Tag Archives: walking

pickup on south street

This morning I was wandering through the rich neighborhood  north of Foothill on the other side of Santa Anita Ave. My mind was wandering , too , a little faster than I walk . I was looking at the mansions , listening to the latino  gardeners neaten up the large yards with their noisy mowers and trimmers  and blowers , wondering where the house owners are . I never see them and , so , I always wonder where they are .

I saw a little piece of metal on the road as I walked . It brought back memories from childhood . Funny how that happens .  Memories swarmed . I passed the little piece of metal but I decided to go back  and  pick it up . I brought it home . street finding - street cleaner bristle 003

I picked it up because , when I was a kid , I would have picked it up .   These things  were  treasures  for us kids back in those days .

It’s a slender steel bristle from a street-cleaning brush . The street cleaner has  a large rotating cylindrical metal-bristled brush noisily slapping the crud on the asphalt as the vehicle drives  slowly along .  I haven’t seen one of those vehicles in several years . I wondered if maybe the city  discontinued the service; but now I think :  except in the rich neighborhood . The rotating brush never seemed to ever clean anything anyway . Maybe the sweeper sloosh , sloosh , slooshes around the rich neighborhood still , bothering nobody , cleaning nothing , but nevertheless going through the motions , putting in time , feeling useful  .  The rich guys’ properties are shaped and shorn and organized carefully  into yards of  polished pulchritude .  But , despite the evident appearances of the elusive and endangered street sweeper , the roads in the rich neighborhood look like those in my neighborhood , looking remarkably like my road’s asphalt ,  sandy and scraped , with a lived-on look .

My father used to detest these little flexible metal toys we’d find on the road . They were dangerous . They’re flexible with somewhat sharp edges . A kid could bend one of these , then  maliciously let it go , and it would spring out and fly recklessly through the air at high speed .  I can hear my dad : ” You could lose an eye like that !”  None of my friends ever did , but  my dad was right ; you could lose an eye like that . We did fling those things hazardously  at one another , aggressively , causing various other injuries to each other  besides losing an eye .

I think that  cities must have swept the streets more often in those days . It seems to me that those little metal shards were lying around all the time , on every street ,  when I was a kid . Maybe they are still lying all around . Maybe  kids still  find them  when , to adults , they are unseen .  Could it be ?  And , maybe kids are no longer interested , these days ,  in picking some discarded scrap of junk off the street to make it a toy , to test it for potential uses ,  inventing   low-tech ,  perhaps foolish , forms of simple entertainment . We were so unsophisticated back then , I suppose , but easily entertained .Julian Pete 001

I suppose I have had rich guys on my mind recently . I’ve been reading a book titled THE GREAT LOS ANGELES SWINDLE  written by a man named Jules Tygiel and published in 1994 .  In the 1920s  many of the L.A. elite traded stocks and made money , legally and otherwise   , investing in what was called Julian Pete stock . A self-promoter named C.C. Julian started an oil company when oil wells in the L.A. area became a big deal ,  and  later , a mining company , and he roped in the big money men who made quick money questionably on Julian Pete stock deals until the whole scam fell apart . Old man Flint was one of the investors . Motley  Flint was the guy who started the upscale city of Flintridge ,  just north of L.A.  My thoughts were wandering ,  as I’ve said , while I was walking this morning ,  toward  Motley  Flint , Julian Pete , the 1920s L.A. underworld , and wealth in general .

Wealth is a relative concept , after all . Some of these guys involved in the Julian Pete swindle had , and admitted that they did, more money already than they could spend . But , they wanted more . C.C. Julian and others were there to promise them more , to promise easy profits on sure-thing  investments .   The investments seemed so good and paid off so well that they never seemed honest . But nobody asked many questions .  Just bask in your incredible luck and  don’t ask too many questions ! And they did . And they didn’t .  And they counted their money .  And they all must have lived in big houses , as big as these ,  surrounded by their rose gardens and iron gates  and manicured acres of lawn ,  in places more exclusive ,  yet similar ,  to where I am this morning  , in  Beverly Hills and in  Pasadena  and in Flintridge .

The subtitle of the  book I’m reading  is  OIL , STOCKS , AND SCANDAL DURING THE ROARING TWENTIES .  These shenanigans  didn’t end in the twenties , though .  Does the name Bernie Madoff ring a bell ?  But , I’m just talking through my hat .  I don’t comprehend money matters , especially at the rich guy level . I just wonder . I wonder where all the people who live in these huge houses are . Are they in there , I wonder , or  are they out in the world doing business , making profitable deals as , simultaneously , I wander along their streets, making no deals ,  gaping often impertinently at their front facades ?  I walk along , treading the asphalt of their streets , because there are no sidewalks . The unwritten , needless , invisible signs in a place like this clearly say PRIVATE . KEEP  OUT .

Kids could play softball or kickball on these streets . It’d be great ; the roadways stretch  wide and are almost  deserted . Windows are so far from the curbs in this neighborhood that no ball would threaten them .  But , no one plays in the streets here and never have , I suspect.walk in rich oaks neighborhood 041.

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short monrovia walk

ALL TRULY GREAT THOUGHTS ARE CONCEIVED BY WALKING    ——-Nietzsche

I did my good deed for the day a couple of weeks ago . The phone rang in the morning —- desperate plea !  A friend was sick , so sick that she couldn’t drive her car home from work . Would I come over and pick it up and leave it at her house .arcadia dec. 2012 003

By chance I was able to take the metro over to her workplace . It was the school that happened to have been my workplace several years back . I would have to take the Gold Line to Union Station and then catch the Red Line to Beverly . Ada was able to give me a ride to the Gold Line station before she had to be at her work . A year or so from now I’ll be able to walk to the metro , if all goes well .  It’ll come this far east , but not yet .  Not by two weeks ago .

I drove my friend’s car back to her house and left the key under the doormat . She lives in a house about a mile from mine , so I took a walk home . It was a great day , a perfect day for a walk .

I shot a couple of pictures of the right-of-way where the Gold line will be extended . The track signals are still there from a long gone  train line . Gone , but not completely forgotten . The old tracks were left in the asphalt crossing the road . The other tracks are way  gone .  Who could have foreseen a new train line and so  left the rights-of-way clear ?   I wonder .Monrovia & highschool 2013 004 Monrovia & highschool 2013 006 Monrovia & highschool 2013 007 Monrovia & highschool 2013 008

I love living near the mountains .   O.K. , O.K. , the foothills .Monrovia & highschool 2013 024

I passed the high school . It’s been there a long time . At one time it served Monrovia , Arcadia , and  Duarte .  Think about that .Monrovia & highschool 2013 014 Monrovia & highschool 2013 015 Monrovia & highschool 2013 022 Monrovia & highschool 2013 017

It was known as MAD High School . Did you go to MAD High ?  Plenty of the older folks in Monrovia , Arcadia , and Duarte  did .

I wonder if the high school back then had a school magazine ?  Think about it .  Seems to me I remember one .

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pickup on south street

This morning I was wandering through the rich neighborhood  north of Foothill on the other side of Santa Anita Ave. My mind was wandering , too , a little faster than I walk . I was looking at the mansions , listening to the latino  gardeners neaten up the large yards with their noisy mowers and trimmers  and blowers , wondering where the house owners are . I never see them and , so , I always wonder where they are .

I saw a little piece of metal on the road as I walked . It brought back memories from childhood . Funny how that happens .  Memories swarmed . I passed the little piece of metal but I decided to go back  and  pick it up . I brought it home . street finding - street cleaner bristle 003

I picked it up because , when I was a kid , I would have picked it up .   These things  were  treasures  for us kids back in those days .

It’s a slender steel bristle from a street-cleaning brush . The street cleaner has  a large rotating cylindrical metal-bristled brush noisily slapping the crud on the asphalt as the vehicle drives  slowly along .  I haven’t seen one of those vehicles in several years . I wondered if maybe the city  discontinued the service; but now I think :  except in the rich neighborhood . The rotating brush never seemed to ever clean anything anyway . Maybe the sweeper sloosh , sloosh , slooshes around the rich neighborhood still , bothering nobody , cleaning nothing , but nevertheless going through the motions , putting in time , feeling useful  .  The rich guys’ properties are shaped and shorn and organized carefully  into yards of  polished pulchritude .  But , despite the evident appearances of the elusive and endangered street sweeper , the roads in the rich neighborhood look like those in my neighborhood , looking remarkably like my road’s asphalt ,  sandy and scraped , with a lived-on look .

My father used to detest these little flexible metal toys we’d find on the road . They were dangerous . They’re flexible with somewhat sharp edges . A kid could bend one of these , then  maliciously let it go , and it would spring out and fly recklessly through the air at high speed .  I can hear my dad : ” You could lose an eye like that !”  None of my friends ever did , but  my dad was right ; you could lose an eye like that . We did fling those things hazardously  at one another , aggressively , causing various other injuries to each other  besides losing an eye .

I think that  cities must have swept the streets more often in those days . It seems to me that those little metal shards were lying around all the time , on every street ,  when I was a kid . Maybe they are still lying all around . Maybe  kids still  find them  when , to adults , they are unseen .  Could it be ?  And , maybe kids are no longer interested , these days ,  in picking some discarded scrap of junk off the street to make it a toy , to test it for potential uses ,  inventing   low-tech ,  perhaps foolish , forms of simple entertainment . We were so unsophisticated back then , I suppose , but easily entertained .Julian Pete 001

I suppose I have had rich guys on my mind recently . I’ve been reading a book titled THE GREAT LOS ANGELES SWINDLE  written by a man named Jules Tygiel and published in 1994 .  In the 1920s  many of the L.A. elite traded stocks and made money , legally and otherwise   , investing in what was called Julian Pete stock . A self-promoter named C.C. Julian started an oil company when oil wells in the L.A. area became a big deal ,  and  later , a mining company , and he roped in the big money men who made quick money questionably on Julian Pete stock deals until the whole scam fell apart . Old man Flint was one of the investors . Motley  Flint was the guy who started the upscale city of Flintridge ,  just north of L.A.  My thoughts were wandering ,  as I’ve said , while I was walking this morning ,  toward  Motley  Flint , Julian Pete , the 1920s L.A. underworld , and wealth in general .

Wealth is a relative concept , after all . Some of these guys involved in the Julian Pete swindle had , and admitted that they did, more money already than they could spend . But , they wanted more . C.C. Julian and others were there to promise them more , to promise easy profits on sure-thing  investments .   The investments seemed so good and paid off so well that they never seemed honest . But nobody asked many questions .  Just bask in your incredible luck and  don’t ask too many questions ! And they did . And they didn’t .  And they counted their money .  And they all must have lived in big houses , as big as these ,  surrounded by their rose gardens and iron gates  and manicured acres of lawn ,  in places more exclusive ,  yet similar ,  to where I am this morning  , in  Beverly Hills and in  Pasadena  and in Flintridge .

The subtitle of the  book I’m reading  is  OIL , STOCKS , AND SCANDAL DURING THE ROARING TWENTIES .  These shenanigans  didn’t end in the twenties , though .  Does the name Bernie Madoff ring a bell ?  But , I’m just talking through my hat .  I don’t comprehend money matters , especially at the rich guy level . I just wonder . I wonder where all the people who live in these huge houses are . Are they in there , I wonder , or  are they out in the world doing business , making profitable deals as , simultaneously , I wander along their streets, making no deals ,  gaping often impertinently at their front facades ?  I walk along , treading the asphalt of their streets , because there are no sidewalks . The unwritten , needless , invisible signs in a place like this clearly say PRIVATE . KEEP  OUT .

Kids could play softball or kickball on these streets . It’d be great ; the roadways stretch  wide and are almost  deserted . Windows are so far from the curbs in this neighborhood that no ball would threaten them .  But , no one plays in the streets here and never have , I suspect.walk in rich oaks neighborhood 041.

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10 things I wish I still had

I know , I know . I said that I’d never do a 1o list ,  ie. 10 best this ; 10 reasons to….., etc.    Among other things , the 10 -list thing bothers me because 10 is too much a  round number . Everything , good or bad , comes in tens ? Are you kidding me ?    It’s a little too French too , somehow . No offense to the French . But didn’t the French Revolution usher in , among other things , the decimal system , lists of ten best these and ten worst  those ?  I think that the Assemblee  Constituante in Paris in the 1790s  made the first 10 list . I’m pretty sure it was : Ten Reasons For Overthrowing Monarchies ,  if I remember my European history correctly. Robespierre ?policz kropki

But , I think it would be interesting to think about some of the gone away things that I wish that I still had .  I wish sometimes , for example , that I still had my 1960 Opel Olympia .  I’d replace the floral pattern contact paper on the sides with fresh stuff ; but , this time , maybe a geometric pattern would do  . I’d get the brakes fixed . I’d  drive it just around the neighborhood . Just for fun .

Of course I’d want to have my hair back , a little long ,  just for driving the Opel . It wouldn’t have to be black . It might be white .  Somehow the Opel needs a long-haired  driver . Hard to explain . Shades of the old days , I guess , is what the Opel thing is all about .

I’d like to have my octagonal oak table back . I never should have sold it . I bought it from old Hugh Brown , an old man who lived in downtown Los Angeles where he had built his house in 1921   .  He had been a mining engineer . He’d had his own mining company . He wrote music . He had a picture of himself and Harry Truman at the piano . Both were at the same bench . Yeah . Mr. Brown had been a lawyer ; thought he still was , even in his nineties . I guess he was .  But , when I knew him he was half crazy and mostly blind and a cantankerous old hermit . The table was lying under an inch of dust in Mr. Brown’s basement . The table legs were nearby . He sold it to me for $ 15 . It had a leaf underneath that swung up in the center when the table was opened . The thing had been made in L.A.  I bolted the legs back on , cleaned it up , and I had a wonderful oak  table for several years until   I sold it to Rock Hudson for $ 90 . Yeah , Rock Hudson , about a year before he died . Who knows where the table has been since then . I wish I had it back .images

That’s three for my list  . I’m not doing ten . I told you that .  Twenty-five is too many . Four , five , or six might not be enough . I think eight would be a good number for a list , or nine , or possibly eleven or twelve . Thirteen might be good except that thirteen is , of course ,  questionable .happy friday

13 ? Are you kidding  ?  13 things………13 best places to eat sushi …………?  Never . Thirteen has too much baggage to  make an effective list .  13 favorite places …..13 worst foods………….13 best cities…………13  tastiest restaurants…………….. ?   Thirteen is too tied up with bad luck , Zodiac , ancient numerology ,  mythical mumbo jumbo . All the ancient peoples recognized the complex mojo of  13 . They twisted it into their calendars , their rituals , their apprehensions .  The sacred cord of the ancient Druids, for example , had thirteen segments . Did you know that already ?  Something awesome and fearsome  about 13 — be careful . They all knew that . None of the ancients ever  wondered about 13 ; it wasn’t one of the ancient wonders . None of them , as far as I know , made lists of 13 best or worst these or those . Even the French , to the best of my knowledge , never did that . The English had 13 American colonies . Where did that get them ?  The American founding fathers drew lines across the continent to extend the original 13 states until someone pointed out the fallacy of that to them , of staying with thirteen . Someone told Georgie Washington something like , “ The 13th hour is also the first ,”  or something like that . They might have told him also that the thirteenth chapter of Revelations  is reserved to the Antichrist and to the Beast . George never planned any battles for Fridays the 13th . I might be wrong about that , but I don’t think so .  13 ?  No . Don’t even go there . Remember  Apollo 13 ?  The number thirteen is the number of upheaval .  I’m beginning to wonder also , now that I’m reflecting on this , about 2013 . Maybe we should worry . flags in the neighborhood 006

I wish that I still had my Buffalo Springfield album . Of course , I’d have to make another wish , for my long gone turntable to play the album on . Now we’re at , what , five ? Five’s a good number , don’t you think ?  5 Things I Wish I Still Had .croquis2003-06001

Five might be a good list , a good place to stop  a list .  Five’s good , isn’t it ? Isn’t that why the USA  set up the Pentagon and not the Decagon  , or for that matter the Hexagon or the Octagon . The Olympics symbol consists of five interlocking rings , right ? Five’s good , right ?  To the   Pythagoreans five symbolized human life . The Pythagoreans discovered the five regular solids :

tetrahedron,

cube,

octohedron,

dodecahedron,

icosahedron .Picture 074

Nevertheless , I feel an urge to add one more item to my list of 10 Things I Wish I Still Had . I wish I still had the urge not to make a list of 10 things . But ,  after all , I did write the title : 10 Things ……..      When a blogger writes  10 Things then there is an obligation to follow-through and to write ten things . Otherwise the entire post is dishonest ; it doesn’t deliver what it promises . Who would trust that blog in the future ? Who would bother to read it ? No follow-through ! No integrity !

I wish I still had some integrity . That makes seven on my list .

I wish I still had that red long-sleeved cowboy shirt with the mother-of-pearl buttons . That was a cool shirt .Picture 065

I wish I still had the wish to walk several miles every day . I still like walking , but not so far or so often . And I get a lot more winded these days , of course . Wow , how wistfully  I wish I wouldn’t get so whoppingly winded while wearily walking awound . That’s nine .

I wish I still had the wish to write this post . But I don’t . That’s 10.oranzada

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