In the Neighborhood: Sid Garcia shares favorite faces, places of his hometown La Puente

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BySid Garcia via KABC logo
Wednesday, August 15, 2018
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Sid Garcia takes a look back at his childhood in La Puente, sharing his favorite faces and places of his hometown.

LA PUENTE, Calif. (KABC) -- ABC7 reporter Sid Garcia took a look back at his childhood in La Puente, sharing his favorite faces and places of his hometown.

Garcia said family means everything to him. So when he goes back home to La Puente, that means getting everyone together to meet up at their favorite restaurant - Camino Real. The restaurant has been operating for nearly 30 years.

He recently shared a meal there with his mother and sister Brenda, along with family friends Danny Carroasco and Juanita Tapia - he admitted Tapia was his high school crush!

La Puente will always be home for Garcia. This is where he, his siblings and friends grew up, and it's where they began to believe they would all lead successful lives, he said.

"I think it prepared me to work in a diverse environment. Different people from different backgrounds," Carroasco said.

"Everybody was one. We didn't notice colors, it was unity, no issues," Tapia added.

One of Garcia's best childhood memories include going to one of the only working drive-in theaters left in Southern California - the Vineland. It's a swap meet during the day and a multiplex at night.

Garcia and his sisters attended Sunkist Elementary and Edgewood Junior High. He and his sister Brenda attended Bassett High School.

Principal Gabriel Fernandez provided a little tour of Garcia's old stomping grounds. Tapia was the head cheerleader - so they all stopped by to check out the pep squad practicing.

The gym hasn't changed all that much, Garcia reminisced. He recalled the school dances at the gym, where the band Tierra performed before making it big.

Garcia wrote for the school newspaper, the Olympian. That experience plus great teachers were what helped him decide to study journalism, he said.

The band room holds a lot of memories, he said. Garcia was the drum major his senior year, and his mother was one of the band boosters. She helped out during football games and field competitions.

Garcia was also involved in the school's senior production of "The Boyfriend."

His childhood home was along Barrydale Street, which he described as the center of his universe. He recalled playing football and baseball on the streets, adding that he knew it was time to go back inside when the street lights went on.