Sunday, August 21, 2011

Pain, Suffering and Families Dying Out From Methamphetamine Abuse In the Modesto Airport District


Robert Stanford

For a sociological perspective, myself and Jorge Perez conducted a tour for the teachers of Modesto’s Johansen High School of the Modesto South Side, Empire1 and the Modesto Airport District.

Jorge Perez explained plainly to the school bus-load of teachers, the recruiting practices of South Side Gangs.

As we sat in the still hours of the morning, that time that the dew is just about completely gone, inside the school bus, pulled up along side the park, Jorge Perez unfolded, in no uncertain terms, the ongoing true reality of gang recruitment, combined with the seriousness of a matador facing off understanding with the Norteno Red Cape as an abrupt wake-up call. “This is where these kids are coming from.”

“Excuse me”, one of the teachers asked, raising her hand as though grandmother’s Kleenex was about to escape the comfort of her sleeve. “Did you say as young as sixth grade?”

Jorge stared from the steps of the forward door of the bus out into the South Side expanse through the back window  and in a surprising undertone answered succinctly and precisely, “Yes”.

“Oh my…” she said, through the fingertips rapidly forming a shield across her mouth to protect the outside world from the  shock waves beginning to ripple through her very being.

All from an experience of sitting where that sixth grader is going to sit while awaiting recruitment. Awaiting to be “jumped in”2 to a Gang to sell drugs for the gang - an instant Prop 21 gang enhancement for the sixth grader, who shouldn‘t have to know any better to begin with.

Of course, she had it well, as I had mistakenly prepared the teacher sitting next to me that this was more of a historical society tour, rather than a tour having really nothing to do with anything more than a dramatically infused experience of demonstrating the potential of youth in the ashes of suffering, pain, violence and death.

Reciting property titles of the local Empyrean bar and admission requirements according to decade, I became so caught up in my own esteem fulfillment of manipulating through over talking her to the point of relating anything that was said to the admission policy and era of the Empyrean bar.

All meant to be a grand platform to explain generational pockets of a 1.2 square mile area4 in which entire families are dying out due to methamphetamine use.

A deadly affliction that entered the family through the mother of invention during the war3. Something that began when their heritage first took up in the Modesto Airport District in the late 1930’s and 1940’s - Fathers absent due to hardships and war left single mothers to care for themselves at a time in which women made approximately half of what their male counterparts made in the local canneries all to support a household comprised of themselves and their children.

Children borne of a time of prosperity in their parent’s lives. Just a couple of years prior to the dust bowl that came to destroy everything they had worked all of their lives for. But those outside of the Airport District had not had the opportunity to see them before they became poor.

To work the double shifts, most of the working single mothers in the Modesto Airport District at this time, resorted to ingesting bennies5 to endure their sixteen to twenty hour shifts in a facility that in the summer, smelted glass and did not have the conveniences of the Gallo glass plant, today.

People from other areas of the town would look down upon these “Arkies and Okies”, calling them, “Down in the Gallos”.

In the 1930’s and 1940’s drug addiction was not widely understood by any means.

Most of the problems with drugs in the area had traditionally been opiate in nature, through opium used in the raw by the Chinese at the turn of the 20th century, to the injection of the plant refined as heroin. Some heroin imported in different formats of purities.6 However, speed was quickly becoming the acceptable drug of choice - “Mother’s little helper”. The one to be used before you completely give up.

Kids being kids, of course learn as they are imprinted in other ways7. Therefore, as these single working mothers adopted a lifestyle with other single working mothers in their “neighborhood” or “District”, as I like to call it, the children they were supporting understood all too clearly that to succeed down in the Gallos, or anywhere else, was to use amphetamines.

And, once again, there was little if any information at the time in any form that would educate them that this was an addictive method, saving their only experience being the likelihood that they would have been able to see after so many generations today what the end result was going to be - that this very drug was going to completely kill off their entire family line. Of course this is 2011 and that was in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s.

Mothers and fathers living with their children and grandchildren, with the adults of the household working sixteen to twenty hours a day, down in the Gallos. All strung out on speed if they were old enough to pop the pills.

Especially affected as they were growing up into the Vietnam war and the plethora of drugs that dominated the hyper-epidemic drug phenomena throughout the world. Not that this was a new event, mind you.

And still to this day - families remain. Dying from the habitual use of what social speed freaking has become - Crack and Meth. A white line nightmare. Death. Death. Death. Then nothing. Nothing. Nothing.

Nothing but ashes and another generation of children in some instances, yet not in others.

But it was these children that remained which was primarily a part of my concern when it was suggested that one might care to think on those that might be saved in a triage sort of way in the Modesto Airport District.

Both Jorge Perez and I, Robert Stanford, valiantly proposed a single call to action for each teacher on the four hour cruise that day. A call to reach out and show caring. To mentor. Every child needs one.

Due to the jacked-up, white methamphetamine and heroin addicts that comprise a significantly large portion of the Modesto Airport’s demographic, their recent two decade die off combined with the housing foreclosure crisis has been filled with Mexican immigrants with different problems but identical needs.

However, during the migration of the Mexican population which occurred at the same time as the “housing foreclosure crisis”, they became preyed upon by PMZ8 affiliates preaching from the short sale scripture.

Re-Fi men and women in sharp business suits descended upon the historic properties like a plague of unwatched hyenas, luring poodles out into a trap through play, only to feed on the family pet. 

This was perpetuated by such as organizations such as El Concilio that had catered to building bridges between Re-fi cons (real estate agents) and the quickly in fluxing Mexicano immigrant population by taking healthy contributions from Wells Fargo, County Bank and other institutions while allowing Mike Zagaris himself to serve prominently on their board.

Not that Mike Zagaris speaks Spanish, but what business could be had from serving on the board of an organization that simply stated by their own declared charter and mission as a Civil service organization for the Spanish speaking?

Perhaps the same as Steve Madison experiences as serving on the Salvation Army board.

An organization that serves displaced families that have come in floods as though it were another migration similar to that which originally and still fills the Modesto Airport District due to the “housing foreclosure crisis”.

In short, what are quite simply, these displaced families that have worked so hard for nothing?

Steve Madison’s victims. As are anyone that can’t find work today in Stanislaus County.

But Madison will not elude to displaced families, the elderly or the disabled. It’s all about the homeless wino hobo for Steve - those are the only ones we need to care about.

And in the best interests of everyone involved in their existence (or around at the time) is to get rid of them and save yourself the trouble of picking up your own trash (again).

And like the asbestos ridden bricks secretly buried9 in the vacant lot of another bribe to me from down in the Gallos for a “Victory Garden” - what better way to cover your evil deeds and dispose of the soon-to-be bodies but by gifting them to you?  

I had spoke to a sociology class a few years before, in which the spot chosen was not ideal for me due to so many personal experiences of death, pain, suffering, joy, love, sunshine, children laughing, etc. for so long in Oregon park.

Yet at the time I just found myself there - words came quite easily to me then, as I was speaking in public at the very least a half dozen times every week and sometimes many more.

Not this time though. All I could think of was homicide. I felt that I had completely failed at what I was trying to accomplish by allowing myself to show that I was certainly not as emotionally detached from my cause as I should have been. For an overtly macho and non-effeminate male, such as I, it was quite an embarrassing episode.

Feedback that I received showed otherwise, however11

As it was with the sociology class before, though, so it was here once again as we arrived and began to pull up to Oregon park.

Jorge Perez introduced me as though I was the king of the Modesto Airport District, which I have no choice but to agree with, certainly having paid prices here no one else has, he still left me with quite large shoes to fill in my presentation.

A presentation I had not prepared for.

Rather, I had inadvertently wasted any preparation time that I had once possessed10 by trying to seduce the teacher sitting next to me into becoming fixated upon my historical observations of the die off occurring to the white population, that at one time, to a greater extent than now, dominated the demographics of the Modesto Airport District. But due their untimely methamphetamine fueled deaths - not any more.

Once again, I was overtaken by those things that men should never do. God’s mistakes, if you will. The tears brought by memories of joys intertwined with the most horrible of imaginable tragedies.

I thought, also once again, that I had failed, being unable to remember anything that I had said, due to having been overcome with the vapors of my own scarring emotions.

I asked the coordinator of the ghetto field trip, what she thought in a practically apologizing manner12.

To which she succinctly and surprisingly simply answered, “No, God that was great! I even wrote down what you said.

You said, “You can change someone’s life if you just show them you care.”

1. (Empire - out Interstate 132 toward the direction of what was once thought of to be Paradise, until it burned down by the power of the railroad and wheat Nero’s of the Stanislaus day. {Google this: PMZ Agricultural Heritage Killing Machine})

2. Jumped in - Usually in the Modesto South Side as well as other areas of gang influence, jumping in means to be severely beaten by several other “gangsters” for permanent initiation into the gang. The price of leaving ever, being that of death.


4. The Modesto Airport District

5. Prescription speed in table form. I.e. Cross Tops, later to come robin eggs and black beauties - speed.

6. And it was these formats of purities which changed somewhat the alignment of their ruling planets based on ingredients that may or may not have been added to the substance as a “cut” - (an ingredient to increase the drugs weight for sale) with it - but this is an entirely different topic of astrological drug recovery - similar to acupuncture in method and theory, except more “astronomical” from a Western imprinted human mind‘s perspective.

7. Hope you read the foot note, or you shall not be able to experience the brevity of the sentence that this footnote refers to.

8. PMZ - Petrulakis, Madison and Zagaris - The Overlords of the City of Modesto. What are they in all reality? Answer: Strip Miners.

9. Like so many forgotten septic tanks of 1968 through 1972 as the City of Modesto “sewered up”. KABOOM!!!! {someday - you watch!}

10. If one can actually possess such a thing.


12. Just in case, since I could not remember anything that I had said.

Copyright 2011 Robert Stanford all rights reserved.