In the late nineteen nineties, during a construction boom, several blocks of downtown Los Angeles businesses closed their doors to make way for high rise luxury apartments, organic grocery concerns, work out spaces, and coffee shops. One of the stores scheduled for demolition was an antique shop with an eclectic array of sundries for sale. Since it was the last of a third generation family, when faced with extinction, they were happy to retire in a sunny climate with a generous nest egg. They held a “going out of business sale” event in which every item must go.
Some large items were from old circus venues and sideshows such as authentic costumes, swords, and historical documents. Stuffed animals sat beside some prized period furniture. After the sale was over, the shop was bare except for a stack of old dusty pictures in the storage area. The boxes moved to the alley near the dumpsters and forgotten. That same night a windstorm attacked the city and blew the boxes in the air and all over the streets. One such box contained old photographs, some over one hundred years old. As they blew across the city and picked up and wondered at, stories came alive and fired a few new, wild dreams. Here are those stories.