Pilar Hernandez de la Rosa arrived at our East Los Angeles MobileBooth nervous about what to say. It’s a normal feeling for participants to have when we usher them into our slightly cramped-but charming-recording studio. Yet, it wasn’t long before Pilar began reminiscing about her native Tepec, Mexico telling her daughter, Loana del Pilar Valencia, about her mischievous childhood activities, her mother’s strict code of conduct, and growing up in a family of eight.
The conversation took a turn when Loana asked her mother about her love of music.
Pilar said, “Empezó cuando escuché a Elvis Presley por primera vez en Acapulco, MX.” [It all started when I first listened to Elvis Presley in Acapulco, MX.] “Mi mamá me decía, ‘¡Pilar, ni entiendes lo que está cantando por que no entiendes inglés!’ Y yo le decía que no me importaba. ¡Me gusta la música!” [My mom would tell me, 'Pilar, you don't even understand what he's singing because you don't understand English!' But I would tell her, 'I don't care. I love the music!']
Pilar had eight children, one of whom is Loana, now a successful music publicist in Los Angeles. Of her mother’s musical influence, Loana said, “There was never a day in our house when music wasn’t playing. If there wasn’t any music, then the house would feel cold.”
After the interview, Loana sent StoryCorps staff in East Los Angeles an email that read,
“The CD has already made its rounds. So inspired are my mom & I that my two younger sisters are now committed to ALL of us meeting ONCE A MONTH to tell & listen to each other’s stories…”
That sounds like Rock ‘N’ Roll to us!
StoryCorps Historias will be recording in East Los Angeles from Feb 11, 2010 to March 20, 2010. Reserve here or call 1800-850-4406.