the places where were from…

Posted: February 18, 2010 in Uncategorized

Tonight I got to hang with a couple of old friends, two buddies from childhood, junior high school, in fact. Now, I don’t get to see these guys all that often, one I haven’t seen in over ten years!!! When I say it like that, it seems like a lifetime ago… and yet some memories still seem like yesterday. You see, he’s back in town because his father just passed away yesterday… may he rest in peace, I remember his father, even as a child, body was always in bad shape, seemed like it was breaking down all those years ago, but he always had a smile and was a good guy… but one of my best friends growing up was back we got to sit down now, older, as men now and talk over a few beers… time has passed and things had changed in our lives… he was married, I’m engaged, our other friend is still single but open to the possibilities… kids… military… politics… jobs… things have changed in our lives, but we were still the same, I mean, parts of us were still the same and I find that comforting.

Funny thing is I got to drive around my old neighborhood and I haven’t been there in years, its changed so much… I happy to say that it appears to have gotten better, feels like there’s more hope in that little town where we came from… Paramount, CA.. home of the Pirates, where they played football and I wrestled… a blue collar town of mostly Mexican and Black, just on the other side of the 710 freeway from Compton and in the time when we grew up was a time of gang banging and the golden age of Hip Hop. To see the house I grew up in, it looks no bigger then a shoe box, just one story and ever so boring looking, just a few walls a and a gravel roof… poor by some people’s standards… maybe even my own standards today, yet its hard to believe that there were 13 of us living there, 1 bathroom… but those are just numbers and don’t describe all the fun that was had there and the first’s in life… first girlfriend, first kiss, first time you had sex… first movie premiere, first t.v. show appearance… that little shoe box of a house and my big family inside. This little town that not many people have even heard of…

I couldn’t help to think, as I pulled onto the freeway to head back to home in the city, that every exit I passed was another little town filled with all these people and friends like the ones I hung with tonight… We all have our history together and all the stories we share of our glory and grief and these little towns which are these exits from the freeway that people pass without even thought… These are the places where were from.

  1. Farah says:

    Reading this made me smile.
    Though visiting ‘home’ for me would be a bit more complicated than that… seeing as it’s almost 9000 miles away XD
    13 people in 1 room? Wow.
    It’s nice to see someone so grounded in where they came from, and be so nice and caring about their families and friends. None of those Hollywood high and mighty hangups or putting on airs.

  2. Reading this made me get a better understanding of your poem I listen to on you tube. You didn’t name the poem or yet have you published it. Well at least that is what you said. It’s the poem where you use the motif “Where are you from?” I can relate to this poem in many ways. That is why I chose to write about you in my College English Class. This paper should be interesting!

  3. Melody says:

    Hey Dante…you might not remember me but we went to Alondra Middle School together. My mom worked in the office. I was a year ahead of you. When I saw you doing tv, I was like, that’s my man right there. But I had no idea you were cast as the voice in The Last Airbender. My husband and I will be checking that out! Great job on all you have accomplished and if you have Facebook, I’ll request you. My last name is now Bernardez, not Daniels anymore! Take care.

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