Promenade by Carlos Najera

At first, Oxnard had very few automobiles. You already read about Luis Brenneis and the first one in town. (The Last Ride of Luis Brenneis).

 The cars at that time had radiators that were made of tin and they were very shiny. The top of the automobiles were covered with canvas. They were black from the rubberized gum that helped make some waterproof.

old car 

 

The headlights were not electric they were gas powered. There was a little generator that was opened by a key and dripped a small amount of fuel on a piece of carbon. This can make a very bright light. The taillights were kerosene lamps with a red lens.

There were very few bicycles around in those days. Most of the people walked or rode in wagons and carriages drawn by horses. Sometimes the men rode their horses. When the people had to travel great distances they took the train.

downtown 

People of Oxnard walked to downtown. On Saturdays, late afternoon the people went out to socialize, visit with their friends. The old Plaza is still there. Single men walked around the plaza in one direction. Single women walked around the plaza in the opposite direction. That way they could say hello to each other in a very casual and proper way. That is how I met for the first time Christi, she would later become my wife. Of course, I would see her at church with her family but I wasn’t allowed to talk to her then. That would not have been proper. Besides, at this time I was still a boy, and girls had cooties.

Many people enjoyed walking to the train station to wait for the train. The train brought news and new people. It was a good gathering place. There were other places in town where men went to whoop it up, but I was just a boy and I didn’t know about those kind of places back then.

There was a small taxi that ran on tracks from Hueneme to Magnolia Street. The taxi had wheels like a train, a gasoline motor, and it took people down to the beach and back.

 Hueneme is only three miles away and I walked and ran over there many times. It had wharfs and warehouses, a downtown area, and it also had a really nice beach. It was a good place to spend the day in the summer.

 streetcar in Oxnard

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About jedwardnajera

I am a Poet. I live the life of a poet. I am an artist, a member of Gallery 9 in Los Altos, California. I published a novel Nena the Fairy and the Iron Rose, available through Amazon Books. I spent over thirty five years in a classroom. My father kept a living record of his lifetime as he lived through the Twentieth Century. He was born in 1908 and almost lived long enough to see us enter the new millennium. He was a mechanical engineer and had a wonderful love of history and science. He entrusted to me nearly 400 pages that he wrote through the years. He wrote in Spanish and I have spent six months translating these pages into English. Now I am in the process of editing, rewriting, and revising them. I am trying to post a new entry or chapter each Friday. Check in on us at least once a week for the latest post.
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