Aka; The Brickyard (La Ladrillera)

By Lonewolf

1920s Simons Brickyard #3

Do you remember holmes, you remember them times at the village? When was it – the late twenties was it? Those were some good ole times, que no? We was poor, but we lived free and we kept it together. One big familia going through the motions, making a living, surviving all the bull shit the white man threw at us. Living the hard times, but living with a smile on our mascaras. Good folks, fine rucas, firme compas and a proud soul. Simon, them were some good times. Just thinking back on them brings a big suspiro to my lungs and nostalgia to my mind. Man o man how times have changed. I stand here today looking at this immense concrete jungle or as some would call it – a plastic jungle – cause it’s all full of hypocrites and fakes living on credit. Selling their soul to the green devil, never much looking back to their roots, yet always, claiming to be real and claiming to be originals. But do they even know what original means? Chale, just like today’s’ plastic; the credit is taken by many but little do they know about the past that engendered them. So let me fill you up on a little bit from that past. Let me relate to you about a Barrio called Simons aka The Brickyard . . .

The Brickyard was a company town over on the East Side of L.A. The boundaries of the village were Simons Street which later became known as Ford Street, Plymouth Street, Date Street, Railroad Street & Southworth Street. It was called Barrio Simons because that was the last name of the family brothers who started out and built the brick company. The Barrio was situated alongside the tract of land running parallel next to the Atchinson, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad tracks just north of the L.A. River. Some 150 Mexican Familias at the start began their life here in the Village, living in barracks-like housing-courts; A vibrant Mexican community that went on to become very well-known all around.

A clay pit area existed in this Barrio from which the clay-mud was taken from to manufacture bricks out of. This area became known as El Hoyo (The Hole), and it was here that a group of Vatos from La Ladrillera would go down to kick-back at, to get all huarumos (fumed up), bien cucarachas (all roached up), this was back in the year 1919 from what I remember. You always knew where these vatos be heading, por que they will say to each other “let’s go down to the The Hole” The older folks upon seen the Boys heading down to the road to the pit, knew what they were up to and you would hear them say – “ya se van de mariguanos estos chamacos, ay chingado.”

The Barrio during those early years was compromised of many Mexican immigrants from the Mexican States of Guanajuato, Jalisco and Michoacan. The Simons Brickyard Company seemed to benefit out of having jente in the community that came from the same States out from old Mejico; this was said to keep arguendes and pleitos from occurring on the regular. Everyone during those times was very jealous of keeping their barrios and jobs free from outsiders, be they from problematic white men or other ethnic groups; or even from other Mexicans who could compete for the jobs or the available housing. Therefore, it was imperative that all outsiders be challenged. This all changed with the wheels of time, but in the early years, that’s how it was in the Barrio. Life was hard and life was desperate for many all around, but in Barrio Simons, life was full of hope. The Barrio soon had its own Church, its own small businesses like the Botanicas and tienditas y little restaurants. Of course, most of these came after electricity came to town, before then, it was all darkness and dirt streets. But if you ask me, them were the best of times. Those were the times when our Jefitas would cook on wood stoves or cook outside on water-barrels ingeniously cut up in the middle-side and the tin metal folded up towards the inside, exposing a side for the wood to be fed into and lit, which then would warm up the top plancha of the barrel on which homemade tortillas and other good refin could be cooked. In those days, there were no street lights, only darkness. Bonfires and dim lit kerosene lamps were the only starlight substitute to brighten up the night. Men would sit outdoors by a fogata and play their guitars, singing melancholy corridos or baladas about real personages or events, as well as about the everyday hardships which engulfed our lives. Songs full of meaning, sang out with mucho corazon. In them days, los Vatos would hang-out outdoors --after a long days work at the brickyard-- out in the many empty lots, or down at the pool halls. All the members of the families would be out at night. Los morros (youngsters) would be out playing a las escondidas (hide and seek) or la roña (tag). Los Vatos would be found sitting on porches next to las ñeras (quinceañeras) courting them under the watchful eyes of their relatives. The more adventurous ones would risk it and stroll out to the neighboring little hillsides and riversides, or if with permission – out to a dance. In the cholo-courts type housing barracks, there were more men than women. This was due to the ever increasing immigrations from unmarried men who would leave their rucas back home in Mexico until they saved up enough money to send for them and their chamacos, as well as the ever greater number of teen-age young men who made the journey alone from Tejas and Mexico. This disparity in numbers of women versus men always made for problems due to the competition for the available women. In 1912 “Monte Carmelo” Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish opened it’s doors in the community and on Sundays, after mandatory mass, La Raza would head out to La Laguna (The Lake) over by Laguna Road in the Montebello Park area of the Simons Company: but that could get dangerous, because even though it was on company land, the near-by residents there where mostly white and they did not welcome greasers like us in their part of town. They lived in nice white houses surrounded up with little white fences, living in luxury in comparison with us from the Barrio, so we had to be careful, otherwise, we faced some trouble with the white kids. The same discrimination was a factor in regards to schooling; Spanish was not aloowed to be spoken in school and rarely did us Mexican kids venture out from La Vail Escuela to the white kids Greenwood School in near-by Colonia Flores (Montebello), because trouble awaited with the Anglo kids, so “there was lil’ sense in pushing the boundaries by us kids from Simon Town.”

During these early years, the night parties were in reality Catholic wakes, these however became a thing of the past when electricity was brought in and radio became more and more common in homes. Radio re-developed the fiestas scene and the dancehalls as well, and soon thereafter, the dancehalls became the spots to frequent. Along with these came even more rivalry between the distant communities. Jobs became more contested between those living in Simons Village and the near-by neighborhoods from The Flats and Belvedere Gardens. The animosity between more acculturated Mexican youth and immigrants exploded to ever greater proportions, and hostility between the native & foreign born Mexicans became a real factor in many disputes and fights. It became so great that “If you were of light-skin, you were o.k. but if you were of darker complexion, then you were more prone to be racially stereotyped and discriminated against by the natives.” So much rivalry developed, that many of the baseball and sport activities sponsored by the company, turned into all out rumbles. Whenever the local Barrio Simons team played the teams from First Street or from the Eight Street neighborhoods, the Simons Vatos would carry along with them bricks from the brickyard to launch at their opponents at the end of the games. The hard competition between neighborhoods went on to include everything from jobs to boxing matches, and needless to say, they went on to play out in the dancehalls on weekends. It became so that everything from parks to dancehalls became contested grounds. Soon, even the minor feuds that occurred between American-born and Mexican-born Simons brickyard workers and its youth, escalated into real discord, so much that the Vatos from the clay pit area (The Hole) below the Monterey Hills split from “las casas de arriba” – the homes up The Hill. This was reason and cause why the local youth formed a brotherhood – a club, or a gang if you must – which served as “local protection” against those from “down the hill – El Hoyo” or those from outside the brickyard, from The Flats or from El Puerton aka El Paredon”, the cliffside facing west off present day South Boyle Heights.

It was during these times of the early 1930s, that the Vatos from Barrio Simons structured themselves in the same manner as many of those around them. They took on rules and symbols that represented them all as one to the rest of the “outside world.” From the Brickyard, they adopted the athletic-sport team color of “Green” as well as their motto “Strong as an Ox” – this taken on account of the days when the company operated on human and animal power. They took on the club clique name of “Cutdowns” taken from “cortadores” one of the many labor classifications that the Simons company listed. The Vatos became ever more tight-knight, and just like everyone else, they became “A brotherhood within their own local community.” Hell man, the whole Pueblo de Simons (Brick Town) in the early 1930s was wholly Mexican and real tight-knit and was very traditional in the Mexican culture, so much that a father’s authority in the home was rarely questioned. The community re-enforced its Mexican culture with the observance of Mexican Holidays, the adult social-clubs sponsored patriotic parades and carnivals, and they also formed Mutual and Legal Aid Associations which groomed young people of the neighborhood in the arts of political activism. The times were changing and the population growing at an ever increasing pace. Ever since the 1920s when the Union Pacific Railroad moved into the old cornfield area north-east of La Plazita – and displaced many of the Mexican families from the Dogtown and Macy Street Barrios (some 5,000 families); the East Side of the River became ever more “contested grounds.” New neighborhoods sprang up next and all around to the Lincoln Park, Palos Verdes, Ramona, Brooklyn Heights, Boyle Heights, and Belvedere Gardens communities. Soon, together, all these communities became not scattered Barrios, but an enormous sub-cultural Mexican Nation. Belvedere by the 1940s, with close to 30,000 residents, had become the home to the largest Mexican population in L.A. surpassing even the central Barrio around La Plazita. Available jobs in the brickyard and the manufacturing plants east and south of Belvedere Gardens attracted even larger numbers of Mexican families from the The Flats and the central L.A. neighborhoods, and as more and more families were displaced -at times forcibly from their homes –more of these took up on the promise by developers of exchanging their old shacks and tracts of land for new ones in “The Land of the Sunny Homes” – The MARAVILLAS (Marvelous) Homes, as they were called, on the far eastern unincorporated fringe of the city limits. Placed in a cauldron of racism, mixed-in with other immigrants of Japanese, Chinese, Armenian, Russian Molokan or Jew ethnicity. Mexicans were forced into a stance of Cultural Self-defense. Mexicans, whether they were native-born or foreign-born, became part of the new underclass and forcibly pushed into a corner – a corner from which the only way out was to fight it out, for dignity and honor – if nothing else. Barrio Simons in time gave way to community revitalization and re-development. The houses have long ago fallen or been torn down, and the clay pit filled. The last bricks from the yard being used to build the housing projects in near-by Aliso Village, Ramona Gardens and the Rio del Pueblo (Te Town Flats) in Long Beach; and the great well-know Brickyard boxers like Jesus “Wild Man” Macias from The Hole, and Manuel Martinez (who fought as Bert Colima II) are all but forgotten now. But the focus of social trends and issues of the day, which relied heavily on word of mouth and which were the reliable sources of local information concerning events and happenings affecting the Mexican community, remain even to this day, a product of the cultural identity and Mexican heritage of L.A. A cultural product of which Barrio Simons, was unequivocally a “most definite progenitor” over on the East Side of Los.





SAFOS comes from the Sp. ZAFAR


In other words “ESCAPE FROM”




To be “FREE OF”


As in “Soltar o Desatar”

To Losen from or Untie from . . .

And “Librarse o Evitar”

As in >> Set free from or Elude and Evade

. . . from an encounter or a risk!
. . . from an annoyance or a troublesome bother!
. . . from obstacles or any hindrance!


From the prefix DES and the verb HACER . . .

. . . To un-make

. . . To un-do

As in “to keep something from happening.”
Or “to prevent an occurrence.”

Con Safos therefore is definitive of getting rid of
and doing away with . . .

As in . . .

Desquitar . . . “Get even with”

Derrotar . . . “Defeat any”


Dehacer . . . As in “Do away with”

Meaning . . .

. . . “To kill someone”

So when the Homeboys would add C/S Con Safos
in their placasos, they essentially were giving fair
warning that their placaso was to remain unblemished
and free of insults, otherwise, retaliation would occur
and someone would be paying the price for any
desecration of the holy writ.


would be best translated as




PEDO is Spanish for FART.

A four letter word with such a simple meaning or so it appears to be.

But is it?

Fart in the English language sounds very vulgar, so much so that most people use the word preferably only amongst friendly company and then only when for the most part it is necessary to do so, but when in the presence of others not inclusive of your circle of friends and relations, most people prefer to either abstain from using the word, or, they make use of the substitute descriptor “breaking wind”. When one does happen to hear the word “fart”, it'smore than likely that it is mentioned in passing, or as part in a joke. Hell, you don’t even hear the word fart or farted in criticism when someone cuts one lose at the wrong place and the wrong time. If anything at all, maybe what you’ll hear is some kid caught in the background saying something like >> pheeew-yu, that smells nasty!

The fart word in the English language remains dull and nasty, devoid from any alternative definitions for popular use by the mainstream English speaking populace.

This however is not the same case with its Spanish language counterpart >> the “PEDO” which is very much alive and full of serviceable meanings and descriptors for the every day Calo & Spanglish slang of Mexicans and Chicanos. In the every day language of La Raza, el PEDO takes on a crude and simple role in terminology; neverthe less, EL PEDO packs very potent meanings in the many contexts for which it placed in substitute for the more proper Spanish language terms. Under such a wide-definition role, EL PEDO can be incorporated into so much communications (spoken or otherwise), that it would be most difficult to replace it with other terms without the message losing its force in meaning and brevity.

PEDO carries both, a term of endearment when used within a friendly context, or, a potent warning and challenge when applied into an unfriendly context. Under such, EL PEDO goes on to become a common term of choice by many Mexicans and Chicanos. PEDO by being accepted as a normal form of communication by the general Mexican/Chicano population, goes on to form a part of the cultural heritage and is included as part of the Calo vocabulary of the community; thus, it refuses to be relegated into obscurity as is the case with its English counterpart.

We already know that PEDO translates as FART in the English language, but even though this translation is the correct one, a more appropriate and of very similar definitions in its every day use, would be none other than “SHIT.” However, EL PEDO, as defined within La Raza's slang vocabulary, adds-on a much wider field of definitions, and it thrives within the variables which exist in the common language used in our communities.

So what are some of the most common and heard of applications for “EL PEDO? Well, it all depends on the context of the message in which it is included. To understand the entire variables for which PEDO can be understood; it would best be done by interpreting the meaning under each context in which it is incorporated. While in most cases, one can easily associate PEDO with the similar “SHIT” of the English language; this however, may not always be the best interpretation. Nevertheless, PEDO can be easily understood when you read or hear the message. It is not hard to interpret it, since it is very simple in its application, as well as, "being the key word in the message."

So here we go with some of the most common heard of applications used for EL PEDO.

Quieres PEDO?
>You wanna some shit with me?
(A respond with a challenge warning)

Buscas PEDO?
>You looking for trouble?
(A respond with a challenge warning)

Busca PEDOS.
>A troublemaker/trouble seeker.

No Busques PEDO.
>Don’t be looking for trouble.

Se Avento Un PEDO.
>He broke wind.
>He handled some beef.

Te Aventaste Un PEDO.
>You broke some wind?
>You took care of some beef.

Te metiste en un PEDO.
>You got into some messy shit.

Te Echaste Un PEDO?
>You broke some wind?
>You brought the beef on yourself.
>You fucked up with that shit.
>You got yourself in a mess.
>You fouled up with them/those words..
>You’re off the mark.

Sacale Un PEDO.
>Scare the shit outta him.
>Spook his ass.

Le Saque Un PEDO.
>I scared the shit outta him.
>I spooked his ass.
>I scared him shitless.

Le Saque Un PEDOTE.
>I scared some big shit outta his ass.
(Pedote, the “TE” in the word ending, denotes a bigger or
larger size/quantity than the regular/normal size/quantity.)

Esta PEDO.
>He’s drunk.

Es Bien PEDO.
>He’s a big time drunk.

Se Puso PEDO.
>He got all drunk.

>He got wasted drunk.
(Pedote, the “TE” in the word ending, denotes a bigger or
larger size/quantity than the regular/normal size/quantity.)

>A fart ass / farter.
>A shit talker.
>A problem fool.
(Pedorro or Pedorron is a derivative from PEDO which
puts includes the emphasis of being bigger or larger in
size or quantity.)

>Is also a term of endearment when in reference to the
females nalgas/ass.
For example; “Esa Morra tiene buen PEDORRO”
>That Girl has a nice ass.

You can also substitute PEDORRO with PEDORROTE
which carries an even larger/bigger emphasis than the norm.

For example: “Esa Morra tiene un gran PEDORROTE”
>That girl has a nice BIG ass.

Pedorro in it diminutive form = PEDORRIN.
>A little fart ass.
And it can be used as an insult, like for example;
“Ese guey en un Pedorrin”
That fool is a “lil nobody”

>What of it?
>What Up?
>What gives?
(Depending of the attitude and tone of voice when this is
put forth, it packs a clear warning to any challenge.)

Soplate Otro PEDO.
>Blow out with some real shit.

Que PEDO Pasa?
>What’s going on?
>What the fuck is happening?

Parale A Ese PEDO!
>Hold up with that shit.

Parale Al PEDO!
>Put a stop to it..

Calmate Con Tu PEDO!
>Calm down with your shit.

Calma Tu PEDO!
>Calm your ass down.

>Oh well!

No Hay PEDO.
>It’s cool.
>No problem.
>No worries.
>It’s all good.

Puro PEDO.
>Is nothing but hot air/sack of wind.
As in “Ese Vato es Puro Pedo”
That dude ain’t shit.

also . . .

Es Puro PEDO.
>Just fucking around messing with you.
(Like when you’re playing on people’s nerves.)

Se Acabo Este PEDO.
>This here ____ is finished/done with.

Este PEDO termino.
>This beef got settled.

Se Calmo El PEDO.
>The shit calmed down.

Echale PEDO.
>Push Up on Him.
>Hit The Fool Up.
(A deliberate provocation / a hostile challenge)

Huele A PEDO.
>Things don’t feel right.
>Smells like trouble.
>Smells like shit.
(Used to describe a bad feeling or someone who
smells nasty or foul >> for example >> A Cop.

Aguanta El PEDO.
>Bare up with this shit.
>Kick back and relax some.

Sopla PEDOS.
>Blow some wind (Whistleblower)

PEDO Madre!
>Bullshit mothafockr!

>He’s a drunkard.
>It’s a problem.
>It’s a hassle.

>He’s a real big drunkard.
>It’s a huge ass problem.
>It’s a real big hassle.

No Saca Ni Un PEDO.
>He won’t pitch in for jack shit.

No Le Sacas Ni Un PEDO.
>You won’t get not even shit outta him.

>He’s got problems.
>He’s got the heat on him.

>You’re carrying any shit on you?
>You bringing problems down with you?

PEDO Codo.
>Tightass mothafockr.

Mucho PEDO.
>Too much trouble.

Es PEDO O Que?
>Are you just messing with me or is it for real?

Avientate El PEDO.
>Handle the shit/mission.
>Take the fall/Be the fall guy.

Cantale PEDO.
>Challenge his ass.

Calienta PEDOS.
>A bench warmer / lazy ass mofo.

Bien Calienta PEDOS.
>Shit starter / provocateur.

Ruge A PEDO.
>This shit stinks.
>It reaks.

>Drunk and Stoned.

Truena PEDOS.
>Fart ass.

Acaba El PEDO.
>Put an end to that shit.

Ponle Gas Al PEDO.
>Get a move on it.
>Speed the shit up.
>Put some real effort on it.

Cual PEDO?
What shit?

Cual Es Tu PEDO?
>What’s your problem?
>What’s your beef?
>Why you trippin’?

Cual Es El PEDO?
>What’s wrong with it?
>What’s the problem?

Que Es Tu PEDO?
>What’s the deal with you?
>What’s your business?

Cargaste con El PEDO.
>You took the blame for it.

Donde Es El PEDO?
>Where’s that shit?

Donde Esta El Pedo?
>Where’s the problem at?
>Where is the shit happening at?

Vas Con PEDOS.
>You’re carrying too much weight on you..
>You got too many issues following you.

Traes PEDOS.
>You’re bringing in issues.

>More hassles.
>More shit.

Ponle Al PEDO.
>Get on down with it.
>Get working on it.

Rasca PEDOS.
>Butt scratcher.

>Kiss ass.

>With no hassles.
>Don’t worry about it.
>Without any fuzz.

>A real pesty mofo.
>A mofo that always be fuckin’ with people.
>A mofo that always be bringing up some shit.

Quitame EL PEDO.
>Take the weight off of me.
>Let me off the hook.

Pase Un PEDO.
>Some shit happened.
>I ran into problems.

PEDO Con Caca.
>A drunk in vomit.

Ese Es Tu PEDO.
>That’s your problem.

>That’s your business.
>That’s your deal.

Cuenta Puro PEDOS.
>Tells nothing but fairy tales.

Grande PEDO.
>Big Shit.

Bien Grande El PEDO.
>That was some real big shit.
>The shit is real big.

Se Armo El PEDO.
>The shit exploded.
>The beef got started.
>The blows broke out.

Cuanto PEDO?
How much of a hassle?

Wachate como esta el PEDO.
>Check out on how this shit works.

Wachate este PEDO.
>Trip out on this shit.

Wachaste el PEDO?
>Did you see that shit?

Ese es el PEDO.
>That’s the shit right there.
>That’s what the problem is.
>That’s how this shit plays out.

>The shit.
>The thing.
>The trouble.
>The hassle.
>The drunk.
>The lie.
>The mess.
>The task.
>The mission.