People of Northeast Los Angeles: Charlie Pedroza

My name is Charlie Pedroza.

At Ordway Metal Polishing, we do metal polishing, we do any alloys, we do brass, copper, aluminum, and stainings. We do iron work, we do anything that's got to be bright, we do chrome plating.

Well, I've been working here for twenty-six years, since eighty-seven and I've been the owner for the last nine years, after my boss passed away, so he passed me the business. But this business has been here since the fifties. Right here at nineteen-oh-one San Fernando Road. A matter of fact a couple of years ago someone wanted to buy the business, but I said no. I mean, I've been here and I never worked nowhere else. I am not going to lie to you, but I never, I never did a resume because I've only worked here. I don't know what a job interview is, because when I was in high school I just walked in here and I got the job. Yeah, so I won't sell my business. I won't sell my business.

Times are tough right now, you know? It's like a roller coaster, ups and downs, we get good months, bad months. But, I like this area. I've been here for half of my life. A little bit over half of my life.

In the eighties, eighty-seven, we used to have the railroad tracks right in front of us. Now it's a park, which is good for the kids. I see a lot of teenagers going to the park, like especially in the summer. Which is good for the community, having a nice park in front of me. A real park. A big park.

It changes a lot. Especially in front of me, the [Rio de Los Angeles State] park, the new [car] dealer over here, you got the FedEx over there. Now they're building some apartments down the street.

I just come in and do my job and kids will pass and ask, can I have some water, I give them water. Or when I see them ditching school, I tell them go back to school because school's the best thing to do. I got three daughters, one going to college, the other one's going to high school, the other one is still in elementary, so you know?


The above interview is transcribed and edited from the following interview:

About People of
Northeast Los Angeles
These are stories from the everyday people that make-up Northeast Los Angeles, particularly the neighborhoods of Atwater Village, Cypress Park, Glassell Park, Lincoln Heights, and Elysian Valley. See some of our featured portraits below, explore by neighborhood, or see all the stories.





About the Author

For the past twenty years, Chilean born Ricardo Palavecino has been developing his skills as a cinematographer working on documentaries, feature films, television shows, and commercials.
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