"Chicano writers from El Paso are the most progressive, open-minded, far-reaching, and inclusive writers of them all."

Octavio Romano

Monday, June 14, 2010

Where Devils Fear to Tread: Barrio del Diablo, Part II




WHERE DEVILS FEAR TO TREAD:
BARRIO DEL DIABLO, PART II
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of El Paso Historic Diablo Territory
Read Part I of "Where Devils Fear to Tread" 


by Raymundo Eli Rojas
(c) 2007 Raymundo Rojas

Originally published in the Spring 2007 issue of Pluma Fronteriza


 Above, Manuel Acosta depiction of Hammet St. in 
Ricardo Sanchez' Canto y Grito mi liberacion

Bad Reputation

       El Barrio del Diablo in El Paso had a notorious reputation for gangs. El Paso poet, Ricardo Sánchez says how, “El Barrio del Diablo [was] the El Paso Eastside wherein most of the vices of urban center proliferate, I.e., drugs, gangs, muggings, etc. The heroes in that barrio were ex-convicts newly released from prison: peer pressure demanded conformity to that way of living; and there seemed to exist no means for escape from the horrors of that existence” (qtd. in López 12-13).

       Nevertheless, several of the residents say this image of Diablo was sometimes overblown. Sánchez especially chastises the characterization of the local pachucos as vandals.
 
Lucy Fisher-West, author of the award-winning Child of Many Rivers, remembers the young men loitering on the corner, but sees them in a positive light as singing with guitars. Sánchez also speaks of this in his poem “Homing”
i saw remains
of cinderblock fences
where my brothers, Sefy and Pete,
would strum guitars and sing….(2)

Lucy Fischer-West describes growing up near San Xavier Chuch


Former Diablo resident Ester Pérez says these corner and porch jam sessions were even going on in her time in the barrio remembering her house at Hammett Blvd. and Central. “I remember a Dona Juana, whose porch the boys would gather on to sing.” Note 1.
 
Sánchez describes Diablo’s gangs in more detail saying, “Nobody wanted to go in (do the barrio).” He said “batos” from the X-9 gang protected this barrio. X-9 vato, what’s that? Sánchez said they were “una gavial de chamacos torpes y encabronados” y “ellos hacían sus cositas, aún ese tipo de juguetear con la vida como si fuese la vida nada mas que un chiste.” Note 2. Who could describe them better?


Ricardo Sanchez' landmark book contains
many poem about Diablo as well as sketches of 
Diablo by Manuel Acosta



 
The gangs had a lot of pride in for the barrio. They were always at sport games, always in the stands cheering the sport teams on. “They took pride in our representing el Diablo,” says El Paso writer Al Soto. (3) He adds, “Most gang battles I remember were over women...sometimes old family feuds, but mostly internal, a few external over territory, encroachment.”






Describing pre-World War II Diablo, Pérez says that there were “good and bad and in between just like you find in any barrio.” “They were good-hearted people,” says Pérez, “who got bad feelings just like any other people. It was a good neighborhood, especially during the Depression — everybody was poor, so we were all the same.” 

Sadly, Pérez says, it was the war that made many people leave the barrio. “The men went away to war and then came back to their wives or got married.” “They saw,” Pérez adds, “how good life was outside of the barrio and they did not want to return. I married a veteran right after the war and we took off to California.”
 
However, by the post-WWII era, the pachucos had already been born in El Paso and Diablo was affected. Quoting Juan Urrutia who lived on Findley Ave., El Paso historian Fred Morales says the “Scorpions were on Cypress Street, the X-9s in the El Diablo barrio…and the Beboppers near Zavela School” (Morales 10). Former resident Igancio Tinajero has his memories of Los Dominos, which first began as a social club, and the 7-11, though he is not sure if they were from the area. He added that there was also the X-13 and DDT (Del Diablo Territory).


Smuggling and Prohibition

Being next to La Isla made the el Barrio del Diablo a frequent visiting place for those who cut holes in the fence to come from Mexico to look for work in the U.S. Fisher-West even describes her mother helping a crosser hide in their backyard (Fischer-West 95). Her mother later scolded him and then fed him. In Pete Flores’ book Guardians of the Gate, he describes how Diablo was a thoroughfare of smugglers. Like the border region of Sonora and Arizona, La Isla was a no-(wo)man’s land with dangers (Morales 13 and Flores). (Note 4)
 
Cordova Island (Photp: Chamizal Memorial)

 When employment was low, some Diablo residents turned to smuggling or serving as spotters, especially during Prohibition.

During the 1920s, the barrio only went west a little past Hammett Blvd. and only went as far south as Oak Court S. Boone as you went south became East Dump Rd. leading to the disposal plant. Paisano Drive did not exist in name yet. However, there were squatters’ shacks within La Isla.

The island, as well as the barrio, was witness to some gun battles between smugglers and U.S. Border Patrol. Smugglers used the levees of the old riverbed as protection in their gun battles (Flores 32, 33).

                  Pete Flores explains how there was a “Chinaman’s House,” as it was known then using the now derogatory description, at old International Marker 6 and Copia Street, a little west of Diablo (33). The house served as a safe house for smugglers. The Chinaman, Flores said, worked the fields in the Chamizal. As barrio kids played on the island, the Chinese man often gave them fruit and corn (32). Note 5.
 
Flores describes one Fernando de La Vega of Diablo who served as a guide for smugglers. In 1932, he shot a U.S. Border Patrol agent and was subsequently sent to the federal prison in Kansas. The agents had shot him and when de La Vega returned to the barrio after his prison term, he was remembered as always walking with a limp. In one sentence, Flores even calls Diablo “Devil Backyard” (39).

Zavela School

Ficher-West lived in Diablo in the 1950s. She describes how her mother made her cross the bridge each day to attend school in Cd. Juárez as opposed to Zavela School. This was until the authorities found out what was happening and stopped the practice (Fisher-West 7). Her family lived at the 3300 block of San Antonio Street with the canal at the house’s back. Fisher-West describes her home in Diablo having a room for her father’s great love: books (22). At a home show at the Coliseum, he bought an Encyclopedia Britannica making her the only child at Zavela with a set (77).



Zavela was built in 1925 at 1915 N. Hammett Blvd. and named after Lorenzo de Zavala, the Republic of Texas’ first vice president and recent subject of many books (Morales 10). Zavala was also the father of the Yellow Rose of Texas, the name his daughter garnered due to her legendary beauty. This come a much a surprise to many gringos in Texas that the Yellow Rose was a Tejana. The school was built for a 300-student capacity (Morales 10).

Above, Zavela 1925 (Photo: El Paso Public Library)


Fisher-West has fond memories of teachers at Zavela like Miss Ross, Mrs. Wisman, Mr. Yturralde, and Josephine Nagel.

Morales dates Navarro Elementary School being constructed in 1961 at 1295 Hammett Blvd. (Morales 23). It was named after José Antonio Navarro.

Henderson Intermediate

Diablo residents had to walk two miles to get to Henderson Intermediate. However, walking to Henderson wasn’t fun. “You were in another barrio,” Soto says, “it was a ‘clash of cultures between ‘los del diablo’ y ‘los del Ascarate’.” He remembers his first T dance as a sixth grader and learning to play the saxophone at Henderson. “I remember a Mr. Hirsh, I think an English teacher at Henderson Intermediate. I remember good grades meant field trips to Silver City, Ruidoso, the Blank Range between Silver City and Truth or Consequences. Mr. Ellis was the social studies teacher.”

The edifice that once housed Henderson is now Adolfo Mateos Preperatoria in Cd. Juarez.

La Jeff (“La yeff’)

If you lived in Diablo, you most likely attended “La Jeff.” That’s Jefferson High School, for those of you not from EPT. Soto has several memories of Jeff: “Walking 1 mile to ‘la jeff,’ Freshmen football, marching band, the Friendship trip to Chihuahua, Mexico...and being told you were ‘Yankees’ and ‘Comunistas.’” Professors Lorenzo LaFerrell and Felipe Ortego would take turns teaching at la Jeff before they made it big. Sánchez indignation against the United States school system is well known. Then again, his indignation against everything and everyone is well known. But let’s focus on La jeff. In “Stream…” Sánchez writes of the madness of el Diablo driving him to seek education:

one moment, jefferson high seemed the avenue for my salvation, until racist teachers (mcbride, willis, travis and; co.) and vendidos (i.e. mares, mendoza, and; peña, inc.)
turned me off, while beguiling (or trying to) the carnales
to pursue a materialistic, roboticized life….” (Note 6)

Paisano Projects

When one mentions el Barrio del Diablo in El Paso, what most comes to mind is the “Diablo projects.” Their real name was the Paisano Projects, which were at the corner of Hammett Blvd. and Paisano Drive. Pérez places these as being built before or right at the beginning of WWII. Morales has them already existing by 1953:
Prieto, Caufield and Webber streets ran through the project. Webber was named for an individual who owned property south of this near the Webber banco. This housing project was built in June 1952 as ‘Project Tex 3-4’ or ‘Paisano Place.” It comprised fifty-six brick buildings, providing homes for 306 families, close to 1000 people.
(Morales 21)

“Those projects are now gone...replaced with open development spaces, and U.S. Immigration transportation inspection and border crossings to and from Mexico,” says Al Soto. The projects would host outdoor movies and kids could play ball in the project basketball courts. The projects were witness to “groovy,” as Soto describes, backyard parties playing 45 rpm records. This is where kids learned to dance, boyfriends and girlfriends matched up, kids played "free fall all football" at grass park area at the Paisano end. Soto remembers the president’s “fitness” program and looking back on it describes the program’s true goal was to get barrio kids ready for Viet Nam.

Tinajero remembers some presidio-style apartments elsewhere in the barrio.

Barrioing around

There was a neighborhood baseball team, more of sandlot league called Old "Sunkings" baseball team. In the barrio del Diablo there were such businesses such as The Hammett Store, Hammett Dry Cleaners, a store called Popocaltepec, which they called "El Pop," at Paisano Drive and Hammett Blvd. El Pop was a place of frequent snow cones, or raspas, for hot El Paso days, and/or daze.
 
Soto remembers staying up late and watching cars of people going to concerts or functions at the Coliseum. They would watch the cars at 50 cents to $1.00 per car so that there was no “stealing cars or their hub caps, no breaking in to cars, or slashing of tires,” says Soto.
 
“The hardest part,” Soto says it loud, “was finding a flash light to flag cars into your parking area, but the best part was listening to James Brown from the outside.” Soto describes other lollygagging, such as walking the Franklin Canal when it was empty and looking for crawdaddys, being a patrol boy at Burleson Elementary. “We had a lot of absent fathers,” says Soto, “but we managed for ourselves and became our own culture. Some thought not to have a father was natural. Later, it was not acceptable to be raised without a father, but back then, no one cared. Knowing that there was a lot of alcoholics, maybe it was a blessing not having drunken fathers around.”
 
Pérez on the other hand says, “My mother was very strict with us. She would always hold our hands outside. She would not allow us to talk to boys.”
 
Fisher-West describes Diablo having its houses as a mix of house yard, junkyard, and farm. People kept animals, raising chickens and fighting cocks.
 
The street, Tinajero, puts it, was his playfield. “I remember playing baseball in the street, pate el bote y quemada. We had a real good time because we did not know we were poor.” Sometimes families went by last names and nicknames. When you said “Los Martínez,” Tinajero says you knew who about people were talking about. “There were ‘Los Hueros.’” Pérez remembers names of families, like the Pérez called “Los Peewas,” the Salcidos, and the Torres who were musicians. She remember artist Manuel Acosta, the Tinajeros, the Morenos, the Sotos.
 
“Barrio boys married barrio girls,” says Pérez. “Many got married right before their husbands left for serve in World War II.” “Then those men that were left behind,” adds Pérez, “the women saw the 4-Fs, as damaged goods. They couldn’t get a girl. However, it was a change for us girls too because all the Mexican men were gone, but many gringo soldiers were brought into Ft. Bliss during the war, so we started dating them!” A typical date back then include going to Washington Park or Downtown, but Pérez states some families like hers were strict. “Many romances took place in the alleys, sneaking out and meeting boys.”

Mentioned earlier, Pérez remembers the projects being built just before World War II. To the discontent of alumni of la Jeff, Pérez describes, “Before La Jeff and Burleson, all of us went to la Bowie.” In fact, Jefferson High School was not built until 1949. The high school “took over the old Burleson...and added on. Burleson...moved across the street” (Metz 243).

Pérez remembers songs like “Hace un año” and “Canción Mixteca” ringing out from the barrio. “Oh, we were a musical family,” says Tinajero. “We were all into rock n’ roll in the 1950s, but we were still fond of song like ‘Adios mi chaparrita’ and ‘La bartola,’ plus that was the time of the trio romanticos,” sings Tinajero, “Mira bartola aqui triago estos dos pesos…”

Diablos

Al Soto recalls waiting for homeruns and pop up fouls at Dudley Field. They could use the ball as souvenirs or a free ticket to get into the field. He says balls would collect in the Franklin Canal just over the outfields and the south entrance where pop up foul balls behind home plate. Morales places Dudley Field being built around 1925 and Metz 1924 (Morales at 10; Metz 206). Ballparkreviews.com put the field opening around 1945.

At the time, it was the only adobe stadium in the nation (Metz 206). Before that, there seems to have been a baseball field in its location. It was at Dudley Field that El Paso’s first nighttime baseball game was played (Metz 228). For many years, even until the late 1990s, there was a group of small houses to the south of the stadium before hitting Paisano Av. They were like a small island on the stadium parking lot probably on Findley Av. East of Hwy 54.^


Washington Park and The Coliseum

 

Washington Park was a local attraction for los del Diablo. It was dedicated in 1893 according to Metz. Rafael Torres, author of Return to Aztlán mentions Charles K. Hamilton, “The Birdman,” flew into Washington Park. Torres says Hamilton “fascinated all those who watched him fly briefly just above the cottonwood trees in Washington Park…the first man and machine to fly in El Paso.” Metz placed the date for this event on Feb 23, 1910. Upon landing, Hamilton had to drag his feet on the ground to avoid crashing into a fence; the planes didn’t have any brakes in those days.” Torres even describes seeing the “world famous birdmen” putting on an aviation show at Washington Park in 1911.
 
Just west of Washington Park was the first location of the El Paso Country Club built in 1906 (Metz 150). It extended from Alameda to the river (Metz 150). It even had a golf course. (Note 8).
 
The park also featured a racetrack, however, most popular to Diablo residents was the Washington park swimming pool (Morales 4). Soto remembers how on the 4th of July, the pool would host a diving for watermelons contests in which you had to dive from the high board. An earlier 1913 event featured nine prostitutes who went swimming in the pool. The police were called to drag them out and the women were later jailed (Metz 169).
 
In addition, you could have picnics in the park area that is now the El Paso Zoo. Pérez looks back even earlier in her life with one of her fondest memories was the park’s playground. The park also had amusement and rides. Soto tells Washington Park being the place of his first kickoff return, softball games, and right field homeruns over the fence. There was also a Boys Club. Morales describes the trolley, or streetcar, came to Washington Park and would circle the park. 





In 1925, the Rio Grande overflowed swallowing a good deal of South El Paso leaving 300 people without homes. The flood also left many people living east of Washington Park in Ascarate flooded” (Morales 10). 
 
Morales describes Major Jackson from Fort Bliss ordering “relief quarters to be set up in Washington Park for the refugees” (Ibid). By 1925, Washington Park had a “zoo, tennis courts” and the swimming pool of memory to many (Ibid.). In addition, the city built Dudley Field in 1924 (Ibid. and Metz 206). The Fiesta de las Flores was held yearly at the baseball field at Washington Park. (Note 9).

El Paso Coliseum
The Coliseum was the venue where Def Leppard played and later
referred to the attendees at "greasy Mexicans."
http://defleppardandelpasotexas.com/



The El Paso Coliseum, which has gain notoriety of late, as the stomping grounds of the late professional wrestle Eddie Guerrero, was first built as the Livestock Exposition and Rodeo building in 1942. After a contest promoted by the El Paso Herald-Post, says Morales, it was renamed the “El Paso Coliseum” (Morales 18).  

“I remember Italian prisoners being kept at the Coliseum,” says Pérez. “And before that, there was a big lake where the Coliseum now is.” Morales and Metz dates the Italian POWs (about 1,000) at the Coliseum starting in 1943 and going until March 1944 mostly forced to pick cotton in the Lower Valley. German POW came later.

DizzyLand

It was an unfortunate stench and Diablo was located near the sewage treatment plant, called “Dizzyland” or “Disneyland” by many Diablo residents who tell of the dizziness they would get from the stink. It is easy to imagine the stench. The old and new water treatment plants were nearby. Before the 1940s, the trash disposal center was nearby with its incinerator. 


Boone Street, south of Delta, one of the last remnants of Dizzyland and Diablo

The yearly rodeo beginning in the 1940s brought the stench of animals and their excrement, so attests Soto. Starting in 1964, says Morales, “more than 10,000 cattle” would feed at the old Peyton Packing Co. on Cordova Island (Morales 25). “Payton slaughtered 500 cattle and 100 hogs daily,” writes Morales (25). “When the breezes were from the wrong direction, many residents living near the packing company complained of the annoying odors from the feed lots” (25).

The Chamizal Treaty

There had been a host of disputes about the Chamizal before. In 1907, hundreds squatted on the Cotton Estate claiming it was part of the Chamizal. They were later evicted (Metz 156). The Peyton Packing Company opened its door on the isla in 1910. Note 11.
 

Above, 1934 map of the international boundry with 
Barrio del Diablo (Woodlawn Addition) wrapped 
around the east and north side. Rio Grande is below.
Also, note to the upper right the lot where the 
housing project would be built

Morales states that the International boundary Water Commission “established an information center at 913 S. Hammett Street to assist Córdova Island residents…” (Morales 25). This may have been where Abelardo B. Delgado worked out of when he worked for the commission. When the government began buying people out of their houses, not all went peacefully. Morales describes a Mrs. Valentin Hernández of 3520 Oak Ct., as well as other residents petitioning for land on the north end of the island. Later, Enrique and Margarita Meza of 3425 Delta filed a suit in federal court against the commission (26). Note 12. 
 
Nevertheless, by 1965, Morales indicates most that lived on Cordova Island had already made plans to move. This with met with some tears by some and “good riddens” by others, says Morales (26).
However, with the Chamizal Treaty, several facilities were uprooted.
 
Morales describes the City sanitation fill transferred to Delta, and I’m sure the Diablo resident were happy about this. The sewage treatment plant followed. It “had to be replaced because the new boundary divided the plant from the drying pits and other water and sewage systems had to be installed…” (26).
 

Above, Old U.S. Border Patrol Headquarters. 
The building would later serve as Mexican Department 
of Interior Public Works and Improvement Board. 
The detention camp was used by the 
University of Chihuhua Extention Institute
The U.S. Border Patrol headquarters that use to be on the Island was transferred to Port Isabel, Texas in 1961 (Metz 255). 


Viewing Diablo from the west, the Colisium is at the upper left and 
below it are the Piasano Housing. The part that looks like Florida 
sticking out past the line labeled "Relocated River Channel" was the Cordova Gardens Addition
The land south of the line labeled "Relocated River Channel" was part of Diablo, now part of Mexico
where the former Henderson School is (now Adolfo Lopez Mateos Prep.)


Also transferred were Navarro Elementary School, Córdova Gardens, and parts of the Woodlawn addition. 

 Above Post-treaty arial photo with new boundry
(Cordova Island, Fred Morales)


The neighborhood homes in Córdova Gardens were demolished. When the land became part of Mexico, Morales says it was used as a “multi-acre sports arena….” (Morales 28). The new river channel cut most of Córdova Gardens off from the rest of Diablo territory and the gardens found itself in Mexico.
 
Navarro Elementary School, found itself on the Mexican side after the Chamizal Treaty and was renamed “Adolfo Lopez Mateos Preparatorio” (Morales 28).
 
The border highway project began in 1966. According to Morales, the first stretch was built between S. Latta St. and Coles. Delta Drive was extended to cross the US side of Cordova Island. A connection from Cordova Island was connected to I-10 and to what is now the Patriot Hwy (Hwy 54) (Morales 29). Ester Pérez says many of the families relocated because of Hwy 54 and went to El Paso’s lower valley.
 
Morales describes how this connection “was routed from Córdova Island across Alameda Avenue, Frutas Street, Rosa Street, Duranzno Avenue (near the Lincoln barrio), and then over Gateway East Boulevard, the I-10 frontage road and dipping down passed under Yandell Drive as it became the depressed section of the North-South Freeway.” (Morales 29 Parentheses comments added). This “interchange,” as Morales calls it, was built near St. Francis Xavier at 519 S. Latta Street.





Enclosed area of Diablo near St. Xavier

Unfortunately, some houses had to be demolished. With these Interstate system structures, the neighborhood around St. Francis Xavier became an enclosed one with the 3700 and 3800 blocks of Findley and San Antonio Streets and the 400 and 500 blocks of Stevens, S. Latta and Gateway South streets” (Morales 29). 

Nevertheless, even after the building to the bridge, there were still houses directly east of the port of entry center and even west of the water treatment plant south of Delta Drive. However, by the end of the 20th Century, the land east of the port of entry was quickly being converted into use for semi-truck inspection. Note 13.

El Diablo

Barrio del Diablo in El Paso shares its nickname with various “barrio del Diablos” all over the world. Lubbock, Texas has or a Barrio del Diablo. Note 14. Chilean poet Jesús Sepulvida writes of a barrio del Diablo in his country. I have heard of one in Cali, Columbia. El Paso even has a "Devil's Triangle" in it northeast part of the city.


It was not unusual for the Devil to appear in South Texas, as well as Presidio, Texas, as shown in Carmen Tafolla’s story “La Purisima” or in Arestio Brito’s the Devil in Texas, respectfully. Tomás Rivera also takes a turn in his story “It Was a Silvery Night” from his classic book ...y no se lo tragó la tierra. This story was recently turned into a play by El Paso’s Carlos Morton. Then there are other references like Hell’s Kitchen on “New York City's West Side between 14th and 52nd Streets, and Eighth Avenue and the waterfront, and the Tenderloin just to the east….” (Note 15). Hitting even closer to home was the 600 block of South Ochoa Street in El Paso’s Segundo Barrio which had presidio tenements called Sies Infernos (Six Hells), where poets such as Juan Contreras were raised. Note 16.

There are several explanations why the barrio was called “El Diablo.” Soto says the barrio might have been named mostly for the fear, and mystic of the fierce fighters of el Barrio del Diablo. Some were boxers or trained in boxing and athletic. “Alot of us were athletic and feared for that prowess. That was exemplified on the playing field. El Diablo sports teams dominated most sports we were in.”
 
However, Ester Pérez remembers a much older use of “Diablo,” well before WWII. This coincides with the description that Fred Morales gives in his book saying the name goes back to 1928. Morales says Franciscan fathers:

used to gather a congregation on Sunday to worship along the Rio Grande about a half-mile from 519 S. Latta Street where the St. Francis Xavier Church now stands. Cedar groves were plentiful in those days and the Franciscans constructed ‘pistas’ out of the branches to shade the people from the sun. As the story goes, every time a group gathered to pray, a strong gust of wind would blow away the branches, but the group continued to pray. On day a father cried, ‘Estas son hechera del Diablo,” or “these are the works of the devil,” hence the name Barrio del Diablo was given to the area. (Morales 23)
 
So were the memories of El Barrio del Diablo. Some good some bad, just like any other barrio as Ester Perez says. And why not, wasn’t el diablo once good before he got kicked out of heaven and became bad.*

FIN

NOTES
1. Interview with Ester Pérez, September 2005.
2. Sánchez, Ricardo. Canto y grito mi liberación: The Liberation of a Chicano Mind Soul. “Desmadrazco,” p. 35. Comments in parenthesis added for clarification.
3. Email interview with Al Soto.
4. In Pete Flores’ book, he dramatizes many of the gun battles and deaths of border agents. Morales says the “By 1933, nine border patrol men and custom officers had been wounded in battles with liquor smugglers and prohibition violators. Eighteen federal officers had been killed enforcing prohibition laws in the El Paso district from 1919 to 1933 making the district the ‘hottest spot’ for federal officers on both the Mexican and Canadian borders.” 14.
5. Morales provides a photo by Victor Guzmán of the “Chinaman’s House” in his book.
6. Sánchez, Ricardo. “Stream…” in Canto y Grito mi Liberacion, 73.
7. Morales at 21.
8. This may also be the clubhouse and golf course Morales speaks of, p.5
9. LULAC still hosts the fiesta annually, though the last time I went, it had moved to the Coliseum's parking lost and it just wasn’t the same.
10. Morales also indicates, “To the west of the Coliseum water often gathered in a large pond,” which may be the lake of which Pérez speaks, 18.
11. La isla was another name for Cordova Island.
12. I am not sure this house was part of Diablo though.
13. Picture in Feb. 1969 in Morales. It is understandably difficult to image the changes the Chamizal Treaty brough, what land was demolished, what land was ceded to Mexico by the U.S. and vice versa. Morales provides many diagrams, newspaper clippings, areal photos, and more for further understanding the dispute, treaty, and resulting changes to the land and neighborhoods.
14. Interview with Bidal and Olga Aguero, 1998. José Angel Gutierrez. http://libraries.uta.edu/tejanovoices/transcripts/TV_063.html.
15. O'Connor, Richard. Hell's Kitchen: The Roaring Days of New York's Wild West Side. http://hellskitchen.net/about.html.
16. Also called “Los Siete Infiernos.”


^ At the beginning of research for this article, Dudley Field, our childhood minor league baseball stadium was still standing. A year later in 2006 when I returned home, the stadium and the island of houses were gone.

*Alicia Gaspar de Alba uses Barrio Del Diablo her novel Desert Blood.  Ben Saenz uses Dizzyland for one of his recent books.






Works Cited

Fischer-West, Lucy. Child of Many Rivers, Texas Tech Univ Press: Lubbock, 2005.

Flores, Pete. Guardians at the Gate, Self published, 1995.

Lopez, Miguel R. Chicano Timespace: The Poetry and Politics of Ricardo Sánchez, Texas A&M Univ.: College Station, 2001.

Metz, Leon C. El Paso Chronicles: A Record of historical Events In El Paso, Texas, Mangan: El Paso, 1993.

Morales, Fred. Córdova Island, El Paso Histocial Museium: El Paso, 2002.

Pérez, Ester. Personal interview.  Sept. 2005.

Sánchez, Ricardo. Canto y grito mi liberación: The Liberation of a Chicano Mind Soul. Mictla: El Paso, 1971.

Soto, Al. Personal interview.

Tinajero, Ignacio. Personal interview. 2004.

Torres, Jaime F. Return to Aztlan: A Journey Into An Ancestral Past, self published, 2002.



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1 comment:

Al Soro said...

What needs to be stated here...is that PHDs, Lawyers, a U S Boy of the year, came from this 1960s "devils crucible", even some major U S Union leaders...too.

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