Jacobs, Lionel and Stella

This interview was recorded at Lionel and Stella Jacobs’ house in Tucson, Arizona on November 29th, 2017. It covers the following themes:

  • A brief overview of Lionel and Stella’s family histories.

  • Lionel’s childhood in Tucson’s barrio, the Jacobs family’s feed store business.

  • Stella’s move to Tucson at the age of 11, picking cotton in Marana, learning English.

  • Lionel and Stella’s work experiences during middle and high school: newspapers, cleaning bars, cotton, retail, selling cantaloupes, playing music for miners in Globe.

  • An overview of Lionel’s post-high school career.

  • Stella’s experience in the first desegregated class at John Spring; teenage extracurriculars like church and folklorico dance.

  • Commuting; buses and the importance of walking—feeling safe while walking alone. Leaving the Jacobs Assay Office open after hours so strangers could use the bathroom.

  • Neighborhood and community, especially relating to pregnancy and new parents.

  • A few threads about Urban Renewal, mental maps of the city, and home ownership.

  • A detailed description of the Menlo Park neighborhood in the 1950s.

  • Stella’s post-high school career, including dating, marriage, and children.

  • Lionel and Stella’s description of building and financing their own home in Arroyo Chico, with a discussion of credit, loans, banks, and downtown department stores, and a few closing thoughts on Urban Renewal.

PeopleAengus Anderson