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My Roots to Los Angeles as a 9th Generation Angelino

The City of Angels turns 225

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Viva Los Angeles!

ABC-7
Anthony meets Channel 7's Lisa Hernandez

Weeks of planning was involved for the big Sept. 4, 2006 event in which Los Angeles would become 225 years old. LP200 board members met each Thursday with Special Projects planners from the mayor's office who were overseeing the festivities this year. San Gabriel officials, community affairs people and others, including sponsors Disney and ABC-7, all pulled together to contribute talents and ideas for what was to be a very special day. Adding to the excitement, LP200 members were interviewed by ABC Programming Producer Joanna Gonzales for a special 'Eye On LA' segment which aired Sept. 24th.

 

 

LP200 banner
Kids at the Mission preparing to walk with LP200 banner

Normally around six or seven hundred people show up either to participate in the walk or to just celebrate at the plaza each Labor Day, but thousands were expected this year. 1,500 people were already pre-registered to walk from the San Gabriel Mission, but for the first time in the history of the event, people were allowed to officially join in at the established half-way point at Lincoln Park as to allow more younger people to participate who might not be able to go the whole 8.6 miles.
 
The morning began as usual with the stage announcements led by MC actor Tony Plana, and there was a blessing by the Gabrieleno/Tonva tribe. And once again there was a delay in getting going and the walk itself did not begin till after 8. As we lined up to leave the Mission, Los Pobladores chaplain Al Cota gave the walkers a pep-talk and spoke about the historical aspects of the event. The primarily down-hill grade makes the trip fairly pleasant, especially as I pushed 60-pound Anthony for the third straight year. This year, older Pobladores members got to ride parade-style in an old-model fire truck. LA Times reporters and photographers were there interviewing us as we walked. I had attempted to get the newspaper to do a story on Los Pobladores for weeks and I was happy to see they actually sought us out amongst the walkers.

Paul Guzman
LP200 president Paul Guzman addresses croud in San Gabriel

Tony and Anthony listen to speeches
Anthony and I listening to speeches

Tongva Tribe members
Tongva Tribe members offering prayer for the walkers

Preparing to walk
Al Cota speaks to the walkers before the walk - that's me with the hat and shades to the left

garzaplana.jpg
Don Garza with actor Tony Plana

Firetruck
Los Pobladores members and others riding in fire truck

We neared the plaza about 10:15 - right on schedule for the 10:30 ceremony. We made the three-hour walk in just over two hours! It was then that I noticed Mickey Mouse was walking with Mayor Villaraigosa who was holding a banner with others. As we got ready to cross Alameda street to the staging area, photographers, a cheering crowd and confetti marked the beginning of the celebration. It seemed liked that was the place to be - let the party begin! Music, dancing, crafts, food and birthday cake was all for the taking... or buying. Many people visited the LP200 booth and we had the opportunity to share about the organization and assist others with their genealogical enquiries. One person mentioned seeing us on TV the day before where Paul Guzman, Al Cota and I were on Tony Valdez's Midday Sunday show with the mayor discussing the day's events.

Viva Los Angeles!

 

Mayor and Mickey
Mayor Villaraigosa gets help from Mickey and friends

Entering the plaza
Entering the plaza

mayorandpaul.jpg
The mayor gives Paul a cerificate of recognition for Los Pobladores

Bob and Margret Lopez
LP200 member Bob Lopez, with wife Margaret, discussing genealogy with the public

Party animals
Party animals at the plaza

Irene
LP200 vice-president Irene Sepuveda Hastings takes it all in

Happy Birthday LA!

Birthday cake