Yesterday's Sunshine Today's Shadows
Bernalillo: Yesterday's Sunshine‹Today's Shadows is a compendium of oral stories from fifteen Hispanic old-timers from Bernalillo, New Mexico, that takes the reader back fifty-plus years to their beloved town with a colorful and long-standing history. They speak both proudly and sadly of their language and culture. Language, in spite of everything, cannot exist without culture or vice versa. Two primary goals were considered in putting this book together: First, to shed light on the vitality of the Hispano¹s centuries-old cultural traditions and way of life in a semi-rural community for present and future generations to reflect upon and assimilate irrespective of ethnicity. Secondly, to convey the sadness old-timers feel with regard to the future of their language and culture with no one standing in line to replace them to carry on their legacy. Bernalillo: Yesterday's Sunshine‹Today's Shadows, like Garcías previous books on oral history and folklore, features Hispanic old-timers of northern New Mexico. For some in this latest work their remembrances were a nostalgic journey to a bygone era replete with both joy and hardship, but for others sharing their experiences also meant putting their cultural legacy into perspective as the 21st century dawned upon them. For over thirty years García has devoted thousands of hours and traveled as many miles to interview the old folks. During that time he has joined hands with many of them, tape-recorded their reminiscences, and published numerous books. His first work on oral history, Recuerdos de los viejitos: Tales of the Río Puerco, no longer in print, saw the light of day in 1987. From his own Río Puerco valley, the Río Pecos valley (El Valle), Las Vegas, Bernalillo, Albuquerque and across the American Southwest to Colorado, Texas, California, and Arizona García has gathered information on a variety of topics. The subjects ranged from religion, the cornerstone of their lives, death, education, politics, and folklore to customs and traditions.
- Rio Grande Books, March 2014
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