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Our Story: Juan Campos

Juan Campos 

I am from Poteet. Do you know where that is? It's a little bit south of San Antonio out on 16. My dad was an illegal farm worker, I guess. He worked for the farmers up there and I went to the third grade there. 

I never went to school because we all had to work to help make it. I never went back but my mom and dad taught me a lot of things that helped me through life. I learned the basics like how to write a little and how to work numbers. We were poor, ya know? 

Somewhere around 16 I took off to go work for Texaco working on right-of-ways and mowing grass. Lots of mowing grass. We lived in mancamps and stuff all around South Texas until I was about 26 when I went to work for Continental down here. I worked there for 10 years before going back to finish at Texaco. 

I was a pipeline. That's what they called us. We did everything though. It's just kind of what we all did back then is go to work for the pipeline and I did too. 

Throughout my life, I have seen some characters down here in South Texas. I remember living in San Diego when old ”tacuache” (George Parr) shot himself out on his ranch. He would be proud to see all these ”little tacuaches” running things nowadays. 

Nah, they are not all that bad but I think they are trying to manipulate the vote in their own way just like he did. But there needs to be more common sense here. I think for years it was getting better but I worry we are going backwards. 

I remember when we lived in San Diego in my younger days we would go to Freer and Alice all the time to hang out. Maybe there was a place in Freer called Bill’s Newstand where all of the business used to get done. You could get jobs, paychecks and a lot of BS in that place back then. 

I never really liked Alice too much so that's why I live here near my kids in Corpus. It's a great place to retire and relax and really raise my grandkids. 

I guess we won't have any Little League this year but I am still holding out hope for football. Go Ray! 

This is where I call home and my wife of 51 years is happy here so this is where we will stay. I go fishing up at the lake (Lake Corpus Christi) every chance I get and hopefully we can still take the grandbabies camping in July up there. One day this will all end and we can put it behind us. I'm just ready for some baseball. 

Interview and transcription by Art Metzinger


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