As I flip through the three hundred plus channels on my cable T.V., I pause on every other channel, giving that 10 seconds of attention to whatever show I come across. A constant barrage of realty this reality that, sporting events, talk shows, and me in the middle, trying to avoid my son catching a glimpse of that sponge dude that lives in a pineapple. Is it me, or is he on all day? While at least that show is positive, it seems like the more we watch, the more negativity we encounter, and it’s not just the reality shows which now seem to outnumber the regular programming. It’s also on the news channels, which usually focus on war, bombings, and death, leaving us all to watch a cascade of violence that covers the world over. Watching the fighting in countries on the other side of the world, it’s evident that we are willing to sacrifice thousands of American lives and spend billions of dollars in support of external conflicts, and in doing so, we sometimes forget about our own problems here at home. The introspection, and individual moxie it takes to solve our domestic problems seems to have faded in our selfish, “me first” culture. There is one person however, that is motivated by the concern for our domestic problems, a person willing to walk the walk while he’s talking the talk. That person is Danny “Boxer” Gullart, and he is committed to helping his community by reaching out to those in need of a helping hand and guidance.

Danny “Boxer” Gullart is a gang intervention specialist for the Gang Reduction Youth Development Program, which is operated and overseen by the Mayor’s office of the City of Los Angeles. His area runs from the old historic streets of Boyle Heights, East LA, and comes full circle in the area surrounding the Los Angeles County Hospital. This territory has been plagued with violence and overwhelming obstacles for young people for years, and that gives Danny great cause for concern. “You can read it on the walls,” he says. “Walk into any hot zone and the walls tell you everything. You can actually read the war declarations signed by an aerosol spray can,” he laments. Danny’s reality world does not concern D-list celebrities finding spouses, rich people complaining about their fortunate circumstances, or sports figures embarrassing themselves for the sake of ego. His reality consists of dead ends, lives taken for granted, impoverished communities, and harsh circumstances. He doesn’t sugarcoat it. “Being a veteran of the wars inside and outside of the walls, I only speak the truth to them, letting them know the reality of that life,” he says.

His experiences in his own early life on the tough Los Angeles streets serve as his motivation, a constant driving force that keeps him dedicated to his community for one simple reason; he cares. He is a knight on his own crusade of salvation, venturing into dangerous lands filled with tension. The thunderous sound of his rapping pipes are a familiar sound in the area, as he gallops down the streets of Los Angeles in his noble ’48 Chevrolet Fleetline, ready to help in whatever capacity he is needed. When neighborhood fuses are lit by a killing, it is Danny who becomes the mediator between vicious factions. It’s a demanding lifestyle. “The phone rings at anytime of the day or night,” he says. “It’s a job that has no set schedule. I get calls from [the] parents of kid[s] in my program. I give them my card and let them know that I make house calls. I’m here to help the folks out also, if they feel they’re losing control, I tell them not to hesitate to call me.”

With this nobility comes a price, and Danny is no stranger to the skepticism of the young hardheads he has come across in his travels across the neighborhoods. His experiences make his message genuine, and the whole “scared straight” concept is one of Danny’s favorite and most effective tools to use in his crusade, a crusade which has now spanned for over 18 years. “I think I’ve locked horns with some of the toughest kids out there that this city has to offer. Some I get [my message] across to [I] watch them change their lives, get an education, learn a trade and better themselves. Seeing those things is part of my paycheck,” Danny explains. “As you can see, I’m not in this for the money. The man upstairs takes care of me, and has blessed me with my beautiful wife and kids.” Danny’s smile quickly fades away, illustrating how emotionally taxing his job can be. “The other phone calls I receive are from the police department, asking me to go and help identify a body from a gang related homicide. When it’s in my area, I get the call, and most of the time they don’t have any I.D. on them, so it’s a John Doe. It hurts me to see these young kids that I reach out to and know personally [end up] dead on the sidewalk.” The pain in Danny’s voice is echoed within his focused stare, and it’s evident that he feels a sense of responsibility, and a sense of urgency for the communities he serves.

“We are the watchdogs of our area,” he says. We literally walk the streets, creating allies with families and residents in the area, getting to know new faces and checking up on old ones too. {Spending time} Paying visits to the juvenile halls and making contact with the youth incarcerated. We help them to start working on their high school diplomas and help them register back in school, once they’re released and help them stay in school,” he says. While in theory these ideas are relatively simple, the execution of them requires a lot of actions, not just mere words. “We provide what are known as “safe passages” for kids who are in the program, and who attend school around rival areas,” he says. “We make sure they get home safe; it’s all part of the program. We’re here for them in any which way possible, just as long as they want to help themselves to better their [own] lives.”

For these American kids whose lives are in jeopardy, Danny and his organization are a much needed support system. Racial profiling, miscommunication, economic struggles, poor parenting, low job opportunities, and violence are often found in the communities that Danny serves, making it even more difficult in this unforgiving city for children to get a fair shot at their own childhood; let alone their lives in general. Being at the wrong place at the wrong time can shape a child forever, and lead to a negative path that ultimately defines their destiny of destruction. Danny Gullart refuses to sit idly by and let that happen.

Through his efforts, Danny pushes youth activities around his areas, including sports and education-themed events, which he believes will keep these kids busy and focused on goals. His plan helps to show them that practice and hard work will pay off in the end, and will also lead to a much better life than the “me against the world” lifestyle that the streets preach to them. I saw his efforts with my own eyes. In fact, as I had my one-on-one with Danny, he was putting the finishing touches on a kids fashion show that he and a few of his community outreach group members put together for the Ramona Housing projects. His work is never done, and Danny is constantly on the go and serving his community. If you’re ever in the streets around East Los Angeles and you hear that distinct sound of rapping pipes, look around, and you might just see Danny “Boxer” Gullart galloping down the streets and continuing his crusade like a modern day “Boulevard Knight.”

A Passing: Lawrance Steven “Boo” Garcia
Although death is a part of everyday life, it is never easy when we lose a loved one; especially a child. On April 6th, 2009 14 year-old Lawrance Steven “Boo” Garcia succumbed to his ten year battle with Cancer. Lawrance was fighting an Immune Deficiency and Pulmonary condition called Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma. During the course of his 10 year battle with this devastatingly difficult condition, he also had a Lymphoma tumor in his cheek that was removed. The situation worsened in 2008, when a tumor grew between his eye socket and his brain. Lawrance was the beloved nephew and godson of Techniques Car Club member Peter Cruz.

To lift Boo’s spirit, Peter and the members of Techniques made Lawrance an honorary member, doing what they could to keep him involved whenever possible with club activities. Often times, they would just take him on unexpected rides around the city, just to surprise him and give him a positive release from his illness. In 2008, Peter Cruz and Techniques Car Club teamed with the National Marrow Donor Program to hold Marrow Drives to create awareness within the local community. They hoped to not only find a match for Lawrance, but for others in need as well. There was a match that was found for Lawrance in late 2008, but unfortunately his body was not healthy enough to survive the grueling bone marrow transplant.

He was hospitalized this past March and was therefore unable to attend Together’s Pico Rivera show, so Techniques, Imperials, Latin Lords and Swift Car Club took the show to him at the hospital. Unfortunately, it would prove to be Boo’s last car show as his health deteriorated and he ultimately passed away, just days after the impromptu show at the hospital. His memorial service was attended by many of the clubs in the Southern California area, and a caravan was assembled to drive to the pier in Oxnard, California, to spread his ashes. We here at Lowrider Magazine are heartbroken at the loss of this young rider, and offer our sincerest condolences to Lawrance’s family as well as Techniques Car Club. Ride in Peace, Boo.