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24 September 2014
BBC Liverpool - Local History

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GI Brides - Jean's Story

Jean and Louis Bustos with two sons
Jean and Louis Bustos with their two sons, Stephen and Ricardo

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"I got married in June '52 to an American airman from Burtonwood, we met at the Locarno dance hall, just someone swept me off my feet, I wouldn’t call it romantic really! I was only 17, and I couldn’t get permission to get married so everybody was eloping at the time in Dublin.

Jean's four children
Steven, Ricardo, Anita and Jeanette. Jean's children

Jean and baby Stephen
Muirhead Avenue, Liverpool. Jean and Steven, 1953

"We came back to Liverpool for a while. We shared a house with somebody from West Derby. I had my eldest son and when he was nine months old we went to Texas. We flew from Burtonwood then we went by train from New York to Texas. It was quite a nice house. We were on the Gulf of Mexico in Brownsville.

"It wasn’t too bad down there, but it was when we got up into the panhandle of Texas, it was very bad. It was a very prejudiced country, very bigoted, very narrow minded, very uneducated people, 'red neck' country.

Jean and Louis a week before they were married
5th June 1952, Dublin. A week before they were married.

"It was tough as I was married to a Mexican, although he was an American, born in Texas.

"We were stared at in supermarkets. One time going down on the bus to southern Texas, we were taken off the bus by the border patrols. All our luggage was taken off the bus.

"They wanted to see our marriage certificate. I didn’t know what was going on and I had a nine month old baby with me. Everybody on the bus was complaining because they had to take every single suitcase off the bus.

"I said to my husband, ‘what’s all this for?’ and he said ‘you’ll have to get used to this’."

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Introduction to Burtonwood
Burtonwood Reunion
GI Brides
GI Brides - Jean's story
Olive & Murphy
Skyline Service Club
Working at Burtonwood
An English girl at Burtonwood
People at Burtonwood
Planes and transport at Burtonwood

Burtonwood Museum

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