On a spectacularly clear and sunny day, Whitewashed Adobe producer/director Walter Dominguez flew from Los Angeles to Palo Alto, California to visit the 8,000 acre Stanford University campus at the invitation of Dr. Albert Camarillo, Chairperson of the prestigious Department of History (the renowned Professor Camarillo is also a historical consultant for Whitewashed Adobe). The offices and classrooms of the Department of History are located in a corner of the massive but graceful historic quad, where iconic Romanesque arches line the red sandstone buildings and open to sweeping views of expansive lawns and palm-lined avenues. Courtly and gracious, Dr. Camarillo introduced Walter to guest lecturer, Carol McKibben, who recently completed a remarkable three-year, multi-ethnic public history project in the Monterey Bay area. Professor McKibben leads a seminar in public history at Stanford and her students are engaged in preparing a public history exhibition about Juana Briones de Miranda. Juana was an early California Mexican woman who successfully bridged the transition from Spanish and Mexican control of California into the American era, and her compelling life story and its significance in California History, and Women’s History, is the focus of the planned exhibit.
Dr. Albert Camarillo (Front, Left) and Walter Dominguez (Center) with the talented history students of Carol McKibben’s seminar on Public History.
Walter was asked to address McKibben’s students about the process of developing a history-themed documentary project for television. In addition to discussing Whitewashed Adobe: The Rise of Los Angeles and how the project is shaped, Walter screened a seven-minute clip (the clip can be viewed on the Home page of this website) from a recently videotaped interview with Rosa Maria Lemus Carlos – who grew up in Los Angeles’ Simons Company Brick Yard No. 3, the subject of one of the series’ episodes. The response from the graduate and undergraduate students to Mrs. Carlos’ remarkable interview was enthusiastic, and a lively Q & A followed. Walter was heartened that so many young and gifted scholars are determined to bring history to the general public through various formats. As Walter flew back to Los Angeles over the gold-tinged waters of the Pacific Ocean during a spectacular sundown, he pondered how wonderful it is to be alive on such a day and to have the opportunity to meet a diverse group of people who share his love and passion for the rich history of California.