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Reflections On A Silver Ball
Ricardo Moraga Lucero, GHS Class of 1949

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Euclid Street's Contribution to WW II
 

The younger the person, the larger the world, especially if you leave your hometown, very young and return years later. It makes you think that our youth was a contradiction. For instance, my generation lived through the Great Depression, WW II, Korea, and Vietnam War, yet nearly all our memories are happy ones. We have memories of the 1930's, 40's 59's and 60's. There were massive numbers of new people, liberals, activists, militants, etc. who took part in a radical shift in thinking and acting out, But, our memories are about the bad ol' days in many cases and we continue being part of the broader provincialism that is by nature conservative.

We don't like new and/or "different" people. We Mexican-Americans are also prejudiced. We seldom discriminate, be we're sometimes very prejudiced.

During the 40's we had our bad Mexican-Americans. Very, very few in Globe-Miami, but we had some pachucos who were the precursors of today's gangs. They were flashy dressers (dandy's) who wore a style called zoot suits, but they were not representative of the majority of our culture. Most local Mexican-Americans held a low opinion of the style.

We also had our share of Mexican-Americans (mostly volunteers) in the US Armed Forces. The service paid everyone the same; there were few better jobs.

I am privileged to have the opportunity to make known something many people alive today lived through, but were not aware of: Euclid Street sent off to defend the U.S.A. at least 36 Mexican-American youth. Four were killed in action. That's a fair amount of patriotism for a street that was less than one mile long. The List alphabetically:

CHARLIE BRYANT
TONY BUSTAMANTE
CRUZ CARDENAS     )
JOE CARDENAS       ) 4 BROTHERS
RALPH CARDENAS    )
VICTOR CARDENAS  )
GILBERT CARRIZOSA
EDWARD CONTRERAS
MANUEL CORTEZ
RAMON FIERRO
CHARLIE GARCIA
CHARLES GUERRERO  )
HENRY GUERRERO     ) 3 BROTHERS
VENTURA GUERRERO  )
IGNACIO HUERTA  ) KILLED IN ACTION
LOUIS HUERTA     ) 3 BROTHERS
PAT HUERTA        )
CHIDO LOPEZ               )
JESUS (COKES) LOPEZ   ) 3 BROTHERS
LIDO LOPEZ                 )
DAVE MORAGA
BILLY PEREZ     )
CHINKY PEREZ  ) 2 BROTHERS
AURELIO PULIDO   )
RUBEN PULIDO      ) 2 BROTHERS
FERNANDO QUINTERO) KILLED IN ACTION
HITO REYES   )
ROY REYES    ) 2 BROTHERS
BILL SOLTERO        )
VICTOR SOLTERO   ) 2 BROTHERS
ALBERT (VETO) TAPIA  ) KILLED IN ACTION
CHUY TAPIA               )
MANUEL TAPIA            ) 4 BROTHERS
WILIE TAPIA               )
JAMES TROGILA  )
JOHN TROGILA    ) 2 BROTHERS

Charles "Charlie" Guerrero still remembers that after serving in the army from 1945-1949 in Germany as a member of American occupation troops, he was denied membership in Globe VFW Post. He then applied for and was accepted and still holds life membership in Miami VFW Post 1441.

There was a lot of confusion going on in those days; Mexican-Americans had learned that they had to form organizations representing their interest. The Mexican-American had changed forever. Henceforth they would be political and highly competitive.


 
 
Copyright © 1994, 1995, Ricardo M. Lucero, all rights reserved.
Used with permission of author.