Tong Ambrosi
Photo by Elizabeth Dranitzke
     
   
Interview with:   José Canales
Interview Date:   July 29, 2009
Interviewer:   Martha Stracener Dantzic
Transcribers:   Kaye S. H. Edwards
    This interview transcript is the property of the Ruth Ann Overbeck Capitol Hill History Project. Not to be reproduced without permission.
 
       
   

TAPE 1/SIDE 1

DANTZIC: Today is July 29, 2009. I'm Martha Stracener Dantzic sitting here today with Jose Canales as a part of the Overbeck Oral History Project focusing on the Eastern Market and its history. Thanks for being here today. I'm going to start with, the first question is, how did you first hear about Eastern Market?

CANALES: Back in 1983, I was working in construction, and I always want to do something, have something of my own, and I was looking for a small shop. And this man told me, "I have the right place for you, is Eastern Market. Go and look at it." And I came over with my family and sure it was very attractive and lucky that at that time this lady wants to sell, she wants to retire and I was able to talk to her and purchase the business from her.

DANTZIC: What was that woman's name? Do you remember?

CANALES: Joan something, I don't remember it exactly.

DANTZIC: And was it the same business that you're running more or less?

CANALES: More or less, yes. It was a deli. Back in those days, the diversity of the food was wasn't so we decide to start bringing gourmet sausages and more variety of ethnic food like tamales, burritos, and tortillas. And that's how we create a trade with some of the people that were happy to see those items were sold at Eastern Market.

DANTZIC: And who was it that told you about Eastern Market, this gentleman, was he a friend or somebody you knew through work?

CANALES: No, actually his nephew owned the same business before this lady who sold it to me.

DANTZIC: Oh, interesting.

CANALES: Yeah. And she only worked there for about a year. And I don't know how this man got the news that she was getting ready to go out, to retire, after a year. So anyway, that's how I found out about Eastern Market.

DANTZIC: Oh, that was a lucky score.

CANALES: Yeah, lucky score.

DANTZIC: And so how long had you been in the United States at that time?

CANALES: Thirteen years. I came here in 1970.

DANTZIC: And at that time were you the only person in your family?

CANALES: Yes, I was only person in the family. I met my wife and married her three years later. And maybe ten years later, during the civil war in El Salvador, my family had to leave, and I was able to help my brothers. The youngest left in 1978. Jorgé. Emilio left in 1980. So we've been there since then, in the United States, in this area.

DANTZIC: Well, are there just three brothers total, or do you have more brothers?

CANALES: We have another brother. He's actually the youngest. His name is Carlos. And he lives out in Virginia. He choose the hair cuttery, hair stylist business instead. He's doing well.

DANTZIC: Too bad he can't have a barbershop inside the Eastern Market.

CANALES: (Laughter.) Oh yeah.

DANTZIC: Have all the Canales there.

CANALES: I love that.

DANTZIC: That would be great. And so you were in construction before, had you ever had any experience with a deli? Or running your own business?

CANALES: No. I didn't have any experience owning my own business but I come from a family of entrepreneurs. My father had like a country store where I come from in El Salvador and since we were small, we used to help in the store, stocking up the shelves or pushing boxes around. That was part of our life.

DANTZIC: So family business is part of your history.

CANALES: Family business, yeah.

DANTZIC: What was the name of the town that you guys came from?

CANALES: Comacaran.

DANTZIC: Could you spell that for us?

CANALES: Yes, C o m a c a r a n.

DANTZIC: C o m a c a r a n

CANALES: Yes, it's a very rural place, very small, maybe two thousand people.

DANTZIC: Oh, wow, very small.

CANALES: Very small. Everybody know each other.

DANTZIC: You were the first to come to the United States?

CANALES: I was the first one to leave the family actually, yes in 1970. I was a student back then. I was going to the university in El Salvador, and there was a long strike by the teachers and six months went by and the classes didn't restart. So I started writing letters to a friend of mine, who was already here. And he said, "Well, come on over, we'll find you a job." And I did. I thought I was going to stay for a short time, maybe a year or two and go back, but after the year went by it was not possible. I met my wife, we married in 1973, we had our first daughter Elizabeth in 1977.

DANTZIC: How many children did you have?

CANALES: Two. Elizabeth the oldest. She was born in 1977. And Carolina, the youngest, 1980.

DANTZIC: Do either of them work for you in the deli?

CANALES: Yes, they both do. Carolina, she is now working with the business across the street from Eastern Market, Tortilla Café. She's actually handling that very well.

DANTZIC: Oh, that's great.

CANALES: And she is still having to see us and happy about it. So she wants to see if she can take over the business one day (laughs).

DANTZIC: Well, that must be nice.

CANALES: It is. It is. It is.

DANTZIC: Carry on the tradition.

CANALES: Right.

DANTZIC: I wonder which, because I love the women who work in your stand, and I'm just wondering which one might be your daughter. I'll have to ask one day.

CANALES: At the stand, my oldest daughter sometimes comes in on Saturdays or Sundays when she has time. She's raising a family. She has two kids at the moment, and she is busy. But Saturdays and Sundays she manages to come over. She likes it. They both like it. They start coming to the market when they were twelve years old.

DANTZIC: Like you went to the family store.

CANALES: Yeah. And they like it. They enjoy every bit of it.

DANTZIC: So since 1983 until now, let's see that's 26 years, wow that's a long time. So how has business changed over the years?

CANALES: It has changed a lot. With all the publicity we get. The Market is actually a lot more busier than it was before.

DANTZIC: Before the fire or just before in general?

CANALES: Before the fire. And I would say in general, yeah. It's very busy now.

DANTZIC: In terms of the products that you sell and the customers, what your customers are wanting, how have things changed?

CANALES: The line of food we sell, I think we all have, you know, been trying to get what the people are looking for, like the produce, some organic produce. We try to stay with what's new in the market, like recently the Spanish ham, Serranos and Ibericos were finally available for exportation. And I think we were some of the first ones in the city to bring Ibericos which is the black hoof hams so we had them and it's been a very good, we sell, people like it that they can purchase Ibericos at Eastern Market. So we all work hard trying to get new products to keep it colorful and attractive to all customers.

DANTZIC: When did you start doing rotisserie chickens?

CANALES: About, that was happening in 1980. We were able to purchase the stand next to us and there was room for salads, and we decided to do the rotisserie chicken because there was none in the area. So we try new products.

DANTZIC: I love rotisserie chicken.

CANALES: Thank you, thank you.

DANTZIC: And then, of all your products, how many -- I notice you have different salads and sometimes you'll have different things that are ready to cook. Do you guys, do you make all of that right there in your stand?

CANALES: We've been able to make all the salads in our premises. We buy the tamales; we make the burritos; we buy the tortillas. It's a week of intense labor, shopping produce, shopping vegetables and chicken. We try to keep it fresh; we actually make it maybe two or three times a week. It depends on the demand. But it's constantly re-supplying.

DANTZIC: (laughter) You're feeding a whole lot of families.

CANALES: Yes. Yes. Yes.

DANTZIC: I hear that you make your pickles yourself.

CANALES: No. No. We don't make the pickles. We actually buy the pickles by the pound. Sorry.

DANTZIC: Somebody told me one day that, I guess it was Mel and Mel, they had some pickles you were, maybe you'd just made a batch, I don't know.

CANALES: We make our own salsa. And we do well with the salsa. It's actually spicy. I'm surprised how many people in the area like the spicy food.

DANTZIC: And jalapeno sauce.

CANALES: Oh, yeah, jalapeno sauce, we make that, too. And during the summer time we make mango salsa. We add mango to the regular fresh tomato salsa. It is very good, very popular. Yes.

DANTZIC: You make your own chips, too, don't you.

CANALES: We make our own chips. (Laughter) Yes. Yes. Yes.

DANTZIC: Because I go out of my way to get them.

CANALES: We make our own chips. With the little restaurant across the street, we've been able to do a few more things with it.

DANTZIC: You have a whole other kitchen.

CANALES: Yes, we have a full kitchen there.

DANTZIC: So besides your diverse products, what else have you done to attract customers to your deli?

CANALES: The personal service is important. And customers come in, and it's great that we can dedicate a minute or two to talk about family or life. And that's important. That's important. It's not just the exchange of the product for money. We exchange the smile. So that kind of thing is important.

DANTZIC: I agree. When you got your brothers there, can you tell me the stories about how Emilio came and then Jorgé came, how those opportunities came to pass?

CANALES: Yes. While I was working in the Market back in the 80s, the guy who had Emilio's business decided he wants to sell. So he had it for sale for a while and couldn't find any buyers, so one day he came over and told me, "José , why don't you buy it?" And I say, "Well, I have my hands full over here. But let me see. Let me call my brother and see if it's possible." But then he was painting houses, working for a company, painting. And I call him and he said, but how can I do that; I don't know nothing about it. I don't even speak English. Well, I said, look, I'm already here, be helping you, be guiding you every day So don't be scared. And I said, well just come on over on the weekend and look at it. Stay with me all day and see what, how you feel at the end. And he did. And he said, well ok, ok, sure. I said you have three sons, you have family, you have support, three sons can help you. And he did. And that's how he started.

DANTZIC: And he learned to be a butcher.

CANALES: He learned to be a butcher, but then we had a chance to meet this Russian man who was retired from supermarkets, and he came over to my brother and helped him out on the weekends. And he told him, I'm going to teach you everything I can about the meat.

DANTZIC: Do you remember his name? Your brother told me, but I, I'm just trying to remember.

CANALES: No. I don't remember. But anyway, that's how he started. And maybe four or five years later my brother Jorgé, his opportunity came. Someone was trying to sell the stand as well. And the stand was unoccupied for at least two years. A long time vacant. So finally this guy approached me and said, "José , we are thinking about selling the business, would you be interested?" And I said, well . . .

DANTZIC: I've got a brother. (Laughter)

CANALES: I've got a brother Jorgé. And I called him and he said ok, come on. And brother Jorgé still there.

DANTZIC: And his business is probably the closest to your family business that you grew up with, huh?

CANALES: Yeah.

DANTZIC: Being that it's a grocery and kind of has the staples.

CANALES: Yeah, it's very close. Very close. So that's how we end up at Eastern Market.

DANTZIC: (Laughter) It's really neat to see all the Canales there. What has been your best seller, what's your most popular item?

CANALES: We do well with barbeque. We make our own barbeque and we make pork, chicken, and turkey barbeque. It sells pretty good. On the weekend we make a lot of sandwiches out of pork barbeque. The sauce we use is very, very good. People like it. (Laughter)

DANTZIC: That's great. You know, I've never tried your barbeque. I make my own. I have come to get the slaw and beans to go with mine.

CANALES: Sure. Certainly.

DANTZIC: So, no, I'll have to put that on my list. So how is it different during the week than the weekend in the Market in terms of your business. Do you do a steady business during the week?

CANALES: During the week, yes, it's fairly busy. Somehow Wednesday is the slowest day of the week. But I think it's that way in every food business. And Saturday and Sunday are our busiest days because people are off and take time to do some groceries for the rest of the week. But all in all we stay fairly busy during the week and very busy during the weekend.

DANTZIC: And then, how about the holidays? Are they real different for you or is business the same at the holidays?

CANALES: Holidays we do a little more business than normal. It's a very excited process. You start getting excited about a week or two weeks before trying to plan what or how to order. So it's very demanding. It's very busy during the holidays. We work at least 14, 15 hours a day. For Thanksgiving, we work there all day Monday just preparing. Tuesday we come in at 5 o'clock in the morning. Wednesday we come in at 4:30 and stay there all day, so it's a very demanding business.

DANTZIC: On a regular week, what time do you typically get to work?

CANALES: Seven, seven, seven on weekdays. And five to seven on the weekend.

DANTZIC: Wow, that's a lot of hours.

CANALES: Yeah, a lot of hours. A lot of hours. (Laughter)

DANTZIC: Your nephew Carlos told me a story about sleeping under the cabinet when he was a little boy, at 5:30 in the morning.

CANALES: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

DANTZIC: Where do your customers come from?

CANALES: During the week, a lot of local customers. On weekends, we get the locals and the suburbs. People come as far as Burke, Virginia; Chevy Chase; Gaithersburg.

DANTZIC: And these folks that come from Gaithersburg and Chevy Chase, do you know them in the same way you know your Hill customers?

CANALES: Yes. Yes. Loyal customers and they come in every weekend. Yeah.

DANTZIC: Where do you think that loyalty comes from?

CANALES: I think that going back to the personal service. We get to know each other by names and since we know their family, their kids when they were little, we still asked them how they doing, even though they already gone to college. We follow up how they doing, so when they graduated and they bring pictures of them, and that's very, it's a close relation. It's not just like I said exchanging food for money, it's personal and very important. I would say friendship in other words.

DANTZIC: After all those years, you get to know people, don't you? Have, over the years as things have changed and new vendors have come, how, have you guys ever had any competition issues or how is it that people, it seems like pretty much the Market, when you have two chicken guys, two produce guys but most people kind of have their specialty products. Do you all have some kind of agreement or is there just a gentleman's understanding?

CANALES: There is a moral agreement in everyone of us. Competition, you are not going to stay away from it. You might be some competition in the Market but we take it very light. We don't pay too much interest to it. But we all agree that if you start a product you take the risk with it and if you do well, well, nobody can bring the repeated item into their business. It's a moral agreement that we all have. We are grown ups and we understand that if you do well, if you bring people to the market, chances are they'll walk by mine and I'll be able to sell mine without interfering with your business. So we try to keep it that way. When I came in there was an organization called CenEast. It was Central East, I forgot what, anyway it was CenEast. And that was from the Calomiris's to the bakery, All the merchants from the Calomiris's to the merchants were belong to this organization. And we actually protect each other on the line of product that we sold. We actually had written rules what to sell and what not to sell. Like the chicken, it was fresh poultry only. The cheese were cheeses and you know all dairy protects, nothing else. We, deli, were supposed to just be deli, not red meats or fresh poultry or even we all know that during the Thanksgiving holidays, if people are looking for turkeys, I can't sell turkeys. I let the poultry sell the turkeys. They all know that during the Christmas time, they looking for hams, and I sell hams. So they know they can't sell hams. It's an agreement that we all understand.

DANTZIC: But it used to be written as a part of this CenEast group.

CANALES: Right.

DANTZIC: So all the merchants or only some of the merchants were part of this ?

CANALES: Some of the merchants. From the Calomiris's to, to Union Meat. The seafood, the restaurant, they were not part of it. So we dissolved the corporation, that was a corporation. We dissolved it, I can't recall when, but it was late 80s. And we have been since this renovation, since then. But we still functioning.

DANTZIC: So this was just a group of you, of merchants and when you bought your stand, your stand was a part of this group already?

CANALES: Yeah. This group actually met with the new owner and passed it on the written agreements and investigated if possible this new owner, make sure he was the type of person, make sure this person didn't have any bad business somewhere else. That's what we used to do.

DANTZIC: And so that change, when it went from the Glasgow management to the Eastern Market Venture management or ?

CANALES: It did change when it , well the Glasgows always managed the Market until Site Realty came in but during that time, sometime before the Site Realty came in, we were two groups actually. CenEast and the Glasgow square.

DANTZIC: Oh, because the Glasgows were kind of where the market lunch and the seafood and, I see, and the flowers, I see.

CANALES: The flowers come in late. They was no flowers over there until maybe 90s. That flower space, it was occupied by the restaurant. And I think the restaurant didn't think they needed that space any longer.

DANTZIC: Now I bet they wish they had it. (Laughter)

CANALES: Well, maybe. So they decide to sell the site to the flowers.

DANTZIC: Oh, interesting. So how does that work? So you have a lease and then you own the rights to the lease and then you can sell that lease?

CANALES: Right. Right. Yeah.

DANTZIC: So it's not only your business but it's also the space.

CANALES: The space and your name, your business name. That's how it is.

DANTZIC: And so over the years, have you been a part of the tenants council or I'm not exactly sure how the management structure works, but do you have an opportunity as a merchant to give input and direction into the management?

CANALES: Yes. Actually we are all invited to participate. At one time I participate in the Capital Improvement Subcommittee during the Site Realty Management time. And we were actually supposed to look for improvements, capital improvements for the Market, and I was part of it for at least three years, and then I was too busy, running out of time, getting home late too many times, so I couldn't do it any longer. But it's good, I learned a lot and I was able to communicate in some decisions to the Market.

DANTZIC: It must be working fairly well for you if you've been there 26 years.

CANALES: Ah, yes, yes, yes. I'm not going to complain. It been a very, very good place where my family put my daughter through college and, you know, food was always available.

DANTZIC: (Laughter). That's an added bonus.

CANALES: Twenty six years, no problem.

END OF TAPE 1/SIDE 1
TAPE 1/SIDE 2

DANTZIC: One other thing that I think is interesting about you is that not only have two other brothers there but you also are, you are a Market Row merchant, you own a store front with Tortilla Café. And so, what year did you buy or start that business and how did that come about?

CANALES: Yeah, well, I started that business in 2001, and we actually opened on January 20, 2001. I knew the owner of that business, was a Russian deli before us and one day, talking with him, I said, "If you ever retire and you decide to leave the space, let me know and see if I can take a chance with it." And one day he came over and said, "José, I'm ready." His wife took a job with the State Department, and they send her to Russia. And he said, "I'm going to Russia with my wife. So I'm leaving the store." So I was able to purchase the space from him, the lease agreement he had. And that's how we started in 2001.

DANTZIC: Wow, so that's a comparatively new business.

CANALES: Yeah.

DANTZIC: I mean, now it's eight years.

CANALES: Nine years gone by almost. So it's been good. I thought the need, well, there was no Mexican or Salvadoran food in the area back then, and I thought it would be a good idea to try some ethnic food like pupusas, for the Salvadorans, and you know tacos, quesadillas. And it's been very well accepted by . . .

DANTZIC: . . . by everybody. Stays pretty busy, huh?

CANALES: Yeah, stays busy enough to keep it going. Yeah.

DANTZIC: I also enjoy your Tortilla Café, and I love the name.

CANALES: How the name come from, in El Salvador, everything is, instead of bread we eat tortillas and at every meal tortillas are served first and my deal was to make tortillas; I even bought a tortilla machine. But then, I had to send it back because I couldn't make corn tortillas. The machine was made for flour only.

DANTZIC: Who eats flour tortillas!?

CANALES: I know. So, and I couldn't get right away a corn tortilla machine, so I decide to just hire some ladies and make the corn tortillas by hand.

DANTZIC: And your pupusas are made by hand.

CANALES: And pupusas are made my hand as well. Pupusas are good, very good. So that's what we do, make the tortillas by hand instead.

DANTZIC: So the corn tortillas, and that's why they're a little bit thicker . . .

CANALES: Yeah, that's why are a little thicker.

DANTZIC: So you also sell some that aren't so thick, right?

CANALES: Flour tortillas.

DANTZIC: Just your flour tortillas.

CANALES: And the corn tortillas, the very thin ones, we buy those. We don't make them.

DANTZIC: Oh, because I remember when I first moved here, figuring out. Because first I got the thick ones, which I like, but I also like the thin ones.

CANALES: The thin ones, yes, yes. (Laughter)

DANTZIC: You can see why I moved to the neighborhood, just so I can eat at Eastern Market. (Laughter)

CANALES: Thank you.

DANTZIC: And so, so now I'd like to talk to you a little bit about the fire and just the night of the fire, and I guess my first question about that is, when did you first hear about the fire?

CANALES: Around 5:30 in the morning. My daughter was pregnant back then, my oldest daughter, expecting. And she was awake early in the morning and watching the news. She saw the Market on fire and she called us right away. We are asleeping. It was on Sunday night so we off Monday, I wasn't worried about getting up early.

DANTZIC: (Laughter) It's your one day off.

CANALES: Right. And she said, Dad, Dad get up, the Market is on fire. So I turned the news on right away, and I saw that was on the news every channel. So I got up right away and came to the Market. I think we got there about 15 minutes after six. We actually saw the firefighters trying to put out the fire. And it was very shocking, what to do, what to do. And I was worried, wow, wow, I said. The Market is gone; now what's going to happen with Tortilla Café cause Tortilla Café is actually supported by the Market customers and if the Market disappear, I don't know about the rest of us across the street. So I was worried and that same morning when Mayor Fenty had a press conference over by the plaza around 10:30, he said the Market will be rebuilt, I was, well, they serious about it. And the community starts applauding and everybody inspired and serious about getting the Market ready. So I said, well, maybe it's not so bad. We have to wait. And within a week or two, everything was moving very fast. And I located this place from the Hines School. Well the temporary building, right away, within a month they were digging and oh well, it's so. It was incredible.

DANTZIC: I never saw the government work so fast.

CANALES: It was incredible the way the commitment and that the Mayor and that some other officials and the community actually demonstrate. And so . . .

DANTZIC: And what were some of the poignant or interesting things about the community response. One of the things I remember hearing about was the Capitol Hill Community Foundation raised, people just wanted to give money to help support the Market and so they funneled it through the Foundation and were able to help different merchants through the transition.

CANALES: Right. You remember some of the merchants were able to do business on the weekends under the shed, the farmer's shed.

DANTZIC: Did you operate out there?

CANALES: No, I didn't.

DANTZIC: Because you have to make so much of your food.

CANALES: It's slice meat and sausages. I was busy with the café then. I said, well I'm going to work full time over there and that's why I didn't try. But some people did and that was part of the Capitol Hill Foundation support, economic, and you know loyal customers come over.

DANTZIC: During that time, were you able to keep your employees or did you lose employees?

CANALES: No, no I didn't lose any employees, but they wait. They were very nice, they wait for the Market to reopen.

DANTZIC: Oh, wow, wow that was fortunate so you didn't have to start over, too.

CANALES: Everyone came back and that was very nice. They are all had to file for unemployment and you know, it worked out fine.

DANTZIC: That's great. I'm so glad they were able to stay with you. And so during, between the fire and the reopening, all these two years in the temporary building, how did that work out, was that a good set up, did you have good business?

CANALES: Yes, a good set up actually. Good business. It was a good response form the people. Well it was temporary some but I thought it was nice. I thought it was nice. I never complained about the temporary building.

DANTZIC: I thought it was pretty nice.

CANALES: I thought it was nice. Warm sometimes, but it was hotter in the old building. To me it wasn't new. (Laughter from both.)

DANTZIC: And so now that the Market's reopened, how's business?

CANALES: Business I think has been increased maybe ten percent. It's been very busy.

DANTZIC: I guess we're exactly about one month now.

CANALES: Yeah, one month. And people are still coming in trying to see what it looks like, whether it's nice. To see the building. Yes, it's very busy. On the weekends, it's very crowded, very crowded.

DANTZIC: And the restoration of the building itself, what did you think of that in terms of before and after. Is it nicer now?

CANALES: I think they done a very nice job with it. I don't think they could have done any better. It's been actually a showplace for the architects and the Mayor and the community, a unity monument for the community. It's a monument for the community, a showplace for the Mayor, and everything. (Laughter)

DANTZIC: (Laughter) The Mayor was very committed to having it reopen, huh?

CANALES: Yeah, he was, he was.

DANTZIC: He was driving them hard, I think.

CANALES: He was driving them hard. I remember the week before opening, they were working, for about two months they were working 24 hours. Oh, yeah, he said we opening on June 26 and they did, we did. So it's nice. (Laughter)

DANTZIC: It was amazing. It was a pretty special time. It was a pretty special day. I'm glad I got to be a part of it.

CANALES: Oh yes.

DANTZIC: Is there anything you're doing different in your business now that the Market reopened or are you doing business the same, the same business?

CANALES: The same, the same, the same way. It hasn't changed. Just more people.

DANTZIC: More people? (Laughter) And bathrooms.

CANALES: Yes, oh, beautiful, yes. Beautiful.

DANTZIC: And air conditioning.

CANALES: Yes, all that, all that, all that. And very bright. I mean, it's beautiful, beautiful.

DANTZIC: What do you think of the future for Eastern Market. Do you think it will be there another 100 years?

CANALES: I'm sure it will. I'm sure it will be there in 100 years. We'll be gone by then, but . . .

DANTZIC: Your daughters and your grandchildren . . .

CANALES: I, yes, I think my daughters will be interested. Grandchildrens? I don't know. But they will be part of it eventually. They'll come in when their time comes, when they are old enough to stay out there all day. Yes, they'll be here.

DANTZIC: Well, the Canales have definitely, your family has definitely made your marks on Eastern Market. You have a lot to be proud of.

CANALES: Well, thank you, thank you very much.

DANTZIC: I think our community is lucky to have you guys.

CANALES: Thank you very much.

DANTZIC: Do you have anything else you'd like to share about the Market or your experience or your history?

CANALES: No, actually, all I want to say is that, like I said before, it is a monument for the community. Capitol Hill, I wish I could live on Capitol Hill, but I was unable to. But it's a very expensive place to live. You walk by a block over here and before you know, people will say goodbye, hello and all that. And it is incredible the way people are treated over here. I met this lady who worked on the hair cuttery somewhere over by, in Southwest, and she said, I like to come in to Capitol Hill because people are different over here.

DANTZIC: Oh, that's nice.

CANALES: Yes, and it is. Sometime I'm driving back home and at the stop signs, people walk by, they are very nice. It's a great community, and we thank the Lord for being here.

DANTZIC: And I guess it seems to me Eastern Market, as you say, is the monument in the community and what brings everybody together. And it's surely what drew me to the neighborhood and what made me want to live here. I mean, it's like a village. And I think this Market, I'm not supposed to be talking I guess, so it's hard for me. But I think the Market is so unique and creates a unique neighborhood and creates a sense of community. It's really special.

CANALES: Yes. You experience the Halloween when they close the street and all the childrens, especially last year, I think I saw more kids than before. It could have been 400 kids easy and everybody, you know, have their view of the Market on Seventh Street, that's the place. Very nice.

DANTZIC: Well, great. I don't think I have any more questions. I so appreciate your time.

CANALES: My pleasure.

DANTZIC: All right.

END OF TAPE 1/SIDE 2

 
    END OF INTERVIEW  
 
This interview transcript is the property of the Ruth Ann Overbeck
Capitol Hill History Project. Not to be reproduced without permission.