For our Dodgers Opening Day Off-Ramp special, I wanted to make sure to pay respect to the memory of what used to be in Chavez Ravine ... the working class Mexican-American neighborhood that was razed to make way for a public housing project that was never built.
(LA County Sheriffs forcibly remove Chavez Ravine resident Aurora Vargas from her home. Bulldozers then knocked over the few remaining dwellings; four months later, ground-breaking for Dodger Stadium began. Photograph dated May 8, 1959. Credit: LAPL/Herald-Examiner Collection)
So I met Richard Montoya, one of the members of the performance group Culture Clash, at one of the Dodger Stadium overlooks to talk about "Chavez Ravine," the hit play that tells the story of the businessmen and politicians who killed the public housing plan with Red-baiting and lies, and how Fernando Valenzuela's breakout success in 1981 helped heal some of the wounds.
Montoya, who plays - among other parts - Vin Scully and Dodger Dog Girl in "Chavez Ravine," confesses to being a Dodger fan, and says he loves bringing his 4-year old son to the stadium to run the bases.