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
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.