Life in the 60’s livin’ in a housing project had its good & bad, ups & downs.
After kids grew into teens, they felt they needed to branch out & leave their environs.
At that time, everybody knew everybody & watched out for each other.
Basically, the Albores was a safe place. People could actually leave doors unlocked.
I remember even our uncle Lalo would leave his key in his car’s ignition.
What to do on a weekend, we’d always wonder.
The usual chores by ever creative parents who didn’t want their kids to get into any trouble with too much time on their hands. Come on!
“Can’t we have some fun?”
Well, we could go get some oranges across the canal. Every kid would tuck their tee shirt in their pants & filled it with nice sweet oranges or navels.
Or,we could hitch a ride from the back of a pickup with our bicycle.
The neighborhood kids from the project would gather across the street on an empty lot to play softball, usually or bigger guys, hardball.
After a while, even this form of recreation became monotonous.
So,the bad influence guys, those wanting some excitement or cheap thrills began to put ideas in our heads.Hmm!
Why don’t we go steal hubcaps? After a while, that got boring.
So we started to switch people’s car hubcaps to other cars!
Anything for laughs.
Then the older kids got bolder. They heard that there was different colored tapes @ a local packing shed.The window on second level was open.
What are small brothers for, but being volunteered to be the acrobatic monkey to climb through the window.
Devil may care.
I climbed through it & began to ask the guys below what color did they want? Being a kid, I didnt know what I was doing & it didnt matter.
To me, it was all about having fun.
The guys below were having a fit.”Just grab as many as you can!” “Doesn’t matter!”
So I did.Flung the thin rolls of tape out the window.
Next thing you know, everybody’s bicycle rims were all taped in various colors. OMGawsh!
Johnny & I used to attend Sacred Heart Catholic church for Sunday mass.
I didn’t like the fact that our mother forced us to.
I resisted as much as possible.
Since we came from NO income(as opposed to “low income) every Sunday, our Mother placed her/our “limosna”(a monetary offering to the church)in a small envelope, courtesy of the church.
Johnny & me always wondered about this.
Me,always being the culprit, would tell Johnny I was not pleased with this setup.
” Why are we going hungry while these bozos live it up?”Something to that effect.
So next Sunday when Johnny & I went to church, guess what we did?
We tore the envelope, took the money, bought goodies & snacks for us.
Didnt help the fact that the store was conveniently located by the church.
Candy, cokes, gum, cinnamon rolls,chips.
We got so bad that when there was a dollar in the envelope, we would actually get change from it.
“How much today, Johnny?”.50¢ he’d tell his little bro.
Next time. ” How much today, Johnny?”.75¢ for us. We’d have a feast & laugh about it.