Deportees (The Plane Wreck at Los Gatos)
Deportees (The Plane Wreck at Los Gatos) stories
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bernardtwindwil
bernardtwindwilGranddad & story teller, tomthepo8.com
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Deportees (The Plane Wreck at Los Gatos)

by Woody Guthrie thru B. Windwillow

This is a poem/song that is as topical today as in 1948.

Woody Guthrie wrote this following a tragedy when a plane load of Mexican deportees crashed in the Mountains of Los Gatos, CA. Their bier is now a part of Silicon Valley.

"This Machine Kills Fascists"

Woody hand painted the above sign on his guitar. It was meant for American Fascists, not German, Argentine, nor Italian Fascists. It was nothing less than an alarm clock which we have ignored.

The crops are all in and the peaches are rott'ning,

The oranges piled in their creosote dumps; They're flying 'em back to the Mexican border To pay all their money to wade back again

Goodbye to my Juan, goodbye, Rosalita,

Adios mis amigos, Jesus y Maria; You won't have your names when you ride the big airplane, All they will call you will be "deportees"

My father's own father, he waded that river,

They took all the money he made in his life; My brothers and sisters come working the fruit trees, And they rode the truck till they took down and died.

Some of us are illegal, and some are not wanted,

Our work contract's out and we have to move on; Six hundred miles to that Mexican border, They chase us like outlaws, like rustlers, like thieves.

We died in your hills, we died in your deserts,

We died in your valleys and died on your plains. We died 'neath your trees and we died in your bushes, Both sides of the river, we died just the same.

The sky plane caught fire over Los Gatos Canyon,

A fireball of lightning, and shook all our hills, Who are all these friends, all scattered like dry leaves? The radio says, "They are just deportees"

Is this the best way we can grow our big orchards?

Is this the best way we can grow our good fruit? To fall like dry leaves to rot on my topsoil And be called by no name except "deportees"?

This morning, Nonni and I were discussing the insane wall.

Nonni's great grand father was an immigrant from Italy without papers (WOP). Even the "Native Americans" are immigrants. She asked, "Are we all going to become ' just deportees' "?

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