A Poem Born in L.A.

Like a true son

Of Los

It keeps rising

Like a true heir

Of Los

It keeps lifting

Ocean grains,
Earth rains,
Desert range
Stars changed

Worlds estranged
Land rearranged,

Renaming
Los.

Los Cuentos,

Es tiempo.
Lo Siento
Los Angeles

It’s

Cuentos’

Time.

J.T.

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Estimados Padres y Madres de Back 2 School 2,

Dear Parents & Guardians of Back 2 School 2,

Who Is Your Neighborhood is a local organization of young professionals–many of whom grew up in the vicinity known as East Hollywood in Los Angeles–as well as fellow residents and other supporters, whose mission is to serve and support local families for the benefit and improvement of our community, which is a predominantly working class, immigrant community of renters and first-generation families.

At our first Back 2 School Party last August 2018, we provided a free day of art, food, music, poetry, and other programs for over 50 different guests from in and around East Hollywood; families walked away with artwork, prizes, new information about local resources, and most importantly: a stronger sense of community in their vicinity than when they first walked into our program.

This year, our goal is to provide a second Back 2 School Party with an even stronger program for guests to participate in. And this is the key goal: participation. In order for us to improve this critical service, the ultimate goal of which is to improve the quality of life for families in our community overall, the work requires continual and increased participation from others. We therefore hope that this day with Back 2 School 2 will encourage families to participate in future versions of this program.

As parents of the next generation of our community, you and your children hold the keys to our future. We therefore honor your valuable contributions to life in our city with this special day dedicated to you. In the days ahead, we can use your support to build even more for our community to grow and prosper from. Thank you for your time, and please enjoy a wonderful day with us in East Hollywood this Saturday, August 24th, 2019!

Your friend and fan,

Jimmy “Jimbo” Recinos,
Quien Es tu Vecindario

Our 2nd Annual Back to School Flyer is a Golden Ticket

But instead of tickets allowing entry to a chocolate factory, they unlock entry to an entire land of sweets and stories, to a world meant not to be spoiled alone, but which is made richer each time it’s shared in kind; to a little pueblo known affectionately as JIMBO TIMES: The L.A. Storyteller.

Have you gotten your ticket yet?

J.T.

5 NOs to Remember with Your Fam this Summer

JMBTMS_SALV_1110
J.T.’s Great Tio on Grandpa’s side; San Jose Guayabal, El Salvador, 2018

1. No, They’re Not (Always) Trying to Make Life More Miserable. Think about it this way: with everything going on at school before summer break, it’s likely that you didn’t quite have a plan about how to get through summer break. The same is true for many parents and/or siblings. So all of a sudden, you’re all ‘cooped up’ at home again, and there will be challenges. Sooner or later, someone’s emotions are gonna get high, and then, let’s be honest: someone’s gonna make a mistake. Trips will get canceled. Stuff will get lost, and other things will go wrong, too. But it won’t be just because your family’s (always) out to make life more difficult for you. It’ll be ’cause all the ‘free’ time during summer in Los Angeles can be a burden for a lot of us to get through without fail. Accept it!

2. No, They’re Not the Worst Family in the World. Let’s face it: even if you know it’s not all their fault, there will still be times during summer when it’ll feel like your family just doesn’t get you. And since you’ll still have to live with them even though you’re from two different planets, it’s gonna feel like you’re just stuck with them. But here’s a secret: the differences you have with your family, if you can see them for more than just what makes you opposed to them, can be the things where you learn the most from. Even more than what you learn at school! But it sure doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to settle the differences with your counterparts.

3. No, They Can’t Just Leave You Alone Every time You Want. Here’s a fact: your privacy is a key part of what makes you the unique person that you are. But now here’s another fact: when you live with others, there are going to be times when your privacy will simply not be possible. You’re going to have to learn how to share. I remember when mom would cook lunch for my brother and I, and how I’d be so selfish. I wanted the table all to myself. Or, if I had to share, I wanted the best seat. Little did I know then that getting just my way every time I wanted it would simply make life less interesting. Eventually, I’d not only get better at sharing the table with my brother thanks to learning with him, but I’d also get better at sharing with others in general. And now I love sitting down to eat with my bro whenever we get the chance. (Love you W!)

4. No, They Don’t Just Want to Take All Your Stuff to Leave You with Nothing. Now here’s one that makes enough sense, but which is hard to remember: sometimes you lose things to find other things that you need. Wanna know how I know? Occasionally, when not heeding guidance like the one in this post, I’d get the Xbox taken away for misbehaving, or I’d lose all my TV privileges. At first, I had no idea what I’d do without my electronics. But then, I got creative. And eventually, I got to writing. This would one day turn into JIMBO TIMES: The L.A. Storyteller. Now, you and I both know we can’t get enough of this blog!

5. No, Things Won’t Always be This Way. Although you might not believe it, the fact is that you will not have your family right next to you all the time. Slowly but surely, you will meet other people, and you will find other things to do besides being with them every day of the season. Then, one sunny morning day, you’ll not only be able to find your own way, but you’ll have to.

This brings up one key question for me to ask all the Youngs out there. If you could find the best possible scenario for you to ‘leave’ your family with before setting out on your own life, what would that scenario look like? What would you want for your ma’ or your pa’? And/or what would you want to ‘give’ to your siblings before you could no longer ‘give’ them anything else? If you’re up for the challenge, answer these questions with no less than 300 words, then send it over to yours truly for review. If you think you can do it, then GO! The future is counting on you!

J.T.