(on the left, me dresed in William Shatner's wardrobe from some Star Trek movie. As you may be able to note, since I have no idea which movie, I am not a Trekkie.)
And, to answer Rachel's question, Did she ever look so young? Yes, and here is proof. Interestingly, I still make that face for photos. Oh my god, there are those pleated shorts again, and this time you can see the black workboots with socks.
Since no one asked for it, let me follow up yesterday’s post of our arrival to riot filled Los Angeles 15 years ago with what happened next.
Our first full day in Los Angeles. Since we were staying at the Radisson Bel-Air hotel, we decided to take advantage of the amenities and went to lay out by the pool. There we were on a plateau behind the hotel, looking out over the city as it smoldered (literally, not figuratively) and we felt the guilty decadence of sunning ourselves while Rome burned below. Even if you weren’t looking, you could still smell the smoke in the air.
We checked out by noon and we were heading towards our friend’s house to stay. But we knew we couldn’t’ show up empty handed. We pulled into a grocery store. Hysteria lived inside.
We made our way around and picked up a few things we thought would be nice then got in line. Every check out counter was open and there were probably about 20 people in each line. People had come in twos and one person got in line as the other shopped and brought things to the line person. (Mental note to selves, learn this trick.)
The woman in front of us had one item in her basket. Now four. Now ten. Our line was getting longer without anyone moving. Then the man with the woman in front of us came up and exploded , first to the woman then to everyone in line, “THEY DON’T HAVE SPINACH! HOW CAN THEY NOT HAVE SPINACH?! DON’T THEY KNOW I AM ON A LIMITED DIET!?! WHAT AM I GOING TO EAT!!!?” The calm woman told him to get what he could. Go look for spinach in the frozen section. He left and came back with frozen spinach. The woman looked back at us, shrugged and smiled. We smiled back. (clearly we were not from LA) Then the two of them glanced down at our provisions.
“I want to go where you guys are going,” said the man looking at our cart filled with nacho chips, sour cream, cheese and a 12 pack of Corona.
The woman added, “If that’s all I had to get for an emergency, I’d have skipped this madhouse all together.”
We explained the had just arrived yesterday and we were staying with friends who had told us they had everything they needed.
By now the couple in front had finished checking out. “Well, welcome to L.A.” they said as they motioned back to the madness that had not dissipated behind us and they headed out of the store.
We did make it to West Hollywood. The National Guard was deployed to Los Angeles. I don’t think the one had to do with the other. The riots did subside.
Our life in L.A. began. In the first year and half we saw the National Guard deployed a total of three times. Once more for the second Rodney King beating verdicts and once for the Northridge Earthquake.
We found a house that was tiny with a rent that was large. But since people were fleeing the city the rent had dropped a whopping 3%. From a house overlooking the water in Bellingham, to a house across from an elementary school and our rent had nearly doubled for the privilege.
We took each disaster scenario in stride. We did learn the “one in line one in store” trick to shopping in pandemonium.
Now 15 years later I get to be the welcome wagon.