20. A Los Angeles Summary

The majority of my Los Angeles travels rolled the consistently thick traffic corridor from the downtown arts quarter of the LA County & the Tarpits down Venice blvd to the MJT and the Beach. In the evenings, when the traffic crawled, the medians filled with sellers of fruits and flowers, t-shirts and sneakers, they walked from window to window as the drivers sat. The sky maintained that rainless "June gloom" haze until day 4, the Getty, and my drive out.

Night 1, a late afternoon arrival, my first tour of the MJT, and a room at the Extended Stay America. I got the Oklahoma blogpost up. I had a few of those good stouts from Baker, CA, then regrettably, stared dumbly at the television till dos am.

Night 2, after a long day of Tarpits, the LA County, the folk art M., and more MJT, I pulled in the pay-to-park Venice beach lot. I paid the $3, locked my keys in the truck, held a headlamp for some guy as he worked at my door for an hour. I gave him $5o. I found a reasonably friendly looking street near the beach, bought a stone IPA bomber bottle, crawled in the back of my truck, rigged up a few curtains to conceal my presence, enjoyed the beer, listened to the passersby and and wrote in headlamplight until I slept.

Night 3, I rose at seven to morning-street-sounds, made a coffee shop for breakfast & wash-up, I walked my 3rd MJT tour at noon and the CLUI thereafter. I rounded out the Texas blogpost in a coffee shop, rolled by Bukowski's old apartment on Delongpre in Hollywood, then drove up to my friend Jade's place in the Hollywood hills. Two girls Jade knew had flown in from Indiana, shopped the day, bought $500 sunglasses, then cabbed up to Jade's for sleep. We had beers on the rooftop and watched Hollywood Blvd. below. I tired out quick and couch crashed.

Day 4, Woke to a hangover, got some coffee, ate some old bread and salami from my truck supplies and made it up 405 to blue sky and the Getty Museum. After an afternoon at the Getty, I rolled the Angeles national forest and the pudgy treeless mountains of Los Padres down into the central valley where the rivers are dammed and the farming flourishes. I thought of the Joads poking into that valley of happiness not knowing they had a dead grandma in the back of their jalopy, and of Woody Guthry's rendition of the situation:

"they stood on the mountain and the looked to the west / and it looked like the promised land / that bright green valley with the river running through it, there was work for every single hand / they thought / there was work for every single hand"

I continued down into the flat and green of Bakerfield, CA, where the Kern River flows and the Joads had put their grandma to rest. I ended at friend from High School's place, Sara G, in Bakersfield. She had a beauty spot downtown with a vegetation filled courtyard and a handful of decent people hanging out and having beers in it. They told me the central valley was most often weeping hot and that a heavy pollution haze wafts all the way down from San Fran and hangs in their valley. We drank, had some dinner, drank a bit more, then slept.