Thursday, December 16, 2004

DEATH OF SOUTHERN SOLDIER
Thanks to a heads up from a regular reader, it's been confirmed that ROBERT "ROBOT" SALAS passed away some three weeks ago in SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA.

We're not sure of the exact cause of death, but we're positive he did not die by the sword. Salas had been out of prison for years and was living in SOCAL in what some sources claim in a state of semi- or full retirement. His passing marks another milestone in the history of the brotherhood.

SALAS, along with other deceased carnals like MIKE "HATCHET MIKE" ISON, BEN "TOPO" PETERS, and JOE "COCOLISO" MORGAN, could be considered part of the OLD GUARD in the organization. They were there at the beginning, or very close to it, when you could count the number of validated brothers on the fingers of both hands.

It's interesting to note that of this group, only ISON died a violent death. He'd been paroled and living in San Francisco, apparently adjusting well to life on the outside, enjoying his freedom and spending time with his family. He got into a brawl with some guys in a bar and was clubbed to death with pool cues. MORGAN and PETERS died of cancer.

More on SALAS as information arrives.

5 comments:

DonQuixote said...

Hey Wally,your post on the passing of Robot took me back to memory lane. It was nice to hear that he made his peace before the end. We were not good friends but more like contemporaries, fellow travelers so to speak. The dicho "but for the grace of God go I" is an appropriate way to describe my luck or fortune and his. My first impression of Robot happened about 1955 at a footballgame between "us guys" from the Times Boys club (mostly pee wee"s from Clover St.) and a team from Hazard Park.I took a look at those guys(we were all between 10 and 13 years old)and remember thinking what a bunch of tough looking guys! They all had tatoos and scars except Robot who was very clean looking and well spoken for his age, he was the obvious leader of team,a natural politician even then. Even though our neighborhoods were bitter enemies the game went off smoothly. We won easily but they, because of Robot (he chatted up our coaches like an adult)won respect. I ran into Robot next at Lincoln High School 1960,61, At the time every neighborhood had it's own place on campus,"Happy Valley" around the cafeteria along with "Rose Hill", "Clover" had the grass hill at the entrance, Avenues by the Auditorium, Riverside Dr. and a few "Flats" by the Nutrition stand, "Alpine and Dogtown" over there etc. "Big Hazard" had the malt shop accross the street.I can say inretrospect that they had an impressive crew that were somewhat separate but could do some damage when it came to chingasos. Robot as before seemed kind of above it all,involved but at the same time seemed to see the bigger picture. Our paths crossed again at LA County Detention Camp, When I arrived, Robot was already there hadthings organized,he knew already the movida and worked everybody to his benefit, chicanos from all the varrios, blacks, paddys,the people in charge. He had a special kind of charisma,well spoken,knew which way the wind was blowing and took advantage of all situations deemed favorable. I ran into Robot once in while after I was released, At the EL Monte Legion Stadium dances, party here or there, one time scoring some weed in Rose Hill Projects, He still had that "under control" political guy who could and did go into any neighborhood for business or pleasuer (very rare thing in those days). Our paths crossed again at a Calif. Youth Authority facility and Robot was still the master manipulator and political person although now we were in a strict "gladiator school" environment. We had learned the movidas from the neiborhood and Juvie "Veteranos" at a young age, and here it was in full flower. No sign of weakness or compassion, attack on one Chicano was an attack on all,somebody made a homosexual advance or even a suggestion and it was immediate retaliation or you were the punk. Even though you knew a black guy from school or neighborhood you didn't sit together to talk, standing and talking briefly was maybe ok,but you had to watch it. All kinds of rules, codes to live by were in place and Robot was a kind of Inquisator boss who knew all the movidas and if an infraction called for verbal counciling or maybe a chaqueta or leva or worse. Very ambitious now and gaining huge respect and allies. My life changed and I became a normal working family man and taxpayer but I still heard of Robot now and then (Chicano Daily News) I was told he was doing time in San Quentin and had stabbed some guy to death (Shoe wars?) but I was sure he was hooked up and probably management material as was typical. It's funny but sometimes the old hoodlums and old tough retired cops hit it off and talk about the old times and laugh like hell.Such was the case as an old retired cop and I were telling war stories one time in the 80's and he asked me if I knew Robot. I told him I did and he informed me that Robot was definately upper echelon with the carnals. I said I wasn't surprised as he was always smart and ambitious and if he had to live in that ocean he might as well be a shark. The cop then told me a story about Robot he said was told to him by a snitch.A couple of years back when he was on the street Robot took a couple of soldirs, including the rata to a nightclub in El Sereno. He told these guys to go in and waste two guys he described inside at a table. The soldiers did as requested, blasting these two guys in the back of the head, but as they got back into the car and were questioned by Robot it became clear they had shot to death two innocent guys just having a beer. The Cop laughs and tells me "you want to know what Robot said? He said "fuck it we'll get the right guys later". life is full of funny turns and surprises, Robot with the right luck probably could have been a positive leader in the community he cetainly had all the attributes and intelligence to do just that. Adios old camarada and I hope you made your peace with your maker. RIP

Anonymous said...

Robert Salas was a "man" and a good friend to those who could claim the priviledge. I was fortunate enough to claim same and knew him for close to 45 years. He touched peoples' lives like few men I have ever known. His passing saddens me. RIP Don Machiavelli.

LOWXSTA said...

CARNALES i was very sorry to hear of the passing of another O.G.
who sat at the mesa I never met him face to face but when i met ACHA he spoke of him with respect
and i'm sure he now rests in peace
with all the carnales who are no longer here to guide the movement
but their younger soldados are still here presente y listos
a toda madre CARNALES

prinsess said...

I miss My uncle so much, he was a wonderful man who touched many peoples lives. He had so many dreams that where yet to be started, but dont trip uncle Robert I still here

Anonymous said...

I attended Santa Teresita Elementary School with Robert. He was a clean cut, sharp, young man. In early 2000, I met a relative of his while at work. We got to talking about the schools we attended, when he mentioned that his relative (Robert Salas) had attended same school. Needless to say, I was disturbed to hear about Robert's past. He was still alive at the time. Thereafter, I would ask about him, and kept him in my prayers. Since he was a born again Christian, I'm sure he made his peace with God---for Robert was no dummy! Just sayin...