I have been blessed by the visit of two brothers and a sister over the past few weeks. Now more than ever I fully appreciate what is family! Second only to our Lord Saviour, we who have family are blessed. The last visit by my brother Richard, as usual, brought out great memories. We always have so much to re-live.
My brother rode his first horse race at the age of nine at Hone Park, known now as the Marion Jones Stadium. Our father, Jose J. Ramirez, better known as Boss Joe, had been training Richard personally for months before the race. I remember our mom Lydia was a nervous wreck at the races. Then when Richard became too heavy to be a jockey, he became a trainer in the 60’s and 70’s. He trained horses like Misty (Lindo) Baby Carrie (Brown OW) Lady Rafia (Chick Castillo) and his greatest legacy, The Godfather (Robby Eyles).
He formed the band Los Echos in 1968 and Richard (Charro) remembers playing for the championship against San Joaquin that year. We should have won the season that year but some of our players showed up to the game high. They played for Independence Old Belize (early 70’s) sponsored by our uncle Roque Ramirez of old Belize Liqours. This band lasted over two years. Yours truly played guitar on the band and we won second place to Los Atlanticos in the Battle of the Bands in 1969.
Richard then migrated to the US in 1976, where he became involved with the Masonic Lodge of the State of California. In the 1980’s he reached the stage of Grand Master and was given a citation by a Congresswoman, Maxine Waters, which was reproduced in the Amandala.
Reverend Richard Ramirez now administers his church, the House of Emanuel, in Long Beach, California, where he resides with his wife Angela and her two daughters.
He also has a son, Jo Jo, who is serving in the Marines and is stationed in Okinawa, Japan, with his family. One of our funniest memories of Richard was when he was nine years old and training to be a jockey, but I will leave that one for the next issue.
Alfonso C. Ramirez
(PS: I would like to express my sincerest appreciation to the members of the Association of the Justices of the Peace, especially our president, Adrian “Danny” Madrid, for the visit to my home last week. We are a family and they offered prayers and words of comfort. May God bless you all.