Ramon Leyba

Today is Ramon Leyba’s birthday. He grew up in Barelas. I still remember a John Litt anecdote about him. A bunch of Albuquerque High School students were helping on a dig and were miles from the nearest town. Ramon asked everyone if they wanted something and took their requests. He then ran to the nearest town, got what everyone wanted and simply ran back. He held a number of New Mexico state running records; many of them still stand to this day. 

He was one of those people that everyone in Barelas and for those that knew him …well we held him in the very highest regard. He was more than an athlete..he was a decent, honorable and incredibly bright human being.

Much to everyone’s dismay he died in action in Vietnam. He left a void in everyone’s life…one that touches me constantly.

Let us never forget Ramon. He is a shining example of what our Barelas, the Heart of Aztlán, is and was all about…decency, honor and service to others.

Here is a link to a website done by one of his navy buddies .


¡Qué viva Barelas!


Street By Street

Starting with the Safeway (Fourth and Coal) which morphed into a Golden Fork – going south there was:

East Side of 4th and Coal a used car lot [anyone remember the name] ?

West side of 4th and Coal a dry cleaner [anyone remember the name]?



¡Qué viva Barelas!

I’m interested in mapping out all of Barelas circa 1940-70.  I’d like to create a way for those of us that lived in this barrio in Albuquerque during that time to communicate with each other.  I’m interested in reconnecting all of us that went to Coronado Elementary or Sacred Heart.  What happened to Randy Ong – last I heard he was in San Francisco.  What happened to the non-raza owners of stores like El Cambio, Fritos, Sun Motor, etc.

Where is Felix Gurule or Phillip Montoya?  Let’s celebrate the life of Leonard Contreras!

Pues let’s get started carnales.

[22 February 2016] HT to Hector for a great motto… ¡Qué viva Barelas!