Back In The Day - Tales from the Hood


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)


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