A Trailer Park Childhood
Rudy Galindo was born in 1969 to Mexican-American parents Jess and Margaret Galindo in San Jose, California. Jess was a long-distance trucker who was often away from home. Margaret suffered from manic-depression (undiagnosed until 1983) that led to hospitalizations. Even when she lived at home, she was often not able to take care of the children. Galindo had an older brother, George, but much of the parenting responsibilities fell to his older sister Laura. She became a sort of mother to him and has remained in many ways his best friend throughout his life. It was also Laura who introduced him to the sport that would make him a star.
At the age of ten, Laura attended a skating party and immediately fell in love with it. She began to take skating lessons at the nearby Eastridge Ice Arena, and six-year-old Rudy often tagged along. For Jess, the skating lessons were a great way to keep the kids out of trouble. The family lived in a trailer park in East San Jose. As Galindo put it in Icebreaker: The Autobiography of Rudy Galindo, "I thought our trailer was just fine. There wasn't any reason for me to think otherwise. The whole neighborhood was a trailer park, so that's how all my neighbors lived." But the fact remained that it was also a dangerous place, a haven for gangs and drug dealers, and Jess Galindo was glad that his children had found a safe place to play. It would of course prove to be much more than that for Rudy.