hugh brown (2)

Well , I feel like writing a bit more about old Mr. Brown , the old codger who lived downtown LA , next to the 110 freeway . His old house , which he had designed himself , by the way , was torn down soon after he died . I don’t know if the State of California got all of his stuff or not . Maybe .

By the time I knew him the old place was shabby and worn. There were unpainted wooden steps up to the second floor where his living room and kitchen were .  The house was a simple design . Maybe it could be classified as in the streamline moderne style . Maybe. I’m not an architecture expert , however . Maybe it was a bit pre-moderne .  Now , of course , at any rate,  in the end , it’s post whatever it was . It’s gone and forgotten .

I know that old Mr. Brown had at least $80,000 in various banks , in T-bills . Those were the only statements I saw during a day that week that  I was over at his place . There may well have been several more that had come or were coming to the house . And he owned at least a few houses around  downtown LA . A couple of his properties were in south LA . Property tax bills began coming in . What else did he own ? He was clearly , as they used to say , loaded .

As they say in Poland , however  ,  coffins have no pockets .

He lived as a miser, that crochety old man  . I thought he was a poor old guy , barely scraping by , just eeking out a living on a quiet but questionable  edge of the city ; but I was wrong . He was an honest -to-god , dyed in the wool miser . A good one , too , I think . Api and LACMA Oct. 2015 076

He sold me a table once . It was covered by a half-inch of dust and had been lying in a quiet corner of his basement . I had spotted it and was interested . We bargained . I was cool ; disinterested .

” No , I’m not really looking for a table , ” I said .

” Fifteen bucks ,” he said .

It was a solid oak , octagonal dining table with a leaf underneath that swung up . The legs needed to be re-attached and glued , but that was easily done . It had been made in Los Angeles in the 1920’s and it was a wonderful table .  I kept it for several years and then,  because I needed the money , I  sold it for $ 90 to Rock Hudson’s agent , who bought it for Rock , he said . Rock didn’t have much time to enjoy it though , if it indeed ever got to him , because a few months later Rock Hudson was dead .

At the end of our individual sojourns we are all equal , the rich and the poor , the movie stars , the cops and the robbers , the Reagonites and  the Tea-Party folk ,  the Communists and the socialists , the capitalists and the hoboes , the highland Dutch and the lowland Dutch , the middle-of-the-roaders  and , of course , the Irish .girls holland early

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Filed under humor

9 responses to “hugh brown (2)

  1. I’m glad you spent some time with him. If he had any family, I guess they would have shown up for the stuff he left behind.

  2. You sure about the Irish? I dunno…. My wife is part Irish. I tell it is something she needs to work on. 🙂

  3. The middle-of-the-roaders are in the greatest jeopardy of immediate equalization. What’s that bright light coming?

  4. DanH, I enjoy the way you blend together the humorous and the serious. Your writing oftentimes speaks to heartfelt moments in your life, but does so with a lighthearted touch. Still, I felt letdown when you failed to mention the noble Sicilians. Then again, you were addressing the subject of equality, not that of the elite in our society. So I forgive you.

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