I finally found a Times story in which the paper talked about people living in the Chavez Ravine area. Cordell Hicks' short story told of some local kids who tried to find a place in their neighborhood to play baseball.
Hicks wrote: "They were out in force yesterday with pick and shovel and a burro named Jenny Lind intent on clearing a portion of the site they hope will be a 40-acre youth recreation center promised by [Dodger owner Walter] O'Malley. 'We can't wait forever," they said."
Father Raymond Reha, director at Queen of Angels school, said the boys "have grown strong and quick climbing these hills and scrambling in and out of the arroyos. They could be the baseball players on tomorrow."