, goodbye, Rosalita,
Adios mis amigos, Jesus y Maria;
You won't have your names when you ride the big airplane,
All they will call you will be "deportees"

My father's own father, he waded that river,
They took all the money he made in his life;
My brothers and sisters come working the fruit trees,
And they rode the truck till they took down and died.

Some of us are illegal, and some are not wanted,
Our work contract's out and we have to move on;
Six hundred miles to that Mexican border,
They chase us like outlaws, like rustlers, like thieves.

We died in your hills, we died in your deserts,
We died in your valleys and died on your plains.
We died 'neath your trees and we died in your bushes,
Both sides of the river, we died just the same.

The sky plane caught fire over Los Gatos Canyon,
A fireball of lightning, and shook all our hills,
Who are all these friends, all scattered like dry leaves?
The radio says, "They are just deportees"

Is this the best way we can grow our big orchards?
Is this the best way we can grow our good fruit?
To fall like dry leaves to rot on my topsoil
And be called by no name except "deportees"?

 


© 1961 (renewed) by Woody Guthrie Publications, Inc. & TRO-Ludlow Music, Inc. (BMI)


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Subject: RE: Origins:Deportees-seeking original Woody recording
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Jul 17 - 04:43 AM

Phil - I suppose it's not odd that the victims were not named immediately. This 1948 crash was the worst airplane crash that had happened in California, and it was front-page news in newspapers all over the state for three days, until Gandhi was assassinated. Woody Guthrie read a brief article about the crash in the New York Times, and the brevity of the article moved him to write his song. But this story was big news here in California, and the news coverage seemed sympathic to all the victims - not just the crew.

But it IS odd that the names were not given until 2013, when a few people took the time to find out the stories of the people who died. Now those names are on a suitable gravestone, but they weren't recognized for all the years until then.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins:Deportees-seeking original Woody recording
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 Jul 17 - 10:55 PM

Hi, Phil - maybe Hammond got it from what I posted in this thread (click) in 2002:
    to keep prices up so they can make a decent living, farmers often sell only first-quality produce to wholesalers. Lower-quality produce is sold locally or dumped. At one time, California farmers put creosote on dumped oranges to make them inedible and unsaleable - one can argue the morality of that, but it was a way for the growers to assure themselves an income from their labors. Nowadays, I think that most dumped produce is used for animal feed - or plowed under for fertilizer.
But Doctor John posted that information earlier than I did, up above in this thread. The Wikipedia article on "Crop Destruction" says that Steinbeck described the intentional destruction of crops in Grapes of Wrath, but I didn't have any luck finding the Steinbeck quote. Can anybody find out what Grapes of Wrath had to say about crop destruction?

Now, I don't remember where I got the information. Maybe it was Doctor John, maybe not. I see that I was asking your same question in 2001, and then posting the answer in 2002. Maybe I asked an old farmer in Fresno, or the Coalinga newspaper writer who wrote all the articles about the crash. It has long been common practice to pour somethng poison on waste food to render it inedible. Restaurants have been widely criticized for poisoning the waste food in their Dumpsters, and that practice has been outlawed in places.

Creosote is nasty stuff, and it used to be cheap and readily available on farms for use as a wood preservative - especially for fence posts.

Hey, Phil - I needed to ask you a private question about a book. Could you email me at joe@mudcat.org?

Thanks.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins:Deportees-seeking original Woody recording
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 26 Jul 17 - 10:53 PM

Joe had something to say about creosote dumps in another mudcat thread on this song, http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=44738


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Subject: RE: Origins:Deportees-seeking original Woody recording
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 26 Jul 17 - 09:56 PM

Joe: What is a California "creosote dump?" Where I come from it just means "ash heap" or "land fill." From the song wiki:

"In addition to being a lament for the braceros killed in the crash, the opening lines of "Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos)":

    "The crops are all in and the peaches are rott'ning,
    The oranges piled in their creosote dumps."[6]

are another protest by Guthrie. At the time, government policies paid farmers to destroy their crops in order to keep farm production and prices high.[7] Guthrie felt that it was wrong to render food inedible by poisoning it in a world where hungry people lived.
"

[7] "Before I start, you should know that even back in the 40's the government paid farmers to destroy their crops in order to keep supply short and prices high. The song refers to oranges in creosote dumps, a method of rendering the fruit inedible. Meanwhile people then, as they do today, go hungry. And even though crop prices are kept artificially high, the workers who harvest the food are denied a living wage."
Chapel Talk (PDF), Mark Hammond, January 7, 2004.

What is the primary source here? Did Woody Guthrie ever actually say this about the California fruit grower co-ops? If not, where did Hammond get it from?

I've lived and worked in and around citrus groves for six decades and have never even heard of the practice. Have you? Everything I find online takes me in a big circle starting and ending with Mark Hammond, c.2004.


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Subject: RE: Origins:Deportees-seeking original Woody recording
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 26 Jul 17 - 07:59 AM

It's odd reading this coming from the islands. I really wouldn't have expected to find the 'Deportee' names in the media so soon after the crash. The pilot and crew I can understand.

Was it considered proper form, in 1948 California, to give out the names of victims before their next of kin had been notified, foreign or domestic?

It hasn't in most of the Caribbean since before World War II.


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Subject: RE: Origins:Deportees-seeking original Woody recording
From: GUEST,Jack Warshaw
Date: 21 Nov 16 - 08:32 AM

Now is a good time to sing about lives and labors of Mexican migrants so we don't forget that it is they who have suffered to help make our country great and support their struggles in the terror times to come. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4TUwq3XRzE


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Subject: ADD: Sinaloa Cowboys (Bruce Springsteen)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Mar 14 - 11:55 PM

Porky made mention above of Bruce Springsteen's "Sinaloa Cowboys," which some consider to be a sequel to "Deportee." Dani called my attention to it in an e-mail today, and sent me a link to this YouTube video. Here are the Springsteen lyrics:

SINALOA COWBOYS
(Bruce Springsteen)

Miguel came from a small town in northern Mexico
He came north with his brother Louis to California three years ago
They crossed at the river levee when Louis was just sixteen
And found work together in the fields of the San Joaquin

They left their homes and family
Their father said "My sons one thing you will learn
For everything the north gives it exacts a price in return."
They worked side by side in the orchards
From morning till the day was through
Doing the work the hueros wouldn't do.

Word was out some men in from Sinaloa were looking for some hands
Well deep in Fresno county there was a deserted chicken ranch
There in a small tin shack on the edge of a ravine
Miguel and Louis stood cooking methamphetamine.

You could spend a year in the orchards
Or make half as much in one ten-hour shift
Working for the men from Sinaloa
But if you slipped the hydriodic acid
Could burn right through your skin
They'd leave you spittin' up blood in the desert
If you breathed those fumes in

It was early one winter evening as Miguel stood watch outside
When the shack exploded lighting up the valley night
Miguel carried Louis' body over his shoulder down a swale
To the creekside and there in the tall grass Louis Rosales died

Miguel lifted Louis' body into his truck and then he drove
To where the morning sunlight fell on a eucalyptus grove
There in the dirt he dug up ten thousand dollars all that they'd saved
Kissed his brother's lips and placed him in his grave


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Subject: RE: Origins:Deportees-seeking original Woody recording
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Mar 14 - 08:37 PM

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno, which owns Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery, led an effort with author and former San Joaquin Valley resident Tim Z. Hernandez to raise money for the memorial. About $14,000 was raised to cover the cost of the memorial and expenses to stage the Mass and unveiling ceremony. The new gravestone was dedicated in September, 2013. I missed the dedication of the memorial, so I visited the cemetery by myself on March, 2014. I read the names of all the dead out loud, and said a prayer for them. As I drove away, I sang a few verses of Woody's song.
If you'd like to visit, the memorial is at Holy Cross Cemetery, Belmont and Hughes Avenues in Fresno - just west of the Belmont exit on California Highway 99. The grave is on the west side of the cemetery, about midway along the west fence.

As the ancient prayer says, May perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace.

-Joe Offer-

Click here for photos


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Subject: RE: Origins:Deportees-seeking original Woody recording
From: Rog Peek
Date: 18 Sep 13 - 10:31 AM

There is a live recording of Arlo singing this song at "An Evening With Salvador Allende" concert, organised by Phil Ochs on 9th May 1974.

Rog


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Subject: RE: Origins:Deportees-seeking original Woody recording
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Sep 13 - 02:12 AM

Latino USA (click) had an interesting segment on the deportees this last weekend. The index is a bit confusing. To hear the segment, click #1 and the segment will begin at about 3 minutes.
This link (click) should work.
-Joe-


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Subject: Nameless no longer . . .
From: DianeV
Date: 16 Sep 13 - 04:36 PM

My husband and I were honored to be a part of the events in Fresno, CA, Labor Day weekend 2013. It was an incredibly emotional weekend, which included a trip to the crash site with the family members of some of the victims, a reception followed by a question and answer session with the honored guests (family members of victims, first responders and Martin Hoffman)on Sunday, and the dedication ceremony on Monday. A documentary is in the works, but the best source at this time for the story and pictures is the article & photo gallery at the Fresno Bee: http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/09/02/3475757/fresno-memorial-unveiled-with.html


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Subject: RE: Origins:Deportees-seeking original Woody recording
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 13 Jul 13 - 02:04 AM

This will bring closure to all the families too, Joe.

It's taken a lot of effort to get to the bottom of this story. You've done more than your share of the digging.

Well done - I hope you feel a sense of satisfaction.


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Subject: RE: Origins:Deportees-seeking original Woody recording
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Jul 13 - 03:00 AM

The Los Angeles Times had a good article on July 9 about the efforts to erect a marker at the grave in Fresno, with the names of all the victims:

    Names emerge from shadows of 1948 crash

    28 Mexican citizens being flown to their homeland perished in a fireball over Central California. Woody Guthrie's poetry protested their anonymity. Who were they?


    BY DIANA MARCUM
    PHOTOGRAPHY AND VIDEO BY MICHAEL ROBINSON CHAVEZ
    REPORTING FROM COALINGA, CALIF.
    July 9, 2013

    Jaime Ramirez stood in front of an oak tree, jagged and black from a plane crashing into it all those years ago. He removed his white cowboy hat, closed his eyes and whispered, "Abuelo, Tio, estoy aqui." ("Grandfather, Uncle, I am here.")

    Nearby, Tim Z. Hernandez, who had feared this moment might never happen, leaned down and sprinkled tobacco and sage. When the writer first came to this hushed place, looking into a 65-year-old mystery, he had felt he was intruding. Each time he returned, he always left a small offering. He could hear the Woody Guthrie song "Plane Wreck at Los Gatos" playing in his head:
        The sky plane caught fire over Los Gatos Canyon,
        A fireball of lightning, and shook all our hills,
        Who are all those friends, all scattered like dry leaves?

    On Jan. 28, 1948, a plane chartered by U.S. Immigration Services left Oakland carrying 32 people, including 28 Mexicans. Many were part of the bracero program and had finished their government-sponsored work contracts. A ride home was part of the deal. Others had entered the country illegally.

    Over farms and ranches on the edge of the Diablo Range, 20 miles west of Coalinga, the World War II surplus DC-3 trailed black smoke. An engine exploded. A wing broke off, floating left and right. More than 100 witnesses watched bodies and luggage thrown from the fireball. There were no survivors.

    News accounts named only the pilot, first officer, stewardess — who was also the pilot's wife — and an immigration officer. The others were listed simply as "deportees."

    Guthrie read about the crash and wrote a poem protesting the anonymity of the workers. Schoolteacher Martin Hoffman later set the words to music.

    The song lived on. A string of artists including Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash and Bruce Springsteen sang the chorus of imagined names:
        Goodbye to my Juan, goodbye Rosalita, Adios mis amigos Jesus y Maria.

    In 2009, Hernandez was at the Fresno County Library scrolling through old newspapers, researching a book about Bea Franco, the inspiration behind the Mexican girlfriend character in Jack Kerouac's "On the Road." He'd immersed himself in the era's music, especially that of Guthrie, who sang about migrant workers and Central Valley fields.

    It was a life Hernandez, 39, knew well. The poet and novelist now lived in Colorado, but grew up in farm towns across the Central Valley. He traced his love of storytelling to long road trips with his family picking crops. His mother, Lydia, would read books aloud; his father, Felix, would jump in and say "That's not what really happened" and spin his own endings.

    A 1948 headline about a fireball plunging to earth caught his eye. He thought of Guthrie's song about the deportees. For the first time, Hernandez realized that Guthrie wasn't referring to the city of Los Gatos, near San Jose, but to the juniper-scented hills and canyons above the oil pumps in western Fresno County.

    "Who were the people on that plane?" he wondered. "Did anyone ever tell their loved ones why they didn't come home?"

    In 1948, a plane chartered by U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service fell from the sky near Coalinga, Calif. Nameless for decades, the Mexican citizens who died are finally receiving recognition.

    In 2011, Carlos Rascon, the new director of cemeteries for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno, visited the old Holy Cross graveyard. He noticed a bronze marker that read: "28 Mexican citizens who died in an airplane accident."

    A cemetery worker gave him "a short, cut-up version" of the crash, Rascon said. "But 28 souls in a mass grave with no names? It just didn't sit right with me."

    The cemetery register listed numbers 1 through 28, and after each someone had written only "Mexican National." The diocese's church register had the names but some were obviously misspelled and all were missing middle initials — key in a culture with many common first and last names.

    Rascon's father-in-law had been a bracero. He told Rascon they used to call the planes that flew them home, usually at night, El Tecolote (the Owl). Rascon thought he should do something with the names, but he had no clear idea what.

    Back in Colorado, Hernandez couldn't get the deportees out of his mind. Scouring old news accounts, he learned they were buried at Holy Cross. His calls to the diocese cemetery offices were brushed off when he said he wanted information from 1948.

    Frustrated, he scanned a roster of employees on the diocese website until he found a Latino surname — Rascon.

    "I'm looking for the names of 28 deportees," Hernandez told him in a phone call last year.

    "I have the names," Rascon replied.

    Hernandez suddenly felt nervous. He'd already decided to write a book about the deportees if he could find their names. Now there was no turning back.

    Rascon told him what else he'd heard from the cemetery workers: Someone had been leaving flowers at the grave for years. Often in November on El Dia de los Muertos, when Mexicans honor their dead.

    Jaime Ramirez grew up in Charco de Pantoja, a rancheria of about 3,000 people in central Mexico. When he was about 9, he and his siblings asked their mother why they did not have two grandfathers. She said her father died in a plane crash in the United States when she was 11, and she didn't know where he was buried.

    Her father had saved enough money during his bracero contracts to buy land but couldn't afford corn seed. He and his best friend — Ramirez's great-uncle — decided to cross the border illegally to earn money for crops. They never came home.

    In 1974, Ramirez came to the United States at age 18 to work as a dishwasher in Pasadena. He planned to look for his grandfather's grave but didn't know where to start. Eleven years later, he had become a kitchen manager and was transferred to a restaurant in Salinas. There he heard someone mention "Diablo Range." Something stirred deep in his memory. Was that the place mentioned in his mother's faded Mexican newspaper clipping about the crash?

    He started his search at the Fresno County Hall of Records, where he found death certificates with the misspelled names of his grandfather and great-uncle. The documents said they were buried at Holy Cross. He would not believe it unless he saw the grave.

    Even without the directions a receptionist gave him, he would have been able to find it. The rest of the cemetery, where no one had been buried since the 1950s, was a jumble of statuary; the western corner was empty, except for one small marker.

    "I just stood still, staring at it. I kept telling myself, 'I found them,' " he recalled of that day in 1989.

    That night he called his mother in Mexico. She cried. His paternal grandfather got on the phone and said, "Mi'jo, I can go in peace now that I know where my brother was buried."

    Ramirez now owns a restaurant and home just a few miles from Holy Cross. When relatives from Mexico visit, they go to the grave. In November, he leaves flowers.

    Hernandez made note of clues among recovered items: a Laundry Union Workers card from San Francisco, a letter addressed to someone in Northern California, baby clothes found near a woman's body.

    He enlisted Rascon to pull the death certificates, which had middle names. After the two men untangled some highly Anglicized spellings, they finally had complete names. But they had no ages, no birthplaces, no relatives — no stories.

    "Each of our families is made up of epic stories. Tales of migration, struggle, sacrifice and triumph," Hernandez said. "How do those just fade?"

    Hernandez and Rascon had decided to raise money for a memorial engraved with the deportees' names. As they neared their $10,000 goal, Rascon and the diocese wanted to press ahead, but Hernandez was reluctant without having found even one family member.

    He put out a plea through local media, but heard nothing. After he mentioned his quest at a writers conference at the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas, a woman with silver curls and tears streaming down her face approached him.

    "My father believed in the importance of names," Nora Guthrie told him. "He would repeat them like a chant. Even just finding their names matters."

    Hernandez agreed it was time to dedicate the memorial. He'd come to accept that he might never find any of the families.

    Ramirez, the restaurant owner, recently told a friend the story of his grandfather. That friend repeated the story to another man who said, "Wait! Your compadre's grandfather was in the paper." He dug out a 2-month-old article about Hernandez's efforts.

    In late June in Coalinga, Ramirez met Hernandez for the first time. He told the writer about his grandfather, Ramon Paredes Gonzales, and his great-uncle, Guadalupe Ramirez Lara.

    They drove up the winding canyon and walked through whispering dried grass to the tree where the plane crashed. Hernandez reached out his hands to the tree and ravine.

    "Do you feel that?" he asked.

    "Of course, I feel that," Ramirez said, needing no explanation. "May they rest in peace."

    The monument will be unveiled on Labor Day.

    "They're answering Woody's prayer," Nora Guthrie said. "If you keep the questions — the ideas — alive, then someday, someone will come along to answer. My father sang, 'All they will call you will be deportees.' This is a back-atch'ya. A resounding 'No, we all have names.' "

    The stone will be etched with 32 falling leaves, four of them bearing the initials of the Americans who died on the flight. In the center will be 28 names:

      Miguel Negrete Álvarez. Tomás Avińa de Gracia. Francisco Llamas Durán. Santiago García Elizondo. Rosalio Padilla Estrada. Tomás Padilla Márquez. Bernabé López Garcia. Salvador Sandoval Hernández. Severo Medina Lára. Elías Trujillo Macias. José Rodriguez Macias. Luis López Medina. Manuel Calderón Merino. Luis Cuevas Miranda. Martin Razo Navarro. Ignacio Pérez Navarro. Román Ochoa Ochoa. Ramón Paredes Gonzalez. Guadalupe Ramírez Lára. Apolonio Ramírez Placencia. Alberto Carlos Raygoza. Guadalupe Hernández Rodríguez. Maria Santana Rodríguez. Juan Valenzuela Ruiz. Wenceslao Flores Ruiz. José Valdívia Sánchez. Jesús Meza Santos. Baldomero Marcas Torres.

    I used to live in Fresno and often worked in Coalinga through the years, and I've visited farm labor camps and talked with farm workers at home and on the job and in church. I've been researching this song since the early 1990s, and I think I've dug up more about it that just about anybody - but I didn't find the names of the victims. Somehow, the erection of this monument in the cemetery in Fresno brings closure to all I've studied. I understand that there will also be a monument erected at the site of the plane crash, some 90 miles west of Fresno. I hope to visit on my next trip south.
    -Joe-


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Subject: Story of Martin Hoffman and the music
From: DianeV
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 02:34 AM

The link will take you to a radio interview with Tim Z. Hernandez. Tim is writing a book about the people lost in the plane wreck at Los Gatos Canyon and is spearheading the fundraising for the memorial. During the interview, Tim tells the story of Mart Hoffman (my father's best friend) writing the music to Woody Guthrie's poem. It is due to his research for the book that Martin Hoffman's first recording of Deportee will be introduced at the dedication of the memorial.

Tim Z. Hernandez radio interview

This audio archive will be available until Saturday, April 13th 2013


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Subject: More information about the memorial . . .
From: DianeV
Date: 09 Mar 13 - 06:23 PM

. . . fundraising and another event. Trying to figure out how I could possibly get to both the April concert and the September dedication. The dedication would be my first choice.

http://timzhernandez.com/2013/03/09/deportee-plane-wreck-at-los-gatos-memorial-needs-your-help/


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Subject: RE: Help: Plane Wreck At Los Gatos
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Feb 13 - 11:16 PM

It is knxt.tv - no dot-com. KNXT is the television station of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno. Here's a link to the page on the memorial:
http://www.knxt.tv/news-resources/los_gatos/los_gatos.html.

Press release:

January 28, 2013, marks an important historical anniversary. Sixty-five years ago a chartered immigration plane crashed and burned in Los Gatos Canyon near Coalinga, California. Twenty-eight migrant farm workers, three crew members and one immigration guard all perished in what was called the worst airline disaster in the history of the Central California Valley.The twenty-eight migrant passengers were laid to rest in a mass grave at Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery on Belmont Avenue in Fresno, California. A bronze marker identifies the burial site. However, for unknown reason, lacks the names of the deceased as one would normally find inscribed on cemetery markers.As written by musician Woody Guthrie, the names of these migrant passengers were not disclosed to the public in any of the newspapers at that time, which prompted him to write a song called "Deportee" in protest of the offensive omission.Sixty-five years later, the song he wrote is again raising interest from musical artists familiar with Woody's song, "Deportee." Intrigued audiences that have heard the story over the years, along with other visitors who are familiar with the event, occasionally come to Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery to visit the gravesite. Under the Direction of the Diocese of Fresno and the Woody Guthrie Foundation, efforts are underway to raise enough funds to purchase a large memorial honoring the thirty-two victims of the crash and finally engraving the names of the twenty-eight citizens of Mexico that never returned home. When the memorial is completed a dedication ceremony will be scheduled and the public notified.
For More Information Contact:
Carlos Rascon, Director
Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery
(559) 488-7449



Saint Peter's Cemetery is taking donations to raise the $10,000 for a memorial to the 28 victims of the Los Gatos Canyon air disaster and we need your help. To donate by Mail - Send your tax deductable donation to:

Saint Peter's Cemetery
264 N. Blythe Ave
Fresno, Ca 93706

PLEASE NOTE:
ALL CHECKS should be made out to Saint Peter's Cemetery. Be sure to write ATTN: HOLY CROSS MEMORIAL on the envelope and in the memo portion of your check.


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Subject: RE: Help: Plane Wreck At Los Gatos
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Feb 13 - 07:39 PM

We are in the process of raising funds thru donations to place a large granite memorial honoring all 32 victims of this crash and inscribing the names of the 28 migrant passengers.   Please check out the link on www.KNXT.tv labeled "Paying respects to the Los Gatos Canyon Crash Victims


www.KNXT.tv


Carlos Rascon
crascon@dioceseoffresno.org


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Subject: RE: Origins:Deportees-seeking original Woody recording
From: DianeV
Date: 10 Feb 13 - 08:33 PM

It's been a very long time since I posted, but there is now HUGE news! I am sharing this information and the links below with the permission of Tim Z. Hernandez, but will tell you here that Martin Hoffman's original recording of "Deportee" will soon be made public. This is a link to his blog with more information:
http://timzhernandez.com/current-projects/ and this is a link to information regarding the memorial headstone project: http://timzhernandez.com/2013/02/10/28-deportees-memorial-headstone/
My husband and I went full-time in our RV last June, and we are currently working for the winter season at an RV park in Yuma, Arizona. The rest of this message is a copy of what I just posted to Facebook:

This is particularly poignant for me at this time.

Here in Yuma, we see farm workers being transported back and forth across the nearby border by busses towing outhouses on trailers behind them daily. We hear the news reporters telling us of complaints about the Mexican farm workers taking jobs away from Americans followed by interviews with currently out-of-work local people who say they would never work in the fields because they have tried it and the work is too hard.

We have heard current news reports about workers in the field being doused with chemicals sprayed by crop dusters flying overhead, and seen the derisive comments of locals who don't think it matters that these human beings who are doing a job they don't want so that the crops in the field can be put on their own tables are now at risk for whatever dangers may be caused by the chemicals.

The song "Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos)" began as poem written by the great Woody Guthrie. My father's best friend, Martin Hoffman, wrote the music, and I found a copy of his first recording of it among my dad's belongings last year. I began researching it, trying to verify that it was, in fact, the original. The author of the original post here and the soon-to-be-published book found me last year through a folk-singers' forum on the internet where there was a great deal of interest in the song. It turned out that Woody Guthrie had never sung it at all, but had only read the poem in public, and Mart's recording was, indeed, the original. I had all of my dad's music converted to digital media and returned the originals, along with a document assigning any rights I might have had to Mart's family. Mart's son has graciously given Tim permission to share it with the public for this project.


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Subject: RE: Deportees - seeking original Woody recording
From: GUEST,DianeV
Date: 26 Jul 12 - 09:00 AM

Update about the recording I discovered among my father's possessions:

I was able to make contact with Dick Barker, who verified that the recording I had on cassette was a COPY of the first version recorded by Martin Hoffman. Dick personally recorded all of the music contained on the 4 cassettes that I found, and made copies for my dad and a few other friends. Not long after, I also located and received a response from Martin's son.

In the process, I learned that Pete Seeger had copyrighted the music for Deportees in Mart's name when he recorded his version of the song. I also learned that my dad, who was an attorney, had copyrighted the remainder of Mart's music for the benefit of Mart's family.

I was able to have the music converted to digital media, so still have a copy for my own enjoyment, but have returned all of the tapes, along with a copy of the digital recordings and a release of any rights I might have had to Martin's family. I have been asked not to publish any clips of the music as Mart's son has plans to release it at some future date, and will honor that request.

I will send his son a copy of this message so that he knows there is interest here in learning more about his father and his music, but ask that everyone respect the privacy of the family of Martin Hoffman and not attempt to locate them.

Thanks,
Diane


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Subject: RE: Deportees - seeking original Woody recording
From: mayomick
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 12:10 PM

Very moving post , Joe . If Woody hadn't written the song, how many people would have heard of the crash today?
I wrote on Mudcat some time ago that I see the song's lyric being inspired in part by The Bold Robert Emmett .Compare:


The crops are all in and and the peaches are rotting,
oranges packed in their creosote bins

The battle is over and the boys are defeated
Ireland surrounded by sorrow and gloom.

Farewell to companions in Emmett chorus
adios mis amigos in deportees chorus

drive us outlaws like rustlers like outlaws like thieves -deportees
Tried as a traitor, a rebel, a spy - Emmett

Or am I just projecting things Irish onto Guthrie's lyric? Deportees could be sang to the same tune as The Bold Robert Emmett .


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Subject: RE: Deportees - seeking original Woody recording
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 11:15 AM

Well, Guest Porky said it back in 2003 but just the other day, I was playing Springsteen's Sinaloa Cowboys for a folkie who just don't roll Jersey Shoreside much and he agreed that yes, it is a virtual sequel to Deportees and I believe it was intended to be just that. In Sinaloa Cowboys, they start out as Migrant workers only to get recruited to cook Meth in a chicken shack. With BREAKING BAD coming back for a new season the other people listening were struck by how far ahead of himself Springsteen was inchoosing the blight of a Meth lab and mexican immigrant Meth cookers as his subject back around the time of Ghost of Tom Joad. How I happened upon this thread is sort of weird but it brings to mind that next time I sing Deportees, I'll wear my "What Would Heisenberg Do?" button on my Guitar strap and follow it with a quiet rendition of Sinaloa Cowboys.

here's to Guest Porky!

BTW - still looking for fellow olayers and singers in need of a girl harmony singer here in Los Angeles. I had to sing MY WAY at a senior center recently just to say I'd sung something in public that month.

Luv to you all


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Subject: RE: Deportees - seeking original Woody recording
From: BrooklynJay
Date: 22 Mar 12 - 08:21 AM

Joe, thank you so much for posting this.

If you ever put some of the pictures online, I hope you will provide a link.

Just two days ago, at an open sing in Manhattan (Call To Song SongFest), we sang Deportee. The song had also been going through my head these days because I had recently heard Cisco Houston's recording for the first time in quite a while. One of my favorites, if I do say so.

Again, Joe, thank you for the post.


Jay


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Subject: RE: Deportees - seeking original Woody recording
From: 2581
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 04:47 PM

Thank you for your very thoughtful post, Joe. I have long loved "Deportees" and have collected many versions of the song. Other than Arlo's solo version, my favorite rendition is by Ox (from the album, "Dust Bowl Revival"). I also like the versions done by Joel Rafael, Bruce Springsteen, Pete Seeger, Tim Williams, John McCutcheon, Judy Collins, and The Battlefoed Band.


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Subject: RE: Deportees - seeking original Woody recording
From: Mark Clark
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 10:35 AM

Joe, That is just a wonderful post. Thank you.


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Subject: RE: Deportees - seeking original Woody recording
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 01:47 AM

I had quite a day today. I visited Pinnacles National Monument in San Benito County, California - climbed through a cave and saw a California Condor. I took the back way out, heading south down California Highway 25 on a leisurely route toward Los Angeles, where I'm due to arrive Thursday. In the middle of nowhere, I noticed a turnoff to "Coalinga Road." I think I saw that turnoff last year when I was in the same area, but paid no attention to it then because I was headed in the opposite direction. This time, I looked at the map and found that the road became Los Gatos Canyon Road as it approached Coalinga.

The sign at the entrance warned me to expect 25 miles of winding road, so I figured it was going to be only 25 miles to Coalinga. I didn't note my mileage until I had gone what I thought was twenty miles, and I drove twenty-five miles after that. I didn't see another vehicle for the first hour, and the road was narrow and full of potholes, showing signs of recent landslides. In several places, the road forded small streams that flowed from the remainder of last week's rain and snow. There was still a dusting of snow on some of the higher mountains that lined the canyon. There were ranches in some places along the road, and even a couple of small communities; and there were other long stretches where there was no sign of human habitation at all.

Even where there were buildings, I didn't see any people. The daylight was fading, and it was getting a bit spooky - and then the road narrowed to one lane. After maybe thirty miles of very treacherous driving, I crossed into Fresno County and the road was pretty good.

Along the way, I saw California quail, and two big flocks of turkeys - maybe 25 turkeys in each flock. I saw a deer, and a long, slinky animal that looked like a weasel. Then I saw a herd of elk in a meadow alongside the road, so I stopped to take pictures. While I was there, I spotted two bald eagles in the trees near the elk.

In the evening sunlight, this forty-mile canyon was spectacular. It was very narrow in places, and the surrounding Coast Range mountains were often very rugged. There weren't too many wildflowers yet, but the grass was green and lush.

Just after I entered Fresno County, I came to "Los Gatos Creek Recreation Area," a facility that looked like a vacation camp with cabins. There was a small community around the recreation area - again, with no people in sight. At the other end of the road, a sign said the recreation area was 16 miles west of Coalinga, so I imagine the plane crash took place just west of the recreation area, in the most desolate area of the road. I didn't see any marker commemorating the crash - just a narrow road in a narrow canyon in a very rugged area. But it was beautiful, breathtakingly beautiful - and teeming with wildlife.

I've wanted to make this drive for years and years. Yes, today was a good day - it was touched with a sweet melancholy, thinking of those people who died in this beautiful, desolate place, just a few months before I was born.

May they rest in peace.

-Joe-

Click here for photos


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Subject: RE: Deportees - seeking original Woody recording
From: DianeV
Date: 03 Jan 12 - 04:27 PM

The discoveries continue! I found an intermediary contact for Dick Barker last week and e-mailed them, and received his phone number and mailing address by e-mail this morning. Assuming (mistakenly) that they had his permission to send me his info, I picked up my phone and called. We had a delighful conversation, and I have forwarded all of the information I had to him.

From our conversation, I learned that I do NOT have the original recording of Deportees . . . Dick has one that was done before the series of recordings that I have.

I have also renewed contact with Mart's niece, who I located shortly after my father's death in 2007.

Both Dick & the Hoffman offspring have rights to Mart's music that supersede mine. I just happen to have the series of tapes that my father preserved, so I have asked for their approval and will wait for their answers before making my digital copies available when I receive them.


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Subject: RE: Deportees - seeking original Woody recording
From: DianeV
Date: 28 Dec 11 - 03:48 PM

OMG - I just found a link to this post by a guest above in this thread while doing more internet research:

Date: 28 Feb 02 - 01:39 PM

In 1961 I went to Tucson AZ to grad school at UA and ended working for a while at the Park Theater on Campbell (long gone as UA expanded) The manager, Jerry, a law student and also folk music lover, told me his friend Martin Hoffman wrote the music to Deportees. I met Martin once at Jerry's house where Martin played tapes of Navajo children reading from english textbooks. He taught on the reservation and the tape was made in September after the kids got back to school after spending the summer only speaking Navajo. Later Martin's wife left him and Martin did himself in. I heard Judy Collins sing a song that she wrote to Martin with the words something like, "Martin, if I had only known." Her tribute to him.

If the person who wrote this is still here - you were at my father's house! Dad returned to Phoenix to practice law. If you are still here, please, please contact me!!!!!


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Subject: RE: Deportees - seeking original Woody recording
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 26 Dec 11 - 11:17 AM

THe tune always struck me as a harmony line for The Rivers of Texas


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Subject: RE: Deportees - seeking original Woody recording
From: skarpi
Date: 26 Dec 11 - 09:51 AM

Chris Foster does a very good version of this song , .

I tune my guitar down to D tuning as well does Chris ...sounds better
and í use the G chord ....

but thats me ...

Deportees is amazing tune .


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Subject: RE: Deportees - seeking original Woody recording
From: DianeV
Date: 25 Dec 11 - 11:57 PM

Thanks Charley! When I figure this site out a bit more, I'll post an image of the typed list to Facebook (need to figure out which Mudcat FB page would be the right place), and will post at least clips of the music when I get it back.

Diane


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Subject: RE: Deportees - seeking original Woody recording
From: Charley Noble
Date: 25 Dec 11 - 10:59 PM

Diane-

Nice update.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Deportees - seeking original Woody recording
From: DianeV
Date: 25 Dec 11 - 09:32 PM

Excerpts from my message to Joe last night, edited for this forum:

The series of four 2-sided cassettes that I have was done sequentially with songs numbered from 1 to 87, in multiple recording sessions, according to the list from October (no date) 1956 to February 19, 1959. They are numbered 1-4, and each is marked in my dad's hand "Mart(Dick)". Mart committed suicide in about 1971, and I don't know about Dick, so don't know if there are any other copies out there anywhere. There is a 2-sided typed page listing the dates and locations of each session with extra information about some of the songs.

Having listened to both recordings of "Deportees" on the first of a series of 4 cassette tapes (it's listed again on tape 2), there is no doubt in my mind that the one marked "1st recording" and recorded on May 22, 1957 in Fort Collins is, indeed, the first version recorded. Mart introduced it on the tape and talked about how he wrote the music. As I listened to it, I kept complaining to my husband that it was too fast, and that it wasn't how I remembered Mart singing it. The second version, recorded in December 1957, is much more as I remember it. I believe the only difference is that the one that "stuck" was at a slower tempo . . . probably not a very good technical description, but sadly, I did not inherit my father's musical talent!

Diane


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Subject: RE: Deportees - seeking original Woody recording
From: Greg B
Date: 25 Dec 11 - 03:18 PM

Here is the official accident report, with the cause. The crew TOOK THE WRONG AIRCRAFT!


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Subject: RE: Deportees - seeking original Woody recording
From: GUEST,Diane
Date: 25 Dec 11 - 02:02 PM

Hi Mark,
There will be soon. I'm delivering a bunch of my dad's tapes (cassettes & reel-to-reel) & albums for conversion to digital media tomorrow. The whole project will probably take about a month, and as soon as I have them, I'll figure out how & where to post them. When my membership is activated, I'll post a bunch more info about this particular series of tapes.
Diane


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Subject: RE: Deportees - seeking original Woody recording
From: Mark Ross
Date: 25 Dec 11 - 01:47 PM

Hello Diane, is there any way you can post a link to it so the rest of us can hear it?

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Deportees - seeking original Woody recording
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Dec 11 - 01:20 PM

Hi all, I'm Diane, and my membership is pending after I contacted Joe last night. I discovered yesterday that I have the original recording of this song by Martin Hoffman on cassette tape (yes, really, THE original, from my father's collection - Marti Hoffman was his dearest friend), recorded May 22, 1957. Both Martin and my father sang the first line as "the peaches are rott'ning" as Rich described above, and as others have reported, I still can't listen to the song without tears, especially hearing Mart's voice singing it.


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