a Chicano Latino "Stand by Me" THE PROLOgUE

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PROLOGUE

"SAN FERNANDO CALIFORNIA, 1959" 

A COMING OF AGE NOVEL

A CHICANO LATINO "STAND BY ME"   

Registration Number: 1862462  WGAW Registry.

Disclaimer:  This is a work of fiction. The characters and events depicted in this story are fictional. Any similarities to actual persons living or dead is purely coincidental. 



SAN FERNANDO CALIFORNIA

1959

The Poetic adolescence 

of a 

Chicano Latino youth

An American experience

A novel

By

Louis Macias


Prologue


In 1959 I was just about to turn twelve years of age when our family moved to San Fernando, California which at that moment right along with the rest of America was irreversibly falling into the Nineteen Sixties.

For those who don’t know it the Fifties and the Sixties could not have been less alike. 


In fact, never in American history have two sequential decades ever had less in common. 


The only similarity between the two was that one led directly to the other and so as our story starts in the summer of 1959 everything that had seemed permanent and settled in the Nineteen Fifties was about to change. 


One split second in 1959 


The decennial transformation began on one of those rare moments that can only come between two Grande self-conscious decades like these two were.

 

For a split second the whole world seems to take a collective breath in anticipation of the great change that is to come, and that moment came to us in San Fernando Mission Park in the rose garden on a beautiful Indian Summer day in 1959. 


Indian Summer days are particularly warm and hazy. They are not at all like ordinary summer days and on such a special day unfamiliar thought can occur to you, as they did to me.


My friend Bobby and I were taking a break from waxing his older sister’s deep forest green 1954-Ford two-door coupe at San Fernando Mission Park. Both Bobby and I would get two-fifty each but only if the job was done right but Esmeralda, (“Essie” they called her) had her doubts because of our young age and she made it perfectly clear before she left with her girlfriend in another car that she would only pay if the job was done to perfection and there are no short cuts with Turtle Wax.


That’s what Essie wanted, Turtle Wax. 


You must apply Turtle Wax when the skin of the car is cool to the touch and only in small patches and that takes time. Direct sunlight makes it dry too quickly and so does heat and when it gets hard too fast it can’t be polished anymore at all and you must start all over again.  Since we were going to do the chrome next, I started to pull out different rags. 


Santo & Johnny


Bobby was listening to the car radio (Sleep Walk, by Santo & Johnny), and he stretched his long leg out on the sprung open door so he could enjoy the music more deeply. 


Absent mindedly I put down my chrome rags and then getting lost in the music I decided to follow the olive and pine tree lined pathway back into the carefully maintained rose garden. 


I stopped by the ancient Spanish fountains. Those fountains at San Fernando Mission Park never stop flowing. They are flowing there even now.


The only sound to mark the passage of time was the flowing water rising and falling and in that instant San Fernando, California went unexpectedly eternal.


For one split second the entire creation seemed suddenly to be slowly breathing and it was as if all any of us was doing was simply being.



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