Three Decades of History
For the past two years, Borderlands has published articles relating to national and local issues in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. And although we knew that this year's 50th anniversary of the end of World War II would generate great interest locally and worldwide, we wanted to take a look at the decade preceding American involvement in the war -- the 1940s -- and the decade following the war, the 1950s.
The decade of the 1940 proved most popular among students, so we have articles about El Paso's own Company E, as well as local aviators who flew the B-17 in the war, along with reports on the activities of the local Red Cross and Civil Air Patrol.
We also take a nostalgic look at general stores in the 1930s, the first Sun Carnival, and swing music, which was popular during bo the '30s and the '40s. Leading off, however, we look at the 1950s, a generally positive decade of increasing affluence for Americans, and a time that witnessed the rise of both fast-food restaurants and fast automobiles.
1995 marks the Silver Anniversary of El Paso Community College. Thousands of students have graduated with degrees or certificates in fields as diverse as accounting and nursing to travel and tourism and welding technology. Thousands more have taken courses to improve work and personal skills or to enhance their academic skills before attempting university course. Happy Anniversary, EPCC!
Over the past five years, I have been privileged to work with student editors who represent excellence at EPCC. This year, Leigh Smith agreed to continue in his position as editor, and I am grateful. His knowledge and interest in World War II have proved invaluable in pursuing stories involving events of the 1940s.
Leigh was ably assisted by Sandra Pierce, who always had time to take another picture, make another phone call, or edit another story. I also discovered late this spring that one of my students, Tony Barron, was quite an artist, and I asked him to help illustrate Borderlands. He has done an admirable job in very short time. THANK YOU ALL, LEIGH, SANDRA AND TONY!
Even though they both teach full loads and serve the college in many ways, Jim Stowe and Joe Olds always found the time to read and carefully comment on the articles you read today. They received no compensation except for my sincere appreciation. THANK YOU, JIM AND JOE!
My staff and I join the English Department in thanking the El Paso Times for their continued support of the El Paso Community College by inserting Borderlands in an issue of the Sunday Times.
I am grateful for all my English 3112 classes who generate the original research and writing which form the basis for most of these articles. Each year they discover information about their community they would never otherwise learn. They work hard and must overcome frustration, disappointment and, sometimes, failure. But when they submit their research, I know they have succeeded in developing skills which will help them in their academic careers and beyond.
To my own family and friends, I say Thank You for helping me through a difficult year. Special thanks go to my daughter, April Lee, for her patience and understanding.
This issue is dedicated to Rieta Boone and Agnes Robinson, my colleagues in the English Discipline, who are retiring this year and who have influenced hundreds of students and numerous co-workers with their caring attitudes, high academic standards and warm personalities. We will miss you.
Ruth E. Vise, Faculty Editor and Advisor, English Discipline
From the Editors
The experience and knowledge I gained from last year's issue of Borderlands helped everything to run more smoothly this year. Sandra Pierce came aboard in January as Assistant Editor, and her contributions and research were vital to the completion of this year's edition.
Borderlands has been a great experience for both of us this year. We have come to further appreciate the multicultural city in which we live and know that every EPCC student who participated in this project now has a greater understanding of El Paso's history.
I am very proud to have done the story on the Rapido River and the men from Company E, for so little is known about the overwhelming odds these men faced.
I would like to thank my wife, Margareta, and son, Ryan. While I was studying and working on Borderlands, Margareta was completing her final semester of college and will be graduating this month. Congratulations, "Sunshine".
It is important to preserve the history of our area, and one of our goals in Borderlands is to help our children -- our future -- grow up with an understanding of how the generations before them lived and worked.
Leigh E. Smith, Jr., Editor
When I learned in English 3112 that I would have to research and write a paper on a topic about El Paso during the 30s, 40s, or 50s, the first thing I thought of was 1950s teenagers and their hangouts. I knew drive-in restaurants had been popular, and I wanted to know the names of the local ones, their origins, and what it was like to have been there.
I didn't realize what little written information I would find until I started my research. I was feeling desperate when I decided to call El Paso historian Leon Metz. He not only encouraged me but gave me some really good leads on where to begin my research.
I soon discovered the Fred Hervey's Oasis restaurants were among the most popular teen spots in the 1950s. Although the research on this article took a great deal of time and hard work, the project was truly an enjoyable experience and helped prepare me for the editorial work on Borderlands.
I would like to thank my husband Ray and our three children, Raymond, Amanda and Cherity. Without their support and love, iI would not have een able to attend to the many jobs I hold, including that of wife, mother, employer, student, Girl Scout leader, and editor.
Sandra R. Pierce, Assistant Editor