Huellas del Pasado ... Footprints from the Past


drawing by Alex Layman and Gloria Martinez - Girl With Bus


We did a unit of study about Tucson. To get information about what it was like to live in Tucson many years ago, we asked people we knew to fill out questionnaires about things we wanted to learn about. We had to find someone who lived in Tucson between 1930 and 1970. We asked grandparents, parents, and friends who were born during those years. Some questionnaires were returned. We learned a lot about the things that interested us. We found out about how people lived, what people did and how things were very different in Tucson many years ago.

When the questionnaires were returned, we divided the information into three parts. Each group of students studied the answers to questions that were assigned to them. We summarized what we learned and commented on some of the interesting information we learned about. We drew pictures to illustrate what we learned. We were surprised by some of the information. We wish we could still enjoy some of the things from the past today.

Where Did You Live? What School Did You Attend?

   People of many different ages answered our questionnaires. The average age was 48 and-a-half years. The youngest was 25. The oldest was 75. The person who had been here the longest was Josephine Garcia, abuelita de Anissa Soto.
   None of the people interviewed lived near each other. Two people lived in National City. Others lived in Menlo Park neighborhood. Most of the people lived on the south and west sides of town.
   Two people went to school at Menlo Park. One went to school in Puerto Peñasco, Sonora, Mexico. Edgar's Nana Vaughn went to school in Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico. Back then the only middle schools were Safford and Roskruge.

—Damian Carbajal, Briana Cuestas,
Chelsea Haro, Gabriela Rincon,
Edgar Switzer, Demi Verdugo

Which restaurants were popular? What do you miss about the time when you were little? Did you feel discriminated against for any reason?

   People didn't go out to eat very often. The Small Mexican Restaurant was one of the popular restaurants. The people who visited the Small Mexican Restaurant ate tacos and menudo. Another popular restaurant was Mi Nidito. People from high school used to go to Kippy's or Woolworth's after school. Another restaurant was Pickle Barrel.
    Back then only some people used to go on vacations. People really missed friendships with their old friends. They missed riding their bicycles when they were little. Some people mentioned that they missed their parents' love. They also said that there was not much violence. There was not as much traffic back then as there is now.

—Marisol Basurto, Rachel Cruz,
Jacob Freitas, Darcy Hernández, Anissa Soto


chelsea haro's drawing
Chelsea Haro
Rachel Cocio's drawing
Rachel Cocío
Andrea Sanchez drawing
Andrea Sánchez
Natalie Quiroz y Nora Maldonado drawing
Natalie Quiroz y Nora Maldonado

smiling kids drawing by Abriana Romero y Alina Cocio
drawing by Abriana Romero y Alina Cocio

What was one of the most popular children's games at that time? What was one of the most popular toys? What could you buy with a dime? What did your family do in their spare time?

Many games were played with groups of people. People played some games we don't play now. "Ron Chiflón," slingshots, and Chinese jump rope were all popular then, but not anymore. Many of the games played were sports.

   Some people don't know about the toys people used to play with. We had never heard of dolls called "Baby Go Bye-bye" or "Holly Hobbie." Many kids played with plastic cars, bicycles, and scooters, like we do. Plastic guns are still played with today, and pogo sticks are still popular, too.

   Ten cents was worth much more many years ago. We were surprised to hear you could buy three sodas or a toy for 10 cents. Today many toys cost at least 10 dollars. We wish our cool toys only cost 10 cents.

   In their spare time, people did lots of things that didn't cost money. We spend a lot of money to go to the movies. It costs $15.00 to go to "Breakers," a water park, today. They used to go swimming for free at "las pompitas," one of the irrigation ditches. They used to listen to novelas on the radio because not everyone had a television back then. Sometimes they spent money buying pan de huevo.

—Otis Baldwin, Anthony Chávez,
María García, Alan Keeme,
Vanessa Moraida, Andrea Sánchez

   Susy Navarro ha vivido en Tucson 12 años. De las personas que entrevistamos, ella ha vivido menos años. Eduardo Gradillas ha vivido en Tucson por 92 años. El vivió en Tucson el número más grande de años que todas las personas que entrevistamos. Las demás personas han vivido en Tucson entre 21 a 63 años.

-Abriana Romero y Alina Cocio

    De las personas que entrevistamos, tres de ellas viven en Barrio Anita y tres viven en Barrio "Hollywood." Las otras personas viven en Barrio Sur, Mountain View, Granada y Sam Hughes.

-Gloria Martinez y Alex Layman

    La mayoría de las personas que entrevistamos fueron a "Davis Elementary." La mayoría fueron a "John Spring Middle School." Todos excepto una persona fueron a "Tucson High School."

-Bobby Camacho y Alexis Rodriguez

    Los juguetes más populares era brinca cuerda, escondidas, canicas, patea el bote, beisbol, futbol, jugando con muñecas, patea la pelota, natación, "Chinese checkers," y "hopscotch.

-Nataly Quiroz y Nora Maldonado

    Lo que las familias hacían en su tiempo libre era ver la television, iban al parque para jugar béisbol, jubaban cartas, leían libros, escuchaban a Jack Benny en la radio, platicaban, tenían fiestas e iban a la iglesia.

-Mandla Kunnie

    Los restaurantes más populares del pasado eran El Charro, A y W, Burger King, Pinnacle Peak, Pat's, Lyl Restaurant y MacDonald's.

-Vivian Colter

    Con un centavo podías comprar una hamburguesa y también una soda, nieve, "hot dog," chocolates, dulces, brinca cuerdas, pan, chicle, boletos para una película, semillas de flor, un periódico y más.

-Celeste Rodriguez, Hailey Hagan y Ricardo Flores


drawing of roads by Briana Cuestas
Briana Cuestas

drawing by Chelsea Haro Chelsea Haro

drawing by Demi Verdugo Demi Verdugo

drawing by Venesa Moraida Vanessa Moraida



Go to the Table of Contents Go to The Beginning: Tucson, Arizona Go to Barrio Anita Go to Corridos Go to Davis Families Go to Medicinal Plants