Home movies – Visits to the farm (including some Christmases)

Some amazing film footage that captures a number of visits to the Norman Road farm.  We believe that Uncle Martin shot many of these home movies (please let us know if you’re aware of others we should be thanking/crediting).  It really brings back memories!  Uncle Joe/Aunt Helen’s family have provided these from their family’s collection.  (approximately 13 minutes/no sound)

Family gatherings – there were many occasions various parts of the family would get together – sometimes to work on a project, other times for a 1st Communion and others just to spend time together.  Thanks to Uncle Joe and Aunt Helen’s family for sharing these home movies of a few of these gatherings.  We believe that Uncle Martin filmed many of these movies.

(approximately 5 minutes/no sound)

Halloween parties – for quite a number of years, the family held an annual Halloween party.  It was hosted by different families each year.  A highlight for us cousins was when the party was held at our house – giving us an up close experience with this enjoyable event.  Most, if not all, costumes were homemade – showing the creativity and talents of various family members. 

Our family is very fortunate that many of them were captured on 8mm home movies – thanks to Uncle Martin (and others) for capturing them and muchas gracias to the family of Uncle Joe and Aunt Helen for sharing them with the rest of us from their family’s collection.

*Note: There is no audio

Len Radjewski was interviewed by Larry Rodarte of Mi Gente “On Air” (magazine/radio show/podcast) to talk about the documentary “Michoacán to Michigan” to promote the film being shown at the Saginaw Art Museum as part of its 2nd Annual Dia de Los Muertos celebration on October 29, 2022. The story of the documentary was discussed as well as the Fraga family’s life in the Saginaw & North Branch area. The many similarities of the Fraga family’s story with so many other Mexican American families were also discussed.

Carmen Valdez Dotterer tells us about sharing her mother’s (Aunt Frances/Esperanza) recipe and method for making tortillas with her daughters and granddaughters via Zoom.  A great example of passing on our family’s Mexican heritage through cooking!

“Chicken stories, Add some water to the beans…”

 Monique Fraga Anthus interviews several female cousins (Mary Ellen Valdez Cortes, Cathy Assessor Stone, Elaina Fraga O’Malley, Valerie Rustoni, Camille Fraga Von Dreele) about their experiences at The Farm and with their aunts, uncles and cousins while growing up. The whole interview is approximately 1:58:00.  Approximately the first 28:00 is general conversation, people connecting, etc. I have intentionally left it in for its historical value as a sort of “time capsule” as descriptive of aspects of life in 2021.  The actual interview starts around the 28:00 minute mark.  Muchas gracias to Monique and all the participants for taking the time to share their stories.  


Recorded April 11, 2021

The three videos that follow are in the process of being transferred to another format so that you are not directed away from this website to view them.  In the meantime, please be aware that when you click on one of them, you will not come back automatically but need to come back to the website on your own.  Gracias for your understanding and patience!


Interview with Frances, Joe and Ellen (recorded in 1990)



Interview with Margie, Merce and Carmen (recorded June 1990)



Interview with Jesse, Paul and Martin (recorded 1990)



Interview with Margie Fraga Radjewski

This interview was recorded on May 28, 1989.  Liana Spalla (a friend of the family) was the interviewer.

The audiotape was recently rediscovered and Ralph Fraga graciously digitized the tape so that we can post it on our website.  The stories contained in the interview are well worth the inconvenience of the recording.  Margie relates stories about her early years, various stories about her siblings and parents, her trip to Mexico in 1948, and other gems.  I know you will enjoy them for the amazing look back from her unique perspective!

I apologize in advance for the poor quality of the audio – it was recorded outside under less-than-ideal conditions with activities going on.  I believe the value of the content far exceeds the issues with the audio quality.

Home 8mm movie footage – Johnny Fraga’s wedding (note – the quality of the footage varies and there is no audio.  However, it is invaluable to have this footage with various members of the family pictured from the 1960’s).  Enjoy!  From the family collection of Joe and Helen Fraga.  Probably shot by Martin Fraga

Oral history of the Fraga family – as told by Dr. Onofre Chávez

Oral History of the Fraga family

by Dr. Onofre Chávez (Morelia, Michoacán 1991)

“Putting on the Hits” – Lip Syncs

For quite a number of years, the Fraga family cousins produced and held an event that brought the family and friends together in a unique and memorable way.  It transcended generations/ages both for the performers and the audience.  Dennis Radjewski, Anthony (Tony) Fraga, ….  produced and appeared.   ……  Many were fundraisers …..  Held at the Commonwealth Dart Club and other halls….