Since the overpass damage on the 60 freeway is running into a longer repair timeline, Southern California’s commuter train, Metrolink, has embraced hundreds of new passengers.
First excursion train in Alaska, Skagway, Alaska, 1898. UW Digital Collections
A double tanker truck, carrying 8,800 gallons of gas, caught fire on the Pomona freeway yesterday and caused enough damage to the Paramount Boulevard overcrossing that Caltrans says they will have to demolish it. Taking down this freeway overpass will take days if not weeks. In the meantime, the surface street commute is moving at a crawl as cars re-route to other freeways.
This eight mile stretch of freeway was a traffic nightmare, unlike the ordered freeways farther north.
Freeway (Route I-5) runs directly through this established residential area of NE Portland, June 1973, by David Falconer, National Archives at College Park
Between the 1940’s – 60’s skate wheels were added to wooden planks by innovative Californian’s looking for a way to practice their surfing skills on days when the waves were flat. In the mid-1960’s Skateboarder Magazine began to document this counter-cultural movement. About the same time, brothers James and Paul Van Doren moved to Southern California to start the Van Doren Rubber Company. James, who had worked at a shoe company in Massachusetts (and who was trained as a chemist) made a special rubber for the soles of canvas tennis shoes that became popular with skateboarders because the stickiness of the soles gripped the skateboards. This technical advancement along with comfort and style led to loyal followers who helped shortened the brand name to Vans.
In October 12, 2011, James Van Doren, co-founder of Vans passed away after a long illness. The shoe company that he and his brother Paul began is still thriving in California. My parents bought me my first pair of olive green Vans when I was ten years old, and I wore them when I wiped out on my brothers skateboard. I still have the elbow scars I earned on that asphalt street and last month, I bought the same style I’d owned then in navy blue.
After several unsuccessful hunts for a Bohemian coffee shop, a friend suggested a classic coffee shop in town where I finally felt right at home. Mobbed with students cramming for finals, it reeked of the kind of creative banter that used to be found at Starbucks in its early days in Seattle. With an extensive coffee menu, warm apple cider, Italian gelato and quiet, classical music, I can finally work amid familiar surroundings that even include exposed ceiling pipes.
Unknown from the Lincoln Coffee House Lounge & Cafe, Rowe Street, Sydney. Photographed by Brian Bird, c. 1948 – 1951, State Library of the New South Wales Collection. Note: the coffee lounge was the birthplace of the “Sydney Push” movement where artists, writers, university students, lecturers and Bohemians gathered
In 1500, this Coram Rege Roll of Henry VII stood in for King Henry (coram rege) when any court proceedings that ought be carried out by the King (in person) needed to be made. Traditionally, the portrait of the monarch was used in this way, but with Henry VII, this red rose of Lancaster stood on his behalf.
Yesterday Mama pruned the roses Papa had planted several decades ago. She did this not just on behalf of Papa but because of her love for plants, cutting the thick rose stems with large pruning sheers. I followed the trail of leaves and petals with thick gloves and a barrel collecting the woody stems and sharp thorns. It was work that could often take Mama days to do, but the sunshine and the pending rain inspired her surge of energy. Sore as she was afterwards, the perfume that filled the house from the roses now in vases somehow carry in the aroma of Advent.
Lancastrian Rose by the National Archives, UK
Growing up in East LA we’d visit my Grandmother (Bunya) in her triplex cottage set back behind her brother’s house. Bunya had made her way to America from the old country and never learned to drive. Instead, she rode the bus to the then small groceries and bought bread when she hadn’t already made her own.
Living now with her daughter (my Mama) we eat our meals together with laughter and when we’re done, Mama cups the scattered bread crumbs in her hand to clear the table the way Bunya did. This small gesture takes me back to the small blue kitchen in Bunya’s house where we squeezed around a small formica table for Saturday breakfasts, drinking strong tea or coffee with milk. The crumbs there came from just as delicious a meal as the ones I eat today.
With the end of the semester making its way into the December calendar, students head to the beach to chill out. I still do a double-take when random folks show up in the library with a tan.
It’s also the season for colds and flu and working in small spaces with carriers of these unwanted viruses can make the holidays less than fun. Then there are the travelers who find colds while visiting family and end up laying on couches with tissues rather than enjoying the company and fine food offerings.
We have done a little of both – having our share of colds, flu, and virus bouts while traveling a little ways here and there for short or long periods of time. Mostly, we stay warm, eat well, gain a little weight and imagine what it might be like to build a Christmas snowman on the beach in our sun suits.
Three girls making a “sandman” at the beach, by Ozzie Sweet, State Library and Archives of Florida, 1964
Last week the Santa Ana winds came tearing through Southern California with nothing in mind but force of speed not seen here in nearly 75 years. The 85 mile an hour winds hit towns like Temple City and Arcadia knocking out power for nearly a week. Unlike Hurricane Betsy in Miami, Florida, these winds have no water behind them but are rather able to spark dry grass to flames. As the wind watch continues winter dances in.
View from the Dupont Plaza of men walking in Hurricane Betsy – Miami, FL