Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Life goes on.

I’ve spent the last few hours exploring a ‘plethora’ of old photographs of the Los Angeles region. This happens to me every few years; I see one old L.A photo on the internet and I chase it down only to find even more and that leads to collections galore. It used to be difficult to find these old photos but now with scanning happening just about everywhere; and so easily, the collections have grown quite large. These photos all elicit warm memories from my ageing brain and I love it! I have collected close to 200 images so far and there is no end in sight. I’m on page 73 of the images on just one website and there are hundreds more to look through. Some of the images I can dismiss right away as they are of regions in the ‘Greater los Angeles’ that I never had contact with as I was growing up. Except; perhaps to drive through them on my way to somewhere else. For instance, the San Gabriel Valley; I know we had to pass through it to get to Colton, where I spent a few years living with a family that were close friends of my parents. I had asthma and it was decided that the heat of the ‘Inland Empire’ would cure me. It didn’t but that’s another story.
Why do I do this? It’s all part of the aging process. The way I see it, as we grow older and feel less involved with the world; less important, I think we have to find ways to validate our existence and the old photos of things that we remember help us to make a connection to the past, where we were once young and very important (in our own opinion).
I haven’t lived in Southern California since January of 1977. That’s getting close to 35 years ago and that’s also close to half my life, yet I still feel an affinity to the place. I wouldn’t live there again on a bet; unless…I could find a nice little place on the Strand in Manhattan Beach; preferably around 15th Street where I once spent my summer days. Surf, volleyball and girls. We played nine man rotation volleyball, a game that isn’t played anymore... See? There I go, chasing memories.
On another note; chasing down old photographs also helps to keep my mind off of the events in the political arena. ‘Newt’ Gingrich? Be still, my heart! I may even give money to that cause!
I do have to wonder about two leading candidates from the Republican Party that continue to use juvenile nicknames instead of their given names. ‘Newt’ and ‘Mitt’. How very un-presidential! How about a President named “Buster’? Or ‘Shorty’? Maybe ‘Lefty’? I can’t help it, with names like ‘Newt’ and ‘Mitt’, all I can think of is a re-run of the Three Stooges; Moe, Newt and Mitt.
I know…I know; I could pick a hundred other reasons to dislike these two candidates without stooping to making fun of their names. But, I’ve already done it. And I’m not that all that ashamed of myself. Go figure.
I had a slight argument the other day with a friend. I say slight because he gave up rather quickly because of the overwhelming truth of my words. (Yeehaw!) He was about to argue that the Occupy (fill in your favorite location) regulars were doing something wrong. Before any more could be said…I pointed out that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land and the First Amendment allows for peaceful assembly, among other vitally important rights. All other laws are negated; held in abeyance as long as it is a peaceful assembly. The parks and the streets belong to the people. Permits are not required and curfews cannot be enforced as long as the people are using the rights guaranteed by the Constitution. It’s really that simple.
If it is such a simple truth, why are so many willing to give up those rights? They are not only willing; they even demand that authorities forcefully violate the rights of the assembled citizens. It’s a sad thing to see.


  1. I like looking at those old photos too. In 1961 my family moved from Hermosa Beach to La Puente so my adolescent years were spent in the San Gabriel Valley until I was drafted into the Army in 1965.

  2. Ah! You were in In-n-Out country!

  3. Yes, we used to go to the one in Pomona. It was the first fast food place that we ever used a speaker to order our food. The building was so small I don't know how they had room to make hamburgers.