A fictional tale from the 'hood
Frankie Firme ~ Contributing Editor
....fall, 1971...somewhere in the San Gabriel Valley, California, just across the river from East Los Angeles...
Published on LatinoLA: June 6, 2008
Angie was just simply the finest 16 year old babe in the neighborhood. A body beyond her years, she wore her streaked and tinted long black hair ratted up, wore large gold hoop earrings, and make up in the dark chola style that made her look mature and mysterious for her age. Her tight and partially revealing clothes accentuated her every curve. She walked liked a panther, lithe and ready to pounceÔÇªa ripe young muscular woman, indeed!
Angie and her equally beautiful friends didn't just walk down the street, brothers...they glided, they strutted, their curvy hips swished by as they oozed post-adolescent sensuality that turned heads everywhere they went, even from older men.
They smelled so good of sweet perfume, and they smiled so pretty. All of them had older boyfriends, and they always tried to hide their young love bites, or hickies, on their necks with makeup except Angie...as she never had any.
Because of her 2 older brothers and a host of at least 6 male cousins and all their friends that made up the local gang, Angie was virtually untouchable by the local guys in the neighborhood, and hickies were proof of forbidden closeness and intimacy...young love yet unexplored.
They were also a status symbol among the teenagers in the neighborhood. Having one meant you spent some time smooching and getting hot & bothered. Having more than one meant you had gone further than just petting, and the boys were considered macho, while the girls were considered easy...unless they were beautiful, in which case, they became adolescent fantasies.
While a popular girl, Angie walked the line about being considered cheap and letting boys get close to her. She could easily refuse dates with a simple "I can't ... my brothers and cousins would give us a hard time ..." and most boys would back off. Those that didn't usually only needed a little prodding from her male relatives to get the message. One boy, a football player from a rival high school wouldn't take no for answer once, and tried to get a little aggressive with her one night a party...he was lucky to escape with his life and only 2 missing teeth after her brothers got through with him.
Hence, Angie was untouchable to most boys in the neighborhood. And that was the word on the street.
George Perez had always been a shy, inward type of guy, and didn't have much experience with girls, but he had the enviable position of sitting next to Angie in 4 of his 6 classes. They talked and became friendsÔÇªand George developed an enormous crush on Angie that he carried for a whole year. She knew it, and she liked him back as much, but underneath her womanly beauty, she was also shy and modest. Only her brother's and cousin's protection allowed her to carry on the fa?ºade she enjoyed playing.
George also had 2 older brothers and an older sister that teased George frequently about his lack of dating at age 16, and his crush on Angie.
"Shit, when I was your age, I had already had 2 pieces of ass," his brother Fernie would tease him.
"Well ... I hope they were nice guys," his sister Josie joked.
Then she turned and said "So ... you gonna hook our carnalito up or what? I only know fine hynas." They all would get into a shoving, joking, and pushing match or pillow fight until George's father would holler from upstairs for everybody to be quiet.
"So cherry pie, who you got your eyes on?", his brother Henry asked. Since returning from Viet Nam, Henry tried to spend more time with his brothers and sisters, as if making up for lost time. He had lost his left hand in combat.
"...Angie Olveras is so fine," George responded. "I really like her."
"Hell! You can't touch that! Her brothers would whup your ass," Josie laughed.
"I know her brothers and primos. They're gangsters, so you better watch out, little brother", Fernie cautioned with a smile. "Maybe I'll lend you my car, and you sneak her out of town?" he offered.
"Really, brother?" George sat up excited.
"Not!", Fernie responded, "Nobody cruises my ride with babes except me. Sorry little brother, just kidding," he said as he tickled his brother's face. Fernie had one of the finest 1958 Chevy Bel-Airs around. A dark metallic brown with chrome hubcaps and tinted windows, it was a female magnet for Fernie, and he wielded that power like a master. "You're gonna have to catch that fine Olveras chick on your own," he smiled.
Feeling gloom, George retreated to the makeshift weight room his brothers had set up a few years ago, which had become a haven for him. 2 years ago, George had been picked on and beat up by some older boys on his first day in high school. The embarrassment had convinced George to take care and build up his body so he could compete with "the big kids", and learn how to fight, so he began lifting weights and taking pointers from his older brothers who were accomplished boxers and street scrappers. 2 years later, besides becoming a star baseball player, George had developed an impressive athletic physique that he had not yet learned to appreciate.
"Man, take off the camisa and show off your shit, brother," his sister Josie would encourage. "The hynas would stand in line to be with you. 2 of my friends want to jump your bones now."
But George would shy away, go to the weight room and fantasize about Angie as he worked out. He knew he was lovestruck, but didn't know what to do about it. Even his friends teased him as "No hickey~getting Georgie."
One day, George came home from school to find his sister and mother crying along with his brother Fernie in the living room. His brother Henry and his father were low key and speaking in hushed tones behind them.
"What happened?" George asked.
His brother Fernie walked over to him and hugged him tearfully. "I got my draft notice today, Georgie. I gotta report next week. They're probably going to send me to Viet Nam," Josie started crying again.
"It's not fair! They already took Henry to Viet Nam a couple of years ago. Isn't that enough? She cried. "We're lucky he didn't dieÔÇªand now Fernie? It's not fair, Mama!"
"Ya, mija. When they took your father and your Tio Hector to World War II, I thought it unfair too. But I had faith, I prayed, and they came back. Now we have to do the same for your brother," her mother attempted to comfort her.
'No!" Josie cried as she ran upstairs to her room. She was very close with her brothers.
"Listen, man," Fernie said, "While I'm gone, I want you to take care of my ride," Fernie said as he handed George the keys to his '58 Bel-Air, "Any scratches and I'm kicking your butt," he laughed through tears. The two brothers embraced as only brothers can, and George whispered "You take care of yourself, and I'll take care of the car", he promised.
A few weeks later, George found himself cruising to school in Fernie's car. Clean, polished, and sparkling, George knew he was drawing stares and attention. He felt good as he spotted Angie looking on from a distance. Maybe he would offer her a ride home today...
The day seemed to go agonizingly slow as George struggled with a way to offer Angie a ride home. Sitting next to her in class, looking at her in her tight clothes, smelling her perfume, admiring her pretty smile and easy conversation drove him crazy. How do you ask a fox to take a ride with you, he thought?
He found himself tongue tied and frustrated, so he decided to ask tomorrow.
After school as George walked to the car, he couldn't help but feel frustrated as he watched all his friends walking and holding hands with girls, or sneaking kisses in parked cars.
He was absentmindedly daydreaming about Angie when a sultry voice said behind him "So ... what does a girl have to do to get a ride?" He turned around and there was a girl he had never seen before slowly walking up behind him. She was beautiful, George thought. Long legged in a black mini dress, high heels, hoop earrings, and long bright red hair that accentuated her light skin and expertly made up green eyes. "Got room in there, ese?" She lowered her eyelids sensually, smiled, and winked at him, as she knew she had his full attention..
Before he could answer , three guys squatting behind the car suddenly stood up and said to each other "That's him. Let's mess him up," as they ran off to attack an unsuspecting boy who had his back turned. Before George could say anything, the beautiful girl pulled a pistol out of her purse, pointed it at him, and said "start the car, dude. When my boyfriend gets back, we're taking this firme ranfla ... and you're just gonna have to walk it, homie." She laughed in an evil tone, and George knew she was serious.
George looked to see who the boy that was scheduled to get attacked was and he saw that it was one of Angie's brothers, Tony Olveras. One of the local gang leaders, Tony had a reputation for scrapping with out-of-towners for turf purposes, and no doubt these guys came back for a vendetta. He had no idea he was about to be jumped from behind.
Without thinking, George pushed his body against the girl and gave her a big unexpected kiss, while grabbing the gun out of her hand just as it went off. The running boys stopped to see what had happened, as did many in the crowded parking lot, including Tony, as the girl ran off screaming "Mando! He's got the gun! Pon trucha!"
Running towards them with the pistol in his hand, George yelled out "Tony! Watch out! Those guys are going jump you!" The three boys returned towards Tony, and one pulled out a sawed off shotgun, aiming it at Tony's chest. Before he could get off a shot at Tony, George shot once into the air with the pistol, and then aimed it at the boy holding a shotgun, yelling out, "Put it down, man!"
In shocked response, the boy dropped the shotgun, and all three ran off as a large group of Tony's friends came running up. Tony approached George with a smile and said, "Thanks. One of those guys tried to strong arm my sister Angie at a party last summer, and me and my brother Louie had to regulate him and his friends. Bunch of football players. I guess he came back for some payback. Thanks to you, I'm alive." As the two young men shook hands, and a crowd began to form, police sirens could be heard approaching.
"Gotta go, man. Thanks again. Hey ... you wouldn't be needing that would you?" Tony asked, pointing towards the pistol in George's hand as his friends recovered the shotgun and began walking off in different directions.
Smiling, George threw the pistol lightly towards Tony, who caught it and deftly tossed it to one of his friends waiting nearby.
Walking away, Tony turned and yelled out "Hey ... do me a favor, homes...I was supposed to pick up my sister Angie from school, but all this commotion is going to draw so many cops, and I know they'll be looking to harass us right now...would you give her a ride home for me? I don't want no cops trying to frisk her down."
George couldn't believe his luck as Tony made this request in front of the crowd.
"Sure..." he said, as Tony walked away to join his friends. Several police cars began entering the school parking lot, lights flashing, sirens blaring. One of them had two of the attacking boys and the girl in the car back seat.
"Hey! Tony, wait!" a female voice yelled out from behind the crowd as Tony walked away. George turned around to see Angie running up. He was speechless as she came running up, her hair and breasts bouncing right up to him that made some in the crowd take deep breaths and whistle. Slightly breathless, she smiled at George briefly and asked, "What happened, George?"
George couldn't help but enjoy the moment, as all his friends eyed Angie hungrily from a distance. Across the parking lot, the police now had Tony and about ten of his friends up against police cars being frisked.
"Oh, no big thing. Just a little police harassment ... you know how it goes. Tony asked me to give you a ride home. You OK with that?"
Looking across the parking lot to her brother, who was standing up against a police squad car, she could see him wink and smile at her, nodding towards George.
Smiling back, she turned and said "Yea, sure, George...I been waiting all day for you to ask," as she smiled and grabbed his arm, they walked away together, and the small crowd opened a small path for them as they walked to the car.George felt seven feet tall!
The next day was chilly, probably about 60 degrees or less, cold for a southern California morning. Most boys and girls wore jackets or Pendleton shirts fully buttoned up to the neck, but on this morning, George stepped out of his brother Fernie's car wearing only a white tank top and pressed khakis that finally showed off his muscular physique to the world.
Walking up to his usual crowd of friends, George held his head up high, and just couldn't suppress a big smile of pride on his face, as everybody he greeted looked at him in awe, they then smiled a smile of approval and deep envy: On his neck were 2 fresh big hickies that could have only come from Angie!
As he stood with his friends, Tony and Louie Olveras turned the corner with about ten of their friends coming straight for him, and a hush went out over the busy school courtyard...even George's toughest friends feared the Olveras brothers and their gang...
Stopping to greet George with their gang, the two Olveras brothers looked at George's neck, then each other.
"Put on a shirt, man ... It's cold out here," Louie said, as he and Tony smiled and walked away.
Frankie Firme ~ Contributing Editor:
Frankie Firme is the Al Capone of the microphone the Hitman of West Coast Chicano Soul heard daily on <a href="http://www.eastLArevue.com">www.eastLArevue.com</a>
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