Mayor of Breed Street: A Remembrance for Demetrio Zuniga Farias

On December 2nd, 2019, a small, working class community in Boyle Heights experienced a sorrowful loss when Demetrio Zuniga Farias passed away at his home on Breed Street. He was 85 years old.

Born in 1934, Don Farias made Los Angeles his permanent home in the mid-1960s. In his long tenure in the city, Don Farias was an active member of his community who was constantly providing a lending hand. In 1987, he even earned recognition from the City of Los Angeles and Governor Jerry Brown for his commitment to the public good.

When Don Farias opened and managed his own mini-market in Boyle Heights, he showed much compassion for the community, at times helping families and single mothers in need with items such as milk, tortillas, and more at his expense.

Outside of Boyle Heights, Don Farias also traveled all over Europe, loved baseball, boxing, and Mariachi music. In fact, during the 1980s, he was actually associated with the Dodgers, working with the Spanish translation group for the prized blue franchise. Don Farias also had a network in the world of boxing and counted legends such as Julio Cesar Chavez and Don King among people he knew.

Don Farias was no ordinary man. He knew how to live life to the fullest at the same time that he counted his blessings. This led many members of the community to frequently gather at his home on Breed Street, making him constantly surrounded by people who had nothing but endearment for him. Breed Street was the heart of Don Faria’s pueblo, making him to locals the “Mayor of Breed Street.”

Although this great and honorable man is no longer with us physically, Don Farias’s legacy will always be the soul of Breed Street and a gem in our hearts.

JT – Boyle H

About the author: JT – Boyle Heights is a resident of Boyle Heights on the east side of Los Angeles and an avid supporter of grassroots movements in the community.

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Virgil Village Loses Anthony ‘Lil Sleepy’ Ruiz

Anthony Ruiz, a 28 year old disabled man, was a life-long member of the Virgil Village community in the East Hollywood area of Los Angeles. On the evening of October 8th, 2019, shortly after 6:00 PM, Anthony was shot four times at the intersection of Virgil Avenue and Lockwood Street. He was rushed to the hospital, where hours later he was pronounced dead. For fellow locals in the area, Anthony was an unmistakable figure who crisscrossed the local side-walks in his wheelchair.

Also characterizing Anthony was a child-like smile that came over his face when laughing in the company of his homies. Anthony became disabled over 15 years ago during his early teen years, when another shooting permanently severed his spine. He was still at Thomas Starr King Middle School when he lost the ability to walk and would also go on to attend John Marshall High School before dropping out in the mid-2000s. He is survived by his Godfather Vic, as well as friends and family throughout the neighborhood now grieving his loss. If you would like to support memorial services for Anthony, you can do so at his GoFundMe page.

J.T.

Happy Blogaversary: Jimbo Times

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There are birthdays, and then there are blog-days. Today is the latter for yours truly, as JIMBO TIMES: The L.A. Storyteller completes its fifth year in publication.

On this special day, I could think of few activities more fitting than sitting down to write just a snippet about L.A. for the purpose of bolstering the workshop experience for guests at our free and open day of art, workshops, and engagement with the vecindad.

See the following note for BTS 2’s workshop facilitators, because how can a workshop facilitator deliver a great experience for their workshop participants, if they don’t pause to consider a few key details about those participants before workshop begins?

“Consider a day in the life of Doña Maria and her two children in Los Angeles. By 7:30 AM on Monday morning, Doña Maria serves breakfast for her two children, Carlos and Miguel. By 8 AM, she begins walking her kids to school. She first drops off Carlos (11 years old), the younger of the two brothers, at nearby Lockwood elementary, then Miguel (13 years old), the older of the two brothers, at King Middle School, which is nearly a mile away from home. By 9 am, Doña Maria returns home and prepares to head out to her neighbors’ apartment nearby, where she’ll look after their toddlers for four to five hours. By 2 pm, Doña Maria finishes her shift with the toddlers for the day, and prepares once again to pick up Carlos and Miguel from school. By 4 PM, she’s back home with her boys. She spends the rest of her day preparing dinner, cleaning up after the kids, and setting up for Tuesday morning. Considering Doña Maria’s schedule, at which point in the day might she and her kids be able to access your program or resources?”

These are the questions we have to ask if we’re to deliver critical experiences to our special audiences. The party begins now. Happy Blogaversary, JIMBO TIMES!

J.T.

Los Cuentos Is In, Los Angeles

It’s been nearly two months since the first-ever sale for the new Los Cuentos took place on JIMBO TIMES. This morning, I’d like to take a glance back at just what the project has led to for Los Angeles. I consider each Los Cuentos hat to be an accomplishment both for myself personally, as well as for The City they’re dedicated to. They tell me that we’re only as limited as we believe ourselves to be, while everything else is up to our imagination. Thank you for your continued support Los Angeles, there’s much more on the way!

J.T.