Stories: Magazine Stories: Wheels of Fortune


"Wheels of Fortune" 

By Jesse Katz 

Los Angeles 

October 2006 

Heading north out of Huntington Park, across the sooty flatlands of Vernon, past the spray-painted basin of the Los Angeles River, over the Santa Fe Railroad, over the Santa Ana Freeway, over the caverns of the future Eastside metro, Tacos Jeesy's rattles and groans. The stereo thumps to Mexican narco ballads, tales of gunslinging farmers and duplicitous cops. Neon tubes swirl around the exterior, outlining the powder blue van in the emeralds and indigos of a carnival ride. Swaying in the back, on a shelf above the take-out window, is a shrine to el Niño Doctor—a faith-healing version of the baby Jesus—with votive candles, rosary beads, and a lucky $2 bill.... 

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Photo: Trujillo+Paumier