492 Cafe

The Arredondo Family
of Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts

Mélida Arredondo,
Alexander Brian (formerly Carlos) Arredondo
Alexander Scott Arredondo
Brian Luis Arredondo (5/10/1987 – 12/19/2011)

 

Activist sound engineer Freeman Z has worked with the Arredondos since 2005, and has amplified photographed and recorded them throughout the Boston area, in Washington DC and his own studio.

“Carlos” (as I call him, though he has changed his name,) had made headlines long before I met him on Boston Common on October 29, 2005 exactly as he appears in this video.

Carlos had hit the national news on his 40th birthday, the day Alexander died, and the US Marine van came to his home with the dreaded announcement. Carlos told them to leave, but they remained, and eventually, he entered their empty van with fuel, and it ignited. Purely because this was dramatic, the corporate exploitation news circuit aired the story, complete with helicopter footage of the flaming van.

Carlos and wife Mélida Arredondo
speaking on Boston Common in 2008
photos and recordings by the event sound engineer, Freeman Z

 

I first met carlos while shooting this video in 2005 and later recorded Carlos' simultaneous bi-lingual statement for theduring a brisk crosstown march, a joke of a PR event attempting to associate Senator John Kerry with M.L.K's Selma bridge crossing. The march was a managed PR event. Carlos Arredondo and Mike Borkson both were ordered, by men wearing miniature radio communication devices similar to the Secret Service, to lower their signs, which read respectively, "Dr. King would oppose this war," and if I recall, "my son died in iraq." I got a laugh seeing the unlikely pairing of IAC Boston, the Revolutionary Communists who provided the sound truck for the march, leading the march in front of Senator Kerry. All in all, a good day.

On this day I also met Dr Howard Zinn. Years later I did several projects with Howard. One day at his house in Newton, we discussed the march, which Zinn had viewed from a distance, standing under a tree. He seemed to agree with my criticicism. (This discussion happened as a Massachusetts court was accusing me, among other things, of harassing Dr Zinn.)

But when the dust settled, and the burns healed, this handsome man who had emigrated from Costa Rica, earning his US citizenship in 2007, knew he had to do something to honor Alex.

Carlos changed his name to "Alexander Brian Arredondo." He traveled the country, photos of Alex among his dramatic displays of his empty boots, and his own sculptures of crutches, crosses and artificial limbs, and a real casket ...all on a trailer behind.

I first met Mélida while recording Andrew Bacevich speaking in Roslindale. Soon after, the Bacevich family lost their only son, also in Iraq.

I first met Brian in 2007 at the “Smedleys’” Memorial Day observation in Boston. Then, Carlos reintroduced us when the new JP post office was dedicated in Alex‘s name. (articles: Jamaica Plain Patch; Wicked Local)

Mélida asked me to manage audio at the 2011 Jamaica Plain post office dedication, renaming it in Alexander's name.

I saw Melida, Brian, and Carlos in their tent at Occupy Boston.

Suicide of Brian Arredondo

Brian Louis Arredondo (5/10/1987 – 12/19/2011) was the son of Victoria Foley and Carlos Arredondo, Stepson of Mélida Arredondo, Brother of Nathaniel Foley and Brother of Fallen US Marine Lance Corporal Alexander Scott Arredondo. Brian was 17 when his 20 year-old brother Alex was killed in Iraq on August 25th 2004. In 2011, the Jamaica Plain Post Office was renamed in honor of the older son. (compiled from various sources …For more, see the Boston Globe obituary)

Brian Louis Arredondo was the son of Victoria Foley and Carlos Arredondo, Stepson of Mélida Arredondo, Brother of Nathaniel Foley and Brother of Fallen US Marine Lance Corporal Alexander Scott Arredondo. Brian was 17 when his 20 year-old brother Alex was killed in Iraq on August 25th 2004. In 2011, the Jamaica Plain Post Office was renamed in honor of the older son. (compiled from various sources …For more, see the Boston Globe obituary)

A few weeks later, I released this video of the ceremony.

 

More from Freeman Z's about the Arredondos

Carlos

Event Appearances

 

COPYRIGHT NOTICE: All content copyright 492 Cafe, 1990-2014, except where noted. All rights reserved.
 

Didn't find what you seek?

Try this larger index of the voices and faces found at 492 Cafe