If you have ever been to Dallas Heritage Village, chances are you have encountered and interacted with one of our History Educators. As a living history museum, we not only like to have our beautiful historical buildings on display but we always like to educate the public on what life was like “back then.” One way we do this is through our wonderful team of History Educators who play characters living or working in the buildings which you find them.
One such educator is Angie Gamez who plays Mrs. Deleon in the Section House. Angie is a native Texan, born in Austin and she has held a variety of jobs in the past including being a school secretary. Her character, Mrs. Deleon is the wife of a foreman working for the railroad. The foreman usually had about 4 to 8 crewmen and they would work and maintain one section of the railroad tracks.
The particular house where Mrs. Deleon and her husband live was built in Carrollton in 1883. Angie’s own grandfather worked for the MKT Railroad in the 20’s. During this time working for the railroad paid well and most of the workers came from Mexico. This helps Angie “play the part” because our Section House, including the yellow color, is very similar to the house her Grandmother had. She feels right at home and this is the reason why she loves this job, she is connecting with her own family history and getting to teach others about it!
When Angie is asked what she and her character would spend the day doing together (either in present time or in Mrs. Deleon’s), she explains that when she is here she is Mrs. Deleon and she immerses herself in the Village we have created. She loves to tell people about the whole museum and not just her house. When school kids and parents see her outside of the museum, they always greet her as Mrs. Deleon, so in a way Angie feels as though she already spends every day with her character and she loves it! Playing her character at the museum has taught her to do the best with what she has.
Angie also has an interest in strong female historical figures, her favorite being Eleanor Roosevelt because she never gave up on anything! When President Roosevelt couldn’t continue his job because he fell ill, she didn’t wait for help, she stepped up and did the best she could. Other than Eleanor Roosevelt, Angie also finds encouragement while reading about the women in the Bible, her favorite book, and applying the stories and lessons to the present. While she frequently crochets as her character, she also has a talent for drawing and plans to pursue this more seriously in the future.
Angie embodies the saying, “Whatever you do, you need to love what you are doing,” with her work at the museum every day. Come out and see Mrs. Deleon and our other History Educators soon!