Friday, October 10, 2014

Secret Gardens of the Heart

A show called "Valley of the Heart," put on by Teatro Campesino and written by Luis Valdez, has been in theaters in NY and LA lately, and has been successful. Teatro Campesino is the theatrical component of United Farm Workers.

"Valley of the Heart" takes place in the 1940's, when the Japanese owners of a farm in California are sent to a concentration camp in Wyoming. Some of the Mexican farm laborers are told to watch over the farm. Many interesting occurrences ensue, including a love story.

The ILGWU (International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union) also created a theatrical group in the 1930's. They put on the extremely popular show (at the time) "Pins and Needles." One summer, the son of the camp director at the adult camp to which my mom and her parents went in summers decided to have the Pins and Needles players up to put on their show and other shows. He also invited a French chef, who made blintzes like the best of crepes.

He almost bankrupted the camp.

My mom, however, had her choice of desserts and waiters and busboys. The latter competed to see who could bring her the best dessert. She was 14 and gorgeous, although not as gorgeous as she would become.

I wish there were a machine that would allow us to visit the past, invisible, without changing it.

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