Fred Bustillos Eva Guerrera and Lucy Lopez Lenor Lainez Francisco Mena Allona Kaba Eddie Ramirez Dorothy Solis Dolores Jimenez

David Greenberger

David Greenberger is the creator and producer of Growing Old in East L.A. and an author who has spent the past 28 years collecting stories from the elderly and publishing them in a periodical called The Duplex Planet. His approach goes beyond the standpoint of oral history or what makes a cohort group (that they are all old), in favor of exploring what the whole of society has in common with them: individualism, a desire to be known, and a hope of growing old with dignity. It is Greenberger's unwavering commitment to these goals that fuels this project. His work is often funded to gather the voices of the seniors within a specific community or city. He has appeared on NPR, the CBC, BBC and NBC-TV to speak about the power of listening to the elderly.

Greenberger's work has included performances throughout the United States, four books, seven CDs, plus adaptations such as comic books and trading cards. The work takes a literary approach to documentary in his effort to capture the diverse character of old age. The characters evolve overtime, revealing themselves through their stories. Greenberger and The Duplex Planet have been the subject of two documentaries, one-act plays and a film short. He is a regular commentator for National Public Radio. Currently he is working with producer Jay Allison on another radio project, stories from Cape Cod and the Islands.


Jay Allison

Co-producer Jay Allison is an independent broadcast journalist. His work regularly airs on NPR's All Things Considered, PRI's This American Life, ABC News' Nightline, and other national programs. Over the last twenty-five years, he has created hundreds of documentaries, essays, and special series for national and international broadcast, and has won virtually every major industry award for his productions and collaborations, including five Peabodys. Allison was awarded the Corporation for Public Broadcasting's Edward R. Murrow Award for outstanding contributions to public radio. In 2002, he received the Public Radio News Directors' Leo C. Lee Award for lasting commitment to public radio journalism. He is producer of This I Believe and co-producer of Lost & Found Sound and The Sonic Memorial Project (with the Kitchen Sisters), Beyond Affliction: The Disability History Project, and many other series, including Life Stories, a project which gives tape recorders to citizens and supports them in telling about their own lives.


Barbara Price

Producer Barbara Price has been collaborating with Greenberger as an editor and writer for the past six years, and has been instrumental in developing new Duplex Planet projects. Price is a book editor and journalist who has more than twenty years experience in the arts, including work in Sotheby's Corporate Affairs and for the Nederlander Theatres of Broadway.


Louie Perez and David Hidalgo

Louie Perez and David Hidalgo, of Los Lobos, have received two Grammy awards for Best Mexican-American performance, reflecting the admiration of their peers and their success spanning geographic and cultural borders. Together for over thirty years, Los Lobos have recorded sixteen albums and worked on a number of soundtracks for television and film. Perez and Hidalgo have also recorded two albums as The Latin Playboys. With commitment to their Mexican musical heritage, rendered through contemporary perspectives, they have created a crossover sound that is unique to them and particularly resonant in Growing Old in East L.A.


California Council for the Humanities

The California Stories Project is a multiyear initiative designed to connect Californians through exploring the personal and community stories of today's California. The goal of the California Documentary Project is to record and reveal contemporary life in California. The program is designed to encourage documentarians to create enduring images and text of contemporary California life, much like Dorothea Lange and John Steinbeck documented the Dust Bowl era.

Whether they have lived in California all their lives or are newcomers, members of the Mexican-American community have stories to tell that are central to the future of California. The Chicano population has a long and entwined history with the land that is California. The largest part of California's population are people of Latin American descent; 42% of all (documented) Mexicans and 31% of all Hispanics in the United States currently live in California.

The aging population in California is booming, and Los Angeles, with more than 70,000 Hispanics over seventy, has the largest concentration in the state. Projections from the California Department of Aging suggest a 78% percent increase in the Hispanic population over-sixty during the next decade.



Humanities Consultants


Cotten Seiler, Ph.D.

Professor of American Studies, Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Dr. Seiler’s specialization is the cultural and intellectual history of 20th century United States, popular culture, race relations and social theory. Among his published works is an ethnography of the racial politics of the music scene in Louisville, Kentucky, "Something in the Water: Louisville and the Indie Consumption Ethic."



Jorge Lambrinos

Director of the Roybal Institute, Cal State, Los Angeles. Mr. Lambrinos' expertise is in aging policy and the quality and effectiveness of health and human service delivery to older persons. He is presently vice chair of the California Commission on Aging. He is also a member of the California Executive Council for AARP and the Older Californian Traffic Safety Task Force. He has served as principal staff to former Congressman Edward R. Roybal as his chief of staff and director of the Select Committee on Aging. He has served on the National Advisory Council on Aging for the National Institute of Aging. In 1989, he was named as one of the "Top 100 Most Influential Hispanics in the U.S." by Hispanic Business magazine and, in 1988, he was presented the Award for Outstanding Service in the Area of Health Care by the National Association of Community Health Centers, Washington, DC. He was recently named to the National Latino Behavioral Health Institute Honor Roll for his dedicated service to the Latino community and aging.





Produced by
David Greenberger and Barbara Price
in collaboration with Jay Allison and
Atlantic Public Media in Woods Hole, Massachusetts
Production Assistance by
Viki Merrick
Music Performed by
Latin Playboys
Composed by
Louie Perez and David Hidalgo
Recorded by
Armando Tavares
Fiscal Advisor:
Sydney Lewis, Atlantic Public Media
Technical Assistance:
Jeff Towne
Post Production Assistance:
Kerri Countryman
Web Design:
David Doonan, Mohill Design
David Greenberger
Paul Rapp
California Council for the Humanities:
Susana Loza, Programs Manager
Lucy Nguyen, Grant Administrator
Ralph Lewin
Felicia Kelley
The Skirball Foundation
Open Studio Project, The Center for Public Broadcasting
The New York Foundation for the Arts through
the Arts Center of the Capital Region, Troy, New York
Public Radio Exchange:
Jake Sharpio
John Barth
Adrianne Mathiowetz
Thanks to the Cape and Island NPR stations
Thanks to, Sarah Yahm and Helen Woodward.
The Interview Subjects

Mark Adler
Danny Alvarez
Alex Barath
Pedro Bena
Fred Bustillos
Yolanda Castille
Nellie Castillo
Mary Davignon
Thomas DeHaro
Tony Del Valle
Bettie Faith
Ann Fletcher
Jesus Gonzalez
Eva Guerrera
Louis Hernandez
Mitsuo Higa
Genevieve Hilton
Teresa Hinojosa
Mimi Hunt


Dolores Jimenez
Ilona Kaba
Rose Kraft
Lenor Lainez
Claudia Lopez
Lucy Lopez
Jesus Martinez
Francisco Mena
Mary Montes
Connie Noriega
David Orosco
Frances Pardo
Eddie Ramirez
Lilia Ramos
Leland Reed
Rose Savala
Dorothy Solis
Jeanette Tobin


Interviews conducted by David Greenberger at

Boyle Heights Senior Center

Al Varness, director
Virginia Naranjo, dining coordinator
Costello Senior Center Winifred Ashford, director
El Serito Senior Center

Irene Lira, dining coordinator
Luz A. Davidson, director
Glassell Park Recreation Center

Maria Perez, dining coordinator
Ramon Bernal, director
Highland Park Recreation Center

Irene Martinez, dining coordinator
Cathrine Penny, director
Highland Park Adult Center

Rick Swanson, director
Lincoln Heights Senior Center

Priscilla Diaz, dining coordinator
Sonia Riveros, director
Montecito Heights Senior Center

Lucy Armstrong, dining coordinator
Joe Escandon, director
Yosemite Senior Center

Josefa Ibanez, dining coordinator
Casandra Bruno, director
Thank You
Dave Alvin
Linda Anderson
Patty Baldwin
Steve Berlin
Ben Bianchini
Susan Clary
Peggy Cullin & Andy Matlow
Donelle Davey
Mary Dean
Don Foster
Amy Godine
Eddie Gorodetsky
Gravita International Pictures
Jane Greenberger
Skip Heller
Kevin Lamb
Latino Loop
Camille & Alden Ludlow
Pejk Malinovski

Adele Meyer
George Meyer
Geoff Muldaur
Josh Norek
Jeanne & Robert Potash
John & Theresa Price
Erin Quigley
Ed Ruscha
Ray Sammartino
Darby & Jay Scalise
Rena Sever
Gary Shafner
Coco Shinomiya
Louie Silva
Israel Smith
Kim Smith
Maria E. Trejo, Sr., International Institute
Bill Turner
Ruth Waytz
Michael Wilson

This project is funded in part, by a grant from the California Council for the Humanities in partnership with the Skirball Foundation through the jointly supported California Documentary Project, a program of the California Stories initiative. The Council is an independent nonprofit organization and a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. For more information on the Council and the California Stories initiative, visit

Additional funding has been provided by the Arts Center of the Capital Region, New York Foundation for the Arts and The Public Radio Exchange.