The ancient and doomed tale of Chavez Ravine is far too complicated to nail in a simple news post.
(For any Angelenos who don’t know it, click here).
Our 21st Century link to it is my soulful neighborhood, Solano Canyon and its beating, sacred heart, the Mission San Conrado.
Every October 28, the streets are closed off to make way for the St. Jude Procession, a solemn pageant honoring the Saint of Lost Causes on his feast day.
Starting in Chinatown and winding through the streets of our canyon, worshippers carry candles, flowers, and novenas while large statues of the apostle hover over the walking devoted. The parade culminates all the way at the Mission for a celebratory mass that attracts hundreds of local Catholics.
Throughout the day and well into midnight, sermons and prayers are spoken, music booms throughout the neighborhood and food vendors feed the faithful with warm tamales, chewy huraches and of course, our city’s current favorite hot dog, the bacon-wrapped Tocino Dog. (Con todo, por favor.)
Honestly, as touching as it is, I can only imagine the same procession ending in the Mission as it was 100 years ago, when the river was still running wild, streetlights were nil, and the hills were alive with hundreds more families where Dodgertown now rests.