Hundreds of current and former East Los Angeles residents gathered last week at Cities Restaurant in Boyle Heights to reminisce about days gone by, and to support a good cause at the same time.
The “Who Remembers in East L.A.? ‘The Year Book Exhibit’” fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Clubs of East Los Angeles featured an exhibit of photos by Vicente Mercado, as well as paintings and works by East L.A. artists Mario Lopez, Fabian Debora, Robert Vargas, Oscar Reynoso, Ofelia Esparza and Eddie Ruvalcaba.
The nostalgic walk down memory lane also pulled in East L.A. entertainment icons Little Willie G of Thee Midniters who said a few words to the crowd, many who were born long after he was in his prime, and former Oingo Boingo drummer Johnny Vatos whose live performance got people up and dancing.
Classic cars belonging to the Old Memories and Klique Car Club lined Cesar Chavez Avenue, where they were joined by the classic 1964 Chevy Impala low-rider known as the “Gypsy Rose.”
The popular Facebook page “Who Remembers in East L.A.?” that shares historic photos of the greater East Los Angeles area presented the event in collaboration with numerous community sponsors.
“Who Remembers in East L.A.?” is the creation of curator Victor Felix, who started the page just three years ago and now has over 35,000 followers. He’s been called a historian, curator and even the “The Huell Howser of East LA,” Felix told EGP.
“Coming from a small Mexican family of 10, we relied on the Boys & Girls Club a lot,” Felix said, explaining that’s why the organization was selected to receive donations at the event.
According to Felix they raised over $4,000 for the club.
Felix also used the event to celebrate the memory of his friend artist Ronald Lopez who passed away in 2012.
He told EGP that he also hopes his website and events like the one held last week will instill in his son the love he has for East L.A.
While there were no yearbooks on display, Felix said the event was meant to be a live experience to bring people together to reminisce the way one does by opening a yearbook. Comments on his Facebook page indicate people are already looking forward to the next “Who Remembers in East L.A.” event.