|Here There Now Then
||[Sep. 10th, 2008|09:54 pm]
Going out moments ago to fetch the mail (I've become so forgetful of it lately), I heard what sounded like a dog's soft "woof" but, when it was repeated a moment later I realized it was coming from a tree, and I knew it to be an owl. After retrieving the mail, I stood quietly a few minutes, listening to the crickets and the few remaining cicadas, but the owl hoot never came again, and neither was there any sound of wings enlivening the still, cool night air. Perhaps the owl flew silently, or perhaps it remained in the tree all the while, watching me. I'm sure the dark is full of eyes I never see.|
In the Tubes of Internets, I've been perusing On Bunker Hill, a web site devoted to the vanished historic neighborhood of downtown Los Angeles on one corner of the site of which the photos of grazing goats to which I linked yesterday were taken. So far, I've found nothing on the site about goats of yesteryear, but there are lots of odd little bits and pieces about events going back to the neighborhood's early days in the late 19th century, and up to the 1960s, when it fell victim to the urban destroyal project which led to the scattered vacancies now being grazed by our caprine friends amid the vast buildings which drained the old financial district along Spring Street of its tenants, leaving it a dispirited urban husk for upward of two decades. Two neighborhoods gutted for the price of demolishing one! Who can say that L.A.'s city planners don't know how to get a bargain?
Of late, Spring Street has become a hot location for gentrification by the abundant yuppies who, if they have nothing else to recommend them, at least possess some appreciation of those splendid old buildings which managed to survive the years of desuetude to which a misbegotten municipal policy condemned them. The other result of that policy— the utter destruction of old Bunker Hill— has, as far as I'm concerned, accomplished nothing so beneficial to humans as it has to those goats. But then, I'm no fan of middle-aged Frank Gehry.
In any case, the web site has many surprising tales, including one about what happened to a Miss Laura Cash, visitor from Arkansas, in the Northern Hotel on Second Street:
"In July 1920 a bizarre incident unfolded at the Northern, when two little girls from Little Rock -- Laura Cash and Margaret Martin – arrived in Los Angeles and encountered a strange, ticked off lady who tossed a note addressed to Miss Martin into the room she shared with Miss Cash. It read: 'Margaret Martin, it will not pay you to keep on with Levee. A word to the wise is sufficient. Mrs. Levee.' Find out more about the outraged Matilda Levee and her (perhaps) philandering husband on the Hotel Northern page of On Bunker Hill. Time spent on other pages of the site will be rewarded by additional diverting narratives, along with numerous old photos.
"Baffled by this message, Miss Martin went off to take a stroll. It was then that Matilda, long estranged wife of attorney Frederick R. Levee, entered the Hotel Northern and returned to the room where she'd left the note, encountering there Miss Cash. Assuming Cash was Martin, as she had previously assumed Martin was messing with her hubby (later it was asserted that Martin's visiting card was on Levee's desk because his law partner knew her), Mrs. Levee brandished a cowhide whip and slashed Miss Clark five or six times across the face. Cash shrieked, of course, and her assailant fled."
Alas, the temperature here will be hovering in the nineties every day through the weekend once again. As much as I enjoy a mild day such as yesterday in the midst of hot weather, I find far greater pleasure in a hot day in the midst of mild weather. I do wish September would get back to being its usual late summerish self instead of behaving like August.
Now to shower off that Augustan residue.