Volume XXVII Number 46 November 14, 2003

FrontPage Stories

Searching for Balance in Old Town

By Raymond R. Beltrán

Part One

The part of National City considered “Old Town” stretches along the east side of the Interstate 5 Freeway. Residents will say that it begins on 8th Street and traveling down Roosevelt Avenue, or Hoover Avenue, or Coolidge Avenue, this small nook of National City will end on 24th Street. Traveling through Old Town, as small as it is, the common driver or walker can immediately be turned on to the stench of paint shops and diesel fuel, the buzzing of power tools, the constant animosity of industrial business, and in between each of these buildings, a community un-yieldingly stays grounded in a place they call home. Included in this juxtaposition is Kimball Elementary School, where parents send their children to learn Monday thru Friday in the event that they are well.

These Old Town National City homes on Coolidge Avenue share a neighborhood block with two auto garage businesses, Crown Trucks and Turbo Transmissions.

In the midst of it all lives Violeta Marilyn Monroy, single mother of three and long time Old Town National City resident.

In December 2002, Violeta’s eight-year-old son, Brandon Monroy, was rushed to the hospital because of an asthmatic seizure attack. Since then, his health has been the focal point of the family’s life. As Violeta sits in her studio kitchen, she goes into detail about the nightly routines she’s endured recently in previous years while caring for an asthmatic son: They all go to bed together. She wakes up in the middle of the night to an eight-year-old son who’s sweating profusely and who’s body temperature is way above normal. His breathing is weak, and he’s clutching his chest as if about to have a heart attack. She starts to panic and tries to bring his temperature down with a damp cloth. It’s not working, he’s not breathing as much, and she begins to give him his hourly, prescribed doses of Sudafed, Flonase, and Sodium Chloride solution, to name only a few. If his body rejects the medication, as it does at times, she will have to dress her little boy, pick him up in her arms, and walk to the nearest transit station to catch the bus and take him to the emergency room. The next day, and maybe even a few days after that, he will stay home from school and his teachers will attempt to provide him with his daily homework. All the while, Violeta has to make sure that her home’s windows are closed at all times because there’s a thick stench of paint in the air, and at night, it’s more potent.

“When he [first] got the asthma attack, half of his lungs got pneumonia,” says Violeta wiping her eyes. “I constantly feel him every night. His bones ache because of his temperature, and it goes on for about three nights at a time.”

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Youth Wave Transforming Latino Population
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Next Guatemala President Must Decide on Official Story
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Palabras sin hechos

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Etc. Etc. Etc.
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Poet's Corner
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Jaguars Rally in Second Half to Capture PCC Title
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