Skip to Content

Michael W. Rodriguez

A Guide to the Michael W. Rodriguez Collection
SWWC Collection 071                

Michael W. Rodriguez in Vietnam

Descriptive Summary

Creator:                     Rodriguez, Michael

Title:                          Michael Rodriguez Collection

Dates:                         1968-1999; Bulk 1998-1999

Abstract:                    Military documents, personal papers, writing, printed material, photos and artifacts document the literary career of Michael Rodriguez.                               

Identification:           Collection 071

Extent:                       2 boxes (1.5 linear feet) (note- four additional boxes of material were received in 2013: information on this additional material is also included)

Language:                  English

Repository:               The Wittliff Collections, Texas State University, San Marcos

 
Administrative Information

Access Restrictions:
Open for Research.


Preferred Citation:

Michael W. Rodriguez Collection, The Wittliff Collections, Texas State University, San Marcos

Acquisition Information: 
Donated by Michael W. Rodriguez in 2005

Processing Information:
Processed by Brennan Vogel, 2007

 

Michael W. Rodriguez

 

Biographical Sketch

Michael W. Rodriguez was born at the Nix Hospital in San Antonio, Texas, on August 6, 1947, to Miguel M. and Herminia Lozano Rodriguez.  After a few years living in the Rio Grande Valley, where his father taught high school, Rodriguez returned to San Antonio.  His parents divorced when he was young, so he and his brother were raised by a single mom, which was unusual in 1950s San Antonio, in the predominantly Mexican-American South Side.

            Rodriguez attended Brackenridge High School in San Antonio and played tenor saxophone, which he had learned in junior high, in nightclub bands around town.  He graduated high school in May, 1965, and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in June of that same year.  Trained as an infantryman (a Grunt), he left for Vietnam in September, 1966, and returned in December, 1967.  Rodriguez served as a rifleman, scout, and point man for most of the time he served in-country.

            Rodriguez was assigned to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, upon his return to CONUS (CONtinental United States), to await eventual separation from active duty, which was scheduled for July, 1968.  He was twenty years old and had no idea what he wanted to do or where he wanted to go.  He felt that he was smart enough to know he was better off where he was than on his own as a kid civilian.

            Rodriguez went to see his career advisor, his battalion’s sergeant major, who suggested he extend his tour in the Marine Corps for a couple of years and figure out what he wanted to do.  He agreed to stay on for two more years.  The Marine Corps allows men and women who extend, or reenlist, to select a new duty station to which they would like to transfer if they consider their present duty station unacceptable.  Rodriguez took advantage and was transferred to Marine Barracks, Naval Weapons Station-Concord, Concord, California, which was located about 35 minutes east of San Francisco, in Diablo Valley.  Rodriguez left active duty in July of 1970.

            Returning to school later in life, Rodriguez graduated from Incarnate Word College with a B.A. in Communications Arts in 1995.  He graduated from Texas State University-San Marcos with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing in 2005.

In 1984, Rodriguez attended his first veteran’s reunion and since that time has been an advocate of and for Vietnam veterans.  Rodriguez’s literary career consists of one book and many published articles on the struggle in Vietnam.  Rodriguez earned his degree in Communication Arts from Incarnate Word College in 1995.  He currently lives with his wife in San Antonio, Texas.

            Being an advocate for Vietnam veterans, Rodriguez co-founded the Alamo Area Vietnam Veterans (AAVV) and also VV Chapter 366.  He was also a former board member of Vietnam Veterans Foundation of Texas, Inc.  Rodriguez also served as president of the Vietnam Veterans of the 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines Assoc., Inc.  He is the former editor of the state newspaper for the Vietnam Veterans of America in Texas, Texas VVA News.

            Michael Rodriguez is known primarily for his book Humidity Moon.  The book is a collection of short stories about experiences of a Marine in Vietnam.  The book has gotten praise from many Veterans’ associations throughout America.  The book received two awards in 1999 including Artist’s E-Zine On-Line Gold Award and Award of Excellence from Shasta’s Shack.  The book has been praised for its ability to represent the grunt of the soldier and its ability to shed the hindsight of looking back upon the Vietnam War. 

            Humidity Moon is not the only writing that Rodriguez has gotten praise for.  Rodriguez has had many short stories published throughout his career.  He has been published in magazines and journals.  His other published works included articles on veterans’ affairs, an entry in the book Aztlan and Vietnam:  Chicano and Chicana Experiences of the War (University of California Press), and Seminole-Negro Scouts.

            The materials included in the collection were previously loaned for the “Vietnam from a Texas POV” exhibit at the Southwest Writers Collection at Texas State University.  Most of the material in the collection, with exception to a few items, was gifted to the Texas State Archives after the exhibit in 2005.  The collection totals to 2.5 linear feet. 

Scope and Content Note

Military documents, personal papers, writings, printed material, photos, and artifacts are the documents that highlight the literary career of the author.  The collection is arranged into seven main series that include Personal Papers, Writings by Michael Rodriguez, Promotional Material, Other Projects, Photos, Writings by Others, and Artifacts. 

            The first series is Personal Papers.  Within the papers are a certificate, email, and a thank you card.  Michael Rodriguez’s certificate of promotion to Sergeant in June of 1970 is included.  The second document is a printout of an email from Tim O’Brien requesting an interview with Rodriguez.  The last item is a thank you card from an ethics class.

            The second series is Writings by Michael Rodriquez.  There are two documents contained in the series.  The first being a typescript for “Just Another Jungle:  Short Stories of the Vietnam War.”  This typescript later becomes published as Rodriguez’s first book, Humidity Moon.  Also included is the short story “Prisoner” written by Rodriguez.  The short story also included comments by Tim O’Brien.

            The third series is Promotional Material.  The first sub-series include the dates 1998-1999.  The first item is a Pecan Grove promotional poster for the book “Humidity Moon.”  The second is a program from the San Antonio Inter-American Bookfair and Literary Festival.  The next document is the newsletter, “Final Draft,” of the San Antonio Writers Guild.  The last item included is a San Antonio Current review of Humidity Moon.

            The second sub-series of Promotional Material are material that is not dated.  The first item is a set of quotes from Lydia Fish, Daniel L. Mouer, and Jorge Mariscal on Michael Rodriguez’s fiction.  The second contains a Barnes & Noble flyer for Michael Rodriguez booksigning.  The third document is a newspaper clipping from Michael Rodriguez’s booksigning.  The last piece is a LISTSERV post on Rodriguez’s fiction.

            The fourth series is Other Projects.  There are two items contained within this series.  The first is an outline for a novel-in-progress named “Death in Glenrio:  A Route 66 Murder.”  The second item a narrative and treatment for a proposed document labeled “As Long As I Can Remember.”

            The fifth series is Photos.  There are six photos in all.  There are two photos of Michael Rodriguez in Vietnam.  The next photo is a photo of Rodriguez by Scott Schrader.  The next two photos are color photos taken in Vietnam.  The final photo is a photo of the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial in Washington D.C.

            The sixth series is Writings by Others.  There is only one item included.  The document is a newspaper clipping on psychologist Marvin Abney who helps Vietnam veterans deal with Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome.

            The final series is Artifacts.  These artifacts are contained within a separate box due to size.  Included in the box is a “Hell’s Hotel” lighter, inscribed for Rodriguez.  The inscription reads, “For those that fight for it, Life has a flavor the unprotected never know.”  The second item is a “Hell’s Hotel” company plaque.  The final item is Rodriguez’s military uniform.  The uniform has suffered from some moth holes.

            All items included in the collection are personal papers or artifacts from Michael Rodriguez’s literary career. 

 

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series I: Personal Papers, 1950-2008.

 

Box     Folder

 

1          1          Certificate of Michael Rodriguez’s promotion to Sergeant in June 1970

                        Email from Tim Baldwin requesting interview

                        Card from Ethics Class thanking Michael Rodriguez

 

Series II: Writings by Michael Rodriguez, undated

 

1          2          Typescript for “Just Another Jungle:  Short Stories of the Vietnam War”
                (Later
published as Humidity Moon)

                        Short story, “Prisoner,” with Tim O’Brien’s comments

 

Series III: Promotional Material, 1998-1999, undated

 

                        1998-1999

 

1          3                      San Antonio Inter-American Bookfair and Literary Festival program

                                    “Final Draft”—newsletter of the San Antonio Writers Guild

                                    San Antonio Current review of “Humidity Moon”

 

                        undated

 

1          4                      Quotes from Lydia Fish, Daniel L. Mouer & Jorge Mariscal on
                                Michael
Rodriguez’s fiction

                                    Barnes & Noble flyer for Michael Rodriguez booksigning

                                    Clippings on Michael Rodriguez booksigning

                                    LISTSERV post on Michael Rodriguez’s fiction

 

Series IV: Other Projects, undated

 

1          5                      Outline for novel-in-progress, “Death in Glenrio:  A Route 66
                               Murder”

                                    “As Long As I Can Remember”—narrative and treatment for
                               proposed
documentary

 

Series V: Photographs, undated

 

1          6                      2 photos of Michael Rodriguez in Vietnam

                                    Photo of Michael Rodriguez by Scott Schrader

                                    2 color photos taken in Vietnam

Color photo of Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial

 Series VI: Writings by Others

 

1          7                      Clipping on psychologist Marvin Abney, who helps Vietnam
                               veterans deal
with Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome

 

 

Series VII: Artifacts

 

2                                              1968 Map of Vietnam

Pecan Grove promotional poster for “Humidity Moon”

“Hell’s Hotel” lighter, inscribed for Michael Rodriguez

                                                “Hell’s Hotel” company plaque

                                                Michael Rodriguez’s uniform

 

 

Additional Materials received from Michael W. Rodriguez in 2013: 

Box 1755 (1 of 4)

Box/Folder

1755/1-2 Fourteen 45s recorded in San Antonio, includes two bands that Rodriguez played saxophone for when he was in high school (The Mar-Vells and Sonny Ace): Artists Sonny Ace y Los Twisters, C. Woods, Doug Sahm & Markays, Sunny and the Sun-Glows, Charlie & the Jires, Spot Barnett Combo, The Traits, Denny Ezba and The Goldens, etc

1755/3 “Humidity Moon 2, Michael W. Rodriguez” notebook

1755/4 Humidity Moon Draft with Revisions

1755/5 Just Another Jungle Draft with Full Revisions, Dated 2003

1755/6 Grenade Draft with Revisions

1755/7 Grenade Draft with Revisions

1755/8 I Killed Your Dog Draft, Dated 1997-2002

1755/9 Draft with Revisions by Megan Galloway-Wink, Dated March 2005

1755/10 A Christmas Tree in the Badlands Draft, Dated 2002

1755/11 30th Popular Culture Association and the 22nd American Culture Association Annual Conference, Featuring Rodriguez “The Prisoner”

1755/12 17th Annual San Diego Latina Film Festival Magazine [2 Copies]

1755/13 Esquire Magazine, November 1984, Signed by William Broyles, Jr.

1755/14 “The War Within the War: Vietnam Veteran’s Most Difficult Battle” by Chad Adams and Patricia Faulk, Dated 1999

1755/15 Correspondence and printed promotion from the Wittliff Collections related to the Vietnam: From a Texas POV Event

1755/16 Correspondence for Orders of Humidity Moon, 1998-2000

1755/17 Email Correspondence with Fellow Marines, 1996-1999

1755/18 Correspondence with Veteran Readers About Humidity Moon

1755/19 The Vet’s Gazette, July 1986 and May 1987

1755/20 The Writer’s Edge, September 1998, September 1999, and November 1999

1755/21 Final Draft, October 1998 and June 1999

1755/22 The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center News, October-December 1998

1755/23 Rodriguez’s Book Signing at the Twig Book Shop

1755/24 Humidity Moon Book Signing at Barnes and Noble

1755/25 Oregon Veteran’s Network, Volume 3 Issue 1

1755/26 “Vet’s Kin Mindful of Fallujah” from San Antonio Express-News Dated 2004

1755/27 Correspondence with Donna Williamson

1755/28 Email Correspondence with Vietnam War Discussion List

1755/29 Report of Casualty of Jack David Carter

1755/30 “The Summer of Vietnam” by Barbara Renaud Gonzales, Presented by Horizon Video and Film

1755/31 Angelfire Resort Reservations for Horizon Video and Film

1755/32 Dia de los Muertos: Lagrimas, Guerra, y Viet Nam (Sorrow, War, and Viet Nam) Announcement, Involving Rodriguez’s Humidity Moon

1755/33 The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center San Antonio Inter-American Bookfair & Literary Festival Featuring Rodriguez Flyer

1755/34 1999 Writer’s Conference at Our Lady of the Lake University, Featuring Rodriguez       

1755/35 Correspondence Regarding Presentations

1755/36 Payments for Presentations

1755/37 Photos and Negatives for Book Jackets

1755/38 Vietnam Women’s Memorial Dedication Press Pass

1755/39 “Vietnam and Neighboring Countries in 1968” Map

1755/40 Rodriguez’s Visit to the Vietnam Veteran Memorial

1755/41 Redesignation Ceremony of 1st Battalion, 1994

1755/42 Correspondence with Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund

1755/43 “You Are Not Forgotten: A Tribute to Our Vietnam Veterans” Flyer

1755/44 Correspondence with Shadowbox Cabaret for Three Grunts Lost

1755/45 Photocopy of a photograph of a bridge

1755/46 North Central News, January 21, 2010

1755/47 San Antonio Express-News Weekender, May 22, 2009

1755/48 Photos of Vietnam and Rodriguez

1755/49 NCLR National Latino Family Expo Activity Itinerary

1755/50 Yankee, May 1989

1755/51 Siempre Recuerde Project

1755/52 Story and Character Lists

 

Box 1756 (2 of 4)

Box/Folder

1756/1 Rodriguez’s Individual Combat Notebook

1756/2 Guidebook for Marines

1756/3 Materials Inlaid in Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Second Battalion, Platoon 250

1756/4 Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Second Battalion Platoon 250

1756/5 We Remember, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines, oral history, contains contributions by Rodriguez

1756/6 Errata Sheet for We Remember

1756/7 Sand In The Wind with wrapped in plastic bag

1756/8 Lonely Girls With Burning Eyes, Inlaid Items, by Marian Faye Novak [whose husband was Rodriguez’s platoon commander in Vietnam]

1756/9 Photo Album of Rodriguez’s Accomplishments

1756/10 Odysseus in America: Combat Trauma and the Trials of Homecoming, Inscribed by Jonathon Shay & The Things They Carried, Inscribed by Tim O’Brien

1756/11 Music in the U.S.A.: A Documentary Companion, Featuring Rodriguez’s “A Vietnam Vet Remembers Rocking and Rolling in the Mud of War”

1756/12 As Long As I Remember: American Veterans, Inlaid Picture of Rodriguez, DVD documentary, in which Rodriguez is a featured artist

1756/13 San Antonio Current Listing of As Long As I Remember: American Veteranos

1756/14 1999 Writer’s Conference: A Focus on the Craft Award

 

Box 1757 (3 of 4) [Document Box]

Box/Folder

1757/1 “All Known Documents Pertaining to My MFA Degree in Creative Writing from Texas State University-San Marcos in 13 May 2005”

1757/2 “Vietnam 1966/67dc by Daniel F. “Dee” Carter”

1757/3 “V-WAR-L Logfiles 21 March 1991 to 31 December 2001”

1757/4 “Voices of the Wall”

1757/5 “ “Reflections  Repatriations’ A Video CD by Luis A. Parker, Radio Operator, Hotel 2/1,            Kilo 3/9, 3d CAG, RUN 1967-69”

1757/6 “George F. Gallagher, News Station Broadcast, Butch Adams”

1757/7 “Slideshow, Hotel 2/1 Reunion, WASH, DC. Nov ‘85”

1757/8 “Hotel Co., 2nd BN 1st MAR, Vietnam 1966-67, Daniel F. Carter”

1757/9 “Vietnam From a Texas POV, November 11, 2004” with Letter Originally Inlaid

1757/10 Correspondence with the Wittliff Collections About Vietnam From A Texas POV Event

1757/11 The Summer of Vietnam, documentary on VHS [plus DVD viewing copy]

1757/12 Inlaid Material from Photo Album of Rodriguez’s Success

1757/13 Unused M.R.E. and Utensil

 

Box 1758 (4 of 4) [Newspaper box]

Box/Folder

1758/1 Hand-tinted photograph of Rodriguez’s Father, who served in WWII

1758/2 Wilmington Spectators, Volume 1 Numbers 1-4

1758/3 Veteran, June/July 2001

1758/4 San Antonio Current, April 1999 [3 Copies] and October-November 2002 and August-September 1998

1758/5 San Antonio Express-News, July 1992, October 1998, September 2000, September 2001, July 2006