Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Epoca de oro, memories and dreams

When we talk or write about an era often it is informed by some philosophical or theoretical context. These were the great political movements, these were the socially significant events, or some such thing.

When the topic is community history it needs to be brought back to the people who lived in the community.

No, Edward JAmes Olmos and his ruca didn't live in Pasadena in the 40s, but he did live on Indiana in East LA. I don't know how one might cover this era and not include his iconic Pachuco from Zoot Suit.

But the other folks pictured here were in Pasadena. At the far left is a class from Madison Elementary, to its right is the Xochimilco Club of Pasadena Junior College, Ricardo Montalban is dancing with Uni Vets' Churubusco Reina, and Marina Rodriguez is artfully posed in front of the Pasadena Settlements that is almost ready for its jamaica.

In a sense our youth often is viewed as a golden era of our lives. Full of angst, full of friends, full of fun, and filled with dreams that wait to unfold as our future becomes our present.


altadenahiker said...

I saw Olmos on stage in Zoot Suit. Unforgettable for many reasons. He was wonderful (isn't he always) but it was my first exposure to this slice of history.

Latino Heritage said...

I saw him and was so absorbed by the whole production that I know I noticed, (how could you not?), but he didn't make the deepest impression. The female lawyer was the one who moved me; as did the other women who were fiercely independent in forthright ways. We had independent women in our family but there independent ways were expressed more softly.

I don't think I understood the history until I learned that friend of mine was related to Henry Reyna, the model for the male lead.

Latino Heritage said...

I just got off the phone with Maxine Rodriguez Wordell who informed me that it is she that is in the jamaica photo. Not only that, but that the car was her boyfriend's 1950 Mercury. It was a really pretty green. The photo was taken by her sister Marina Rodriguez.