Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Boys in Blue meet the Voices of the Past

SKEPTICAL AND preparing to be bored were my feelings as I entered Dodgers stadium for the first time in 2006. I was tagging along with my new roommate (now husband) who happens to be a die hard Dodgers fan. I knew very little about baseball, the Dodgers or Chavez ravine, all I knew was that there were fireworks after the game and that we got to go on the field. By the end of the game I was excited, invigorated and hooked.

That is just one of many memories I have had at a Dodger game. I married into a long line of Dodgers fans, and we spend our summers cheering on the boys in blue either at home or at the stadium. I have watched many documentaries on the Dodgers and I was aware that before they built the stadium there were houses and families living in Chavez Ravine. However, I recently watched a few short documentaries not focused on the Dodgers but focused on the people who were displaced. I would be lying if I said that those videos will stop me from going to Dodgers games, but they did affect me. I have often tried to imagine what the Ravine would look like without the stadium and after seeing pictures and video, it has become much more real to me. I remember someone saying once that you can still see the front steps of some homes that were demolished. That image haunts me, and though I have yet to go to a Dodgers game since I have learned all f this baseball season is upon us.

This haunting feeling of Los Angeles’ past is becoming repetitive as I explore the city more and more. So many things have been torn down to make way for the modernization of the city. People have been displaced and memories have been lost. Perhaps this is what makes Los Angeles so rich with culture and mystery. There are voices of past, present and future scattered all along the city, one just has to stop a minute and reflect upon what and who was once there. This will not erase the pain those people felt when rushed from their homes, however it will keep their memory alive, and for the city’s mysterious past, memory is all it has.

--Mickala Jauregui
Photo Credit: myself (featuring my hand and finger)

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