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In the summer between my junior and senior years in high school (I think), the father of my best friend, Mark (“Gruesome”) Grandy, found us jobs picking peaches at a farm belonging to a friend of his in California’s central valley.

The workers lived in buildings with screen all around, letting outside air in. We slept on cots. Because we were special, Mark and I had one bunkhouse to ourselves while a couple of dozen Mexican braceiros lived in another one. A third building held a smaller group of Americans, men who Boss Tweed” found by driving his Edsel station wagon to Yuba City/Marysville and looking on street corners. Some of the men he brought back were still drunk (they fell of their ladders sometimes, breaking valuable peach tree branches).

That summer, the Mexicans constantly sang Pancho López, a song strongly based on the super popular theme song of Disney’s Davy Crockett tv show. (All the kids - boys anyway - wore Davy Crockett hats that year.)

Direct link to Youtube

Lyrics found here


Nació en Chihuahua en novecientos seis en un petate bajo un ciprés, a los dos años hablaba inglés, mató a dos hombres a la edad de tres.

Pancho, Pancho López, chiquito, pero matón.

A los cuatro años sabía cantar, tocar guitarra y hasta bailar, a treinta yardas podía atinar un ojo a un piojo y sin apuntar .

Pancho, Pancho López. se fue a la revolución.

A los cinco años sabía montar, la carabina sabía pulsar, y su papá lo dejaba fumar y se emborrachaba con puro mezcla.

Pancho, Pancho López chiquito pero matón . A los seis años se enamoró, luego a los siete, pues se casó, y lo que tenia que pasar pasó, a los ocho años papá resultó.

Pancho, Pancho López. valiente como un león

Y aqui la historia se terminó porque a los nueve Pancho murió, la moraleja de la historia es: no vivas la vida con tanta rapidez.

Pancho, Pancho López, viviste como un ciclón

Google Translate’s translaton

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