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

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Mí Roun' Trip

Dedicated To
The Class of 1949-1950
(and anyone else)

(Circa 1947)

Euclid Avenue, an arroyo in a canyon,
becomes a wide boulevard
to hear the inhabitants tell it.
To us that lived there,
Euclid was our circle of life.

Growing up on that street was an adventure.
Henry Guerrero lived on Euclid, so did Meme Soltero.
And nobody, but nobody could beat ol' brother Hank
at drinking, fighting, laughing and loving life.
Euclid was a strain in that odd-mixture called Globe.

WWII profoundly affected my town.
To a young Mexican youth
whose earliest memory of Anglos
was confrontation, often combat,
life became more confusing.

My older brother had gone to war
to defend this country, which at times
did not seem to want us.
He was taken into the war; he didn't choose it.
He secretly liked Japanese people.
He was often mistaken for one.

The north end of Euclid
was the beginning of Town.
Before me was Willow Street,
the railroad tracks by Dora Bros.,
then Broad Street, and all the action.

Globe High was east from my house
and to get there I'd walk.
Being with familiar people made me feel comfortable,
made me feel secure
Globe was dynamic, fresh, familiar.

Walking between Mitch Vitkovich's and Willie Coppa's
I'd turn right at the real Market,
owned by a Slav named Nick.
Enjoying the aroma of beans from El Cinco de Mayo,
I'd stagger from the odors of Paulino's Saloon
and the Owl Bar.
At the Owl, Gringos and Mexicans almost got along.

Above Jim King's Barber Shop,
were stairs to some mysterious "rooms."
At Bracco's Pharmacy I'd read, but never buy,
comic books 'til Johnny would run me off.

Kitty-corner from the St. Elmo Saloon was George Dee's
bar and adjoining Chinese restaurant,
where some of our teachers secluded themselves,
and like everyone else did their drinking.
Oddly, Johnson the school bus driver drank there too.

There was Zenovich's Market, Jack the baker's,
a car dealer's show place and service department,
Batina's Barber Shop, Powell's Drug Store and the bridge.
A cobbler's shop, later to be Rudy the barber's,
Upton's confectionery,
before it moved uptown across from the Alden Theater,
empty windows, then Joe Fodera's place,
where you drank at your own risk.

Everyone ate at La Casita,
but not everyone drank at the Club Verde.
Putas lived in the rooms above.
More Mexicans than was necessary
had established their reputations in "The Club,"
and it wasn't performing community service.
Sooner or later in Globe you were going to have
to fight your way out of a bar,
but Joe Hinton never had to;
it was said he did things differently.

Close to Jimmy Castle's Auto Body Shop
was Oddonetto's Furniture Store -
owned by Johnny's dad.
Johnny - with a heart as big as him.
We were to meet later in Japan during the Korean war.

Up a way was Ong's Liquor store where
the fortune cookie touched our lives.
There were also "rooms" above Ong's Liquors and
Harry the Greek's little store.

Down a side street by Lantin's Men's Store
were rows of small apartments
where old Chinese men lived.
Dick Coleman and Porter Houseman swore
they all smoked opium!
There too lived wily Roger Kyle,
whose asbestos business
would one day bring ecological grief
to a growing copper town.

Downtown sort of stopped here.
What distinguished it from up-town,
was the high visibility of Mexican cafes,
bars and whore houses,
San Carlos Apaches and Mexicans, and a few poor whites.

After Lantin's was the K and M,
a thriving bar variously owned
by Joe Rais' dad, then the Kenteras - Mickey's family.
Cubitto Jewelers advertised with a tall, bubble-headed,
metal pole, forever painted silver.
The bubble was a huge clock
that stood like a sentinel over half the town.

There was a Four-Square church,
a photography shop and Arizona Savings,
an institution that was the beginning of Chuck Lee's
"inscrutable" accounting system.

Down the next side street was Dr. Harper's office.
Then, the tallest three-story building in the world -
the Elks Club.
My brother Benny learned the BPOE secret rituals:
he cleaned the lodge room after meeting nights.
On the opposite side of the street - more fraternal lodges.

Valley National bank was an awesome building.
We Mexicans believed Tuck White owned it.
There was a pool hall next, operated by a couple of
friendly gamblers named Gobby and Harold.
Further up was Trethewey and Jabour's Home Grocery,
Under the Palms, Shorty Frizell's Barber Shop,
The Mirror,
and Ryans before it was an Evans Drugstore.

A right turn led to the fire station and
just beside it, on the corner down from Penney's
was the police station.
One day my brother Benny
would be a member of that department.

Not forgetting the 8 o'clock bell,
I'd hurry by the Palace Pharmacy,
Given Brothers, and insurance company office
with unusual newsphotos in its windows,
a couple of fraternal lodges, and Gibson's Men's Store.
On the second floor were doctor's offices -
optometrists' I believe.

Then the hall that drew the faithful,
Bill Hardt's Pool Room!
There I met Tommy Long - my Gringo friend
who was as good as me with a cue - and Bud Mooney
who taught me not to rush into a fight.
Next door was Markichevich's Restaurant,
Marko's dad was his own cook,
and then The Lodge
What a grand saloon, completely western.

In the Lodge hardy men drank hard, fought harder,
and just plain acted like men, while other gentlemen
grumbled and gambled at dominoes and cards.
At that corner was another drug store
where Estelle Brooks ground out prescriptions.
Around this corner was a Chinese restaurant
that you climbed down some stairs to get to.

Glancing at the clock above Sullivan's Hardware,
I'd cross Broad Street, cut through a Standard station,
run along Hill Street,
and look the other way at Miles Mortuary.
I'd whip by Patsy Whitlock's, Kellner's Tiger's Den,
Gundry's Texaco,
and the school with almost a school yard, Hill Street.
Then I'd dart by Wyant's store,
speed past Elinor Hersey's, John Bayer's,
and collapse at the side door to Globe High.

My days in school were filled with misadventure,
absenteeism, and abject disregard for rules.
In spite of myself, I was tolerated
and had more friends than I deserved.
In time, belligerence and delinquency,
bordering on the criminal, had me expelled,
and brought to an end my academic career.
I had started as vice-president
to Bob Shaw as a freshman,
and didn't make it through the 11th.
I managed to stay out of Ft. Grant,
though later I would work there, under Steve Vukcevich.
My first son would be born there.

And I remember the names, the threatening names,
that now sound beautiful!
Cromer, Stevenson, Clements, Miller,
Knox, Peckovich, Rittschof,
Helmke (what a great man),
Zona Hazelwood and Cubitto.

Vickrey, Mozelle Wood, Farmer, Hachtel,
Strong, Anderson, White, Pendantic Pothoff,
the academic Blanch Kennedy,
the logician Miss Davies,
who taught algebra and understood symbols.

And Blondie Price,
whose name connoted augury and power.
He had the keys to everything
and he could get you jobs helping him
Saturdays and after school - Blondie, school custodian.
To young Chicanos, he was a big man.

After school I'd return to my barrio
the same route, on the opposite side of the street.
Going by the band hall where the buses parked,
I'd turn right, charting a path to the post office,
by way of the Mormon Church that stood staring at the
K of C Hall.

I'd aggravate the hell out of the idle postmen
by asking them to snap open my family's P.O. box.
If I wasn't in a hurry,
I'd cross the street by the Baptist church,
that massive temple built from blocks of caliche.
At the "employment" office I would instinctively
turn my face and hold it all they way
by the Sheriff's Department, past Clyde Shute's office
and never straighten my head
'til I got to Woolworth's,
where some of us did our Christmas shoplifting.

Close by was Globe Theatre,
and next, the office of the Arizona Record, a newspaper
of far superior journalism than the Silverbelt;
it was, after all, at that time published in GLOBE!
And at that corner an old hotel.
The Greyhound Bus Depot was once in that hotel.
It was when Pete Oddonetto, Ray Arona, Jim Troglia,
and Jimmy Fairfield returned from the war.

Remember the Arizona Bushmasters?
Marko Babich was in the horse cavalry, remember?
A right turn led to two institutions, whose business was
transmitting messages-
Mountain Bell and the Salvation Army.
Jean Kling's dad was a big man at Mountain Bell,
ask Roscoe.

If I could, I'd stop at the Arizona Bakery,
owned by Jeanette Caretto's family,
and overdose on day-old pastry.
There was Nella's Flower Shop
where Ophelia's sister-in-law Jo worked.
It was close to a fabric shop, and Ussher's Radio Repair,
Gene's dad's shop.
There was a shoeshine stand near there,
owned by J.B. something or other - a black man.
I remember him well, he lived on my street.

There was Sears and then Hachtel's Tonto Hotel.
If you turned right on this corner
you had a hell of a climb up Mesquite Street,
dangerously steep.

I got acquainted with back-breaking work
setting pins in a bowling alley on the next corner.
Then there was Rayes' Eagle Grocery.
My mother brought groceries there
with coupon books sold to us
by the Eagle Grocery to be used for purchases
in the Eagle Grocery only. A little like the company store,
except they delivered. George was the driver.

Lido Lopez was a well-liked apprentice meat cutter there
before he served in the Navy during the war,
only to return and be tragically consumed
by over-consumption.
Paul Bejar's mother worked there
in the fruit and vegetable section.

Griffith Cleaners was near J.T. Lewis Paint Store.
It was by Fred Sunfield's Standard Furniture,
oddly situated across the street from Oddonetto's.
I seem to remember a Cadillac dealership around here.

Further down was Rais' Market - Mary Frances' family.
Then Bustamonte's Body Shop
and a two-story building - The White Star -
with yet more sporting girls on the second floor.
An auto parts store was on the street floor near a
vaguely remembered Barclay's Feed and Grain store
where as a younger boy
I'd line up on cold mornings to buy baby chicks.
Albert Rivera's cleaners was around here somewhere.
Just before the bridge was Fred Fritz's Texaco.

A concrete walkway up the right side of the creek
became long steep stairs on a hillside.
Up there lived the Canizales, Cienfuegos, John Phillips,
and Clarence Murray. Remember "Tiny"?
Clutching his books, dancing and shouting in Russian?
Clarence, our very own Bolshevik.

Passing the bridge was Al Ledbetter's Richfield station.
Next was another two-story building
with another whorehouse.
In those days whorehouses operated openly in Globe.
And in Miami.
Remember the Keystone Rooms? Top o' the World?
Now that was class.

In my younger days I had shined shoes and sold papers
on the streets and in the saloons of Globe.
About once a month i would clean and shine
every pair of shoes of every Girl living in those places.

I have never forgotten the lonely, pretty girl who
would sadly tell me of her family whom she loved -
but who had rejected her.
And one night she leaped from her window.
She was seriously hurt only,
and now had another heavy pain: she would
live with an unsuccessful attempt at dying.

I loved the smell of baking bread as I walked past
Quality Jack's glowing ovens.
From Sach's Ford Motors (wasn't it Maher's before?)
I would walk straight up Hackney past the tracks
at Solomon Wichersham's wholesale warehouse.
On Hackney was Joe Giacoma's Store
and the Rev. Banuelos' Mexican Presbyterian Church.

By the Tapia's compound near the ball park,
I would go over a hump that joined Hackney with Euclid.
Fred Barela lived on this mound,
close to Carmen! Of course.

Up a trail between houses I'd pass buy the Reyes'
and the Lopez', a large pioneer family.
Legend had it that Doña Cecilia
had sheltered and fed Geronimo
as he fled from pursuing cavalry.
Four of the brothers were Lido, Chido, Mato, and Chato!
Not in that order,
but Bunch Guerrero spoke of them that way.
He liked to have their names rhyme.

Then I'd reach my house on top of my hill
not far from Tony Chiono's home
completing my trip!

Forever I'll remember Buena Vista, Ruiz Canyon,
Ice House and Six Shooter Canyons too.
Blake Street, Noftsger Hill School, East Globe,
the 400 section, and many more memories of my youth.
Nobody has yet explained how Gil Barela's house
was built in a creek and was never washed away.
Mexicans quietly accepted it as just another one of
Globe's Miracles.

To once more dive into Maurel's swimming pool
and the school pool too.
Remember Strukan's grocery store,
Slough's market, Mary's Place, T.J. Longs?
Globe-Miami games and fights,
basketball games and brawls?

We fought everybody, we befriended everyone.
Growing up in GLOBE, how beautiful,
how fortunate we were....

Presented at the
Class of -49 - 50 Reunion

rml ~ 1980

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