East of East

East of East: The Making of Greater El Monte

A Project of the South El Monte Arts Posse

Interview with Robert Irwin

Dublin Core


Interview with Robert Irwin


Oral History with Robert Irwin


Abstract: Born in Whittier and raised in SEM (not yet incorporated) on his father’s walnut farm (10 acres, some trees still remain along Durfee Avenue). Interview contains vivid description of the agricultural landscape in interwar and early postwar SEM. Remembers working in dairies as a child, meeting other farmers, and watching Japanese Americans be interned and seeing their farms sold to newly-arrived Anglos (something his father did not like). He was also opposed to the destruction of the barrio and the building of Legg Lake (which he notes is not naturally occurring, but is underlaid with plastic). Father also worked for LA county. He worked as a truck driver for many years, moved further out into the SGV as an adult with his wife. Remembers his family listening to Cliffy Stone’s Hometown Jamboree out of El Monte Legion Stadium, along with other country-western artists. His father’s family members were Irish immigrants who came to California at the turn of the 20th century.


Nick Juravich


South El Monte Arts Posse

Oral History Item Type Metadata


Nick Juravich


Robert Irwin


South El Monte Senior Center




Nick Juravich, “Interview with Robert Irwin,” East of East, accessed July 30, 2021, https://semapeastofeast.com/items/show/25.