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The Castro Collection

August 30, 2012
Castro Collection

Manuel Dominguez, a former special assistant to then Gov. Raul H. Castro, has donated items to the growing Castro Collection. The donations include documents, certificates, programs related to special events, and several pictures that depict activities involving Gov. Castro, such as the National Education Commission, which he chaired. Also included in the donation are two portraits of Gov. Castro with special messages and signatures.

The items will be added to the larger collection that Gov. Castro donated to Phoenix College last summer. Plans are underway to have an official event in early fall 2012 that will display the collection and present the dignitaries.

Dominguez is a Phoenix College alum from the class of 1962. He was appointed by Gov. Castro in 1977 to serve as a special assistant to the Governor.  His role was to manage specific Arizona agencies, including the Department of Education, Department of Economic Security, Federal Interagency Agency, and the Arizona Tribal Councils.

He recalled his role with the governor fondly. He met dignitaries such as the Rockefellers and Robert McNamara, who served as Secretary of Defense under President Kennedy.

He also recalled special stories involving the governor such as when the governor asked to speak to him. In Spanish he asked Dominguez, “Quiero saber si sabes quien puede hacer tortillas?” (Do you know of someone who can make tortillas?”)

Manuel called his friend Irma Orozco from Valle Del Sol and asked if she knew someone who would make tortillas for the Governor.  Irma said she had a Tia that made tortillas and would ask her if she was willing to do the task.  Irma’s aunt later told him that the Governor would send his limousine to pick her up at her residence in the barrio on 18th Street and Grant and drive her to the governor’s mansion to make tortillas. Sometimes the DPS would transport her as well.

Dominguez also recalled Gov. Castro enjoyed visits from a barrio dance group of young children, whom he later contracted to perform in events hosted by him and his wife Pat.