Back In The Day - Tales from the Hood


hey you, freeze !

The next line always seemed to be; YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT.
It was one of many times i'd heard those words, either run or do as the man said. There were ocassions where i had the advantage and "ran" with it (so to speak). Then other times i had no choice but to stay. It was those times i would be placed into custody and taken in for some petty thing... or not.

Most of the times they had the right, but what really attracted them to me was the way i dressed. I dressed as a Cholo. I would iron everything and starch played its big part. I dressed really clean and sharp from head to toe. The trademark i had was my narrow-rimmed fedora (derby hat). I had a small collection of different styles and colors. The problem with that was...I stuck out of the crowd and that was what i wanted yet the down-side of course was the attention i got from the police. You would think i would have learned after getting my hats knocked off my head, but noooo.

One night i had just stepped out, ready to hook up with some homies and homegirls down by the House of Spirits liquer store. There is a long driveway right next to it and as i was walking down the avenue to Sunset, I heard someone throw a whisle, so i whisled back in that certain style and it was acknowledged. Some of the guys were up the driveway so i stepped on up to see what was the plan for the night.

Well it wasn't too long before a black n white cruised by and shined the light on us. Now we were there to be off the street but it was apart of someone's driveway so maybe they reported us, who knows. Everyone scattered like roaches as the police car's doors blew open. Me? I had just got there and wasn't doing anything wrong and besides...I didn't feel like getting all sweaty or dirty so i stood there as the cops ran up. By then a couple other cars had pulled up and the first ones ran right past me as i stood still. I wasn't as lucky with the next two and one of them busted me upside the head! Well, there goes another hat!

Whatever he hit me with did a number on me. All i remember was having the hand-cuffs slapped on and them leading me down the driveway as blood flowed down my face.
Turns out i recieved a big gash on my head and had to get stiches.
The charge was assault on a police officer and the reason (as some would know) is to cover their own ass. Well that charge made me a hero in the neighborhood! WOW! You assaulted a cop?? Your bad!! Hey, might as well get some kind of compensation out of it! We never filed a brutality report and the charges on myself were eventually dropped too!

I decided to retire my hats and just slick back my hair with tres flores (three flowers) WAX !
I never got into wearing beanies but did wear my hair net! Over those months and years i became very aquainted with the inside of Rampart and on that one occasion almost died there, but that was another story. Over the years to now, I have learned to respect those who can take away my freedom and i love my freedom! That is what keeps me in check whenever i get a slightly crazy notion. So good cop-bad cop? It don't matter to me as long as i'm not doing what i used to do and drawing any such attention to myself...
I'm cool mista policeman! leave my lil ol' head alone! (wa-waa-waaa)


par-tay, rivals & the cops - (& poem)

It was on a Friday that one of the older homies decided he was going to throw a party at his tiny little shack on Echo Park Ave.- right across the street from the Lerner Gas Station now known as Magic Gas, which really is magic too, the way it just disappears from my tank in the blink of an eye!
So we were ready to party and at night came so did all the homies. We assumed the position and held up the wall. (so to speak) This was one gang style stance we did to show that we were "holding our own" or "backing the hood" so that everyone who passed by knew they were in OUR territory.

The lil shack was filled up with all 10 or 15 people and not a single one more!
The rest of us were out in front doing our thing. I don't remember ever worring about the cops driving by, but i do about a particular rival street gang and maybe some gun fire so we always kept a look out.
Sure enough, almost as if right on time, a carload cruised on by, fast at first and up on Morton off to the side, then again but much slower this time and on the Avenue.
Well needless to say, words were exchanged along with the gang motions etc.

Now the very next drive-by they did was just after the cops that pulled up and were about to hassle all of us. One of the homies got this brillant idea of how to get these cops off our backs. He came up right quick and told the cops that this car full of gang members had just fired off a few rounds at us. look, he said and showed them a bullet hole that was in the window on the shack. (that had been there for awhile already) Well as it works out, the carload had once again passed by as if right on Q!
Talk about perfect timing!
When they seen the cops they took-off in a hurry from Morton down Echo Park Ave.
The cops saw this and quickly jumped into their patrol car and chased them and pulled them over just past Scott Ave. They pulled them all out of the car and had the gang members spread-eagle on the ground in the middle of the street.
Another back-up car quickly arrived and we could see the whole thing going on from up the street. We all decided to run on down closer to mock the gang now on their faces kissing OUR neighborhood ground.

A couple of us again decided to start throwing our empties at them! (cops and all) It didn't matter to us and besides now was a 2 for 1 kinda night. Bottles were flying from all over and i wasn't too crazy about that idea cause i saw it a little more as they were hepling us out, but it really didn't matter. All i know is that we all had to run , and fast cause other cops were comming and you could hear the distant sirens getting closer and closer. No one got caught and that was the end of that party...... til we moved it somewhere else!


*The Clock Ticks (Time Moves Along)

One person dies and time just moves along
nobody cares when a persons tears flow on & on

In this world everyone's concern is themselves
never glancing to the side to see that another is caught up in hell

Time ticks on and tears still stream
as a person loses self control, hope, and yet another dream

One homeboy ending up killed is more blood being spilled
Spilled out in to these stupid ass streets
where the minds are ruthless and the gunclips are filled

Hollow point bullets aimed at the soul of one life
blast through a body like a cold penetrating knife

Time ticks on and another person dies
time ticks on and mothers, sisters, brothers, fathers cry

Crying tears of sadness and deep gasping pain
about a life and soul that was taken in vain

Time ticks on and the world doesn't change
at least not in the streets where dying is anything but strange

With every second that passes a life is taken away
pray that it isn't your life, and death isn't the price you pay

Tears stream down cheeks like days in the week
Tears that taste sour run deep for hours

The clock ticks on and death is our lives
A tear falls down a cheek as soon as another starts to dry.


--thanks Ryan


hot summer nights pt.1

It was a long hot summer that year, i remember the warm nights and it was boring! Me and two of my close friends were trying to think of something to do that would be a thrill and at the same time travel the whole city from one end to the other. The answer was obvious,We need transportation! We were around the neighborhood looking for some wheels and as a youth with too much time on my hands had plenty of experience "hot-wiring" cars. The easiest were always chevys,if the key knob isn't turned into the LOCK POSITION then it was a canidate voted for a "joy" ride.
So if you have a older chevy...Lock-it! Now Fords were the ones to hot-wire, it meant you would have to pop the hood and hook up a wire to the solenoid etc.
Remember back then there were NO noisey car alarms or clubs so basically it didn't take a professional thief to do it just a bored 15 year old with bored friends ready to learn.

That night we found our "first" ride to freedom, anywhere out of Echo Park was a treat for us. So without going into detail, we were now driving down Sunset blvd.and everything was cool.
As we cruised on over to here and there we had our close calls with passing police cars,but they kept on and just to be on the safe-side we would turn off into a side street for a detour. Well that night was non-eventful. We soon got tired and it was late and not too many cars were on the road so it was time to head back and find a good spot to park it. We found that a certain local hospital had a secluded back parking lot,that was to be our secret hiding place. The next night to come would be a very interesting and exciting time.

It had just turned nightfall and we were ready to cruise....but the guys decided that each one of us should have his own car. So we came up with a plan, we would go to local outside areas and find a car that was available , take it and bring it back to park at our "spot" then go out and do it again only now a little to the south or where-ever. We were having so much fun that night ,we didn't stop til it finally became too late to continue. We each had taken turns doing this and one of the guys was a little on the dumb side and he would make noise and attract attention. He also really didn't know how to drive too well either but we let him continue for the most part. By the end of the night we had a few cars parked side by side, and thats the way we left 'em.

The next day was a beautiful one, it was nice and hot! A good day for the beach!
How there was only one problem... actually two...Who was going to drive? (who looked older) and just which car would we take? It was a hard decision.
Here we had all these cars and couldn't make up our minds,but we knew it could only be one, at least until we got back and it was night,the best time to drive the big streets and in the day all the little back ones. The only problem....IF you run into a cop, they would quickly spot you as being too young to drive and then a chase or just busted with no chase either way it was risky! We went to the beach,had fun,came back.

Now for the real fun! We had accumulated a total of 11 cars,we were short by one(our goal). Each one had his own car and we followed eachother around, played chicken up in Griffith Park, nearly ran off the road a time or two and if we were lucky...ran out of gas! Remember the one who couldn't drive too well? Yeah..Well..he lived.
Some of the cars weren't as lucky. By the end of THAT night we had no more to drive but wait...still two were left! I can remember the colors and years cause they were almost identical, and both were stick shifts (3-on the tree) if you even know what what is. Unfortunatly I knew how to drive a stick, so i knew the difference between the clutch and the brake, My friend didn't! We went up a hill and then started going down a hill, i was following by myself and as i watched them go up and over he swerved
into a narrow side street never putting on the brake but instead the clutch.

The parked car on the corner was rear-ended hard! They jumped out and into mine and we headed back to the spot. The passenger busted his lip and had a bleeding nose ,the driver was just shooken-up. We heard the sirens in the distance and we knew. We decided to lay low the rest of the week,but not for long..remember we were bored juvenile delinquints looking for something to do and cars seemed to be our only vise.


hot summer nights pt.2

Some of my "events" included police involved chases, a few we got away, most we got caught.
By the end of that summer i myself had close to 20 arrests. Nothing to brag about but thats now it was. The court system didn't work and back then if the owner didn't show up at the hearing the case was thrown out. End of story. Maybe if i was dealt with properly and early enough, there would have been alot less cars stolen.... naw, i doubt it!
Some of the times were high speed chases on the freeways or streets. Once i inadvertly stole a 64 corvett that had a 427 engine, 4 speed and some nice fat lo pro tires all around. All i was going to take from it was a 4-track (8-track) player i said chevy ignitions if not locked are thumb-turned to on and start.

At the time i really didn't know how to drive a 4-on-the-floor but i learned quickly! What i found later in the glove compartment would be what would change everything without my knowing. It turn out to be a 38 revolver and it turns out to belong to a L.A.P.D. officer. The whole car! I wanted to take it out for one last time , i couldn't resist the rush of driving a fast car! I jumped on the freeway and drove til someone wanted to race. It wasn't long before a hot rod truck pulled along side and gave me the look. It was on baby! Dam, he was fast! but i was faster and after passing him i would wait for him and we do it again! All i remember is that i was in L.A. one minute(so it seemed) and in Orange County the next! I turned around and did the same but now out to the San Fernando valley.

The last trip was on the 5 heading east again only its dark now. I found someone else to race and we were but this time a motor cycle cop put his red lights on to pull me over. All i saw was that they were getting smaller in the rear view mirror and wondered how could that be? I was soon to find out! I decided to lose him by jumping on another junction except that this guy in his t-bird (a off duty cop) didn't let me and i was soon now being chased by him and now the highway patrol.I don't remember what happened to the t-bird but i remember all the flashing lights far behind me and getting a little closer now.

I wasn't alone , i had another one of my homies with me this time and he was shiten-bricks! He told me to get off the freeway so i did,somewhere around telegraph or washington but as we did we spun-out at the exit light , recouped and burned rubber going down the long deserted street where there were nothing but wherehouses one one side ,the freeway on the other. The police weren't too far behind so i thought i better lose them by turning down one of the side streets. As i was flying i saw a street comming up on my left and tried to take it but at the speed i was going i just couldn't quite make it! Again , i spun-out only this time i landed somehow between a light pole and sign.

End of the line...We both jumped out of the car which is now in a ivy patch, I tell the guy to get the gun and throw it into the ivy not knowing thats what they were really after me for besides the car. We ran and ran but there wasn't anywhere to go... only this big lot next to a big building.
The police were there in no time and had us in cuffs when one officer came straight up to me and threw a punch to my stomach. As he did one officer told him don't and he pulled it so as to not really hit me hard.

It turns out he was the one on the motorcycle. His 3? gear and siren had froze, whatever that means, but he was pissed,that i remember! The car had been on the HOT LIST cause of a police issued 38. It was open-season on whoever had the car.
Remember what i said about the court system? My court date came and as i'm sitting there listening to the owner of thr car (cop) testify, Hes sayind all this damage was done to it. For some reason.. The Judge decides he wants to see it for himself (huh?)
Yeah , you heard right!
Well.. there was no damage and the Judge threw out the charges and cited him with contempt! WHAT was that all about??? I still shake my head!!!

Zero Nada Zip! I will say this... That won't happen now a days. Everything has changed! My Police Record as a Adult is 0 or close to it! Some minor things or traffic kinda stuff. So for the most part i guess i can say i'm clean and dam proud of it! Everything that i know i could do thats criminal i just don't have the desire to do, so i don't. Thank God!

I remember getting a taste at 18 of what the real jail was like. It was all i needed to quit while i was ahead and no charges or record on me is how i like it! There are so many crazy things from my teen years that could rival the one i just wrote but thats for another time if at all. What do i get out of re-hashing all this? I'm not sure but one thing i know for sure.....I am very fortunate and thats putting it mildly! Wouldn't you agree? Oh yea...I have had my cars stolen and broken into etc.(if its any consolation) and i can't say a thing about it ...i don't dare!


crazy daze (& poem)

Yeah, it was 1969 and a year i wasn't betting on living through. I was a bad 15 year old (so i thought) with no gun, no knife, only fists and sometimes whatever was close by. THATS the way it was. Many fights were like that, one-on-one or 15 to 10 more or less and we were just out numbered many times but it was with balls not this sissy-punk-ass pull a trigger then run away or some drive by shit. A little girl can do that!

Ok, I must admit and i gotta say I did it myself so i know what i'm saying! Me with a carload of my homies, dead stop in the middle of a main street just a block away from the now infamous Rampart Police Station.

I was the shooter. I aimed at a group of rival gang members at a bus stop and let loose! They all(about 4 or 5 vatos)ducked behind the bus bench and i could see the puffs of dust hitting the wall behind where they all ducked. I know i didn't hit anyone but sure scared the shit out of em! That was the first and only time i ever did that,it was just too easy and not that much fun... ok, just alittle! It really wasn't my style and i didn't like the cowards way out. I liked the face to face shit!
(win or lose)

Yeah,these same rivals had almost stabbed to death a homeboy of mine earlier that month and then one day as i was going to see a girlfriend (who lived in their hood) they jumped me and was tossed around from one side of the street to the other. These were older guys too, about 5 or 6 of them. Finally when they were done, one of them disapeared and when he returned, he now had a gun, a 38 revolver. He pulled it up, cocked it and was ready to fire a round into my head. His older brother hit him and told him to put it away because the police station was right down the street.(that didn't stop me!)

Well...... regardless, It wasn't my day to die, maybe tomorrow but not today. And so goes the life of a Hard Core Cholo. I dressed it, looked it, talked it and was it. The cops knew me too well and I have the scars for a reminder. I can laugh about it big deal.

Today i see these wanna-be fools trying to be hard and scaring old people listening to gangsta-c'rap acting tough around their boyz. Catch one by himself and he's not bad at all, just a lil' mamas boy without his back-up. What a joke! Now don't get me wrong, put a gun in their hand and they got my respect, take it away and they'd get bitch-slapped! TWICE!!

I had been "strapped" myself at times (when needed) for my own or others protection, depending on the location or possible situation i was heading into. I had no problem using it or NOT using it and i knew when i just might have to but i would rather avoid it if at all possible. I knew the truth and i knew where i would be spending my life if i was careless or reckless or just plain stupid by trying to impress or whatever.

So moving on.....
That was just a taste of one week in 1969, one week of so many crazyazz months and years to come! I told myself "IF" i somehow lived through it, i would put the year 69 on me, tattooed somewhere. I did - so I DID!

Its funny how i can remember so much about my past yet i don't live it at all, its not me. Occassionally i see someone who remembers the things we did together and is still living as in the past. No possitive outlook in life , No future at all, Thats sad.
I am nobody to put anyone down for whatever reason, all i do know is that i grew out of it in time and some never do or get that chance.... and i can't do a thing about it, its on them!

No one ever believes me when and if i tell them i at one time once was a Cholo, a Homeboy, a Gangster banging hard!

No-way! They would say...

And i'd reply "Si'mon Ese!"...Y Que?.... and i would just smile & silently laugh.


LOS - the 213

I died my last days on the cold streets of the city and I'll tell the cold tale of my life and its stale pity

Sunny days in the hood where nothing was good where faces were stone and life was misunderstood

Ignorant minds with powerful hands

Crept throughtout these streets and unfortunate lands

Broken down buildings in the cold shaky mist dawned every morning with the rank air smell of piss

Kids walked through these streets going to school learning from the outside -- thinking good grades were for fools

Ignorant minds with powerful hands...

Destructive hands with no reason

No regrets as pain soared through the air like grains of sand

Clouds raced up above like deep currents in the sea sending drops falling to the earth for all of us to see

On these cold, cement-paved streets, waters do rain
They wash away all the grime and clear the city of stain

But what follows the many clear drops of rain water are not rich wives or their spoiled young daughters

They are the ghetto species of man and child, with wishes of grandeur that do not come mild

They take violence and guns out in to the paved avenues like rain brings water -- and water brings flu

Can you picture the violence in the air with gunshots at night and lives taken because of stares?

Dirty streets soaked in the blood of those lives taken generation after generation of victim's souls are felt in the skies looming above watching these streets with cautious eyes

Souls run deep in the streets -- alive and dead they will stay around until the day where all our guns are shed...

Let go of your weapon put up your fists stare in the eyes of cowardness and get pissed

In the night it is told that the many souls come alive taking the forms of shadows that duck and hide

They run about in these cold streets and fly through the wind haunting everything they touch and blessing the sinned

Heavy rains pour in the barrios and we look for cover - for one time stand out there and be like no other

Look to the skies and in the storm stand tall
Ask them to bring more rains and try to make you fall

Scream with your heart and glory what you feel deep inside
Represent your life and all those close to you who have died

Life livin' from experiences and soul is the way

I walked through the cold steady rain with my gun in hand cocked and ready to blast if my enemy should want to make a stand

I scratched my temple and looked around the block scanning for any life that moved and whose life I would stop

I yearned for vengeance that my heart couldn't help but need for the life was taken from my one and only seed

The son I had brought into this world was killed and shot by some lowly motherf***er who used his gun instead of fought

In these times and places life is too much for a child with too many pains and troubles that force them to be rough and wild

The streets are our schools and our teachers are guns
Death is our lives - we are unfortunate ones

I live for the love of life and strive for the death of pain
Lessons of life can save a man but life alone can drive him insane

--Ryan Calle (Gracias Ryan)


My Homeboys-The Good,The Bad, and the just plain UGLY!

During those early days of becoming a gang, i met and welcomed many solid new homeboys. Many were from other local hoods such as C14, 18st, FTR, and some others. For one quick summer it seems all the dudes from FTR joined the hood and "Frogtown" became an extention of Echo Park that summer. It all changed after that summer and the guys eventually reformed to a new and improved FTR.
It was all good for the moment so what can i say.

The ones who became my closest homies were now living in my hood or else decided to leave theirs and join mine. Whatever the case we had some strong bonds and it was through some strong partying! Thats when you learn a few things about your homies and where their heads at and how they handle themselfs. Some were straight chumps and acted like fools, then there were the mature cool ones and these were the ones to party with cause you knew they were mello and knew how to have a good time besides being down for anything.

There were times when the boys were separated from the men so to speak. The ones with balls and the ones that lacked 'em. To be honest i gotta say i myself lacked'em on a couple occasions! I was bout ready to get my ass beat for being a fool by crossing out one of the older guys i didn't like from my hood and when he called me on it i pussy'd out! I was a youngster and still green and learned soon enough not to be a fool or else! The other time my bigger homie pissed me off so i fired him up but then when i saw his face turn red he scared the shit out of me as he chased me around my ride. You had to be there! It was fricken funny! He finally was calmed down but yup, that was another time i pussy'd out! I'm being straight up about it cause i need to be real about what i write when it comes to who i was and i'm not gonna try to pretend like i was without any faults. I'm pretty glad to say as i look back that this was the only 2 times where i ranked out with my homies, but i'm still not proud of mentioning it. You learn...I sure did!

I had a good homie named Memo who i really respected and had good times with. During a period of hostilities with a rival hood he got caught alone and was stabbed in the chest. As he ran up the hood in shock from being stabbed he lost way too much blood and never made it. To this day i think about him and still miss him. Its been over 25 to 30 years i think since he's been gone.
My younger white homie who was one of the first was who we named Payaso. He was really funny and a clown. When i went away for a short stay, homeboy macked it with my girl...scandelless i tell ya! All was forgiven cause me and him were tighter than me and her so i didn't really care. It was squashed! Later he met someone and got married and lived his life till one day he had a premature heart attact at still an early age if i remember right. At least he went that way but he was really overweight at the time! Another one i miss. As for the ugly? Well i won't mention names but we had some ugly homies too! But they were/are also good people so i won't rag on'em...
and just leave it at that.


the intruder

(my "killer ratdog" by a old chain i found from back in the day. A few good wraps around the hand and that would do the job, ready to swing and hit when possible...whatever it took to win a good gang fight!)

There was this one time that a outsider from another rival gang was in the heart of our neighborhood my himself and high on something. Me and Guino had jusy came out of the lil neighborhood market by Effie St. and we noticed this guy hanging out in the alley across the street and we knew who he was and where he was from and he sure wasn't welcomed in our hood.
What had happened the previous weeks was that his gang had nearly stabbed to death one of our guys and the warfare was on not to mention i was also jumped my these guys as i mentioned before. Duke was still in the hospital recouperating and no one was too happy with the idea of an intruder in Echo Park.

This "Vato" must have been pretty gone to do something like this and in the middle of the day! I could only conclude he had a death wish to do something so STUPID as that!!
Guino and I went on over to him and Guino asked him what the fuck are you doing in our neighborhood ? He was wasted and really didn't have much to say in return. Then Guino TOLD him; you better get the fuck out of here!! NOW!!! Oh yea, Guino also say he was gonna give him a break and let him walk but it wasn't too much longer that the had got out and everybody and their Mama was now on the look-out for this fool and once found...that was it!

He would be very luck to still live especially after what they did to Duke! By the way..My being jumped wasn't reported to the hood by me cause i really didn't get hurt much (almost shot) and just let it go at that besides it wouldn't make that big of a difference. These guys are the same mentioned earlier that i had one time opened up on in the middle of the street.
So now the tension was in the air to get this guy. It turns out after being warned, he still hung around in the alley and sure enough we saw him again but this time chased him! He disapeared for a minute then i saw him run across the street and jump a fence into the corner house's front yard.

As me and Guino went to catch up with him he was now scared enough to realize what was going on but i still think he was in a "daze". As he seen us approaching he actually grabbed something from the porch then crashed right through the big plate glass window and into the house!
We were right behind him by now and as he followed him in i saw a scared lil ol lady in her living room.(poor thing) She motioned to us which way he fled so we causiously went into the next room and then slowly into the other but he wasn't there. Now i had a 2' bar in my hand and i don't remember what Guino had but as entered into the last room - the bathroom we still didn't see him and were now thinking that maybe he left out the back way or something?

I entered first into the small narrow bathroom and Guino wasn't too far off. As i entered and went just past the tub, the curtain around it was drawn and so i decided to pull it back to see and as i was going to, he jumped out at me! I saw what he picked up on the porch in his hand as he started swinging it wildly at me - it was a axe! Not a big one but a axe is still a axe! I jumped back and in doing so put myself right into a corner with no-where to go! I was pinned in!
I had my bar and i was using it to fend him off as he tried to lung at me. Guino came in from behind him and nailed him on the head a few times. That backed him off me just long enough to get cleared. Then we both started in on his intruder who now rightfully was in every sense of the word! We beat this punk-ass down big time to where he was a bloody mess! In the distance we could hear the sirens now were getting closer, so we split!! If all the others who were looking for him had joined in?....He would be DEAD.

As we watched from a distance so not to be identified, First the cops pull up then soon a ambulance.
A few moments later they brought him out in a gurney and took him away. What a fool too! He could have walked away but noooo...
Every once in a while when i pass that house on the corner and look at the big window, i remember what transpired one day long long ago. Oh yea..HE LIVED but had alot of scares for a fond memory. I think as of today he is probably long gone i would imagine cause someone like that doesn't last long at all!

And what were Guino and I doing at that lil market that day?? Why...buying a couple bottles of Boonesfarm,Annie Greensprings, or was it T Bird? for that hot Summer day! It took ALOT of that darn "cool-aid" to get a buzz going too but not that T Bird!

So it was just another day in the neighborhood with a lil excitement for intertainment to mix things up and in my "hood" you never-ever know whats gonna happen from day to day.
I really believe that its still like that for the most part in alot of neighborhoods through-out L.A. but probably even crazier!... you think?


little red pills

It all goes down like this...

It was a Fri.? or Sat. night, at the old original Pioneer Market on Sunset Blvd. and Echo Park Ave. Me and a homie of mine were kicking it in the parking lot, just parked, getting high on beer and pills (real smart!). When the cops pulled into the lot and soon right up behind us... with their lights off. Then got out and took us out of the black '62 Chevvvy station wagon.

They hand cuffed the both of us ,searched us and gave us a one way ride to The Not So Magic Kingdom! Oh yeah ,before i forget......the car? It wasn't ours, just "borrowed" to go to the beach with some girls which we just dropped-off, did i forget to mention the orgy?? Yeah right!

At the station my buddy was searched two more times as was i, then we were put into the same cell.....BIG MISTAKE! When the coast was clear (not santa monica either) my buddy yanked out a wad filled with lil red pills just smaller than m&ms in a baggie and he was ready to flush the whole thing down before i stopped him and told him to let me have some first! He did ( about 36 or was it 38? of them).

To this day i ask myself ...WHAT was i thinking??? we know the answer...The lights were on and somebody was home- only he was really GONE! I woke-up 3 days later in General Hospital (not the soap either). Apparently my folks were told i might not make it (coma or something like that) and to prepare .....

Ok, That was "almost" the last time i ever did that again, there was one "other" time, but not as bad! Again... I lived!
We all have our stories, some not as bad - some worst or some that are just peachy and nice! Nothing wrong with that! Everyone has something to hide or to expose. I choose to expose but as i've said, hopefully to share with those who never knew or heard of or from someone saying what really goes on in a life. Some things i believe are best left alone too. The main thing i realize now is that i'm still here and i'm living and loving it! I always say... Life is Good! God is Good!
I call it the way it is and not just the way i see it.

I never really thought much about it then but this is why i say and feel that way now....
go figure!
My last comment is just to say this is not something i'm proud about or bragging. It happened and its my little piece of history....

which once again... I Survived!


one shot up ride & poem

We were heading back from the Westside, out towards Venice, seeing these two sisters, my homeboy and I. These girls were fine but their big brothers didn't really like us too much cause we were from the "Eastside" so they said. It was getting late that night and they now had to go in, so we jumped into our G-ride and drove down through Venice going east. We only managed to get a couple of miles when this car from behind bumped us. (not real hard but still) We didn't know who it was but had an idea that it could have been the girls brothers or friends. We punched it a blew through a red light. They followed...

The next one was green but we turned left then a quick right and turned our lights off. We thought we lost them but it was only for now cause when we jumped back on the main street they came from out of nowhere. This time we saw them and it wasn't the brothers but some dudes from around there. I doubt they even knew who we were but it soon didn't matter. So we turned down another side street and they followed, I don't think that was a good idea. The next thing i knew, our back window is being blown out!
I really didn't hear a gunshot but the second time i did! We got hit 5 times!

I was shit'n bricks by now and so was my homie! I don't know why but after they shot at us they took off in the other direction. We were still shookin up but kept on driving home. My homie jumped into the back and cleared any glass still on the window so you couldn't tell too much that it wasn't there but if you were close enough you could tell so we were careful to not run into any cops while making our way back. It turns out the trunk had a bunch of bullet holes and my tail light was shot out too.
The car as usual was now hotter so it didn't matter to us. Once we got close enough to the hood we ditched it and walked the rest of the way.

I called my girl and told her what had happened and she didn't sound so surprised for some reason. It turns out that it was the other girls x-boyfriend who drove up on us.
She said he came back and told them we better not go back there again or next time it wasn't gonna be just the car full of holes! Well....she was fine...but NOT THAT FINE!
My homeboy agreed and we told the girls if they wanted to hook up they would have to come down to our hood...period!

They did a few times but then stopped cause me and her got into a fight and broke-up. was good while it lasted but almost getting capped? NAW! nothings that good to die for, which gives a real meaning to that.
We decided to live for another day and move on to other fine things in life! and most were always out of the neighborhood too. But thats the way it was cause the girls in my hood didn't like any of us "homeboy types". They all went out with guys who "owned" their cars. The ones who did hang with us were cool but not enough. (already taken)
We had some crazy lil girls in the varrio too! They were down! We all used to party at Nellies Pad. When Nellies cuz came down from New Mexico, all us fools tried to scam on her! She was alright but not fine.

Then the older vatos, my close homeboys started getting busted and doing alot of time while the rest started dropping like moscas. (flies) That really sucked cause i was losing too many good friends through O.D.s or shot down. The only ones left either were clowns and didn't know anything but acted like they knew whats up, and some just didn't like me at all cause they thought i acted like i was too good for them, only cause i didn't do things their way.
They're dead now so.....I'll just leave it at that.
It seemed like i was on my own more and more and the only time some of the homies would be around was for the beer, wine or smoke, but when that was gone so were they and that ain't right. I loved my Varrio but not so much some of these vatos. I just couldn't trust them. Little did i know that later down the line it would be me in that position!
I've always been up-front with everyone (and still am) but that doesn't mean anyone else has to be....know what i mean?
Hey...Thats just the way it was and will be. People are people regardless where there comming from. Theres real and then theres not. I found out that time does tell, when it comes down to it.
Today i'm just a little smarter for it.

I think ...if you been there and done that...then talk to me, you got my respect. If not and your a wanna be and trying to prove something (and i've met some) you better walk! Don't even waste my time! If your cool and wanna talk.... then lets sit down.

And as you already know......Homie don't play that anymore, and Homie don't live that either.


*My Life

When I was little I thought everything was all right
But as I got older I found out that wasn�t quite right
As I walked to the paths of life
I saw, heard, and felt many things that hurt inside
Let me show you a bit of my life:

When I was five my parents got divorced
When I was seven my mom married a jerk
When I was eight my mom was in a abusive relationship
And I could not say a thing

By the time I was 13 I seen a whole lot from violence to speed
When I was 14 my mom left the jerk
Two weeks later he came back trying to kill my mom and my sis
As I watched this happen I could not do a thing

When I was 15 my grandpa died
Four months later my mom almost died
Now she is in the hospital because of a stroke
Two weeks later I am living with my dad and my sis with my aunt

And thats were I am
Living in a L.A with my dad

--Vanessa Contreras

Thanks V.C.


shoot out at pacos pt.1

In the middle of a cold rainy night 5 rival gang members slowly drove by in a black Chevy lowrider with their lights off , Their guns pointing out the passenger side window and all aimed at the small white house on the corner.
A few seconds later and all you could hear echoing in this neighborhood were the sounds of rapid gunfire!
(I lived only two blocks up from where with was going on and it was loud!!)

This was nothing new at that house, this went on for some time in-between the weeks that past. I don't remember the reason they were shooting up Paco's pad but they were doing a pretty good job from the looks of all the bullet holes.

It was during the time that the drug of choice was hitting the streets strong and P.C.P. or "COOLS" was it!
Everybody was doing this big time! I was spared from this nasty shit only because i was up in Washington at the time it hit the streets otherwise i too would have been "zombied out" (the way i was going!)
Now I did do Angel Dust a few times when it first hit the market way before pcp replaced it and it was a real trip! It sent me way out there and then some! Talk about mind expanding! WoW! This shit was heavy! I'm glad i had to leave for Job Corps shortly after, or else...

So when i returned to the neighborhood i was now Strong (both mentally and spiritually) and no longer "weak-minded" by any drug or other influences. I let anyone know where i was coming from too.

This one night, i went on down the street to Paco's to see what was up with all the drive-bys. He had told me the story which i will not get into. (deeper gang B.S.) Anyway as i was there some others had arrived and they had their shit locked and loaded. I had to head out but later returned. When i did i noticed that everybody was pretty zombied-out and with there rifles and guns at the ready! Word was that a drive-by was going to go down and this time they were gonna be ready for them!

As i was standing around just checking out this whole bizzare scene and thinking the same thing you probably are now - What the hell am i doing here ??? These guys are fucken wasted and as i was thinking this........a car slowly came up the street. Someone said something like HEY!..ITS THEM! Everyone quickly grabbed their weapons, stuck'em through the chain-link fence and pointed them at this slow moving car.... They were just about ready to open-up on it. I had a clear mind and good sight and as i seen that it was just an old couple driving by slowly - I QUICKLY SHOUTED NO DON'T!!! - its just an old couple in it! DON'T SHOOT AT IT!!! I swear to this day, I thought they were gonna be history...D-E-A-D!!

It really shook me up to know what could have just happened! I needed to get the fuck out of there - NOW!

The next night.... it did happen.



shoot out at pacos pt.2

The next time i heard gun fire, it was at that moment i felt it. Deep down I just knew...
knew someone was gonna be killed!

It went down bad that night! So much gunfire from both sides in the darkness of that night! It was just something that would give you a chill down your back, not knowing which one of your ex-homies could be lying on the ground gasping for their last breath.........

What began as another tense day leading to an unpredictable night, even the lurking shadows were threatening. What would happen in the following moments would change so many lives forever!

It must have been just before eleven or twelve when two cars quietly parked on the back street behind this lil house.
From each car out came 5 or so gangsters with their weapons, ready to sneak-up behind the lil house and surprise those who were in wait. They too had gotten word of what was happening ,so they were expecting to catch them unaware.
As they organized and moved in from the back street they had no idea that they were being watched from the time they parked til now. After all....when you go into someone elses territory, they always have the advantage over you as it was in this case.

Everyone by the lil house was stationed in his place wherever that might be and when it came time to open fire they were prepared.
The rival gang members were making their way over a couple of short 3-4 foot chain link fences.
(since replaced with a 6 foot)
As they quietly approached the house in the cover of darkness , suddenly from everywhere - everyone opened up with gunfire. The rival gang also returned fire but it was too much and surprised them to where they just tried to get away!

Some had made it back to their car and as many could,
piled in and raced off! The second car was still there but they reached it too and as they hastely jumped in knew that one of their own was still out there............

They really didn't have a choice, since they were now being chased all over the streets and it was every man for himself! They fled!
One unfortunate rival shooter no longer had ammo so he must have ditched his gun and ran as he was being chased.
He found a car that was parked in someone's drive-way
and quickly crawled under it as those ran past. He thought he was safe for now, but it was short-lived as his own life would also soon be.

As one guy ran past, with a shot gun in hand -
he stopped......and looked under to check.
The other guys were close by when they heard a shout - I found one! They all rushed over and as they pulled his ass out, he pleaded to them to "shoot me - shoot me!" Why? ........ I'll tell you why........
Cause he already knew he was dead - so just get it over with. I know that kind of thinking too and its as if saying....give me honor instead of disgrace so all those will know i died with "balls" and not begging to live.
As much as it makes no sense...It is real... and it comes from the street. (Or was anyway)

The next day and on , for almost a week these streets were taped off as the detectives did their investigation.
I followed it on the news and soon learned most of the weapons were found.....ditched or thrown into a local gutter/storm drain around the corner.
Everygun they found had finger prints and now the three brothers who lived in that lil house plus others would face years and years (up to 20!) in a prison far far away from home and loved ones.

After so many years, they were just a faint memory.
There was one guy who didn't leave his weapon behind, he was the first one to blow this gangsters head off....
remember the one with the shot gun ?

I know it still bothered him -what he had to do (again street code and having the balls to do it) But at least he was smart enough to be clean. (no it wasn't me either! in case it past your mind) but who told me what all had happened that night as i was lying in bed then suddenly awakened by the sounds of death! (just down the block)

I pass by that lil house almost every day now, some 25 or so years later and i still remember that night and the other night before when i was there, but most of all i pass by that driveway, and remember that spot where all that was left they said....was something that looked like an empty bloody bowl that was once someone's head.
The driveway was soon redone and the dirt now covered with concrete in an attempt to conceal or cover up and hide a horrible and sad memory, but in reality, i'm really just guessing.
One thing i do know as a fact?

Lives were forever changed on that one particular night.
The night where...
Everybody lost

and no one won.