Growing up in Los Angeles:
Stories from Annie Jurado Duran Duran

When I was a little girl, at one time, we lived on Elwood St. near 14th St. My brother David and I would go to the Hub Theater. I'd sit in front of the theater and play jacks while we waited to get in. Before we'd leave home, my mom would ask us if we had enough money for the show. David would pull out a few cents and my mom would give him more. I'd show her that I had enough money which was about 25 cents. At the show, David would buy five hot dogs and I would buy one hot dog and a light fudge candy. He always had more money than he claimed.

On 15th and Sante Fe we kids had a makeshift playground in an empty lot by our house. The boys made a teeter totter with wood. For safety, handles were added so we wouldn't fall off. Our swing was a tire. My brother David was a year older than I. He and I would play a lot together. He was always the "grocery man" and we'd buy groceries from him. He'd be behind a box and we'd pay him with tin circles that we'd pick up across the street at a commercial business. They looked like dimes.

I guess this is why David became a businessman.

My friend was Jack Robinson whose father owned the Robinson Furniture Company near where we lived. Every Saturday he'd come with his father and we'd play together. One day I told him we were going to be moving. He said he was going to miss me. I told him he should be glad that we were moving to a house that would have a bathtub! To this day I wonder why I didn't tell him where we were moving. Maybe he could have still gone to play with me.

I remember my sister Martha being born. Delia had been the one to take care of the little ones, but when Martha was born, Delia was tired of taking care of the kids. So, I remember Martha turning to me and calling me "Anna" and I would play with her. I'm about 10 years older than Martha.

We kids belonged to the Neighborhood House, a recreation center. All my brothers grew up (playing) there. I use to go with my friends to Redondo Beach every summer. They had a camp with a section for boys and a section for girls. We loved it. We'd go to concerts. We'd have plays. My friends included Elizabeth Markert, Celia Duran, and Carmen Jaurique. There was always something going on there. Carmen and I were always doing somersaults, standing on our hands against the wall, backbends, and other types of gymnastics. I could never do the splits.

When I was growing up, we lived in lots of houses. I heard that when I was born we lived near 8th and Soto St. near where Sears later was. We lived on Washington Blvd. and Sante Fe Ave. and on 15th and Sante Fe by Robinson's Furniture Company. From here we'd have to cross the tracks to visit Tia Catalina. We children would trail my mother as we walked to visit her. Then we moved to 14th and Elwood which was closer to Tia Catalina's. My aunt, Tia Catalina, lived on 14th and Channing. It was real close and we didn't have to cross the tracks anymore. My Tia Inez lived in back of her. She had one daughter and raised Ramona and her brothers. We also lived in the Flats, which was below Boyle Heights. We lived on 1st St. in the Flats. We lived on Mission Rd., Utah St., and I remember living on Clarence St. Later, my mother lived on 2nd and State St. She also owned an apartment on State St. between 4th and 5th. My brother David gave her money to buy the properties. He was always a hard working person.

I know no one is perfect, but to me my parents were perfect! By the time I went to school, I spoke both Spanish and English. My father taught me how to write my name before I went to school. He use to sing this llulaby:

Senora Santana porque llora Anita por una manzana que se le aperdido.
Iremos a la huerta a traile dos. Una para Dios y otra para Anita.
Duermete nina que tengo que hacer varer la cocina y sentarme acoser.

(note: not sure about spelling)

One day my father told me, "Hija, be good to orphans because I was an orphan." He was brought up in a monastery where he learned his English.