All They Will Call You: Searching for the Plane Wreck at Los Gatos
Award winning author, Tim Z. Hernandez, offers this engaging performance based on his book “All They Will Call You,” which chronicles his ongoing search for the lives and stories behind one of the most compelling protest songs of the 20th century, Plane Wreck at Los Gatos (Deportees), written by Woody Guthrie but made popular by Pete Seeger, Johnny Cash, Joan Baez, and countless others. On Jan 28, 1948, twenty-eight Mexican citizens were being deported from Oakland to the Mexican border, when the government-chartered plane crashed and killed everyone aboard, including the crew and immigration officer. Media, at the time, only published the names of the American crew but omitted the names of the Mexican passengers, referring to them only as “deportees.” Guthrie’s lyrics were an attempt to restore the dignity of those anonymous passengers, whose remains were buried in California’s largest unmarked mass grave—an injustice that was swept under the rug for seventy years, until now. Using the song’s lyrics as inspiration, and his own family’s background as farm laborers, Hernandez takes us on an engaging performance, blending storytelling, video/ audio recordings, and live music, where he recreates the incident and brings to life touching portraits of the people who perished in that fatal crash. Hernandez will also be joined by guest musician, Johnny Irion for this special presentation.