10/15/13

EL CHUCHO CHUCO

EL PACHUCO CHOLO

To understand who the real chucos were, and how they came to be, or even what chuco means, you have to get into the history, the attitude, and of course, very much the talk that they expressed themselves with.

The Pachuco has gifted us modern day raza with the old aged calo talk; a talk that is continuously being re-invented, but still firmly understood by the average mexican or mexican-american from the lower barrios.

From that way of speaking we get slang like cola de raton, which today we more commonly refer to as brocha (Eng. Brush) in reference to a mostachon, a big thick brush like mustache; the kind you see in those pictures and images of chicano heroes like Emiliano Zapata or the arch-type vato loco from the varrio.

To simply label a chuco as a swaggo zoot suiter swinging to el tango all wango on the dance floor, would be a critical mistake. It would bury under falsehoods the true heart of a rebel tribe (raza).

El Pachuco has been popularized and glamorized under the spectacle of hollywood type folklore trying to sell it to the world as a latin boogie woogie mexican–american gang member. The pachuco under this type of looking under the microscope becomes the pinnacle of perdition according to the never-ending dope mainstream thinking.

It is well known that El Paso Texas has carried the moniker (el placaso) of El Chuco for at the very least, since the 1930s or 40s. And it is historically credited with having been the birthplace and the progenitor of the Pachuco gang style. But what is not so commonly known is that the true Paso (pass) was once known as El Paso Del Norte, the very one which in present times is the unequivocally city of Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua Mexico. The true El Paso was south of the Rio Grande (Rio Bravo as Mexicans call it), and not the present days El Paso. Later on in history, the town on the north shores of the river came to be known as such, but originally it was the Mexican side that carried the name of El Paso.

The names for these twin cities later took their modern form under their own respective modern era organized governments, but it was in Juarez that the “tirilones” (suspenders) first started out. It is said that from the Juarez barrios of La Chavena, La Mariscal, El Chamizal, El Tango (downtown), and other colonias, that from here the first chucos (tirilones) would cross over -the Puente Negro (Santa Fe rail road bridge) -heading over to El Paso’s Mexican barrios of La Chihuahuita, Magoffin, San Francisco, and El Segundo (The Second Ward). And it was when they would head over to El Paso that it was heard say “vas para el paso?” (are you heading to el paso?) Which soon after, in the technical simple terms of calo slang, it was shortened and simplified as – ‘vas pal paso?’ And el paso became passuco, as in the old pass – el ruco paso. Passuco then became pa’chuco in simpler terms. Here then, there it is, the birth and coinage of the name Pachuco.

But why if the first pachucos on the Mexican side were called tirilones, why would they then carry over and become pachucos on the American side? Pachuco is one thing, but what does chuco mean? And how were the tirilones baptized with the moniker of chucos in the first place?

The term Chuco was already there before El Paso was baptized with the tag name; note also that pachuco had nothing to do with the City of Tears (Pachuca in the Mexican State of Hidalgo), but it does have a lot to do with the indian language and how the Aztecs, and then the Spanish, and later on the uppity Mexican elites applied derogatory terms for the poor lower class of peoples of the country.

The Aztecs called the Chichimeca people from the mostly un-conquered surrounding areas of their empire, “chuchos” (perros sucios y pordioseros), (dirty vagrant dogs). The Aztecs considered the wandering warrior tribes of the chichimecas as being from a lower class of inferior types of people – uncivilized and unruly.

Chuchos was short for Chichimecas

Chichimecas, Chuchumeca, Chuchurrios, Chuchurria, Chucheria, Chuclas, Chuclos, Choclos, Chuchos, Chucos. All of these names and terms became synonymous with the underclass.

Later the Spanish hierarchy would adopt the Aztec derogatory reference to the “chichimecas” and apply it to all Indians in general, and they referred to them using the same apodage of chuchos, but with the added inference of having a dark color, plus the connotation of being dirty.

After Mexican independence, the following aristocracy of Criolos (Spanish Mexicans) continued to refer to the natives with the same, and then they even expanded it to include the masses of people living in the barrios of the urban sprawls; hence la lengua india was introduced to the urban cosmos where it grew and took on more derogatory appendages.

A chucho became a chuco, a man of bad disposition; categorized as a dirty scoundrel, prone to drinking and alcoholism, of a continuous bad criminal thought process, and a slave to a lower carnal pleasures instinct. As such, el chuco became of use and adopted by even the people from the same barrios, and el chuco became the worse of the worse. A chuco became the boogie man of the barrio streets. He became the one who drinks a lot of mierda, a mariguano, a chueco (crooked one), a depravado (a depraved one). He became everything that a mother wished her children not to become, and warned them to steer clear of.

When at the height of the Mexican Revolution, when the throngs of lower caste people from the barrios escaped Mexico City and the urban areas of the country, and traveled north en-mass to the borderlands, the diaspora included among its hordes, a great many so-called chucos.

These chucos fused and blended together with the rural bandit types, the ragged mutts, the outlaws of el norte; they fused the urban working class bato with the romantic rural bandido, and together they sang la cucaracha and other ruffian mariguano ballads while climbed up on the rufo (the smoking freight train). And so the many outcasts of society who arrived at el paso del norte (ciudad juarez) soon became exposed to borderland survival. These bad youngsters who had formed the rank-and-file of many revolutionary armies, especially those of el centauro del norte (Pancho Villa’s army) became bolas de chucos en las calles (gangs of grimey street kids). And when these street kids would find ways of making money on the colonias and streets of the biggest and most populous border crossing of the American continent, they soon developed a taste for a style contrary to their long poor background upbringing.

They soon began to chuchear (chuquiar), to trap and to hunt; to make a living off the streets. They became like chuecos chicos rucos (old young crooks), vividores, chulos guapos (dandys), popular in their circulos de ambiente, gente de mucha occurencia (wiseguys), con actitud de lambusios (regionalist), knowing all the antros (dives & holes), present in all the reventones (parties) and rumbas (dances) of the city. And when they began to cross the border back and forth during the decade of the roaring twenties, they satisfied their longing for fine trapos (dress clothes), they enhanced their old hidden love for art and theater. They morphed the attitude of the lower classes of people from Mexico and glued it with the knowledge and modernized ways coming in and being brought in to El Paso by the hordes and tons of repatriates and deportees that the US was sending south from all over the land during the years of the great depression.

The cities of Juarez and El Paso swelled with the numbers of people being sent south, while at the same time with the people heading north in search of a better tomorrow. El Paso became like the illegal Ellis Island for Mexicans, as well as the Tombstone and Dodge City for the Americanos; the town became filled with vice; filled with the worse that both countries had to offer. Soon thereafter the gringos termed el paso as “el shit hole,” and the gabachos started calling the notorious Mexican people of el paso by the same name that the old Mexican oligarchy had called them ~> chuchos. But the gringos, in their english pronunciation ways could not get themselves to pronounce chucho correctly, and they pronounced it as chukuo -the shit hole, the place of bad people. So that’s how El Paso became known as el chuco -under the wordplay of chicano chuekadas.

But just like in everything else that the raza touches and incorporates into its world, el chuco became a badge of honor and pride. La raza took el chuco and transformed it into el pachuco; they called the Rio Grand Valley as el valluco, and Corpus Christy as corpitos. They called themselves Rucos (old horses), Tucos (night owls) and before not too long, Pachucos became cholos.

Chucos turned everything they came into contact with into a mutt; a mixture of language, dress, style, music, dance, culture and attitude; their warfare against the ruling class and its system became eternal. They became true rebels of society!

Chuco has the traditional CH of chicanismo words, and with it comes a long history of indian terms of endearment.

You see, in indian ways and in later Mexicanism ways of talk, everything derogatory can be made a term of endearment; for example a fatso (gordo) can affectionally be endeared as chonchito; and so el gordito chonchito becomes no longer derogatory, but an acceptable affectionate way to refer to a fluffy chunky spanky.

So, the bottom line is that El Chuco is basically the same as El Cholo in terms of being a derogatory term used by upper and mainstream society in referencing someone of low status and/or of an undesirable element; as in a cholo “dirty drunken Indian," but under the attitude of old and new chicanismo, those deragatory terms of chuco and cholo, became terms of endearment of sorts by those who carry the names with pride!

To be continued…

10/9/13

HARBOR AREA VARRIOS

L.A. HARBOR AREA VARRIOS ~ Past & Present

RANCHO SAN PEDRO
Santos,
Locos,
Midgets,
3RD Street Locos,
8TH Street Locos,
12TH Street Troubles,
16TH Street Locos,
Santa Cruz Street Locos,
Rancho Projects 2ND Street Locos.

PARK WESTERN LOMA SAN PEDRO
Malditos,
Locos,
Chicos.

LELAND PARK SAN PEDRO
Hoods,
Boys,
Locos.

BARRIO SAN PEDRO
3RD Street Locos,
11TH Street Locos,
Los Guayabos,
Los Uniteds.

SAN PEDRO LOCOS

SAN PEDRO STONERS

YOUNG CROWD

EAST SIDE WILMAS
Ghost Town Locos,
Lumber Yard Malos.
L ST Locos,
Mahar Street Boys,
Hyatt Street Locos,
Chain Gang,
Banning Park Locos.

WEST SIDE WILMAS
Willhall Park Locos,
Dana Locos,
Lil Rascals,
C Street Locos.

NORTH SIDE WILMAS

HARBOR CITY RIFA
Baby Locos,
Tiny Locos,
Lil Locos,
Peewee Locos

VARRIO HARBOR LOMA

VARRIO LA LOMA RIFA

VARRIO CARSON RIFA
Peewee Locos,
Deathman Locos,
East Side Carson Locos,
Catskill Street Locos,

Ravenna Street
Locos
Tiny Locos

Realty Street
Locos
Peewees
Gunners

NIGHTCRAWLERS RIFA

VARRIO KEYSTONE

VICTORIA PARK
Locos,
Tiny Gangsters,
Park Locos,
Peewees,
Midgets,
Niteowls.

DOMINGUEZ VARRIO 13
J Street Locos.

EAST SIDE TORRANCE
Lil Raskals,
Diablos,
Peewees.

204TH STREET
Peewees,
Locos.

VARRIO CENTRO TORRANCE
Locos

T x FLATS
Dukes,
Snipers,
Peewees.

VARRIO LA RANA

NORTH SIDE REDONDO
Los Nietos,
Lil Winos,
Sycos.

DEF BOYS
Chicos,
Killas,
Babys.

DEATH CROWD
Locos,
Lil Boys,
Riders,
Termites.

EVIL KLAN 13

HAWTHORNE 13

LAWNDALE 13
Chicos
154 ST
147 ST
Traviesos
Firmona Boys
Malitos
Baby Dukes

LIL MOBSTERS 13

CYCOS 13

DOG TOWN STONERS

LIL WATTS
Demons,
Dukes,
Winos,
Traviesos,
The Underground.

GARDENA 13
East Side,
West Side,
Baby Gangsters,
Lil Locos,
Cyco Locos,
Balas,
144TH The Fourth,
The Dead End.

LATIN TOWN PLAYBOYZ

BARRIO SMALL TOWN
4TH Street,
Locos,
Tiny Winos.

TE TOWN FLATS

BARRIO VIEJO
Old Town Longo

BARRIO POBRE
16TH Street.

PLAYA LARGA 13
10TH Street.

8TH STREET MADNESS
Midnites.

VARRIO 9TH STREET

CRAZY LATIN BOYZ

MID CITY STONERS / CRIMINALS
Long Beach Locos 19TH Street.

NORTH SIDE LONGO
Baby Gangsters
52ND Street,
Vagos,
Machos,
Market Street Locos,
Ninos Surenos,
Youngsters.

WEST SIDE LONGO
Cyclones,
Termites,
Stoners,
West Side Playboyz,
Summit Canal Street,
Sequina Street.

EAST SIDE LONGO
Chicos Malos,
Dukes,
Tiny Locos,
Stoners,
East Side Playboyz,
Lonely Boys,
Peewess,
Barrio Viejo (Old Town Longo).

MARA SALVATRUCHA 13

MS13 ~ LA MARA SALVATRUCHA

The word “MARA” is synonymous with “GANG” in both Central America & Southern Mexico, but the origin of the word derives from the word “PLAGA” (plague or infestation), as in large numbers such as a swarm, a crowd, or a throng. It was taken from a 1960s film titled “MARABUNTA”, which was about “Killer Ants” from Brazil. And subsequently it became used for describing in a derogatory manner, the groups of youth (gangs), who perpetuated many of the street crimes in those days. By the 1970s, the name MARA was fully adopted by the street gangs in El Salvador. But these were cut short because of the civil turmoil which culminated in the Civil War of the late 70’s. The exodus of people from El Salvador to the U.S. finalized the adaptation of the name MARA for the Salvadoran youth gangsters in L.A. The rest you already know about.

La Mara Salvatrucha es la mayor pandilla de El Salvador, aglutina aproximadamente al 70% de todos los pandilleros del país. Tiene unas características propias muy determinadas. Fue creada en los años 80 en California por emigrantes salvadoreños, como respuesta a las pandillas ya existentes en area de McArthur Park y Pico Union de Los Angeles.

El significado del nombre “Mara Salvatrucha”

La palabra 'mara', se emplea en El Salvador con el significado de “gente alborotadora.”
'Salva',deriba de Salvadoreño. Y finalmente, 'trucha', viene a significar listo o despabilado.

En la zona de Los Angeles, la Mara Salvatrucha adoptó el número 13, ya que esta zona está controlada por la Mafia Mexicana, la cual se le associa el numero 13, el cual tiene el significado correspondiente con la letra M del alfabeto Americano y es synonima con M de Mafia Mexicana.

San Francisco es territorio de Nuestra Familia, la cual usa la letra numero 14, significativa y synonima con N de Norte y Nuestra Familia.

Por esta razon en el norte de California la MS se afilio a los rangos del Norte, y adopto el numero 14 as sus iniciales de barrio. ~ Ex: “MS14”

Tanto la Mafia Mexicana como Nuestra Familia, son organizaciones que ejercen control sobre casi todas las pandillas Latinas desde las cárceles en sus respectivos territorios de California.

Así es que la Mara Salvatrucha "está dividida en dos."
La MS 13 en el Sur de California, y la MS 14 en el Norte.

Al finalizar la guerra civil Salvadoreña, los jueces de la zona de “Los Angeles” comenzaron con una practica de deportacion a pandilleros de estado indocumentado en el pais y vueltos a El Salvador. Y es de esta forma en la cual la “MS 13 Sureña” se instala con fuerza en el país, mientras que la presencia de la “MS 14 Norteña es mínima e insignificante.

Junto con la MS13, también llega a El Salvador la Calle 18 (18ST), una mas entre las pandilla más poderosa de Los Angeles. Asi mismo la guerra que mantenían estas 2 pandillas en las calles de Los Angeles, se translada inmediatamente a El Salvador.

La Mara Salvatrucha se considera a si misma como la pandilla auténtica Salvadoreña, y piensa que tanto la 18 y las demas pandillas aliadas o enemigas, son de origen extranjero, “concretamente Mexicano.”

~" LA MARA SALVATRUCH STONERS 13 "~


Around the mid-80s, the Mara Stoners gang was not yet very large; however, with the influx of Salvadoran nationals who escaped to Los Angeles to avoid the Salvadoran civil war, the MARA grew rapidly, especially in the Hollywood and Pico Union areas.

The Mara Stoners during this period was formed mostly by homeless and unemployed Salvadorans on the streets, wearing long hair, listening to heavy-metal music; a cultural taste stimulated by the export of American culture into El Salvador during the military conflict than engulfed the small nation during the decade of the 1980s.

By 1985, the MARA STONERS aka MOB STONERS gang, had become well known as the MARA SALVATRUCHA STONERS. They devised a gang initiation ritual which consisted of a jump-in that lasted thirteen seconds, because thirteen was “an evil number,” and their logo became the heavy-metal sign of the devil, two fingers up.

MS was born on Westmoreland and Ninth, with a first clique known as the 7 11 Locos (for the 7-Eleven where they hung out). Then they expanded toward Leeward and Hollywood, forming the Normandy Locos, then the Berendo Locos, then down by Western, MLK and Vermont, the East Side and South Side cliques joined in. By 1988 the Normandie Locos had become one of the biggest MS cliques ever.

One of the Mara’s most hated enemies were the DRIFTERS. Whereas the first MS cadres were known as stoners, the DRIFTERS were known as disco freaks. (The DRIFTERS had a distinctive dress—Fila shoes, baggy khaki pants, white undershirt, and a baseball cap with the letter D on it.

While the Mara had many enemies—they also had uneasy alliances with other gangs.

One of their allies was the FEDORA STREET LOCOS. The Locos were not actually a youth gang but a lose collection of drug dealers who sold drugs on Fedora Street near Olympic Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles. Many of the Locos were Salvadoran, and virtually all were older vatos (over 18 years of age). Members of MS, would help the FSLocos by hiding their stash for them and by investing some cash into the drug trade. The FSL and MS had a business relationship. Later, however, some members of the Mara began to steal drugs from the Locos. These MS were later found dead—each shot three times in the head—and the Mara retaliated by driving the Locos out of Fedora Street.
In a short time, only members of the Mara were selling on the street.

In 1985, MS went to war with the Crazy Riders-- whose turf was at Third and Normandy. They went to war not on account of drug spots or drug business as some versions claim; But because Rocky, an original MS founding member, was shot dead in a set up by some girls from Fourth and Normandy. It was never about “business,” it was about “vengeance for the dead homie. Soon the wars expanded into a bloodier conflict that involved 18TH Street.

At first, the 18TH Streeters, located from Venice up Hoover to Alvarado, originally were of a predominant Mexican membership; but they eventually opened their doors for Salvadorans to join their ranks. And these young Salvadoran who joined 18TH Street, added great numbers to their spreading cliques.
Until 1992, MS and 18TH Street had a lose alliance, Salvadorans were welcomed into 18TH Street, making it the first multi-cultural super gang. Many families even had members in both gangs. Nevertheless, by the early 1990S, MS had grown significantly in size and was ready to challenge 18TH Street for dominance. No one is sure where the spark was ignited. Perhaps both sides had gotten too big for comfort; but following an incident over a girl which claimed the life of Shaggy from MS, by a vato from 18TH Street, and soon after talks to prevent a war collapsed, the MARA SALVATRUCHA decided on “to hell with 18 Street,” and Shaggy’s clique retaliated. This set off a war and a battle for control of the Rampart area. The violence between these two gangs escalated and drew in several other gangs into the conflict, expanding the war into a bloodier conflict; one the worst gang wars in L.A. history. A street war in which the death toll surpassed the 100 count. By 1992, there was no clear winner; however, MS had gained control of some of the Rampart area.

Wars for drug trade or wars to avenge the fallen homies, the killing was happening because the killing was happening.

In 1993, MS becomes formally aligned with the Sureno camp and incorporates the number 13 into its gang initials to signify its alliance with the Mexican Mafia. By this time the mood on the streets had changed profoundly, mostly the result of incarcerations. MS vatos who went in Juvenile Hall with long hair came out bald and speaking Calo. The new look assimilated the Chicano prison dress style: clean creased shirts and creased up Dockers. There was even a different stroll, slouching back. They grew goatees, cut the hair short, slicked back with Tres Flores hair grease, no more petroleum jelly.
Tres Flores with a palm comb-that’s what they wanted. The system was shaping the MS membership, replacing the old stoner look with the Chicano Homie Style.

Indeed by the early 1990s, MS13 had attained a reputable notoriety in the local gang scene; but with that same notoriety, they found themselves in an urban world, in the most congested barrio west of the Mississippi, surrounded by new enemies and locked in battle after battle, day in and day out!

10/8/13

VARRIO LA RANA

LA RANA

Everyone in the Harbor Area knows or has heard about LA RANA in Torrance.

La Rana is one of those Varrios that have been dying off, but never really goes away. You hear about them, but you never really see them, or so it goes. Even so, they’ve managed to make the headlines from time to time. La Rana must be a real tight-knit family oriented varrio these days. Their neighborhood history goes back to the 1920s/30s, but the varrio is more well-renown for its crazyness during the 1950s and 60s. It managed to stay active well into the 70s, but by the 1980s it was mostly gone, mainly on account of the heavy industry that blew up around their neighborhood. Even though the barrio did grew up amidst industry; Nevertheless, the new industry took over more and more lots and pieces, and its streets disappeared, with many of its homes done away to create new and wider streets., To where eventually all that was left of La Rana is the strip between Van Ness Way and Crenshaw along Del Amo Blvd. That’s all that remains today of the old La Rana, some 100 homes along that strip. That’s if you don’t count the neighborhood area where V204ST (Southwest Village) is located at.

La Rana once roamed all the zone in-between Dolanco Junction (TxFlats) on the east; 190TH on the north; Torrance Blvd on the south; and west to Madrona/Prairie Avenue. But VLR has always been centered on Del Amo Blvd. The place is completely surrounded by industrial plants and business parks these days. Mobil refinery on the north, Dow Chemical to the west, PS Business Park and Honda R&D to its south, with Van Ness Avenue and another business park cutting it off from V204TH.

La Rana is said to have adopted the name because of a near-by little lake or pond; some have even called it an old swamp area, where you could hear the frogs croak and sing through out the night. That little lake of a pond was there going back to the 1800s.

The area was known as El Pueblo; hence the name of the Pueblo tiny little Recreation Center , dead smack in the middle of the neighborhood. In fact, Del Amo Blvd was oldenly known as PUEBLO street (Camino del Pueblo), when it was still a small dirt street back in the (Mexican Village) days.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/80643375@N00/280246500/

I’ve never known what cliques La Rana ever spawned, but looking at that rare Flickr picture of that gutted and worn out small market wall, there’s a placaso next to all the La Rana hit ups that read “ROAD GENTS”; Thus I wonder if that had anything to do with Del Amo Blvd ~> The Road to La Gente de La Rana (?)

On a hot sunny weekend if you pass through there you’re bound to see firme ranflas on those driveways of the strip, not in every house, but there’s some, even though today those homes on that calle don’t look ghetto barrio looking shacks or anything like that.

La Rana you could say is the only true "City of Torrance" Varrio because the other main Varrios in Torrance are really L.A. “Harbor Gateway”.

La Rana (Del Amo Blvd.) is technically in the section of town which is considered “East Torrance”. East Torrance goes from 190Th to Plaza Del Amo ~> entrance to the village of “Barrio East Side Torrance” on the southernmost tip of the town. I wonder if that has anything to do as to why there’s some real animosity documented between VLR & BEST (?).. since they’re both really from the same “SIDE” of town, on opposite corners, of course.

La Rana most definitely hates TxFlats, and they have also been known to put the clamp on V204TH.

V204ST is something of an abnormality in the area politics, since both La Rana & TxFlats are said to claim suzerainty over them. Both Varrios claim to have spawned V204TH, but I would lean more towards VLR getting 204 started, because I used to work with this vato from La 204 who told me so. The thing is, eventually, and like it happens everywhere else, V204TH went on a solo career, and then they went on to make the headlines that you all have read plenty about. But if 204 would of stayed VLR, it would of most definitely kept La Rana on the mainline of the streets in the Harbor Area. But as it stands, La Rana is the enigmatic old Torrance varrio that refuses to go away.



...................................

Old Neighborhood Has Long Outgrown Barrio Status
El Pueblo Thrives, Surrounded by Workaday World

May 05, 1985|JULIO MORAN, Times Staff Writer

TORRANCE — The face of industrial Torrance is changing after nearly 75 years. So, too, is El Pueblo.

Surrounded by industrial activity, El Pueblo--which means "the town" in Spanish--remains a residential island in a sea of warehouses and factories. But rather than being deserted or rezoned for industrial use over the years, El Pueblo has blossomed into a vibrant, well-kept, close-knit neighborhood.

And except for the shadows cast by the Mobil Oil refinery towers on one side and the frames of multistory warehouses going up on the other side, the 111 homes along Del Amo Boulevard between Crenshaw Boulevard and Van Ness Avenue are typical of other middle-class neighborhoods in this city.

"When it comes down to the nitty-gritty, we are Torrance," said Ruben Ordaz, 57, a lifelong resident of the area and president of the Pueblo Homeowners Assn.

Early Reputation

The neighborhood is also called Del Amo and La Rana, which means "the frog" in Spanish and got its name because a nearby pond was once full of frogs. The neighborhood has overcome a reputation as a poor, tough barrio and come to be considered a community of concerned homeowners whose votes are courted at each local election.

"The politicians know that we got about 100 votes," said Ordaz with a smile. "We usually vote in a bloc, so when we call we get a quick response."

Getting a bloc vote is easier, Ordaz said, because many of the residents are related. Ordaz's father, who moved here in 1925, still lives on the block, as do his uncle, aunt and several in-laws. When a family member dies, property is usually passed on to a relative.

Property values are slightly lower than in other neighborhoods in the city, but it still costs about $120,000 to buy a two-bedroom house here. An empty 50- by 100-foot lot has recently been appraised at $20,000.

High Offer for Home

"What do you think, just because I live in La Rana that I live in a shack?" Irene Ordaz, Ruben's wife, said she told a friend recently after the friend expressed surprise over her four-bedroom home. Ordaz said they have received offers of up to $150,000 for their home.

And the crime rate, once a major problem, what with youth gangs and drug dealers during the 1950s and 1960s, has dropped. Last year, a community watch program was organized.

Torrance Police Sgt. Wally Murker, a community relations officer, said the area may still have more drug problems than many sections of Torrance, but other neighborhoods have more burglaries. "I couldn't say it was any . . . different than other neighborhoods in Torrance," he said. "There are a lot of good people living there and they've got a good community watch program."

For the most part, living in the midst of industries has not bothered the residents. In the early years it was a matter of not biting the hand that fed them, Ruben Ordaz said, so residents tolerated the industrial noises and smells. Today, tighter pollution controls have eliminated most of the concerns, and the residents have learned to live with what remains .

Grew Up in Area

"Sometimes you wonder if your coughing is not because of Mobil or if your house is not going to blow up," said Joe Torres, 42, a receiving clerk. Torres grew up in El Pueblo, and except for a few years right after he got married, he has remained in the area.

But the possibility of industrial accidents is not a major concern. "My kids talk about it sometimes, but they also talk about nuclear wars and earthquakes," Torres said. "It's at the back of your mind, but it's a way of life here."

Surprisingly, there has never been any serious talk of rezoning the street for industrial use, city officials said.

"It's almost like a historical area," said Jeff Gibson of the city planning department. "I don't think it will ever get rezoned."

But city officials did not always look so kindly on what was originally referred to as the Mexican Village.

According to the book "Historic Torrance," land in the 1920s was designated for five uses: business, residential, industrial, unclassified, and "special quarters for non-Caucasians." It was in the "foreign quarters" that El Pueblo developed as the residential district for the Mexican labor that worked at Columbia Steel and Pacific Electric Railway.

Treading on Constitution

The book says Jared Sidney Torrance, the city's founder, admitted in his autobiography that segregation in his fledgling town "tread pretty hard on the toes of the Constitution of the United States."

Even former Mayor Albert Isen, whose father and uncle built the homes in the 1920s so workers could walk to the steel plant half a mile away, said the houses were "substandard, because that's all they really wanted and all they could really afford."

Ordaz, a former steelworker and now a custodian with the Torrance school district, said the homes remained in poor condition for many years, primarily because of language and cultural obstacles that kept residents--most of whom came from the small Mexican town of Purepero, Michoacan--from acquiring building permits for remodeling their homes.

Now those houses have been passed on to family members who are U.S.-born and who speak English. Many of the homes have been improved, and Del Amo, once a dirt road, is now a four-lane street with a center divider.

Spanish, once the only language spoken on this street, is hardly ever heard now. Even the one weekly Mass celebrated at St. Joseph's Catholic Church at the end of the block is said in English.

10/7/13

CHUCOS e PACHUCOS

what does "pachuco" means to you?

a lot of people have associated it with the zoot suit and the 1930's - 40's era

and when you read most of what's out there on the web and in popular writers books
you come out with the same referencing, that pachucos came from El Paso, Texas
and that, that's where it all started

even myself didn't know any better than to take it only that far back

the whole key to the matter lies on ~> what does "chuco" mean?

yeah, chuco, instead of pachuco

pachuco is simple

el paso was nicknamed el chuco
and people from juarez mexico heading into el paso would say
vamos para el chuco
shortened under mexican ways of speech as
~> "vamos pal chuco" .. (heading over to el chuco)
and eventually shortened the -pal chuco- even more so, to say it as pa'chuco

so we know el paso was known as el chuco early on in the last 1900s century
and el chuco gave rise to the pachuco name for mexican gangsters of the 1930s - 40s LA era

what does "chuco mean?

^ ^ that is the key to the whole thing

chuco was originally something which had very little to do with the american zoot suits & drapes
something/someone with a whole lot more meaning than what the american media of the times
and even today, have cared to address or understand

and without that understanding., all is void and null
relegated to misunderstandings of the chicano mind

IMO

so the question is, what does pachuco mean to you?
and like a high school book would ask.,
how is it relevant to today's history?