Creating advocates for history through the stories of greater Los Angeles.
by Steven Dugan
When we last put the Staff Spotlight on Homestead docent Marcy Moreno, she had just begun giving tours and was finishing her first semester at Mt. San Antonio College. Since then, she has expanded her museum repertoire to include working at many special events and off-site presentations, as well as portraying living history character, Viola del Rio. Most recently, Marcy earned a BA in Liberal Studies from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, after transferring from Mt. SAC. As we catch up with Marcy, she shares some of her early memories of the Homestead, her experiences giving tours at the museum, and her passion for photography. It has been a pleasure getting to know her over the eight years she has been a volunteer, and we hope you enjoy getting to know her as well.
What do you remember about your early visits to the museum?
One of my earliest memories of my life is actually of the Homestead. I remember when I was about five, my mother and I came on a tour. I vividly remember the yellow walls of La Casa Nueva’s kitchen and the stove. I remember it being a lot bigger when I was younger.
What do you find interesting about history?
I enjoy history because we are able to relive the past through stories, objects, places, and people. I also find history very important because it has lessons for us to learn from.
When you’re not giving your time at the Homestead, what are some of your hobbies?
Around the time I started volunteering at the museum, I also began to grow a passion for photography. I mainly do landscape and candid photography. The Homestead Museum has become a muse of mine. Many of my favorite shots are of the museum.
You’ve given tours for eight years now. What do you want your visitors to come away with after taking one of your tours?
I want visitors to get a good sense of what life was like in the eras of the Workman and Temple families. The houses share a lot; but it is what we share as docents that really paint the picture. I also want visitors to take away something new they have learned. For example, learning about economic depressions other than The Great Depression, how adobe is made, or the origins of Temple City.
Tell us about a memorable tour or event experience?
One of my favorite memories is when I was playing my living history character, Viola del Rio. Viola is a very animated, bubbly character. There was a group of older visitors on the tour. The memorable moment occurred when I was able to bring back a sense of nostalgia for them. Their smiles and laughs were priceless. In front of my eyes I saw an older group of visitors become young again.
What are your plans now that you’ve graduated from college?
I am in the process of looking for a full time job. I am also in the process of looking for graduate programs. Toward the end of my undergrad studies I grew a passion for Ethnic Studies. I hope to study Women’s Studies or Chicano Studies. I am not sure yet which one; they are both so interesting. My main goal though, is to get a full time job.