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Probe: May 1, 2002

May 01, 2002

HANGING OVER THE SIDES — I would be glad to talk to that young man writing about famous athletes from Imperial County. My brother is Danny Villanueva. I had lunch with Danny last week in Bermuda Dunes. — Sam, Holtville

Villanueva, a kicker, played for the Los Angeles Rams and the Dallas Cowboys in the 1950s and '60s, grew up in Calexico, the ninth among 12 kids in a preacher's family.

"I remember the first day we came into Calexico, in a 1932 Ford bobtail truck. There were kids hanging over all the sides of the truck," recalled Sam Villanueva.

Only Sam and his sister Esther Aguilar of Calexico still live in Imperial County. Esther lives in Calexico.

The Mexican Methodist minister's family lived in a house on the corner of Fourth and Mary streets, across the street from Neighborhood House.

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All the Villanueva boys were good athletes, although some played better football than others.

"Primo was a better athlete than Danny," insists Sam.

Primo was a tailback on the 1954 UCLA Bruins, "the best team UCLA ever had," according to Sam, but the team was knocked out of the Rose Bowl because a conference rule would not permit a team to play back to back years in the bowl.

None of the siblings was better at making money than Danny, who, according to Hispanic Magazine, is worth $85 million, and the third-richest Hispanic in the country.

He owns the Sunbeam Lake recreational vehicle park near Seeley.

VILLANUEVA ON THE NET — To find Villanueva go to a search engine like Yahoo, Leeks or Googol and type in Danny Villanueva. That will bring up a large amount of information about the former Calexico footballer. — Villanueva Fan, Calexico

While there you may find that Villanueva has established a scholarship for Hispanics at the University of New Mexico.

QUESTION: I am a Calexico resident. When we moved in here we thought it was a quiet neighborhood. We were wrong. Three of our young neighbors turn up their stereos in their cars, playing their bumping music so loud our windows rattle. The music goes on all hours of the day and night — every day.

We called the police but by the time the police arrived, the kids had turned off the music. These are inconsiderate kids. Their parents don't seem to care. We are at the end of our rope. Any advice would be welcome. — Sleepless in Calexico

When the U.S. government wanted to flush out Manuel Noriega from his stronghold in Panama, it played rock music day and night at him and cranked up the volume until Noriega rushed out, holding his head screaming, "No mas! I can't take it anymore!"

If you opt to fight decibels with decibels, your youthful neighbors with their three high-powered systems will drown you with their volume.

You'll never make them surrender with 80-decibel heavy metal, so bring out the heavyweights, The Three Tenors! Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti and Jose Carreras warbling "O Solo Mio" will send 500 kids screaming from a high school sock hop into the streets in 30 seconds flat.

If that doesn't work, call the cops every time the kids crank up the volume. After a while the cops will get sick of it and cite the kids for loud music — or arrest you for making annoying phone calls. Either way you'll get a respite from the window-rattling, hard-thumping music.

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