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A. Anthony Leon V: Descendant of a Los Angeles Settler

Los Pobladores 200

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Los Pobladores 200
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Continuing the Legacy
The City of Angels turns 225
LP200 rides LA float at Rose Parade
**New** Misc pictures
Cousin Felix - RIP
2012-2013

The family movin' on... 

It was a pleasure meeting distant cousins during my first experience with the group at the annual Walk to LA in 2004. We had arrived early in the morning at the San Gabriel Mission for registration, and the first thing I noticed was that those who are actual descendants wear red sashes to identify themselves with. Many actually wear festive costumes at public events to represent our fore-fathers and Spanish soldiers. After the kick-off announcements had finished the walk began. The nine-mile trek takes about three hours to complete. I believe I was the first Pobladores member to arrive in LA. Many of the older members don't actually walk the entire trip and get picked up to be taken to the end to greet everyone.

For the 2005 walk it was a little different. It seems we got off to a late start leaving San Gabriel and less than a mile from the end a few of us were walking as a group, including our president Paul Guzman, when his nephew pulled up in the van saying, "The mayor's waiting for you guys - get in!" That year marked the first time a Los Angeles mayor walked with everyone and apparently there must have been a tight schedule to keep. The ceremony began without us! Normally the crowd gathers across the street at Union Station as the Pobladores leads the way to the plaza to the sounds of cheers and festive music. That year I wore the 'Father Serra' robe that my cousin Felix made himself (which has a small fit on me as he designed it for a smaller individual). Anthony and I managed to get a picture with Mayor Villaraigosa after the ceremony, which was kinda cool.

Walk 2005
LP200 leading the way in 2005

Tony and Anthony
Anthony getting a ride from me

Mayor with Anthony and I
Anthony and I with Mayor Villaraigosa

It's always fun when someone new comes along. I recently met someone at the 75th anniversary of Olvera Street, for which the Pobladores marched in a short parade. She found out about her genealogy while researching online and discovered LP200. The experiences I've had so far with the group at our different events have truly been a blast. At last year's annual Mexican Independence Day celebration at Pio Pico State Historical Park in Whittier we got to be interviewed for a CBS2 News segment on California: a special series called California Dreams - see link below. Newsman Josh Rubenstein did a fine job of putting together the piece which has aired several times. Every once in a while someone tells me they saw me on TV. I'm hoping my 15 minutes of fame does not end too soon. I was eventually asked to be parliamentarian for the group which I gladly accepted, however, that was a briefly held position that I had to give up to take on the secretary and newsletter editor positions that became open in early 2006. What a great way to kick off the start of our 25th anniversary year!

Something special that Felix can say he experienced as a Pobladores member was to meet King Don Juan Carlos I and Queen Dona Sofia of Spain when they visited LA in 1987 for the dedication of the statue of King Carlos III at the plaza. Also, the year before LP200 was founded, Felix was among twelve descendants to be interviewed for a special televised film to be sent to Spain at the request of the King who was interested in learning about Los Angeles history for which one of his ancestors, King Carlos III, was responsible for directing the founding.

 

scrapbook photo
Felix's royal invitation and magazine photo he keeps in a scrapbook - notice red sash worn by King

In early 2006, LP200 participated in the annual Swallows Day parade in San Juan Capistrano. The weather was great, and it was nice to be a part of the event celebrating with the happy locals who were full of excitement cheering on all involved. It was funny listening to non-Spanish speaking parade announcers along the route try to pronounce Los Pobladores.

sjcparade.jpg
Al Cota, Connie Ness, and Paul Guzman pump the crowd

Before the parade
Al, myself, Irene Hastings, Connie, Paul and Bob Lopez (I pushed Bob along the route)

Whittier Daily News article from March 24, 1982

newspaper 1

newspaper 2