East Los Angeles Renaissance Academy

Victor Felix, administrator of ‘Who Remembers in East LA’ Facebook page

VictorFelix-Huerta_Velez

Victor Felix was raised in East L.A. He attended Belvedere Middle School and Solis High School, which was located by the 710 freeway before it was remodeled to be the Santa Marta Hospital. He’s been living in his current house since his childhood. Victor Felix has been a financial worker at a bank for 12 years and is also an audio and video event specialist. He is best known for his creation of a Facebook page called Who remembers in East L.A., which is well-known around the world. It is a page where Victor and others share historical and special events and landmarks that have happened in East L.A., Victor will continue posting and keeping the page active.

Who remembers East L.A. was created six years ago. One of his inspirations for the page was that he had seen a lot of different communities doing nice, special events for their community. When his co-workers would ask him where he lives and would respond with East L.A., they would be surprised because they see East L.A. as a dirty, poor, and unsafe place. Victor knew that East L.A. was not a bad area, so he decided to create a Facebook with pictures that describe the memories and background stories of East L.A. He noticed that people started following his page and commenting on his photos. The photos on the page brought back memories of viewers childhoods and showed how they loved those landmarks. Followers started sharing their life stories and it got to a point where many people loved the page. Of course, there are also some people who bring negativity to his page. Victor removed those people and their comments, and continued doing his part by uploading more pictures. The more positive aspects he brings, the more positive things come his way.

Each photo has some background story. For example, Victor explained how the Golden Gate Theater brought back memories to himself and viewers. Victor used to enjoy going there when he was a teen in the 40s and 50s. One movie he mentioned was “Casablanca.” One day he met a person who worked at a radio station called Hugo Boy.  A single ticket only cost one dollar. Golden Gate Theater was considered  a “high class” theater. Workers would go up to and take your order, and you could choose anything for them to bring to you.  

Victor has a lot of followers around the world in Japan, Barcelona, Mexico, the United States, and more countries. He also has a few elders following his page as well. He met an elder woman named Socoro who is currently 94 years old and enjoys Victor’s page. As a matter of fact, Socoro lives down the block from his house. I’m not the first interview Victor has had, Tony Valdez from Channel 11 has interviewed him a couple of times, as well as someone from Channel 4 and 53.

“East L.A. has been the same with some different changes good and bad,” Victor said.  More races have come with different traditions and ideas. Victorian houses have been built and remodeled, especially in Boyle Heights. “A change that can be made is that people should be cleaner,” Victor said. A lot of people say they are poor, but that’s not an excuse to not clean their home and yard or wash their face and hair. It’s not a sin to be poor, but it’s a sin to act  poor,” Victor explained. Meaning, you can be poor but nothing can stop you from becoming clean. You can be poor but you can be clean as well, it’s not hard. If people kept using that excuse of “I’m poor,” they won’t achieve in life because that will be the only thing stopping them. Clean people show they have respect for themselves. East L.A. can be a nice clean community like Beverly Hills, Pasadena or Montebello. But we as a community don’t bother to fix our homes. Places there make them look rich but they are necessarily so, they just show an example of how presentable they are.

The community should take advantage of the free education and other things the community offers. East L.A. offers a lot of opportunities to succeed but people don’t see that. We don’t have financial things, but we have tools to succeed in life. For example, some celebrities that achieved success are Oscar de la Hoya, Los Lobos, and Anthony Quinn. Los Lobos attended the Guadalupe School in East L.A., and all the other celebrities grew up here in the community as well. People in the past used to fight for their education during the Chicano Movement. They desired free education that today we take for granted. It’s never too late to change the way we are; there’s always time to become someone better in life and succeed.  

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