POSTCARDS....a small card with a picture on one side...

March 2, 2015

Going Visiting

George was brave and drove us up to LA earlier than needed.  No wrecks, no rain, but two and a half hours of traffic found us in the middle of a Chinatown Firecracker bike race.  We had no idea what was happening but cut through the cones into the hotel room.  Once I got them to change the bedspread, it was spotless and $99.95 with free parking. 

We found Bobbies gallery…not open yet, and we found Monica’s house…tho we didn’t bother them a whole day early.  We asked the desk clerk where to eat.  Sometimes these recommendations are good and this one was.  #2 for two…no MSG…75 years in business.  We liked the meal.  Then back up into the Tourist Chinatown for Bobbies show.

Yes, we liked her finished work a lot.

We wandered through other open galleries.  The horseshoe gallery had a new naive painter showing her work that I was quite passionate about.  Many stores were closed.  Much of the woodwork was fragile or actively falling apart of falling off.  Many signs of folks no longer caring or not having the energy.

Outside in the chill morning sun, the community was a setting up a marathon.  Runners practicing.  Fresh coffee at the motel.  Bands playing.  Ten thousand fire crackers going off.  Police.  Lights flashing.  Runners.  Lots of effort to refresh this area in the public’s mind.  G found an open bakery, and we both sat waiting for the race to start eating the most mouth-watering of Chinese pastries. 

Many buildings were empty.  The streets were clean, but it was as if no one cared any more.  We called Monica’s house early, and they said come on over.  It was easy to park, but now all the buildings have walls and gates in this predominately Jewish neighborhood. 

What a wonderful visit we had.  Children grown, grandchildren, wives, marvelous foods all cooked by Monica.  Blintzes are very good things.  Ham, fruits, cheese, eggs, bagles, and a chocolate bundt cake to complete the meal.  Families you have known forever are best of all.  I had so much fun I forgot to take pictures.  Oh, I felt awful about that.    

We headed home into darkening clouds only greeting the rain just an hour north of our house.  Got cleaned up, ate once again, and headed out to our Sunday Commitments.  Boy did we sleep well.

February 28, 2015

Moving Feet

The clouds are black overhead, but none of the much ballyhooed rain has fallen.  Storm surf pounds the retreating sand, and the sea gulls sit in groups their heads pointing into the wind. 

It’s only in the fifties here, but it’s fun to wrap up and go down to stand on the jetty.  The surfers are there, scattered along the rocks all looking out to sea.  The wind hasn’t picked up to blow the surf flat yet, and they watch each wave with the intensity of a surgeon.  As if there is nothing more important than the shape of each wave as it pertains to their lives.  As if they will run home to grab their wet suits any moment.

I’ve checked the tide tables myself.  It does no good to walk on the beach at high tide.  Being a larger than life person, all I do is fight the soft sands as I struggle forward.  Low tide now.  It gives me a nice flat surface.  My sloppy old shoes find just enough purchase on the wet sand to push me forward. 

I used to walk three miles a day on the beach, on the streets to work.  I miss that swinging freedom a lot.  Today I struggle to get around Target or to walk through a parking lot.  I had this problem after surgeries before.  With a month off my feet, I turn into a breathless slug.  I’m hoping that dogged determination will give me back some of my freedom. 

But I no longer feel an urge to walk in the rain.

  • Himself:Much of his work comes from the east coast, and the east coast is snowed in.  He worked only half a day.
  • Me: Absolutely delighted in the four boxes of good books brought in to the store by a regular customer.
  • Reading:  An old JA Jance.
  • Balance: Seeing Bobbie today.

February 27, 2015

Tuna Seiners

We so rarely see the old style tuna clippers any more, so I was quite surprised to see the Chac Mool in Ensenada.  Last time we were down there, all we saw were wrecks and very tired ships.  This time, there were great signs of revitalization at the port.

Here, with the chopper on its deck, we have the Chacmool, (also spelled chac-mool).  It’s a term used to refer to a particular form of pre-Columbian Mesoamerican sculpture depicting a reclining figure with its head facing 90 degrees from the front, supporting itself on its elbows and supporting a bowl or a disk upon its stomach.  The Chac Mool is a tuna boat the way I remember them. 

San Diego was the home of the tuna clipper.  Before WWII, most were independently operated and fished the giant masses of tuna that swam just off our coast.  During the war, the Navy chartered most of the San Diego tuna clippers, but after the war the size and range of the ships grew.  From iron men fishing off the sides of the boat with poles, the mechanized winch, to the power block that allowed the ships to evolve, the ships are still changing.  

Powerful smaller boats now slide down the rear ramps.  They spread giant nets which are gathered up by small speed boats.  The nets are pulled on board by the power blocks, and everything is guided by modern electronics.  On decks cleared of antennas and machinery sits the helicopter. 

Today the fish have moved to the south Pacific.  The boats, men, and many families packed up and moved to American Samoa.  Portuguese families that don’t fish still live in my neighborhood.  Many driveways have red and green marker lights, and facades have small shrines to the Virgin Mary.  Portuguese Hall still has marvelous Festas, and there are still wonderful ceremonies where whole families take part, in special costumes, year after year.

San Diego has become a shrine to the old style tuna fisherman while the schools of tuna now shrink in the South Pacific.  Word is that tuna has been seen again off the California coastline.

Photo C: Undercurrents 2014

  • Himself:Worked, shopped at Costco, watched West Wing.
  • Me: With G’s help, brought up the little suitcase, laid out clothes for the weekend, and packed some small stuff.