Submitted by irobertson on Fri, 2012-09-28 16:42
I was born in a place now known as Watts, at 85th and Central. My mother was a single parent and we lived in a little house, it was a duplex in South Central in the Watts area. At the time, it was right after the war, 1946 I was born, and right after the war, Watts was actually filled with Turnip fields and chicken farms and a kind of vibrant African American Latino community. You could walk down to the corner and you could pick the chicken that they would ring the neck of and then you would cook it. Or you would, as my cousins did with me when I was very small, small enough to fly between the hands of two of my bigger cousins, we would run through the turnip fields and steel turnips. Heaven knows what for because they tasted so terrible. I was always very disappointed when we went to steel turnips and they were really hot and they burned your mouth. I was raised with my grandmother, Francisca, who took care of me when my mother worked at the Good Year tire factory, and I lived with my grandmother and my aunt Rita, who was and still is a wonderful ranchera singer.