Recently, I came across a dandy web page featuring an extensive collection of links to web sites containing History and Historical Resources for the Los Angeles area. As is the nature of teh web, to follow one link is to discover more, and by and by I fetched up at one I was not expecting. I've mentioned in earlier entries that, back in the deeps of time, I once attended a gathering at a Highland Park house built early in the 20th century by Jackson Browne's somewhat bohemian grandfather, Clyde Browne, an influential member of the circle of artists and intellectuals who peopled the Arroyo Seco for several decades around that time.
Turns out that somebody has put up a web page about the house, Abbey San Encino. (There was no "Saint Encino" as far as I know-- encina is the Spanish name of a type of evergreen oak tree-- but this sort of imaginative though inaccurate nomenclature was characteristic of the Anglo-Americans, who were often bemused into such linguistic foolishness by the exotic world of formerly Spanish California in those days.) There's a small but nice early picture of the house on that page, its setting a bit more bucolic than when I knew it, but even by my time the place still retained much of that romantic atmosphere this picture displays.
On that page, there is a link to another web site I didn't expect to find. It turns out that Jackson Browne has a brother named Severin Browne, also a songwriter and musician, who actually recorded a couple of albums for... Motown, of all things, in the 1970s. There are several free MP3s available on his site, for those with faster Internet connections (or more patience with dial-up downloads) than I possess. I am truly surprised that I never knew about this obscure brother. I did fetch one song, and must say that, though not my sort of music, it is not too shabby an example of its kind (sort of easy-listening R&B inflected country jazz pop... oh, you know-- singer-songwriter crap.)
Finally, sadly, I must say that the Bancroft Library of the University of California, Berkeley, has absolutely the worst web site ever! Most University-based web sites are bad, but Bancroft is a Byzantine nightmare of gargantuan evil. In fact, it is so utterly irredeemable, that, after attempting to use it, I found myself ghoulishly delighted to recall that UC Berkeley is located almost directly atop an active fault which is capable of producing an earthquake sufficiently powerful to turn the entire campus to dust in a matter of seconds. I am profoundly disturbed, and hold the University and its web designers responsible, that I now find this prospect terribly attractive. I shall never forgive them for this.
Anyway. The rain has long since ceased, but the mulberry tree continues shed its accumulated drops of water, from leaf to fat leaf, and I can hear the sound it makes, like a dozen idiosyncratic clocks counting irregular seconds, hour after hour. I do enjoy it.