Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Catching Up

With the price of gas around the four dollar mark here in Southern California when I go to work on or use my boat I usually stay a couple of days rather than make an extra trip. On Saturday afternoon I had to return home and after entering the Long Beach freeway I was alerted by a sign that the South Bound 405 was closed due to an accident so I went further north to grab another route. As one of the select buttons on the far left had been depressed I was listening to KPFK. My listening to KPFK started when a dollar would get a 57 VW from Santa Monica to Downey and back and the topic of discussion was Locke High School which was in the direction I was headed, though not familiar with the school by name I knew where it was located, Watts. Before the riots I drove through there to work everyday and returned after midnight on the way home. Sometimes we would work overtime and I would speed back in the early AM as fast has the VW could go. At that time the entire trip was on surface streets (only a few freeway existed) which made for a great adventure.

Then the Watts Towers stood across from the railroad track and few if any knew about it. To beat the traffic in the afternoon I would leave early allowing a margin of safety to punch the time card in the time clock but you couldn't punch in to early as that was a no-no. So many a time I would visit the Towers and other sights not known. The city of Los Angeles was not fond of the towers and tried to pull it down once in a test of safety strength. The towers with stood the crane pulling on them and are still hanging in there. Back then you could have climbed them or lived in them as nobody cared.

The first house I lived in was at 78Th Street and Vermont in the City of Los Angeles
which is a few miles from the infamous Watts. After we moved to Santa Monica my father would drive back there almost every week to my grandparent's house. Thomas Wolfe You Can't Go Home Again tells the story of a successful author that writes of his hometown but is faced my hatred when he returns. I have not written any great novel (or any) and I do not wish to go back for different reasons. Visiting there is like pedaling an Orwellian time machine that has several flaws in the drive train and the resulting quantum passage through the wormhole lands me in a parallel universe where the buildings and objects remain the same but I has been relocated to a different country and everyone is speaking a different language. In my blue file cabinet I have boxes of pictures that my father took
and for the present they will suit me just fine. My father didn't mine walking. There was a street car line across the street that ran up and down Vermont but when we went to the Shriner's Family Show at Al Malaikah Temple (Shrine Auditorium) for a Saturday evening performance we would walk to West Jefferson, get a place in line at the door and take turns saving our place in line. My uncle usually got the boring job of standing by the door as my father and I would stroll around USC, Exposition Park, the Armory, Natural History Museum and sometime we would sneak in the Coliseum. Now my daughter instructs at USC when she is not globetreking and she has been know to ask me there.

Previous Word of the day


What explains this? A big part of this reversal is being driven by the rise of petro-authoritarianism. I’ve long argued that the price of oil and the pace of freedom operate in an inverse correlation — which I call: “The First Law of Petro-Politics.” As the price of oil goes up, the pace of freedom goes down. As the price of oil goes down, the pace of freedom goes up.

The above taken from The Democratic Recession
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