Sometimes I just can’t stop the tears from flowing, no matter how hard my heart has become over the years, sometimes there’s just no way I can hold back my cry. Last night I had a dream, a very heavy feeling rainy dream. The rain just would not stop and I felt like my whole world was crumbling. I found myself in a big huge house with a roof deteriorated and full of cracks and holes where the water from the storm just poured right on in. I don’t like those kinds of dreams; I dread those kinds of dreams. You know I hardly ever have any type of nightmares, I’m one of those type who have a hard time crashing out and dozing off, but once I do, I’m a sound sleeper, thus I rarely have bad dreams, but when I do, I know something is coming. The dream came true, and here I am today sad and crying, no puedo parar mis lagrimas, me han robado una parte de mi vida..
My Tia Paty came over this morning. She bared bad news, my Primo Rigo was found dead, assassinated in Guadalajara.
Last week my Tia Rosa said to me that she was worried because He had gone missing and I said to her, 'well Tia, ya conoce a Rigo, por hay ha de andar de vago como siempre, alrato aparece.' But I felt it then and there, I can’t explain it; I just simply felt it; that my Primo was gone. It was that same feeling which came upon me when my Abuelo was too assassinated, and there was no mistaking the sixth-sense.
Today my Tia Paty came to bring me tears to my eyes with the news. I loved him, I loved Rigo.. Rigo was my Tio Diablo’s nephew, and like my Tio Diablo, Rigo was a real-true straight cool vato. I remember when he came to stay at our familia’s place in Tj, way way back in the early 1970s, around 1971 or 73. He came down like so many others who passed through my Abuelo’s house; a stayover before they made the crossover. My Abuelo and my family always opened up their doors for those who needed us. 'So it was back then and so it remains to this day at our homes.' ..When Rigo came, we were poor, but we were happy. He shared with us very good laughs; he shared with us "HIS SOUL" and he became "ONE OF US" for the rest of our lives.
Rigo was party people, always heading down to los salones de baile -los congales as we refer to them in Tijuas -to dance the night away to the old rhythms of Los Corazones Solitarios from La Colonia Libertad, Los Moonlights from La Colonia Aleman or Los Solitarios (our Compas from our neighborhood La Mision Del Sol). Simon, Rigo was always out and about in the true Dark Blue Angel spirit of the Nite!
Eventually Rigo made the journey north, piso por el terreno known today as Smugglers Canyon.. made it down the little ranchitos and across the so-called Tijuana River Valley into Imperial and onto Chula Juana on the US of A. side, where he got scooped up and taken on a cruise to Los..
Rigo made it to our pad in Los Angeles where he lived with my Jefita, my brother and I in the Dog Town Projects on North Main Street. At my house is where I really got to know him and learned to appreciate him being around. He was cool, he was always happy and he was quick to learn how to navigate the streets. He was a few years’ older than me; for he was the same age as my uncle Peps and my primo Frank, and they became real tight. To this day, them 3 are amongst my mentors, they are amongst the closest persons that watched my back and been there for me time after time again.
Rigo was always in a happy mood, his face always dispersed radiance. Medium built, color de piel claro-moreno de su tierra natal, Tangancicuaro Michoacan, ojos obscuros pero penetrantes, brocha y barbilla delgada, real clean features. When he was staying with us in Dog Town, he picked up on the Lowrider style. Soon enough, he was sporting the Pendleton and the Khakis with a tandito, greñas medium long slicked back y el hablar de los tiempos aquellos. He was quick to pick up on things, but most of all; he had charisma that attracted people to him.. Not long thereafter he joined a Car-Club; and if you know anything about those days, Car-Clubs were the ultimate way to go. Back then, it was either the gang lifestyle or the Lowrider style, otherwise you were a paisa, a chuntaro or a wanna-be you ain’t nothing but a stand-by and not much of anything else in the varrio.. Rigo became part of the scene, clean ranflas, clean tramos, cleans talk, clean manners and clean all-around. I looked up to him, I looked up to him big time. He was like my older brother. One night, he even caught a mayate that broke into our pad and taught his ass a good lesson, that was educating to say the least.
I was sad when Rigo moved out on his own, but I was alright with him ‘cause he always came around and chopped it up with me and it was good to hear him and see him always with that smile on his face. I also always used to meet up with him when he came around my primos (his cronies) James or Frank’s pad, or whenever we met up later on down in San Pedro or Tijuas for some reason or another.
Rigo was a wetback, sin papiros (no papers) how we say it down this way. But several things went his way; primero, we was trucha, real quick witted, no se le dormia con los answers, and then luego like I said before, he had that aura around him, he had charisma, that smile of his would disarm anyone. Rigo also had the look of a bonafide Chicano from this side of the fence of them times, so he would pass like any other vato loco from Califas. Last but not least of all, he had fake papers, well not really fake papers but simply papers that did not belong to him. They belonged to my uncle Junior who got himself killed in Mexico and the family never reported him dead to the U.S. and they simply passed the papers over to Rigo who assumed the identity A La Mexican style..
.. But Rigo was known to fuck up too and so he fucked up too; He got himself sticky fingers and got himself locked up to do some time. Homeboy learned even more while he was in there and when he got released, he went full blast on a life of no return. Found himself in the big leagues, armas para alla, mota para aca. My Uncle Jesse led him astray somewhat; all the while my Tio El Diablo, his Tio Rafa, My Tio Ruben, and the Original Chamuko in Guanatos (Guadalajara) straight out of Las Islas Marias kept teaching him, kept the indoctrination. It was not long before Rigo found himself caught again. While doing some time en campo, homeboy went awol...
One dark moonless night I was down in Tj on a week vacation visiting my familia and my girl up en La Colonia Mexico, when I drove home on my 1966 T-Bird; when I drive up to the homecurb, Who’s there in the dark? Is my primo Rigo, must have been around the midnight hour.
Que Ondas Cabron, long time no see, heard you were locked up?.. Simon dice El Rigo, pero me les pele, headed down to Guanatos to see my jefita ~> But I got to take care of some business up north, so I am here stopping by a visitar la familia and waiting on you; la Tia Rosa said you would be coming by soon, so I waited aqui afuera porque quiero hablar con usted; I need a lift to El Monte like a.s.a.p. tonight!
I said orale wey, no problem, I’ll get you across no sweat, give you a ride to the greyhound.
Chale he said; Can’t do that. I got to be there like before sunrise!
Well how ‘bout I give you a ride to the airport?
Nel carnalito, I need a ride with someone I can trust!
Orale wey, but you know you’re cutting my vacations short, I still have like 3 days to go down here ese, before I got to get back to work.
'No hay pedo wey,' he say's, 'I got you covered, 'you’ll be alright, just get me there tonight!
So away we go, throw my clothes in my trunk and head for La Linea, sin pedo we make it across no questions asked and put metal to the pedal, blazing up some churros along the way, we cruise by the migra check point at San Clemente and into Orange County. I’m all sleepy, red’eye, agotado from a whole week of partying in Tj.. Rigo me dice, te hago el paro wey, let me pilot this shit. So we pull over and he gets behind the wheel, lol, wtf? Pinche Rigo se hiba durmiendo, crossing over the dividers waking both of our asses up. Que ondas wey? Seems like Rigo was way more tired than I was since he had made the long journey up from Jalisco en el Tren Bala to Chicali and thenafter a 4 hour bus ride en el Tres Estrellas from Chicali to Tijuas. But we managed to make it in one piece to El Monte in the San Gra Valle (East Valley). Stop right here he says, my house is down the block pero dejame ir a wachar si no hay placa stakin' out the place... Satisfied that all was cool, I deposited him and catch you later holmes, don’t forget to drop by my jefitas wey, she’ll be happy to see you fool y hay te wacho brooom I’m outta there! Una Aventura Mas Con Mi Primo!
Not too long thereafter, Rigo got himself busted again; in and out a few times he went. On the last, he decided to head south, back home from where he originated in. Down to his own original familia where he thought he’d start all over again. Little did he know he was heading the same route all his Tios before him, all my Tios from that side of the family had gone.
And so, by the treachery of a woman this time,
'from what we’ve learned,'
Rigo passed on to a better life I pray.
In a fucked up sort of way I dare say!
Rigo I cry for you, I can’t stop my tears,
you know you will always be a part of me;
I will always carry you en mi Corazon y mi memoria,
and everywhere I go, everywhere you were,
I will remember you and you will never be forgotten.
Te lloro cabron, estoy triste porque me va hacer falta usted!
Ya se me fue y aqui quedo yo,
y al pasar de los años me quedan menos y menos de mis viejos!
Me dejan mas solo con el pasar del tiempo;
me dejas en un mar de llanto,
en un torbellino de recuerdos, con un hueco en el Corazon..
I couldn’t be there for you,
I couldn’t watch your back,
I didn’t even get word in time to be there
and caress your face before they poured dirt over you mi hermano!
Tu seras, seras siempre parte de mi vida y nunca te olvidare.
Descansa en Paz mijo, que El Señor te guarde en su Gloria,
y ojala por alla te wache algun dia no muy lejano.
I’LL PAY YOU A VISIT SOON ENOUGH
In Memory of
Rigoberto B. B .