Afternoon, Spider Rock © Robert Sommers 2023

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Play Ball

Bulldozers at Chavez Ravine
The Los Angeles Times has an interesting story tonight about Los Desterrados, the poor mexicans whose homes in Chavez Ravine were uprooted to make way for Dodger Stadium in the 1950's. The Brooklyn Dodgers had set their sights on the west coast and a poor minority community stood no chance of standing up to the bulldozers. They were ostensibly moved to make way for new public housing, a promise that was never delivered on.

I sent the article to Millard, a true blue angeleno and Dodger lover and got this terse response:

This is pure horseshit. Chavez Ravine was a total dump, a hell-hole nobody missed except the squatters who lost their free ride. Nobody wanted to go there, always avoided it. Except for people like Millard Sheets who painted the 'local flavor'.

Maybe it was a dump, Millard, it was a poor community. Poor people don't have a lot of expendable money to live in palatial estates like you rich folks did up in the valley. They usually ended up in barrios. Chavez had a long standing community and tradition that got literally steamrolled. I don't blame these guys for still being pissed. One man's dump is another hombre's palacio. Dig?


Faithful blog reader and surf impressario Allan Seymour sent me this letter:

Hello Robert,
Tomorrow is the double-double. The Cubs Season Opener on WGN at 11:00 AM, and the Padres Season Opener with the great Vin Scully on L.A. television at 4:00 PM.
Petco's pastoral surrounding frames the hopeless Padres. Let's just go-a-head and call them the Cubs of the NL Western Division. 
I would like to take you to a Padre game this year.
Check out an interview I did with thaliasurf.com For a brief moment I felt Sommersesk recalling my youth, and sharing my opinions.
Yesterday was an epic day at San Onofre. In your travels try to stop by my home/gallery in Capistrano Beach.
Allan Seymour

I would love to catch a game. I have refrained from saying I told you so about recently departed Padres CEO Jeff Moorad but he turned out to be the pompous pretender I said he was. All hat and no cattle. Wonder if Moores will let them flounder? Now I can go back to being a Padres fan again. Hope they come to their senses and bring in the fences. Long right field turns our hitters into eunuchs and they are never the same again.

Also Allan, I know it sounds like heresy but I am not a Scully fan. Puts me to sleep. Would much rather listen to Jerry Coleman.

Nate Colbert


grumpy said...

you're right about Vin; he never stops talking...also, check out Don Normark's excellent photo book "Chavez Ravine 1949" (Chronicle, 2003)


North County Film Club said...

I lived right near Chavez Ravine (in Echo Park)in the late '70's. I was appalled at what they had done to the old Chavez Ravine and the people who lived there. And not being a baseball fan I wasn't too interested in Dodger Stadium. But I was close enough to hear the crack of the bat.
Which was much better, come to think of it, than the bomb blasts at Camp Pendleton.

NYSTAN said...

fuck baseball....rah rah rah....
Ry Cooder wrote and recorded a magnificent suite about that very situation. It is called Chavez Ravine.
One does not have to be a fan of a particular team, race, nation religion etc, cause it is just some music...even a discussion about it brings out some nasty comments about what, the poor....homeless....migrant workers, illegals....some things never change,
Go Yankees....money talks!

Anonymous said...

Chavez Ravine was a 'poverty with a view' A unique barrio built on beautiful hillsides overlooking LA.
As a little boy who grew up in Highland Park I would go to Chavez Ravine to watch my father qualify (target practice) for the LAPD. One day my dad took me through Chavez Ravine and I saw all the construction going on. I asked him why they were bulldozing down all the old homes. He told me about Dodger Stadium being built. I thought it was an odd place to build a ballpark. They just kept bulldozing down hills until they created a big flat valley.
As for Vin Scully; You must be joking! Best baseball announcer to ever grace the microphone. I suppose Chick Hearn sucked too? What do you have? sleazebag Ted Leitner? Jerry Coleman, the malaprop king of baseball? Give me a break.
The SD Poodles have never won the big game and are headed for another last place dive, but the fairweather SoCal squirel squaders don't care anyway, they can look forward to another Norvy ChaCha's season to fail miserably or the Ass ticks to beat up on a host of cupcake universities and lose in the first round of March Madness to a real college team.

Blue Heron said...

Just to make one thing clear, Chick Hearn was a god. I preferred to listen to him with Lynn Shackelford (of moonshot fame).

grumpy said...

i love the bomb blasts on the base. find them very soothing.