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Some large items were from old circus venues and sideshows such as authentic costumes, swords, and historical documents.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.
My latest book is now for sale and you can get it from the link below. This is a beautiful hard back book with 100 poems, prose and stories covering a range of subjects: trains, bicycles, bars, cafes, California beaches, streets, Denison, abstract feelings, coffee shops, night hours, Hollywood, East Texas, old preachers, and cowboys.
The California winter of 18/19 brought many new aspects, bits and pieces. I worked daily on a new book of poetry that will be published and available for sale later this year. The title is “Old Photographs and Wild Dreams” and deals with roughly ten completely different subjects with a total of 100 new poems. More on this later…
Los Angeles awoke from it’s long drought and brought rain almost daily. February was the coldest in over 100 years and we Angelenos who covet the seventy degree mark, never saw it once. So, for we hot house flowers, we froze our asses off.
The weather induced a time of reflection, introspection and appreciation for the gift of life and friendship. The Oscars seemed to be perfect for once, although to those, whom life is just one long complaint, it was still the worst. Thanks to Movie Pass and later on A-List (AMC), Edina and I saw more movies in a season that ever before. Many, many great ones and a few duds.
I read some excellent books as the rain fell and the coffee brewed against the gray skies. Willy Vlautin’s “Don’t Skip Out On Me” and his latest “Lean On Pete” were at the top of my favorites. “Bad Jobs and Poor Decisions” by J.R Helton brought back memories of my own life of ten years in East Texas. A really great read that deserves a large audience. Anthony Bourdain’s foray into a crime story “Gone Bamboo” and Michael Koryta’s “The Last Honest Horse Thief” were the ones I read in one stetting they were so good. I’ve been a John Grisham fan from the start and his “The Reckoning” is the best in years. “White Rose Black Forrest” by Eoin Dempsey is a poignant tale of Germany during WWII, while probably my favorite was a non-fiction account of “Life at the Dakota” by Stephen Birmingham, that examines a thorough history of New York’s upper West Side.
Streaming television has become an addiction and there was plenty to enjoy. Netflix and Amazon kept pouring good stuff out there almost daily, and occasionally, Hulu brought a surprise. Showtime’s Ray Donovan reset in the Big Apple and once again kept my interest week by week. HBO’s 3rd season of True Detective returned to its former glory and may have been the best series of the winter.
My sons insisted I start listening to podcasts several years ago and although I don’t tune in for as much content as they do, Marc Maron’s WTF twice weekly podcast has become a fixture in my weekly routine. He’s moved into a new house and garage, but still has the same insecurities and opinions. His cutting edge guest list keeps informed about current culture as much anything out there, I guess.
Because of a long tenure in Colorado, I’ve been a life long Broncos fan since the 70’s. About ten years ago I promised God that if he would intervene and bring an NFL team to LA, I would convert, no matter the team. So. a few years back I became a Rams fan, and what a ride it has been. Horrible disappointment set in fast over the Super Bowl loss, but I recovered quickly as spring training followed. I am over that last two World Series losses to our city and am ready to root for the “Blue” once more. Hope springs eternal and “go Dodgers!”
Edina and I fell in love with camping near the coastline a few years back and we are chomping at the bit for another season on waves, wildlife, and wonderful sunsets at Point Magu. We were able to spend a few warm days in Pismo Beach the end of January and that helped ease the camping blues.
Hollywood Bowl season is also near and we love the “bowl events” where we can take a load of fried chicken and TJ wine into the concert and escape into that special magic. The first one we have planned is the first week of June with Dead & Company. We saw Dark Star Orchestra at the Saban in Beverly Hills last month and they wrestled the Dead’s set list alive and had the place jumping till it shook.
I’ll write more posts in the coming days.
“When you’re lost in the rain in Juarez and when it’s Easter time too.”-Bob Dylan