by Steven Dugan
We would like to introduce you to Christine Vargas, one of our newest volunteers. She joined the volunteer staff last September and got involved a couple weeks after her volunteer orientation was complete. As an administrative volunteer, Christine has helped out with projects and events: from special tour weekends, small events such as our picnics, as well as our festival events like Ticket to the Twenties, Christine is always willing to help out wherever needed. And as you will read, she really enjoys interacting with people of all ages, and takes particular joy observing others having a good time at the museum. Her interest in history has also inspired her to be a member of the West Covina Historical Society. She is also part of the wonderful team of volunteers who are able and willing to cover the phones when I need to take some time off throughout the year. We asked Christine to share a little about herself, how she decided to volunteer, and some of her interests as well.
Tell us about your first visit to the Homestead.
My husband and I purchased our home twenty years ago. One day as we were traveling on Hacienda Blvd., we saw the sign for the Homestead. It’s nestled in the middle of the industrial area. Much to our surprise we discovered the beauty of The Workman and Temples homes. We enjoyed learning about the history of the families. We also learned about Pio Pico, the last Mexican governor of California, and we enjoyed being able to visit his final resting place. I enjoy visiting the Pio Pico State Historic Park as well.
What made you decide to volunteer at the museum?
I decided to volunteer because I believe that the Homestead is very educational and informative.
Has anything surprised you as a volunteer?
The activities they offer for children are fantastic. I love to see the smiles on the children’s faces and the surprise of their parents who didn’t know that the Homestead existed. The parents’ experiences make them want to take our flyers and return for the next event.
What has been your favorite event at the museum so far?
My favorite was Christmas Calamities in December. It was worth it seeing the children so happy! A family was having such a good time that they didn’t want to leave. Then, they suggested to me that we should sell Christmas trees.
Where does your passion for history come from? And why do you think it is important?
History is fun and I’m always looking to learn new information and new lessons. Learning from the past allows us to move forward, to understand ourselves, others, and our common history.
When you’re not giving your time at the Homestead, what are some other things you enjoy?
I love painting ceramics, sewing, and doing arts and crafts.
How would you describe the Homestead Museum to friends and family?
It’s very family oriented, educational, and informative. The personnel are well educated and cheerful!