Friday, August 29, 2003

The frozen north is about as far as you can get from the gun-blasted streets of East LA. But somebody up there likes us. The good people at the DANISH BROADCASTING COMPANY have been reading INTHEHAT and apparently they like what they see. They liked it enough to send a reporter and a photograher to LA to interview WALLY and get background information on what's going on in the world of HISPANIC STREET GANGS. WALLY, the media whore that he is, was more than happy to oblige and spent two days driving the intrepid duo around AVENUES, TOONERVILLE and FROGTOWN neighborhoods.

WALLY introduced the DANISH DUO, MADS and KLAUS to DETECTIVE JOHN BERDIN and some of the detectives in NORTHEAST homicide. MADS got a good interview with BERDIN, KLAUS got some good pictures and they both left NORTHEAST police station loaded down with T-shirts, flashlights, keychains, D.A.R.E. bumper stickers and other assorted trinkets. BERDIN was generous to a fault and everyone around the station made the two DANES and WALLY feel very welcome.

After the interview, BERDIN arranged a ride-and-drive in a black and white with SERGEANT GREG STAATS. Like BERDIN, STAATS (who incidentally is of DANISH extraction) was more than generous with his time. He knew exactly where to go to give KLAUS what he wanted. KLAUS shot lots of images of TOONERVILLE soldiers flashing their signs and generally grandstanding for the camera. This thrilled KLAUS. After two days of not finding ideal subjects and missing the good light, he finally got what he wanted and he got it in the pre-sunset golden light that is "THE" magic light of every photographer we know.

We've always been told that if you do well by others, it will come back to you many-fold. We've always believed and just got another confirmation of good karma on Monday night, the last night that MADS and KLAUS were here. WALLY was rewarded with meeting another figure in the legendary AGUIRRE family.

It happened like this. WALLY and the DANES were hanging out on YORK BLVD. and they were approached by a gregarious veterano-looking dude in a wheelchair. This guy first asked for 80 cents. WALLY gave him a buck. Then the wheelchair guy proceeds to tell the three that his missing left leg was the result of him being on the wrong end of a 12-gauge shotgun blast and that he was stabbed 12 times and left for dead on the street.

It turns out that MR. WHEELCHAIR is CHEECH AGUIRRE -- yet another member of the AGUIRRE dynasty. We understand his street name is PSYCHO. He's RICHARD senior's brother, and the uncle to ALEX and RICHIE. CHEECH said that he was shot four years ago by MARAVILLA, that he's now homeless and sleeps on the streets around YORK and that he's trying to divert young people from getting into gangs. When WALLY told CHEECH that he (wally) knew all about the AGUIRRES -- ALEX (PEE WEE), RICHIE (LIL PEE WEE) and RICHARD SENIOR (HALF MAN) -- CHEECH became defensive and implied that maybe we were rats working for the cops. CHEECH wanted to know how come WALLY knew so much. WALLY said that he knows a lot about a lot of people. Then CHEECH thought that the DANES were rats. WALLY then told CHEECH the LAPD doesn't have the kind of money to hire people from DENMARK to infiltrate the AVENUES. And besides, how much sense does it make to spy on AVENUES with DANISH guys? CHEECH bought that but his change of attitude was pronounced and he wasn't the same gregarious fellow after that. MADS got CHEECH to do a radio promo for DANISH radio. WALLY can't wait to hear that tape. Live on tape directly from the EAST LA BARRIO reaching to places that have never heard of HINAS, JURAS, HOMEBOYS and GHETTO BIRDS!! You gotta love the internet.

MADS and KLAUS left the next morning for BURNING MAN in NEVADA.

The encounter on YORK wasn't the end of WALLY's experiences with the AGUIRRES. Check out the post above for more.

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