El Paso Video Histories
Video interviews with notable El Pasoans (or those with ties to the region)
1st woman mayor:
article & video
article & video
article & video
Border Studies at EPCC
NW Library and EPCC Links
Other Local Libraries
We do NOT have the resources to assist with genealogical research.
For GENEALOGICAL RESEARCH please contact:
*El Paso Genealogical Society
Three Decades of History
Article first published in Vol. 12, 1994.
By Ruth E. Vise
Thank you for reading Borderlands, the annual writing project of EPCC students. This year students in selected English 3112 (research & critical writing) classes explored world, national and local issues of interest during the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s.
Many students knew little or nothing of these decades, but others had topics in mind before the end of the first class period. They had heard the stories their grandparents, parents and other relatives had told about "the old days."
Some students wanted to know exactly what the Depression was and discovered such topics as the New Deal, the alphabet agencies and the hobo phenomenon of the 1930s.
Others explored the huge topic of World War II, learning about rationing and women working in munitions factories and the long-range effects of these phenomena on the family and work force in this country. Still others had relatives or friends who had been Nazi victims during the war. Students talked with these people for hours at a time, patiently drawing out stories that long had been repressed. Some students had heard their parents talk about the beginning of rock `n roll, motorcycle gangs and poodle skirts in the 1950s and decided to explore that decade.
Once all the research papers were submitted, we began the job of selecting stories for Borderlands and the much larger task of turning academic prose into feature articles. There is a vast difference between an academic research paper and a feature article. The editors cut the length of the paper, chose the major points, wrote an appropriate lead, and learned to compose short, concise paragraphs.
My editors are not journalism majors, but they are excellent students and they are hired on the basis of their own performance in English 3112, especially their research and writing skills. Often they spent hours researching in a library or interviewing a subject to fill in the gaps left by a student's research paper.
Fortunately, I had the help of two excellent student editors, Leigh Smith and Debra Diaz, who took long research papers and turned them into a good real. Leigh and Debra were conscientious, hard-working and FUN to work with. Thank you, Leigh and Debra.
Thanks to Raul Robles who ably illustrated several stories. A big thank you goes to Ida Gonzales, librarian and colleague, who researched fine points of interest in various stories and also helped my students in their quest for information.
Two of my colleagues in the English Department, Jim Stowe and Joe Old, graciously agreed to edit the stories one more time after we wrote them as feature articles. Jim and Joe enthusiastically read and critiqued these stories without compensation, other than our hearty THANK YOU!
My editors and I thank the El Paso Times for its continued support of the college and this project. This year we had more articles than we could publish, so some will appear in the next issue.
Thanks also to our families for their patience and help during this semester. A personal "thank you" goes to my daughter, April Lee, for her continued support and encouragement.
We hope you enjoy this issue of Borderlands. We know we have explored just a fraction of the important issues before, during and after World War II, so we propose to carry this theme into the 1994-95 year and do another issue on El Paso during the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. Look for Borderlands again next year!
Ruth E. Vise, Faculty Editor