My family moved to Los Angeles, mid-December 1957, from the State of Washington.
I absolutely hated leaving the Pacific Northwest. My growing up life had been joyous in Washington (and visits to Southern Idaho to Grandmas house in the Summertime). What I mourned most (and I did for one year) and disliked leaving, was the romance I had with the outdoors and I missed my childhood friends too. I loved nature, mountains, fresh water lakes, armloads of Lilacs, apples picked from trees and the beautiful white almost-warm snow in the Wintertime to romp in. I had spent my lifetime running barefoot during shady Summers. Life was ideal and I knew it. I assumed nature was proof there was God and I still do (add a delightful friend or lots of them). I also loved my accomplices in childhood and I wrote letters to them frantically posted with 3 cent stamps (so they wouldn't forget me). They did.
Before, in Washington, our beautiful/cozy White Christmas´ were decorated with EMERALD GREEN pine wreaths, trees and garlands. Christmas trims would soon be replaced with less-lush/spindly and heavily flocked expensive Christmas Trees (flocking came in colors if you wanted to match them to your house. Ug!) shipped in from Canada! Bougenvillea was in bloom on those stark and Sunny Days of Southern California at Christmas'! Oy vey! ¨Ice plant¨ grew in every parkway and replaced ¨ice cycles¨! No way! How I hated the bright Sun beating down on me/us at that first Christmastime as we raced to buy gifts for some of the many ¨Clark, Bramley, Cross, Jones, Taylor/etc¨ relatives who had become Californians before us! I remember the jammed packed May Company, The Broadway and Buffum´s best. My Dad had a brand new, extra spiffy new job starting January 1958. He had been promoted to Industrial Sales Engineer for all of Los Angeles up to Santa Barbra and had all the very biggest and high volume military and aircraft clients in his portfolio -- life was good as I pouted about readjusting and not finding ANY pleasure (or glee) under the Palm Trees...I hated Los Angeles!
My Mom and Dad made the transition as pleasant as they could. They made great effort to find a comfy/modernish stucco home (it needed work) and then proceeded to turn it into a charming place to live. My parents were great that way with Mom redecorating (including doing all the painting with white fabrics wrapped around her head to protect her coiffed hair) and Dad doing the large backyard garden and front drive and lawns. Dad painted the stucco on the house medium PINK with WHITE trim. They built a high redwood fence (there was a huge/acres open wild green area behind the property of our house. We gleamed (we always had, albeit in WHITE with dark GREEN trim in our Northwest earlier life)! Then, came the patio, the indoor/outdoor living the planting of Dichondra (and the everyday fight with Crab grass). WE were true Californias now. We went to the Philharmonic Auditorium downtown L.A. for Light Opera, visited Farmers Market to shop for giant Avocados, saw West Side Story at Grauman´s Chinese Theatre, ate/loved Mexican Food and leaned to Body Surf at Redondo Beach. My life was about to unfold before me in ways that made me extra glad to be alive...differently!
Hooray for Hollywood!
Under Len´s Lid, was the name of the weekly column I wrote as Feature Page Editor for the Narbonne High School student produced/journalism class newspaper: The Green and Gold.
to be continued