(L_TO_R) Frank Baltazar Sr., Nate Dominguez, Mike Adame, John Martinez and Tony Baltazar
(L_TO_R) Frank Baltazar Sr., Nate Dominguez, Mike Adame, John Martinez and Tony Baltazar
By Frank Baltazar
Juan, was told by his dad that they were going up north to work the piscas, Juan was eleven years old, and he was looking toward what he thought would be an adventure, since he had never being out of the Los Angeles barrio he lived in, he was ready to go see the world.
“Pops, when are we going?
“As soon as Manuel fixes his truck, mijo”
Juan was so happy to get out of the barrio, he ran to tell all his friends.
“Guys, we, the whole family are going up north to work the piscas” he said to his friends
“What are the piscas?” ask Chuy.
“I don't know, my dad just said the piscas” said Juan.
Two days after Manuel had finish fixing his truck, he told Juan's dad, Jose, that it was time to go up north.
“ Pack only what's necessary, Jose, don't want to put too much weight on this old truck” said Manuel to Jose.
Pack and ready to go, Manuel told his wife, Lupe, son, Tony and daughter Maria, to help Jose, his wife, Elsa, Juan and Juan's two younger brothers and sister, Rudy, Luis and Rosa to pack.
On the Road
With Elsa, Lupe and the kids riding in the back of the truck they headed north on Highway 99. Elsa and Lupe packed some burritos before they left the barrio so they could eat as they went up the Ridge Route, after eating, the kids happy to be out of the barrio sang songs they learned from the their parents.
The 1938 Ford flat bed truck with side panels was running good as they pull into a gas station in Bakersfield.
“Okay everybody; use the restrooms as I gas up, Jose, can you check the oil?” said Manuel.
Back on the road Manuel says to Jose, “The oil company's are robbing us, can you imagine fifteen cents for a gallon of gas?”
“And ten cents for a quart of oil” said Jose.
“We better make lots of money in the piscas” both said in unity.
Juan pulls the hair on his six year old sister, Rosa, making her cry.
“Juan, leave Rosa along, just wait until we stop again, you are going to be sorry” said Juan's mother Elsa.
“ Mom, I'm not doing nothing to her, she is just a cry baby” said Juan to his mother.
“Don't believe him, mom, he is pulling her hair” said Juan's seven year old brother Luis.
Juan punches Luis in the arm, now Luis is crying'
“Cabron!, just wait!, I'm going to give you some chingasos when we stop!” said Elsa.
They stop in Fresno. Juan jumps of the truck trying to hide from Elsa, but Elsa gets him by the ear and as she pulls on his ear she yells at him “cabron!; I told you to leave your brother and sister along, now cabron; behave yourself”.
“But, mom, I'm bored, are we almost at piscas” said Juan.
“Piscas is not a place, “piscas” is work” said Elsa.
“What ever, are we almost there?”.
“No, now just behave yourself, be good like Manuel's kids.
As Elsa said that Tony pulls Maria's hair, now Maria is crying
“A la chingada!, these kids are going to drive me to drinking; compa, lets have a beer” Jose said to Manuel.
“You start drinking and you are getting some chingasos” said Elsa to Jose
Back on the road without drinking a beer Manuel said to Jose “ you're afraid of your vieja, Jose”
“No, I'm not afraid of her, I just let her think that I am, that way we keep the peace”
North of Madera, Ca. The families head west on California State Route 152, stopping in the small town of Los Banos for gas and to use the restrooms. After resting a bit they get back on the road, go over the Pacheco Pass straight to U.S. 101, north to San Jose, arriving at a apricot ranch that was waiting for them.
Since apricots grow on trees only Jose and Manuel could worked picking them, Lupe and Elsa worked at a place where the apricots were cut in half and put out to dry.
Once the apricot harvest was done, they went south to Hollister, Ca., to pick plums, they quickly found work at a ranch, where all the kids would be able to work, from the oldest to the youngest, they would get down on their knees and pick the plums of the ground, from sun up to sun down they worked.
In the mornings as the kids worked, they could see woodpeckers pecking on the trees, something they had never seen before.
Juan's brother, Rudy, wanted his pop to buy him a bike when they got back home, but he didn't like working, he would fall asleep under the trees.
“Pop, look at Rudy, he's asleep and he wants you to buy him a bike” Juan would say to his father.
“Well, he is not getting a bike if he don't work” Jose would say.
“Vieja, get the burritos, I'm going to light a fire so we can warm them up. Juan, right after we eat, you check the boxes and make sure they have our number, we don't want to get cheated, we work too hard for that, now wake Rudy up and tell him its time to eat” Jose said to Juan and Lupe.
After lunch it was back to work til sun down.
With dinner done, it was time to relax a bit. The men would built a fire , play their guitars and sing, drink a beer or two. twelve year old Tony, Manuel's son was a favorite of the men, because he could sing like Pedro Infante, Tony and his eight year old sister, Maria, would sing duets for the men.
“Tony, sing some songs that we can dance to” ask Manuel of Tony
“Lets dance” Manuel say to Lupe as Tony starts singing a corrido.
Before you knew it the adults were all dancing, the teenagers were drifting of to hide behind the trees and do what teenagers do.
Sundays were a day of rest, Jose and Manuel would take their families to church, after church they would go into town, do a little shopping, get something to eat.
They would get back to the ranch early so that everybody could rest for the next day's hard work.
Time went by fast and the harvesting was almost done, soon it would be time to go back to Los Angeles, Jose and Manuel would go back to work in the glass factory that they had left behind, the kids would all go back to school. But first Manuel had to fix the rear axle on the truck
“Pinche axle, picked a fine time to break” said Manuel to Jose
“Watch your mouth , Manuel, that's no way to talk in front of the kids” said Lupe to Manuel.
“Si, Manuel, watch your mouth or your vieja will lay some chingasos on you” laughed Jose.
“Lets show these pinche viejas we are not afraid of them, go get some beers, Jose” said Manuel.
The truck didn't get fixed that day.
Finally the day came to head back home. Harvesting was finish, the truck was fix. Manuel and Jose went to see the boss to get paid, after deducting what they owed the general store, the boss paid Manuel and Jose, $1,450.00, $1,600.00, respectively.
Packed and ready to head home Manuel helps Lupe onto the back of the truck.
“Ai vieja!, with all this work I thought you would lose some weight, instead it looks like your love handles got a bit more rounder, que no?”
“I wouldn't talk if I was you, cabron, look at your beer belly” shot back Lupe.
Jose is looking at Elsa.
“You better not say a word, Jose” said Elsa.
“I'm not saying anything vieja” said Jose as he turned around and mumble to himself 'but you did gain some weight too'
It was decided by Manuel and Jose to take U.S. 101 south instead of Highway 99. Heading west out of Hollister, they stopped to check out the mission in San Juan Bautista.
“You ladies look around, Jose and I are going this way” said Manuel to the viejas.
“Where are we going?”, Jose, wanted to know.
“To Taste some vino, Jose, to taste some vino!, but don't let the viejas know ”
As they got to the wine tasting room, Lupe and Elsa are waiting for them.
“What took you so long?” Lupe and Elsa said in unity as they laughed.
“Lets taste some vino and you can buy me a bottle, so Lupe and I can drink it while we ride in the back of the truck” Elsa says to Jose as she takes him by the hand and leads him to the testing room.
Back on the road after buying a couple of bottles of wine, they head south, stopping in King City to buy something to eat. After eating, Elsa brings out a bottle of vino and says to Lupe.
“Look what I got here”
“What are you waiting for, open it, we'll show our viejo's we can drink too” said Lupe. After a couple of glasses of wine Lupe and Elsa are feeling happy.
“Tony, get the guitar, sing some songs,” said his mother, as the truck rolls down the highway, Lupe and Elsa feeling the wine join in singing old Mexican songs.
Jose looks out the window and yells at Lupe and Elsa.
“You viejas drunk?”.
“No, viejo, just feeling happy” said Elsa.
Now, it was Lupe who brings out a bottle.
“Want some more, Elsa?”
“Why not? open it”.
By the time they stopped in Paso Robles, Elsa and Lupe were drunk, but feeling happy.
After gassing up and using the restrooms, they were back on the road, Elsa and Lupe had just fallen asleep when the truck started making a loud noise, Manuel pulled the truck over to the side of the road to see what was wrong.
“I think its the axle again”, Said Manuel after taking a look.
“I can fix it, I have some extra parts, but it will take some time, a day or more, we will have to camp here tonight” said Manuel.
“Do we get to sleep under the star's, daddy? Ask Manuel's eight year old daughter, Maria.
“Si, mija, we get to sleep under the star's”
“Lupe, we are going to have to cook dinner here, so get the small gas stove that I brought from LA, good thing I bought some gas for it too” said Manuel
While Manuel and Jose worked on the truck and Lupe and Elsa cook dinner, the kids are playing on the hills along side of the highway, nine year old Rudy climbed up a hill, as he starts coming down the hill, he couldn't control his momentum and ran head-on into a hollow oak tree at the bottom of the hill.
By the time they were done with dinner it was dark, to dark to work on the truck, so they all sat around in a circle and with Tony playing the guitar sung songs.
Late the next day the truck was fixed and ready to go, with all aboard they started down the highway, rolled into Santa Barbara just before dark and decide to spent the night on the beach. Next day everybody went swimming before they started on the last leg of their trip home.
Back in the barrio, Jose and Manuel went back to work at the glass factory, the kids went back to school, Lupe and Elsa went back to keeping house.
Rudy got his bike
A month later the families got together for carne asada, guacamole, hot salsa, arroz and home made tortillas and to talk about their adventure at the piscas.
“Jose, think you would want to go again?” asked Manuel
“Si, if its okay with the vieja, I would like to go again”
Si, it would be okay, but not for two-three years” said Elsa, with Lupe agreeing.
To be continue
Are you writing a book? I must have missed something. The first part has my attention.
No, Randy, I'm not writing a book, writing short stories is a hobby of mine.Originally Posted by Wing master
Why the first part?
I saw the "to be continued" part and assumed this was part one.
Yes, there be a part two and maybe a part three......Originally Posted by Wing master
Looking forward to reading the next part.
Worked on it most of the day yesterday, hope to have done by late week.Originally Posted by Wing master
By Frank Baltazar
On a Friday in late April, after getting of work, Manuel and Jose stopped at Chuy's Bar for some beers, as they sat at the bar drinking a beer, Manuel said to Jose.
“Jose, Lupe is talking about going to the piscas again”.
“Manuel, we don't need to go, we have good jobs at the glass factory, why go and work so hard for so little money?” said Jose.
“Jose, Lupe wants to go because her mother, the viejita Ana, wants to go, Claims that she was a campesina back in her youth.
“Si, Manuel, the viejita also claims that she rode with Poncho Villa and that Villa had an eye for her, esta loca!, Manuel”.
“Si, I know she is crazy, Jose, but Lupe has a good point, she says the kids are growing up and soon will be out of the house and that we can make this like a family vacation”
“Family vacation? Por favor!, Manuel, that's crazy, getting down on your knees, picking plums of the ground, you call that a vacation?, but I might be nuts too, because I'll talk to Elsa about it”.
Next day as they were having huevo ranchero's for breakfast, Jose told Elsa what Manuel had said.
“Good idea, Jose, I would like to go again, it's been, what?, five years since we went?, Maybe my mamacita would like to go too”
“Esa bruja?, you know, Elsa, that she don't like me”.
“Cabron!, don't call my mamacita a witch, and it's not that she don't like you, she just thinks that I could have done better”.
“ A la chingada!, okay, we'll go, you talk to la bruja, and if she wants to go, we'll take her”.
Monday at work, Jose, told Manuel that he had talk to Elsa and that they had agree to go, providing that he didn't lose his job at the factory.
“We didn't lose our jobs in '47, did we?, lets go talk to the foreman” said Manuel
They found the foreman, Pedro Gomez, napping in the lunch room.
“Pedro, we need to talk to you” said Jose.
“Si?” said Pedro as he opened one eye.
“We need to take vacation time” Manuel and Jose said in unity.
“What are you two loco's up to now?” ask Pedro
“We want to take the families on a long vacation, Pedro” said Manuel
“How much time do you need?”
“About two months” said Jose looking down at the floor.
“And you want me to save you your jobs, right?”
“Well, si, if you would be so kind” said Manuel
“Go ahead, I can use a two month vacation from you two loco's, good luck” said Pedro.
, never sitting up or opening both eyes.
“Why didn't you tell him we are going to las piscas?' Jose ask Manuel as they walked out of the lunch room.
“The pendejo don't need to know where we are going or what we are doing, how come you didn't tell him?”. Manuel laughed.
Two weeks later the two families got together for a barbecue at Steamland Park in Pico. Jose and Manuel got all the kids together to tell them about their plans for a “vacation”.
“Guys, the two families are going on a vacation together this year” said Jose.
Jose's sixteen year old son, Johnny, he was not Juan anymore, wanted to know where they were going.
“Where are we going, pops? Hawaii or maybe Cancun?, can I take my girlfriend?, I would love to go to either place”
Jose looks at Manuel, Elsa, Lupe and the two abuelitas, and rolls his eyes.
“No, mijo, we're going to the las piscas, remember how much fun you had in '47?”
“That's not a vacation, that's work” said Manuel's seventeen year old son, Tony.
“Ya! That's right, it's work” said Rudy, Jose's fourteen year old son.
“Look who's talking, you hardly worked in '47, Rudy, and pops bought you a bike” said Rudy's twelve year old brother Luis.
“Ya! But the bike was stolen two months after I got it, and pops didn't buy me another one”
“Well, if you work hard this year maybe you'll get a new bike” said Jose to Rudy
“These youngster don't know what hard work is, I remember back in '09 when I was a campesina, we used to work day and night, all for the revolucion”
“Si, we heard that story before, Dona Ana, and how Poncho Villa had eyes for you” said Abuelita Juana to Abuelita Ana as they sip on some Patron.
“He did Juana, but you know how men are, only interested in one thing, I told him No”
By the time the barbecue was over, it was settled, they were going to the piscas.
They would be leaving on the second Saturday of July.
Manuel had sold the '38 Ford flat bed truck he drove in '47, now he was driving a '46 Ford station wagon, Juan was driving his own car this year, that being a '40 Chevy pick up truck. After both getting their vehicles serviced the first week of July they were ready to go.
The Second Saturday Of July
The second Saturday of July finally arrived. Manuel, his family and their dog, Perro, drove to Jose's house, where they found Jose and his family ready to go.
“Compa, we'll take Highway 99, just like we did in '47, is that okay?” said Manuel
“Si, that's okay by me. Compa, can my mother in law, the bruja, ride with you? Jose asked Manuel
“She doesn't want to ride in the back of the truck, she wants to ride in front with Elsa and me and all she does is talk about Elsa's old boyfriend, el Huero, about the nice cars and home that he has”
“Jose, I wish I could help you, but I got suegra problem's too, all the viejita want's to talk about is how she was a campesina back in the days of Poncho Villa and how Villa would make eyes at her, you keep your suegra and I'll keep mine” laughed Manuel.
On The Road To Paradise
The two car caravan got a late start on the road to what las viejitas kept calling paradise.
“When we get there I'm going show you young whipper-snapper's what it means to be a campesina” Dona Ana said to Manuel's kids as they travel up Highway 99.
Going up the Ridge Route, Juan's '40 Chevy truck got hot, they had to stop to let it cool down, once it cooled down it ran great, so did Manuel's '46 Ford station wagon.
It was late night when they got to Highway 152, they stopped in Los Banos to get some coffee so Manuel and Juan could stay awake. As the adults sat on the counter sipping coffee, the viejitas to no one's surprise slip shots of brandy in their coffee,. The kids found a jukebox with some R & B records from the late '40's to the latest ones, they kept putting nickles into the machine, listening to Lloyd Price, Fats Domino and Wynonie Harris.
“There they go again, listening to that junke, don't know what's going to become of this generation, I remember back in my youth. We didn't listen to chingadas's”
“Yes, we know Dona Ana, you listened to good music” said Manuel to his suegra as he rolled his eyes.
Back on the road, they drove over the Pacheco Pass, they arrived in Hollister at 3:AM, still had seven miles to get to Tres Tinos, where Carmen and Enrique Perez with their daughter Ruth waited for them with huevo con chorizo, hot coffee, for breakfast .
Enrique and Carmen with Ruth would drive into the fields on a 1929 Ford Model A pick up truck and sell raspado to the campesinos on hot days, and everyday was a hot day.
Enrique was a big man, who weighted close to three hundred pounds, the suspension on the left side of the Model A was broken, so when he got behind the wheel, the truck would lean over to the left side. People wonder how he could even get behind the wheel.
“Are you still selling shave ice cones to the campesinos” asked Jose as he ate breakfast at the Perez's dinner table.
“Si, la gente need something cold in these hot days of summer, you know” said Enrique
“I hear you all are going to be working in Paicines, that's a good ranch to work at, they have nice little houses, they do have a big one that is saved for big families, maybe if you all stick together you can get the big house” Enrique said to Jose and Manuel.
“Si, that a good idea, Enrique” said Lupe.
“Thanks a lot Enrique, Carmen, Ruth for your kindness, now we will get to Paicines and get settled in” said Jose.
“Jose, Manuel, tell the foreman, his name is Harry Williams, that I said to give you the big house” said Enrique.
“Thanks, we will” said Manuel.
The families drove the six miles to Paicines right after sun up. Jose and Manuel went looking for the foreman, Harry Williams, they found him opening the general store, which he owned. The store also had the local Post Office.
“Mr. Williams, I'm Manuel Fernandez and this is Juan Garcia, we are here to work the harvest, Enrique Perez said that if; we, the two families; stuck together we could get the big house” said Manuel.
“Yes, if the families are big enough, you can have the big house” said Mr. Williams
“No house is big enough with the that bruja around, el Huero,! she says” mumble Juan.
Drawing a blank stare from Mr. Williams.
"Sorry" said Juan.
“Okay, its settled, twelve people and a dog is big enough for the big house, now lets open you an account here at the store, you buy your provisions here and at the end of the harvest we settle up” said Mr. Williams.
After opening their accounts, Juan and Manuel walked back to check the house, as they walked, Manuel said to Juan.
“A la chingada, compa, they get you coming and going, que no?.
“Si, but what are you going to do?, we are here now” said Juan.
Manuel and Juan got back to their familia's and told them the good news, they would be sharing the big house, Juan and Elsa would have a room , as would Manuel and Lupe, the girls would share one room, the boys and Perro would share another, the viejcitas would share a room, with their brandy or Patron, or what ever the drink of the day was.
They still had a week before the start of the harvest, so Manuel and Juan set out to meet the familia's that were already in camp.
There were the The Cruz's, Victor and Josie and their two sons, Frankie and Raymond, ages seventeen and fifteen, respectively.
The Gonzalez's, Jesus and Yolanda and their two daughters, Lisa and Carol, ages, seventeen and sixteen respectively.
The Ramirez's, Hector and Irma, their son Eddie and daughter Dolores. Ages 17 and 15, respectively.
And the Hernandez's, Isido and Hilda, their son, Danny, daughters, Linda and Rosemary, ages, sixteen, fifteen, fourteen, respectively.
As Manuel and Juan walked around the camp they found Hector Ramirez working on his car. After introducing themselves, they ask what was wrong with the car,
“Got a broken piston, and now everybody in camp is calling me El Piston” said Ramirez.
They left “El Piston” to walk and meet some more people. As they were walking, they saw a man with two teenage girl's by his side arguing with two teenage boys, they were able to hear some of the argument.
“I told you boys to leave my daughters alone, I don't want them associating with boys like you, you boys will not amount to anything in life, you will always be working the piscas” said Jesus Gonzalez. He told the girls, Lisa and Carol, who were crying to get inside the house.
Juan and Manuel walked up to the boys and asked what the problem was.
“Pinche viejo, he thinks his daughters are too good for us” said Frankie Cruz
“Just wait til tonight, the girls will sneak out the window when the pinche viejo and his pinche vieja are asleep” said Danny Hernandez.
At night, the teenagers would play records and dance outside, close by the common bathrooms, the boys and girls would pair of to dance to Lloyd Price's “Lawdy Miss Clawdy”, a record that they would play over and over again.
“Is that the only record they have?” Isido Hernandez would ask, as he drank a beer.
Most of the adults, except Jesus and Yolanda Gonzalez, would be outside drinking beer, the Gonzalez's and their daughters would stay indoors.
Around eleven PM the music would stop, everyone would go inside and go to bed, except Frankie Cruz and Danny Hernandez, they would go behind the general store with a few beers and wait for Lisa and Carol Gonzalez.
While they were waiting for the girls. Frankie told Danny about shooting a deer two weeks before, said he and some friends went out late one night into the orchards, blinded the deer with the car headlights as it was eating plums, shot it, put the deer in the car, took it to an abandon farm house where they dressed the deer and divided the venison.
“Divided the what!?” asked Danny.
“The deer meat, pendejo, “venison” that's what its called” answered Frankie
“Anyway, Danny, this is what I been thinking about doing, shooting deer and selling the venison here at this camp and also other camps, you want in? We can make spending money, but you know that its illegal and if we get caught we can be thrown in jail and get a big fine”. Frankie also told Danny about how last year as he and a friend were hunting for deer en El Gavilan, they ran into a bracero camp, one of the bracero told Frankie and his friend how nice things were at the camp, but for the lack of women. Frankie told Danny how he and his friend took care of that problem for the bracero's. They went to Watsonville, picked up some of the street walkers and took them to the bracero's. Everybody was a happy camper.
“Lets do it, the deer, not the street walkers” said Danny as Lisa and Carol Gonzalez walked up. Frankie and Lisa went one way, Danny and Carol another.
Two nights later Frankie and Danny go out and bag a deer, dress him at the abandon farm house and the next day went out to sell the venison, went to the Paicines camp first where they sold meat to everybody but Jesus Gonzalez and Hector 'El Piston” Ramirez, Gonzalez and Ramirez told Frankie and Danny.
“We don't need to buy from you pendejo's, we can go get our own deer”,
Three nights later they did get their own deer, they also got arrested, seems like they decided to dress the deer right on the spot where they shot it, the game warden snuck up on them and busted them.
“Los pendejo's were dressing the deer right where they shot it, now they have to pay a thousand dollar fine, they are lucky they didn't get any jail time. Now, their familia's are going to have to work all summer just to pay the fine's. I don't know about piston, but Gonzalez? serves him right”. Said Frankie Cruz to Danny Hernandez.
“Frankie, I don't want to shoot deer anymore, I don't want to hurt mi familia” Danny said to Frankie.
“I'm with you on that, Danny, I too don't want to hurt the familia”
On Sunday morning Juan and Manuel and their families went to church in Tres Pinos, Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, after Mass ,on their way back to the ranch Dona Ana spotted a sign “Chili's”.
“stop Manuel, lets buy some chili and we'll have chili verde tonight” said Dona Ana.
Manuel pull into a gravel road with Jose right behind him, they stopped in front of a barn, as a man came out to meet them, he spoke with a heavy Italian accent.
“We want to buy green chili's” said Dona Ana.
After selling them the chili's, he asked them if they would like a glass of vino. He didn't have to ask the viejcitas twice, in unity they said yes, he invited them into his wine cellar where the viejcitas had a couple of glasses of red wine, he said he made his own vino and that they could stop anytime for a glass or two. On the way back to the car, Dona Ana said to Juana.
“Did you see the way he kept looking at me?, he was giving me the eye”.
“Vieja loca, every man she meets is giving her the eye” Manuel said to Juan.
“I heard what you said, Manuel, you better not say it again” said Lupe.
Every two days or so las viejcitas would ask Manuel if he would let Tony drive them to see el Italiano, he would and they would always come back tipsy.
Boys Night Out
After being on their hands and knees picking plums for two weeks the boys were in need of some fun. On a Friday night, Frankie Cruz borrowed the family car, a '48 four door Mercury, to hit the town for that much needed fun. The boys, Tony Fernandez, Johnny Garcia, Danny Hernandez, Eddie Ramirez, Frankie and Raymond Cruz, found a dance at the one high school in town, Hollister High School, where they were quickly thrown out, they were told.
“We don't want no pachuco's here”.
“Why do they call us pachuco?, don't they know that this is 1952 and that there is no more pachuco's, man! this not 1941” Said Tony Fernandez.
“Tony, this town is ten year behind times, did you hear the music they were playing at the dance?, Glenn Miller, can you believe that?, where is Lawdy Miss Clawdy? ” said Eddie Ramirez.
Frankie Cruz wanted to score some beer, which in a wide open town like Hollister, was not hard to do. Frankie told Raymond that since he didn't drink he would drive, the boys jumped in the car as Raymond got behind the wheel. Raymond was only fifteen years old and it was not everyday that he was allowed to get behind the wheel, as the boys drank beer he drove the thirteen miles from Paicines to Hollister four times. With most of the boys either asleep or passed out from drinking beer Raymond parked the car in front of their little house at three AM, Sunday, the boys having woken up all went their respective homes.
At nine AM, abuelita Juana went to wake Tony, Johnny, Rudy and Luis up, she walks in the boys room and starts yelling.
“Pinche perro thew up in the boys room!”
Not knowing that her grandson Johnny had vomited from drinking too much beer and that Perro had nothing to do with the mess on the floor.
That afternoon Victor Cruz went to start the Mercury, the engine wouldn't turn, seems like Raymond drove the car without oil and burned the engine.
Frankie and Lisa
It was early September, as days had turned into weeks, the harvest was just a week away from being finished, Frankie Cruz needed to talk to his dad, Victor Cruz.
“Dad, I need some money”
“What do you need money for at this time?, mijo”
“Lisa is pregnant, and we want to go to Reno to get married before her old man finds out, we don't want to get killed!, pops”
Victor Cruz went to see Harry Williams, asked for a five hundred dollar advance on his pay.
“Mijo, I got some money from Mr. Williams, but you don't need to go to Reno, you and Lisa became of age since we started the harvest, right? you can get married at the church in Tres Pinos, I'll talk to Lisa's father, if its alright with you”
“I'll talk to Lisa and see what she says”
It was agreed that all three would talk to Jesus and Yolanda Gonzalez, it was also agreed not to say anything about Lisa being pregnant.
“Jesus and Yolanda, my son Frankie would like to talk to you” Victor Cruz said to the Gonzalez.'s
“Mr. and Mrs. Gonzalez, we are here to tell you that Lisa and I are getting married and would like your blessing” said Frankie
“Is that right? You, a plum picker, asking my blessing to married my daughter?”
“Dad, with all due respect, you are a picker too, are you saying that mom shouldn't have married you? Said Lisa.
“But mija, our days were different, you see, these are different times”.
“Jesus, I married you when my father said you were not good enough for me, remember that? So I'm asking you, as your wife and Lisa's mother to give this young people your blessing, just like I'm going to do” said Yolanda Gonzalez .
Jesus Gonzalez looked at his wife.
“Si vieja, I remember your father well, too well!” Jesus laughed
Jesus walked up to Lisa and Frankie and gave them a big abrazo.
“Welcome to the family, mijo, you both have my blessings” Jesus said to Frankie and Lisa as he hugged them both.
Arrangements were made for a quick wedding at the church in Tres Pinos, Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. The good looking couple were attended by maid of honor, Carol Gonzalez and best man, Danny Hernandez. A reception for all the Paicines campesinos was held at Bolado Park. The Italiano was invited to bring some vino, which he did, sitting at a table with the viejictas , he felt Ana playing footsies with him.
End of Harvest
With the end of the harvest, the families at Paicines were ready to get on with the rest of their lifes.
The Hernandez's, would go back to the San Fernando Valley.
The Ramirez's, “El Piston”, with a thousand dollars less would go back to Jimtown.
The Gonzalez's, with also a thousand dollars less, but with a new son in the family would go back to El Monte.
The Cruz's had decided against going back to Southern California and instead would go to San Jose.
Frankie and Lisa Cruz would make their home in Hollister.
Juan and Manuel would go back to working at the glass factory.
Elsa and Lupe would again go to being housewives.
Rudy and Luis would get new bikes.
The viejicitas. Ana would keep on seeing men making eyes at her. Juana would keep on talking about el Huero. Both would keep on drinking.
Perro would go on been a faithful companion.
Last edited by kikibalt; 09-04-2010 at 10:17 AM.
Tony Baltazar with the late Henry Blouin
This so funny... :lol: :TU:
Frankie Baltazar (L) vs Reynaldo Zaragoza
This was as I remember Frankie's third fight, BoxRec. says fourth , who knows, anyway, Frankie
got robbed so bad that the fans held up the main event for about thirty minutes, fight was in
Stockton, California, AKA Fat City.
Frankie Jr. ...
After the controversial loss to Zaragoza, Frankie Baltazar would win his next 26 fights in a row, sixteen of those wins by KO.
During that winning streak, Frankie would score thirteen consecutive knockouts including a 4th round stoppage of world ranked Shig Fugiyama, who many will remember as the guy who cut Sean O'Grady to ribbons in a WBA Lightweight title defense. Had that fight been held anywhere but Sean's hometown, the bout would have been stopped and the Japanese fighter would have become Lightweight Champion of the World.
The explosive Rafael "Bazooka" Limon, who would win the Jr. Lightweight title, ended Frankie's win streak at twenty-six, stopping Baltazar in four rounds.
Not one to lick his wounds, young Frankie jumped right back on track with another win streak of ten straight (7 by KO) before dropping a close decision to Eloy Montano in Las Vegas. After that, Frankie Baltazar Jr. would fight just two more times, winning both by knockout.
We in L.A. remember the Baltzar boys as winners, as they rarely lost in the amateurs or the pros. How appropriate that that after more than twenty years in the ring, Frankie Jr. would leave the sport a knockout winner. How many boxers can make such a claim?
When was was said and done, Frankie Jr. lost only three times in 44 pro fights, his final record 40-3-1 (27 KO's)
You had one helluva career, Fernie!
Going To The Fights 1951
By Frank Baltazar
Eddie Gomez was watching a boxing match on a nineteen inch TV when his dad, Rudy, came in the house and told Eddie.
“Eddie, look what I have here”
“Pops, did you get some tickets for the title fight?”
Eddie had been bugging his pop to take him to see the Art Argon vs Jimmy Carter lightweight title fight at the Olympic Auditorium for some time, his pop thought that Eddie; being twelve years old was to young to go to the fights.
“Yes, Eddie, I bought four tickets, your uncles, Tony and Ray, will be going with us. Now I hope your mom doesn't get mad at me, she too thinks you are to young to go to the fights”.
Eddie's mom, Lupe, was not too crazy to see Eddie going to the fights, but she did agree with Rudy; that their son would be disappointed if he was not allowed to go with his pop and uncles, so she gave her okay for Eddie to go.
Eddie couldn't wait to find his best friend, Cheno Diaz, to tell him the good news. He found Cheno tending his two cows and one goat at a nearby pasture.
“Cheno, my pops is taking me to see the Aragon and Carter fight”,
"Gee Eddie, you are lucky, I wish I could go”.
“I'll ask my pop if he can get another ticket for you. Cheno, you think your mom and pops would let you go?”.
“I'll ask them” said Cheno.,
Eddie ask his pop if he could get a ticket for Cheno.
“Yes, I'm sure I can get one, Eddie, you tell Cheno, that if his mom and pop say it okay for him to go; we'll take him with us”.
Next day in school, Eddie told Cheno the good news.
“Cheno, my pops said that he'll get you a ticket if your mom and pop say that's its okay for you to go”.
“Eddie, mom and pop said I could go as long as your father was going, they trust your father, but not your uncle Ray, they say he is crazy, that he himself will get into a fight at the fights”.
“Yeah, uncle Ray is a bit wild, especially when he is drinking beer, but pops won't let him drink too much, he'll be okay”.
Two weeks later, they all piled into Rudy's 1946 Dodge and headed west on Washington Boulevard. Eddie and Cheno were so excited that they couldn't sit still and it was starting to bug uncle Ray.
“If you kids don't sit still, we are going to stop and drop you off here; and you are going to have to wait for us to pick you up after the fights” said uncle Ray.
“Leave them alone Ray, they are just excited to be going to the fights, after all, its their first time to see boxing live. You remember when you went for the first time and you got all crazy on us?, wanting to fight everybody there” said uncle Tony.
“Yeah, but I was drunk; and let me remind you that I was doing okay until that big guy cold-cock me and knocked me on my ass” uncle Ray laughed.
The area was so pack that they had to park 3 blocks away. Eddie and Cheno were shadow boxing as they walked up 18th Avenue.
“Hey Eddie, Cheno, you two want to become fighters, because if you do, I'll train you guys” said uncle Ray.
“Ray, what the hell do you know about training fighters? asked Rudy.
“Hey, Rudy, I have fighting experience”
“Yes, you do but, its street fighting experience, an I don't think you ever won a fight”
“At least I've never been ko, always finish on my feet” laughed Ray.
As the group approached the front entrance of the Olympic, they started seeing movie and boxing celebrities hanging around the sidewalk of Grand Avenue.
“Cheno! There's John Wayne and Pedro Armendariz” said the excitable Eddie
“And over there is Rosemary Cooney and her husband Jose Ferrer” said uncle Tony
“I see Tommy Campbell, Frankie Muche, Bob Murphy, Enrique Bolanos and Freddie Babe Herman over there talking to two men” said Cheno
“That's Cal Eaton and Babe McCoy they are talking too, they are probably talking about upcoming fights” said Rudy
Before entering the Olympic, they all bought the Knockout program from Speedy Dado. Eddie and Cheno started getting autographs on their programs to show their friends in school the next day.
They found their sits in the second to last roll in the peanut gallery. No sooner had they sat down when rolls of toilet paper started flying around, soon some ladies underwear were flying by. Eddie and Cheno started making paper plane and would fly them down to the ring.
“This is fun, Eddie, thanks for bringing me” said Cheno
“Thank my pop, Cheno, he is the one who bought your ticket”
The fighters for the first fight came in ring. Rudy, Tony and Ray started betting on the fights, they would bet one dollar on the white or black corner, what ever fighter went to the corner they had, that was their bet.
The first fight was won by Al Galindo over Bobby Brewer, Rudy and Tony won a dollar each, Ray lost a dollar.
Second fight was between Joey Gurrola and Sammy Figueroa.
“Cheno, see that big guy in Figueroa's corner? That's big Jake Horn, he's a great trainer” said Eddie
The fight ended in a draw.
“Guess it didn't help Figueroa having Jake Horn in the corner, did it, Eddie? Said Cheno, as he threw a roll of toilet paper.
“He didn't lose did he?” said Eddie
“Well no, he didn't”
After a couple of more fights it was time for the main event, Art Aragon and Jimmy Carter would be coming into the ring soon.
Aragon looking weak is the first to come into the ring.
“Aragon is going to lose” said Eddie
“How do you know? Asked uncle Ray.
“Look how pale he looks, I read in the Mirror that he was having trouble making '35” said Eddie.
Carter comes into the ring looking great. After both fighters have been gloved in the ring they are introduce by Jimmy lennon , referee Mushy Callahan calls the fighters to the center of the ring for their instructions.
The fight started fairly even for the first four rounds, from the fifth round on it was all Carter who won an easy15 round unanimous decision.
Right after the fight ended uncle Ray wanted to leave.
'Okay guys, our guy lost; so lets get out of here”
“No! We have to stay and watch Keeny Teran fight Bobby Garza, they are fighting a six rounder” said Eddie.
“Ray, Keeny is the toast of the town, we have to stay and watch him fight” said uncle Tony
They stayed and watch Keeny win a unanimous decision.
On the way home Uncle Ray asked Eddie and Cheno if they wanted to fight.
“Guys, if you want to fight, I'll train you, after you train for a couple of months; I'll take you to the downtown CYO where Johnny Flores run the boxing program, I'm sure we can get you some sparring. Johnny is my friend and he'll help us out.
“Ray, you don't even know Johnny Flores” said Rudy
“Well maybe not, but I know where the CYO is at” laughed uncle Ray
Next day at school Eddie and Cheno were the toast of the school as they were holding court with their friends.
“You should have seen Aragon land that left hook of his” said Cheno as he threw a left hook.
“To bad he didn't landed it enough” said Eddie
“He was too weak from making weight”
“He was” agree Eddie
“But you should have seen that little Keeny Teran” Eddie and Cheno said in unity.
“Guys, Cheno and I are going to start training next week, my uncle Ray is going to train us” said Eddie
Are there any barbers left that know the meaning of the word "Trim". the lady that being cutting my hair for a while now has been real sick lately, and I needed a hair cut; so I go looking for a barber in the barrio, found one, told him I wanted a trim on the sides and short on the top, what do I get? short short all the way around. I don't usually use the f word, but I'm going use it here to describe how I looked when I walked out of the barber shop, I looked like a "fresh fucked tomcat"....
My son Tony the Tiger has been hit by a truck, I don't have all info yet, he is been flown from Prescott to a Phoenix hospitel....
Oh God Frank -- I pray he's all right...
He has not yet arrive at the hospital, so we at this time don't know how serious his injuries are, we do know that they are serious enough to be flown to PX. As I was typing this Bobby call to let me know that Tony had arrive at the hospital, a doctor talked to Bobby and told him that Anthony will pull through.....
Thanks Peter.....Originally Posted by theironbar
So far we know that Anthony has two broken ribs and is going to need surgery on his right knee.
Tony right now is sedated because he is in a lot of pain.
Connie, James, Keana and James's girlfriend V are heading out to PX later on today, I will be going after my doctor's appointment Monday
I just heard from Bobby, Anthony is going into surgery at 3:30 PM for his right knee. And its six and not two broken ribs....Poor dude...
I'm told that the surgery won't be done till tomorrow morning
damn.... sorry to hear this frank.
was he walking or in another vehicle ? 6 broken ribs. my god.
best wishes and prayers that he recovers fully.
Thanks Greg, Tony was riding his bike to work when a guy ran a red light and hit him...My wife, Connie and son James, James daughter, Keana and his girlfriend Ronny are on their way to Phx, I will be going early next weekOriginally Posted by gregbeyer
Last edited by kikibalt; 10-29-2010 at 07:44 PM.
ok frank ...good luck . keep us posted and give tony our best,
Will do...Originally Posted by gregbeyer
Tony, You, and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. I hope everything goes well and he makes a quick recovery and all is back to normal soon.
Thanks Randy, Tony is having surgery this morning (10-30-10) on his right broken knee. It looks like he'll be in the hospital for about two weeks.Originally Posted by Wing master
It will be have a long road to recovery.
Thoughts and prayers to Tony on his recovery. I imagine he will respond well and breeze through whatever recovery regiment there is.
Hope all is well with you and the whole Baltazar clan.
Thanks Shark. Sorry I just seen your post. Tony will be okay in due time, he is just getting restless not been mobile, one good thing of all this, is that he'll have time to think about where he wants to go with the rest of his life, he has made some bad life choices in the recent past, hopefully he will give this some thought....The rest of the clan is doing good....Thanks...Originally Posted by Sharkey
Last edited by kikibalt; 11-11-2010 at 12:10 PM.