Back In The Day - Tales from the Hood


CGA - Criminals & Gangmembers Anonymous

"A brief introduction into CGA" is what this post is all about. (and no, its not a joke)

I thought it was a very interesting outreach and support system that i never expected would work, but it does as long as there are those (like me) who are finally tired of the madness, still alive and free and want a way out of this crazy cycle. So lets begin with who and what CGA is.

CGA is a 12 step recovery program for those of us who are willing to be sincere and REAL enough to admit their inability to stop committing crimes regardless of age, gender, ethnic group, social circle or professional status even.

Each of us in CGA admit and wish to resolve a series of common problems in character caused by our lifestyle and bad habits or addiction to our choice of illegal activity.
In CGA we do not glorify the wrongs we've done nor make excuses to justify our actions. We are not here to blame anyone, to continue disputes or to hold hostility toward anyone, group or whatever.

We are people who are becoming responsible for ourselves while being accountable for our actions. Our primary purpose is to develop and practice a better way of living free of destructive addictions and reach out to help other criminals find a peaceful, productive way of living.

Our Lifestyles & Addiction to Crime:
Criminals and Gangmembers are people who can quickly display a personality that fits their needs. Behind the mask we wear to deceive others, we are driven by a set of twisted beliefs blurring the lines of being straight out evil while smiling or simply cold hearted. There are NO rules or respect as once was nor respect for laws or anyone's rights, property or freedom or life. This really is another form of terrorism that has been here on our own streets, day or night.

We do illegal things that satisfy ourselves without regard, whether physical, sexual, financial, or some other way of material gain to survive another day or maybe just through the week. It also is about simple greed and at some level control and power. As a gangmember, we might (generally) follow traditions passed down to us but its not always the case either. As criminals our mannerisms can be very deceptive as needed to accomplish our goal. On the outside or surface, some can fit into normal places whether in public or in the workplace among normal people unlike our criminal or gang mentality, planning to commit criminal acts whenever we can however we can for whatever reason.

Our addictive patterns and behavior makes us as gangmembers and criminals more destructive than any other. When we get a idea that we think is foolproof or simply a irresistible urge, desire or a emotional "rush" we act on it without hesitation regardless of the consequences. We are also very capable of intelligent planning but for the most part the lack of it is what leads us.

There are some who actually believe they so smart that they believe in their own delusions and lies. They can repeat the crime or crimes over and over again until it becomes a automatic reaction without second thought or care. Yet, we do not consider ourselves as having a problem - while insisting that everyone else is wrong, out to get us or something along those lines.

Now, With All This Said, There Really Is a Way Out!

Recovery is possible for ANYONE who takes it SERIOUS, straight up. Not serious enough, don't expect anything to change cause its starts at home with you and only you.
Through the support of the CGA Group or any solid support system thats got your back, with helpful reliable guidance we begin to open up and allow the needed changes in our attitude, choices and decisions, rather than to continue with our destructive mindset. The beginning of all this lies within us and our being honest with ourselves leading to our honestly with others. This is the first step to change and recovery. Without it nothing will work to our benefit, trust me i personally know this as a fact...a solid real fact.

Now we can begin to follow the next steps. Patience is really needed during this time onward. There is no room in our lives for quitting. Its a matter of life and death and thats another personal fact to remember, as important as making a commitment to begin and follow through till the end of your old life and the beginning of a brand new life. I'll stop here.

If you are interested in obtaining further information on CGA or wish to start a CGA group in your community and/or institution you can contact:

CGA Services - 2049 So. Santa Fe Ave. - Los Angeles, Ca. 90021-2919
E-mail: - - 213.438.4820 ext. 22


Washington State - Job Corps - God pt.1

[If you want to know what all led up to it click here to go to my gang-banging days page]

otherwise just continue to read on...
From a early age i began to act up. It would progress as i got older as usual. Now at the age of 21 now I signed up to go to Job Corps, just barely beating the age limit to be in this program, only because i was already on the list waiting to go.

The timing for me was right, I really needed to get away from this neighborhood!
My life was coming to a slow end in a fast way and this was my salvation, my ticket out of the hellhole i made for myself. It was a bad situation and all i could see was it getting worst quick!!

As it turns out , one of my homies wanted to do the same so it was arranged and we both went up to Columbia Basin Conservation Corps. which is located in Washington State. He soon became homesick and left. In the meantime i continued on but there was a problem...

In the morning some of the homeboys would spark up a joint-a reefer-a blunt-a toke-a cheech n' chong already, Man!(hehe)


It didn't take me long to realize it couldn't go on that way if i was serious about my goal, so i quit hanging with the homies and got my head cleared and hit the books day-in-day-out! I soon needed reading glasses, oh the price to pay!

What put me in check was a good sit down with myself.
And in this conversation i said to myself, "Self... if you want to party you should have stayed home in L.A. fool !!"
Huh ok...that woke me up!

By now, the homeboys up there are checking me out like i think i'm better than them cause i ain't hanging no mo' and they don't like it. Well i'm not worrying bout it just concentrating on my studies for my G.E.D. exam.

Soon enough they were all gone anyway, in the mean-time i'm opening up some areas and making friends with those outside my homeboy mentality.
White, Black, whoever, if they were friendly and we had a "mutual respect" for eachother, cool.

We also had the same reason for being there to get a break in life and to get away from a negative enviroment.

This was also to be another start, another beginning for me, in my life...
(please read on)


Washington - Job Corps - & God pt.2

Being sent to another state to live for the first time in my life was not a scary feeling for me, maybe it should have been, but the way i felt just to be able to get far far away from L.A. was a relief to me.
The problems i left behind weren't my common law wife of 6 years or my sons, the problem was with me and the kind of life i was leading.
I would say in two words-Self Destructive.
Between the girls on the side and smoking herb and having no real future for myself or family , this was my only hope to make something out of myself, It was all up to me.

My wife and kids were going to stay with my mother-in-law. We were having our problems and it wasn't looking good at all, and i knew it was my fault. I can say i actually abandoned them when i left for Job Corps.
Even though, I still know i did the right thing-the only thing , or else become another "victim" of Society or swallowed up into the Penal System, either way it was a thin line.

You know........ I believe that alot of these guys around here need to escape to a better life and i know it is the solution for the majority , but i also know first hand that its gotta be what they would want to do- that goes without saying.
The saying goes; you can take the homeboy out of the hood, but you can't take the hood out of the homeboy.
Well this was one homeboy who was ready and willing and thats all it takes (after you hit rock bottom).
So the day came and i said my good-byes and got on board the Amtrak. The trip up was really nice. I had a good view in the Scenic Car and i had my portable 8-track player & case of tapes so it was pretty cool.
The music i was just getting into was Jazz, so it fit right in nicely.
It was as if we were going through all the seasons, I saw the most beautiful scenery going through Oregon and then Washington, it was awesome!

Once we arrived and drove to the center , i felt far away from all my troubles. Everything went as it should and i got settled in. As i continued at school one week then vocational training the next i asked to see the Director.

I let him know how important it was for my school to be continious so to concentrate on my studies but he told me that the program was to be one week on and one week the other. I saw the options but was not interested in what they had to offer. I tried a few and i didn't really want to learn the trades.
So again we sat down to discuss what was in my better interest and he agreed to let me do school full time. with-in 5 months i was ready to take the G.E.D. test. Actually i wasn't really ready but my teacher told me to take it then see where i needed to concentrate on, I agreed and failed. Good, now i know.

The following month i went to re-test, and this time i passed.
Now for a while i was being called on to leave class and drive the corpsmen to town for appointments and i really didn't mind getting out for a while and seeing the near by town 12 miles away.
At one point i was asked if i would be willing to do
this and they would issue me a Government Drivers license to drive the long vans and even the buses.

I thought it was pretty cool to do that and it was fun too. One day after being called from class too often, the director sat me down and let me know he was going to get another driver cause he didn't like the idea of me being pulled out of class too often.

I remember him saying " we're here for you to use- and not us to use you ".
I had an apreciation for that man and he saw something in me that stood out- determination ?

Well in those 6 months i worked hard on my GOAL, and i finally accomplished something positive in my life. That was a good start, maybe a little late but never too late.
I sent every one of my corpsman awards home to my parents so they would see how well i was doing, i recieved all kinds even for corpsman of the month and to me that was big!

Now , at 21 i still had plenty of un-answered questions inside of me, just like as people do. Questions to do with all sorts of things including religion and the such. Myself, I could do fine with out it but i realized then (after a month of denial) if God does or doesn't exsist i had to clear this up once for all, just to know one way or another and move on with my life.

I would take these walks around the track at night and look up at all the stars and ask "Are You For Real ? I need to know". Is that your ear or is that your nose? That was basically it besides being in my own deep thoughts and thinking about my sons and family.

Little did i know at that time the MAN UPSTAIRS was already answering my question.
Everyone has heard that saying; God works in mysterious ways?
I was soon to find out just what that meant in my life.


Discovering my spiritual side pt.3

While living at Job Corps. i experienced many new things. For the first time in my life i was able to be Me, myself and not a Cholo or a Stoner but a man starting to feel secure as a individual now after letting go of my negative connection with the past.

I felt like a new person with a fresh start in life. Where nobody knew who i was . I was free to learn to be me and nothing else, as if born again so to speak and religion had nothing to do with it. If you really want to hear my rant on "Religion" just click here , otherwise i'll continue on.

Well....getting back to my walks and talks (walkie-talkie) with who ever was up there in the clouds and heavens and me wanting to know- yes there is or no, each night i continued to seek for answers.

Now I am not a weak-minded person nor gullible to sweet & pleasant or fire n' brimstone preaching. I am no fool as far as that goes and i don't believe in preaching it down some ones throat, but if i'm asked my opinion i will say whats on my mind but only if asked!

I have sat down with all kinds of people and just listened and learned what they're about, formed my opinion and politely kept humble and respectable.
And if i feel i could make my own comment, i would, other wise i would say "very interesting , i enjoyed learning something new but i'm not buying" (or) "i just don't believe what you do".

Now one day ,one of my best friends dropped some LSD (acid) and went to the beach with some friends. While there he told his friends that he wanted to be alone for awhile. Well they weren't going to do that but after being reassured he would be alright and just needed some time to trip alone, they went for a walk not too far away.

When they came back they found him on his knees crying. When they asked what was wrong, he looked up at them and said nothing was, but that he had felt a light touch on his heavy heart and it felt like the hand of God. (Yeah-Right!) But they also noticed his face was aglow with a look of peace and not all fried out but now completely straight. They weren't tripping on drugs that night, just him.

Later, he told me that it was real and as soon as he felt Gods touch he sobered up and felt like a heavy load had been lifted from his shoulders.
Now, I know the feeling of that with a peace and presence he was talking about and that is God with out any doubt.
No drugs or anything can match that, I know.

Funny how as i was asking for a "sign" for God to show me this or that, he had a better more realistic approach. Even so i wasn't truly convinced of anything (maybe just alittle).
The phone call from my friend back home telling me what happened did make something inside me click, but only partially.

The next month to come would change everything about my skepticism , I mean hey, God knew my heart and respected my ignorant way of asking for a sign or "whatever", he didn't laugh and make fun of me.
I remember i used to make fun of him and curse god and laugh and say he wasn't jack, still somehow i had a sneaking suspicion he might be around somewhere and once again saving my ass, but i was a cool vato who didn't need or want God. He's for fools and weak suckers, i would say .

The next event that came was on a beautiful sunny day . I had just came back from fishing and was ready to clean the fish when i received a phone call from my now ex-wife.
I was just out of Job Corps. and staying with some friends who took me under their wing ,a family who had just moved up from Oregon.

The weeks before i received a letter from her telling me she had hooked up with one of my homeboys and was pregnant and that i was never going to see my sons again and they were moving far away.
(And I learned just how much pay-back is a bitch!)

The following days and nights were bad. I couldn't eat or sleep and all i could do was cry.
I remember just once asking if there is a god-please help me to not lose my kids..and that was all i ever said, no begging or pleading to make a deal.
So on this day, ready to clean fish after spending time thinking about my sons and wishing they were here fishing with me even as little as they were (3 and 5) .
Well i got a call and it was my X. She was in some kind of trouble and asked if i would be willing to get the boys. The only stipulation was that as soon as she was back on her feet i would give them back, without hesitation I said sure!

I was so happy and excited to drive all the way down ,1500+ miles was nothing ,until i began the long journey down and couldn't wait to get there!
I did Thank God for that miracle (and it was).

On the way down,at night on the road, thinking about everything and how great it was gonna be to have my sons living with me and this family, who helped me get my own place shortly after i returned from California. They were just real, loving people who loved Jesus and never preached down to me and were very patient and understanding. I was rough around the edges to put it mildly. They knew they weren't Perfect..... but they were Sincere. That was a positive impression and it helped.

I soon got my own place and was suppose to start work the next day where my friend was at. That night i received a phone call from another close best friend of mine from L.A.
Apparently he had just came to God and excepted him into his life and for some strange reason felt he was suppose to call me and tell me that-nothing more. (I thought it kinda strange)

Now you would have to know this guy to under- stand that this just wasn't possible! Is it a joke?
He despised anything and everything to do with God and everyone knew it! Now here he was telling me how good God is and how he feels so clean and light (not heavy) .
I remembered that i heard something like that before but NOT this guy! Come-on!

When i got off the phone i needed to take a walk.
I went back to that spot i used to walk around and looked up and asked once again but as i did all the events came to mind and when i thought about everything, then i realized what he was trying to tell me all along-I AM Real. I was just to busy, to distracted to stop and see what he was doing and showing me how he can move mountains of all kinds.
This time something clicked inside again but it was different. This time it was complete and not just a half-way thing.
I finally understood something important to me, something i knew nothing about, I now knew alittle more and thats the way it went, just little by little, mistakes and all. I'm glad he understands me even when i don't at times-to this day.
I'm also glad he excepts me faults and all and loves me regardless and.... Unconditionally!
Is that cool or what!

The next day i was suppose to start work at this Truck Tire Shop. That day early a friend of a friend came to my house and asked if i would be willing to swap my job for a local Community College Course that would train/teach me a skill. I said maybe, tell me more?
We went to the College and he introduced me to the director. He explained it all to me and let me know the program paid me for attending and they had a child care center. The trades offered were Auto. Mechanics or Refrigeration / Major Appliance Repair.
Now i didn't mind working on my own car or helping a friend but i didn't want to do this all the time and on other peoples cars.
Refrigeration and repairing household Appliances was something i could get into cause i like to tinker.

I signed up that morning, then went on over to my friends work and explained everything to him and how i would rather learn a skill/trade. He completely understood and allowed this guy to take my place.
So once again i was going back to school , and i thought it was just great. I was tripping on the whole thing and how things were moving in my life.

It all seemed to work out strangely enough, and how i wasn't interested in learning a trade while in Job Corps. and now here was one that really appealed to me and with some nice benefits as well.

The following week in the evening, my friend came by to tell me there had been an accident at his job.
It seems that the guy who took my place was changing a Truck tire when it blew out its bead, the rolled metal edge bead that all tires have for rim contact/seal. The tire exploded and shot straight up to the ceiling and made a hole. Luckily it didn't hit the guy or anyone else. Unfortunately he had both his hands on it when it blew and his wrists were snapped back.

The next time i saw him he had both hands+ in casts.
I really felt bad for him!
No, i didn't think that could have been me but others had mentioned it is possible.

The Days came and the days went. And i was enjoying what i was doing, which is a good sign.
After school one afternoon i picked up the boys from day care and we!
It was like a dream come true. Here we were just a short time later at my favorite spot teaching my little ones to fish!

I caught a few and it was time to start back. Our little black and white cat was gonna have a feast.
As we pulled up and parked,the boys were greeted my their kitty.
I opened the back door to let the boys in and thought the cat had followed but he came back to the car where i was unloading my gear and with a hard slam with my foot i closed the car door.

I didn't see the cat start to jump into the car and the door caught him right between this front and back legs-his mid section. The boys came running out when they heard the screams of their kitty and asked what had happened and if he was going to die? I told them honestly i think he was and there wasn't much i could do about, the damage had to be pretty bad, knowing how hard i shut the door.

All this time the cat is spinning and jerking and crying. I tried to get hold of him but it wasn't easy.
when i did he would be clawing. My sons were very scared and sad to see this. One of them said Daddy, Can God make him ok? I said i didn't know but if they wanted to pray for the kitty we could.

So i prayed, then each one prayed, You know-one of those child prayers. I was so worried about their lil cat dying that i didn't notice he was no longer crying or clawing but now was calm. My eyes were closed and i didn't want to open them cause i thought the poor cat had just died.
when i open them i saw the cat was still alive and i let him loose.

He just strolled away calmly as if nothing had ever happened and my sons were just so happy!
I realized then how much God really listens to the simple prayer of a child and how he said thats how we need to be.
Wow, i tripped on that meaning for the first time and learned something a little more that day.

Today i still continue to make mistakes and don't do the right thing at times but it doesn't change a thing with how God cares or loves. I am a little older now and a little wiser but only he can completely understand me and what i go through.
All this comes down to one word.....RELATIONSHIP (thats it!)

And Yes....... At times , he still saves my azz !! Bet he has on ocassion saved yours too huh?

Lastly, my thoughts and coments are this in a nutshell... looking back


My own opinion on "Religion"

I understand now about "religion" and its negative relation with most people. I will never accept "religion" as for what it really represents, and to me thats a heavy load of....huh Man Made Rules and all of these DON'Ts (the neg.) or you'll Go To Hell and Burn for all eternity , almost as if they want you to, just to prove their point. There are not enough of ; if you do the Do's - you won't have time to do the Don'ts. And thats much more realistic to me .

I don't hear enough positive messages - the encouragement we all could use and i'm not saying to just tell everyone ; hey, I'm OK...Your OK kinda lies either and insult people's intelligence!

What if i'm NOT OK and i'm HURTING? What then? And what if i'm doing something that will kill me if nobody lets me know they really care enough to say STOP ,without going to an extreme and completely turning me OFF!
I learned the hard way that God will help me, IF (big IF) i let him and without any doubt. Frank Sinatra sang I Did It My Way! Boy do i know that song all too well!

One thing i've learned is that i have a "free will" and i'm not some robot or have to play church or go through all the motions. And if i don't want to see or hear anything or any possible warning signs up ahead , then thats up to me totally . So how in my "blissful ignorance" can i even blame God for my actions or even possible short life and death? Free means FREE!

If i don't want him trying to let me know whats going on He'll still try! BUT he Respects our Right to make our OWN decisions - right or wrong with or without his help or interference.
Yet i have seen Him Intervene when i didn't deserve his help or ask for it. Hey, thats God!

Like i said... Religion is just too caught-up into itself. Its big money/big buildings/big business/and big egos! and if Jesus Christ were to come again today and heal people and share God's hope? Religion in ALL ITS GLORY... would kill him again and in the name of god! (Just like its been, and being done)
He just wouldn't fit into their plan or go along with their politics back then , not now.

People see whats really been going on. I have and knowing the difference between religion and God, really helps me to understand it all better now.

I would soon find out back then what i know now and that is that its not about religion (a belief - "left or right") but more importantly about the simplicity of HIM & ME, so very basic and as the relationship very REAL. (As long as i am too)

I am NOT a religious person but it seems that whenever God becomes the topic (usually by someone else) then i am perceived as being "religious" because of whatever knowledge i might have. I used to try to make it understood that i was not, but it just didn't sink in, so i learned to except it and not even argue the matter, which was and is a waste of time. If thats how people can relate then thats how it is. I bet by now your probably saying... oh, yeah, he's religious alright, sure sounds it. Yikes!

I don't care to argue with anyone about religious or Spiritual things, WHY ? To play the I'm gonna win you over to see it my way game? Homie don't play that!
Its a real joke! and to me it just shows immaturity and ignorance! I do enjoy a pleasent low-key kinda conversation myself. A non threating, non defendsive learning conversation works fine.

If you wanna believe one way, your way? cool, go right ahead and believe what you want, its a Free Country... Thank God! Its not my job to argue with you to see it my way or to condemn you if you don't. That is Gods job! (and he never condemns but does judge. we condemn ourselves) Its totally between you and him just as it is with me and all of us , Besides i am no one to say anything!

And if there is NO God to you, then thats up to you and i don't think any less of you for it.
Simply because i remember i was the same wayand then theres something Jesus said about not casting stones and not judging/condemming. This is something religion does so often and all too well ! Now if i'm ragging on religion a little too much i'll stop.

I think i made my point.


In Retrospect

Having said... on occasion, that i had a very interesting and somewhat colorful past (if i could put it that way) with a few angles and shades, mainly leaning toward the grey to black, that i wouldn't mind sitting down and writing about...yet i probably should !!

Primarily its just something i'd like to do for myself, maybe just to reflect on how "lucky" I am to have lived through those reckless times in my young life and even more importantly to have survived and now be able to write about it. And by the way..."luck?" had nothing to do with it! I found out later on His name was JESUS...not lucky.

I am glad that as i live today (or am alive to this day) I no longer lean toward the darker side of my past, which was filled with crime and gang violence and was a very dangerous type of lifestyle, as you have read.

All that is and has been behind me now for quite some time, but i did keep the street smart side of me intact, having a survival mentality living in L.A... It helps keep me aware and away from any dangerous (violent) or intimidating characters one might run across , besides any other situations. I do know how to carry myself and deal (relate) or rap with people, but if i can avoid it altogether.... even better.

The craziness of what i was into amuses me now, but as i look back there is nothing amusing about it at all. Regardless, I have learned a great deal by it and not only in my own personal life but also in interacting with others on all different levels and backgrounds, seeing things a little differently, perhaps gaining alil insight and taking it all in as part of a learning process.

I always enjoy meeting people and getting to know them. No one needs to know my past, only of who i am today.
I am now at my 50th mark and have been out of playing that game since i finally grew up and became a man! One with a gentle and kind spirit and heart. I'm also proud of who and what i am now too!

If you were to ever pass me by, you might think nothing to maybe a little rough around the edges depending on the look i might be sporting at the time (which changes on occasion) and you might even think probably not too friendly of a guy, maybe that would be your first impression and i would probably understand that, but given the chance i would smile and say hi and be civil, other wise i'm not really all that concerned in what anyone thinks of me nor should i be and besides...I'm still learning myself not to form a quick opinion of others different than myself or everyone before getting to know what they're REALLY about and also knowing of my own ignorance helps keep me in check, regardless of anyone else's.

Guess I'm just trying to understand many interesting things in my own life so that i might better understand those around me and learn something new or how to be a friend (or not) or just mind my own dam business!

Now....As for the Homeboyz?
Well, I'm a nobody in this neighborhood now and i wouldn't want it any other way! I have nothing to prove to anyone,period. If i see another old vet i'll stop to say hi and see whats up just to know where things are at (in the hood) cause its definitely not a bad idea to know whats going on (good or bad) if you know what i mean. The youngsters don't really pay much attention to me so its all good as far as i'm concerned.

Unfortunately I have lost so many of my "homeboys" back in the day....either to prison or buried 6 feet under.
I'm just happy to have lived through (and past) it all. I had way too many close calls myself and somehow i survived. Not many left can say that...sad for me to say.
Well .....whats done is done and life? It just goes on.

Anything i've ever done in the past is not about me now and i'm definitely not here to glorify any of it either, because there is nothing to be proud about.
There are alot of things i've done that i regret and never paid the price for, but i also don't feel i need to redeem myself because of it either, that i already did and i moved on.

I do try to treat all people of all races with a dignified respect, as human beings and no different than myself. I don't really care for those who can't accept others for who or what they are but then i really can't say a whole lot about it cause i can fall into that myself if not careful. I believe i will always have a personal problem with ignorant, self-destructive, narrow-minded people who refuse to be open to learning something better in life or except help (not pity) and what is a reality is that there is no age range either! Maybe why this is so personal to me is that i can "relate' and have been there and in that state of mind, no matter how briefly it might have been in my life... there just wasn't any excuse for it. Self-pity is pretty weak! The only good that has come out of all this is that i've learned a tremendous amount and apply it in life and am all the wiser for it.

Well, now that you heard me out and possibly formed some type of opinion (or not), I will continue to share with you these things in the hope that it will cast some light on why people do the things they do and even learn something as far as insight goes. (maybe?) Otherwise just read to entertain yourself.

I realize that alot of it doesn't make any sense (the things done) but thats besides the point.
In this society it will all continue regardless, and either we will try to understand (not except) and be aware (as we all are unfortunately so constantly reminded these days). Let us put our "common sense" as first priority when out and about in any part of this city... or shall we just hide in our fears and hope that it all just goes away? No one could or should live like that! Just be careful and always be aware of your surroundings and ready to act or re'act to be on the safe side. Its a simple thing to keep in mind without letting it kill your fun.... or you.

I've always believed (now anyway) that ignorance and fear are such dangerous tools, and in the wrong hands a very destructive weapon (as we all know). I now have a slogan i put..."educate ignorance - or be killed by it".

Some of the writing on this particular type of site is something you will not find or hear of any where else on these Weblogs.
However you happened to discover mine will be interesting.

I would hope that there are others who have removed themselves from the madness one way or another and even possibly have written their own thoughts and experiences from a different level and or perspective. There are also many other "Blogs" here and there, where others are doing their own thing and its all good. I like to think of mine as outside the box...way out!
Right Here Is Mine.

"So venture if you will into another world

A dark world at times with its twists and turns

A ironic and mysterious world

It was my world once

Now destroyed by the fire of one man

A man with a deep desire"

To Change - Rj

"Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved" - Helen Keller


The Story of Pops

dadshavekitsmaller (43k image)

Such a good man, a good hard working provider he was.
When i was born, a year later we moved into this house (where i reside today).
Some 7-9 years after he almost lost his house. Now out of a job and unable to make payments. It was a struggle for him and mom and so they decided to rent out the bottom half and we all would live upstairs in the two rooms it had. He built a tiny restroom/shower stall and that was about it. One room was the kitchen area (now my bedroom) and the other where we slept. In total we were six people living there. My two step brothers, my sister, myself and mom and dad.
I remember very little about that time, being around 7 or so, but i did almost lose my life here at the tender age of three when i had a "freak-accident" on the back south side area of the house. I was very close to death and then almost lost my right arm, from the elbow down.

So anyway thats where it was at that time, going through hard times and my brothers were'nt any help at all and if anything troubled teens. They were from dads side but i always concidered them as just my brothers.

The people that i remember mostly who lived "down stairs" help with the rent to make the payments but as it turned out they were trashy okies that when they did move out left the house a mess. Now they were'nt bad people just not very clean people and the single mother was raising her 3 kids as best as she probably knew how. One of them..Billy, was crippled and dragged himself all around. I remember him and liked him too. But get the picture.

As it turns out, the vacant lot 2 doors down was going to be developed into a small hospital for treatment for mental patients. Today it is where some celebrities go for drug treatment etc.

In 1962 i believe, around the time Kenedy was president is when it was completed. My dad applied for a job there as a General Maintenance Machanic to take care of the place of course, and since he lived just steps away they hired him knowing he could be called on in any emergency, which i remember there were a few at times. It really worked out great not only for the hospital but even better for my dad, and he was glad to have this job all the way up til his retirement. It was a blessing for sure!
My dad was orginally from a little town just out side of Mazatlan,Mexico and came here to the states at the age of 3. He later became a citizen, was a Air Force Pilot and due to a crash damaged his right arm and only now taught pilots to fly.
My dad was the kind of man who believed in hard work and was self relient. He did everything himself around the house but it wasn't as if it were top notch, yet it was decent enough. Myself..i'm alot like him but i do get picky about my work and how it comes out..thats just me.
Another thing we both had in comon and that was cooking! Being of a Mexican Background he knew how to cook up some of the tastiest meals around! It was in his blood! My dad also kept his culture close and spoke spanish at home most of the time. He was comfortable that way. Now the family gatherings/parties...were something else! Lots of good Mexican Music and dancing and fun! It was the best time in my very young life when the holidays came or other events to celebrate.

mydad (13k image)mehammer (8k image)As it goes... When mom and dad met, mom was about 20 years younger and he was now 39 or 40. They had my sister then i came along 7 years later.
My dad was definately old old school and it showed. The Mexican machismo was strong and loud. This part i didn't really like so much. He was stuborn and had no patience but on the other hand he also had a soft spot and gave in and could be very patient..all depending (gee-sounds alil like me!)

Before dad passed away i had the chance to spend some good quality time with him and since he didn't care to drive so much anymore i took him wherever he wanted to go or visit. The age of my pop was up there from as far back as when i was a teenager and many times my friends thought he might have been my Grandpa. Also because of it my dad didn't really know how to relate of even in all a dad. He never had one to show him how and with his own troubled sons only knew how to bail them out of trouble...give a scolling to and that was about it. He was a great man and a great provider, but just didn't know that much about being a father in many areas. As i said..the gap was pretty wide.

The folks downstairs were now long gone and we were back on our feet. I even had small jobs around the hospital that my dad gave me as far as watering and turning on the sprinklers etc. That was fun for me doing all these little jobs and being a part of my extended neighborhood.
Pops would always come home for lunch and i could always hear his name being called over the intercom to go take care of something or another. It was all good and now we were back downstairs again but not until all the damage was repaired and the whole house fumigated! To this day there are no roaches and never will be...a mouse? thats ok by me, i like lil mice as long as its not a problem.

Well...thats about it, there is so much more about this man but i'll just keep it simple.

Dad did alot of work on this 1927 built house and i carry on his tradition in many ways. Today, he would be amazed at how it is, by all the projects i also now do...following in his footsteps.
dad&me (15k image)Ahhh.. My Dad

gto_medad_mexico (15k image)
Driving down to Mazatlan Mexico...1500 miles on some dangerous roads at times!! (mom took the pix)


The Story of Moms

mom (7k image)There is so much to say about this woman, my mother. Her early childhood was tragic and lacking in every form of normality. From her own dad being a real bastard and something else to her, and her getting married to an older man (my dad) just to escape from her misery.

My mother is a complex person yet simple minded, and even though i really don't care for her immature self-righteous and selfish attitude towards my sister (which i'm still trying to understand), i need to step way back and see the whole picture to really figure out who and what my mom is about and what makes her who she is today.
When i do this i will know and understand her much better. I can see in her eyes at times, a frightened lil girl, a sad lil girl, someone who seems to be looking out the window watching other children play and go to school like everyone else...but not in her case. It really is tragic to even think about.
My mother, who missed out on all the things a child should experience in life never had the chance.
When her mom passed away her dad gave up her brothers and sisters so he wouldn't have to deal with them on his own. She found herself carring for her 5 sibblings. No time for play only work and cleaning and then ripped apart split up and separated from the other 3. There was Eddie,Tony, Esther, Irene, Henry and herself being the oldest.This changed everything!
No longer would she be close to her family. It was to be only the three of them now. Both groups were handed from foster family to foster family just after their aunt died. They (3) were with her up til then.
There was this one aunt who was a very mean and greedy person, and then there was a nice one...her sister. What a contrast they were.
This was also durning the time of the great "Depression" and it also had a big impact on how she is to this day and how she rationalizes. She remembers the lines, the rations, the lights going out at night was a must due to the city wide alert that they could be attacked by Japanese planes. It was a very tramatic time for all people.
Unfortunately she wasn't able to continue her schooling either, being home with the younger ones and working whenever possible.

Today, there is food stashed here and there or in the closet or where-ever. Alot are can foods or dry foods. Clothes are treated the same, never to be worn. She has this thing about buying more food than she needs and ironically alot of times it will go to waste in the frig. or freezer. It doesn't make any sense! But she doesn't see that, as long as there is food is all that matters.

Whenever i take her out to do something fun, she is happy. She is like a little girl who finally got a chance to "have some fun".

Now my sister and her don't get along and i'm still trying to figure that out. I know mom says that my sister just doesn't let her be herself and dress her own outdated way. Sis tries to change her so to be more up to date. That is a big part of the problem, but i know theres alot more to that and it goes way way back to how they got along when she was younger up to when my sis got pregnant and mom kicked her to the curb. My sister was not a tramp either but mom treated her like she was and in a sense rejected her as her own. Now sis was dad's girl and i was moms. I got treated good and sis didn't, being independant now and 7 years older than me. My sister married her boyfriend and they lived like any other normal couple with a kid.
Back to mom...
There is so much to say, i'll have to think about it

mom&dad (8k image)


Story of my Brothers

azteca /mayan

My two brothers are from a different Mom. Their Mom died when they were in there early teens and their Dad re-married my Mom and they had my sister then me.

Dad was 40 and Mom was 20 when they hooked up. My brothers (HALF-BROTHERS) were never thought of as 1/2 brothers to my sister or me. But they really didn't care for my mom and maybe even felt resentment (so it seemed). They also would tell her she wasn't their mom so don't tell them what to do. My dad never supported her in this area and i'm even sure he felt guilty or something along those lines. He tried to make up for their MOM and whenever they got into any trouble he would always "bail" them out and never set them straight,so they had no guildence or discipline and my mom had given up after all the arguments they had over them.

As my two brothers grew up they became typical juvenile deliquents always in and out and when they turned 18 , it continued but now it was Jail and then soon Prison.

Little did i realize that i would follow in their foot-steps BUT only up to a point.

Now my brothers were about 2 years apart from each other and i was 14-15 years younger.
When i was between 14 and 16, my brothers would come up to my room and break out their "kit or outfit" and cook up their shit in front of me. They would tell me to hold the belt around their arm nice and tight while they each would take turns shooting up Heroin. After they were done and go into their trip (somewhere in-between) one of them would say to me c'mon little brother try it you'll like it, and then the other one would get mad at him and say to don't tell me that! Funny how i can still remember those words 33+ years later, and the smell of burnt matches. (the wood ones)

The next time the very same thing would happen except the roles were now reversed and my other brother would tell me etc. I never that any interest in it so that was a good thing even though i did just about everything else! I never thought bad of my brothers then regardless of their habit(s). They were so different from each other in almost every way other than that. One was a up front tell it to you straight and the other was a lying cheating snake! (and thats just the way it was) Not to be mean or disrespectful. He also was a cry baby when in jail for daddy to come and bail him out! The other was quiet and just did his time without bothering dad or anyone. Him i had much respect for except for one other really bad habit... he would steal from the house or around here for his own habit. At times when we would come home and see all the lights on, we knew he was here and things were taken.

Besides that mark against him, I learned in time that i was like him, my straight talking quiet brother and at one time i told him i was like him(except for his bad habits) and that was cause i admired that in him. He never thought he was any good to anyone and was told that when young, but he was somehow...

My other brother and i spent alot of time together when i was younger and we had some good times too. He liked to smoke a lil herb and drink a lil Brandy and listen to good Jazz (Buddy Miles,Wes Montgomery and Miles Davis etc.) All the good shit!
To this day i still enjoy Jazz but not so much this new age shit. Bony James is cool!

I later learned when i was older that he was very controlling and domineering with his wife and kids but i never remember seeing that then. Later in life he eventually got some of his own kids on drugs and then would be their supplier. I never will understand that or forgive him for doing that to his own now grown kids. Well he no longer is alive but he left them pretty screwed-up! One made himself disappear, just to get as far away as he could, where nobody knows. One followed in his dad's footsteps and is now doing life in prison, the other took the easy way out, overdosed and the rest managed to survive a make a decent life for themselves to which i am sooo thankful!

Its really a tragic story to tell and i take no pleasure what-so-ever but strangely enough felt compelled to share this, for what ever reason.

I like to think of all the good times partying with them but there was so much sadness and pain going on deep in their hearts and still is for my brother who remains, but not for much longer then he himself will finally be at peace(as he put it). It took most of my life til now to see what had happened to them and their lives, and it was only because i myself went through alot just to now understand for myself.

From beginning to end, we were raised on a decent family income and home, our Dad was a good provider and we were fortunate to have both parents (my sister and I) and a house that was ours. But i learned a new word later in life when i got married and we had problems, the word? DYSFUNCTIONAL

I knew then that was what kind of family i too came from and having a dad as a provider but not as a father figure or role, made a difference to all of us, and not to mention the 20 year difference between mom and grampa (dad). He himself didn't have a dad to show him all the things he would need to be a father and so it goes, from one generation to the other. When will it stop? Well i guess that all depends on each one of us and our contribution. I have learned alot and know its never too late to give something good and positive to the next in line (my own sons) and i consider myself very fortunate to absorb all this and know what not to do now, i made all my big mistakes too but now i know different and we will see.

As for my sister....
Being 7 years older and when i used to get into trouble,she would kick-my-ass! She was tough too and she was a homegirl! Her name was Cateyes because of how she wore her make up. My sister was my enforcement amd she disciplined me alot! I believe even though i still went through my rough times, she had a strong influence on me somehow,someway.I know now ,being put in check means someone cares enough! and she did- ALOT!