"The sun is shining.
The grass is green.
The orange and palm trees sway.
There's never been such a day
In Beverly Hills, L.A.
But it's December the twenty-fourth,
And I'm longing to be up north." from the "lost" first verse of "White Christmas"
I haven’t had a camera around lately and so I’ve been taking some mental “shots”. They exist in my memory just as I had captured them on film, sadly, I can not share them with others, in fact I can’t really keep them at all, as they were moments, gone and unlikely to be repeated. Here are a few:
- Lincoln Heights, today, Saturday, January 13, 2007, walking home down North Broadway from the LA Bakery with my morning coffee. I walked about a block behind a man in a cowboy hat. Even from behind I knew he was a vaquero—the Mexican variety of cowboy. His gait was bowed (as from a lifetime of riding a horse). His hat was red (i.e. decorative not functional), and he sported a matching red scarf in his back pocket. What really struck me was that as I saw this figure ahead of me, was a mental flash I had, of the archetypal western cowboy. “There’s only room in this town for one of us” I thought. The reason? He walked with his arms away from his body, bowed similar to his legs, as if poised to reach for a pair of pistols. John Wayne would have approved. And me without my camera.
- I was heading for my ex’s house, traveling down Alameda from Downtown towards South Gate. The neighborhood (if could call this industrial strip a hood) gets increasingly (shall we say) rough. Here vendors walking the median strip are common place, selling anything and everything, from socks to incense. But it was nearing Christmas and the goods were aimed at last minute shoppers. At a stop light, up walked a heavy set Mexican vendor, leather bag slung over his shoulder, and on his hand…a bright yellow duck puppet. The ducky was so cute and fluffy, and the man so grimy and gruff, I couldn’t stop laughing, which unfortunately only encouraged the salesman, who then quacked his duck with ever more fervor. I would have died to have a camera with me for that one.
- I made a wrong turn coming home from just before Christmas, and ended up driving through Burbank I came to the intersection of the roads, a brightly lit area, and noticed a crowd gathering. I looked over and saw a brand new red Miata convertible with the top down, driven by Santa Claus. Only in LA, Santa in a Miata (which makes me wonder what it would be in Northern California: Santa in a Prius? – in Chicago, Santa in a Buick? - In Manhattan? Santa in a Taxi? There is such potential here.
- A tall black man dressed in red from head to toe. A red suit, red hat, red socks, red shoes. I really, really wanted a pic of him, because my father has a great shot of what he calls the “blue man”, shown at right, and it would have totally cracked him up. If only I could have had a shot of "red man". Too bad. You'd think I'd learn!