People and Places – Derek 1 – Laveen, Arizona

Download audio file (laveen.mp3)

Aaron: Where are you from?
Derek: I’m from Laveen, Arizona.
Aaron: Where is Laveen?
Derek: Laveen is Southwest of Phoenix.
Aaron: Southwest of Phoenix.
Derek: Phoenix is the capital of Arizona.
Aaron: Yeah? And so how would you describe the place where you grew up?
Derek: It’s a small farm town. It’s been around since probably like the 1850s. It was a trading place a long time ago; early settlers used to go there. And now it’s a farming town. Now it’s changing a lot though, but I don’t live there anymore. But when I was there it was still a farming town.
Aaron: Wow! And so you grew up on a farm?
Derek: We…I don’t think it was a farm; it was actually a ranch. We didn’t grow vegetables or any kind of produce or anything like that. We had cows, we had sheep, we had horses, some chickens.
Aaron: Um-hm.
Derek: We didn’t…we never had a pig, but we had a lot of animals.
Aaron: Wow! And I know that in the Southwest it’s – especially Arizona – it’s famous for the Native American populations there, and I’m wondering if you had much contact with Native Americans living in Arizona?
Derek: That’s right. Actually Laveen, Arizona is in the Southwest corner, as I mentioned before, and it’s very near the Indian reservation. So when I went to school, we had a lot of Indian students who went to our school. We did call them ‘Indian’ students and a lot of them still refer to themselves as ‘Indians’.
Aaron: As ‘Indians’.
Derek: But now the term a lot of times people use is ‘Native American‘, but even on the bus – it was an Indian bus – and yes, there were a lot of….a lot of them.
Aaron: Oh, how about that. And also, Arizona is close to the Mexican border. Is there a significant population of Mexicans living in Arizona?
Derek: There are a lot of Mexicans in Arizona. In fact, my mother is Mexican-American, but she’s from Texas, actually. Um, but I grew up around a lot of Mexicans and a lot of times I wasn’t accepted by them because I was also white, because my father was German and uh….yeah.