Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Round Trip Pt.3 - La Califusa

Los Angeles, California, United States of America

Here's the street where I was raised.
The parents moved away when I went to school. Took me awhile to track them down.

<a onblur=That's the Hollywood sign in the distance. Every street south of Wilshire seems to lead to the Hollywood sign. You can't escape it. It floats around.

My mission: Get to LA. Visit kinfolk. Buy a truck. Drive back to Alabama.
My research had revealed that vehicles in LA are less expensive and in better condition than most other places. The above gentleman, John, of San Marino, gave me a great deal on a Dodge pickup. He took excellent care of it and he was a very friendly fellow. But it needed some minor repairs. My car buff cousin, Steve, hooked me up with a car genious named Leo. Leo works out of his own backyard. Leo happens to be from Alabama so the good vibes around this thing continued.

With the vehicle business out of the way, I spent the remaining few days hanging with family and digging the city. Growing up here, I really hated Los Angeles and couldn't wait to leave. But now I think it's a real fine place and I always enjoy stopping through.

My nephew, Toussaint, likes to cut hair. Doesn't leave home without his shears. Traveled all the way from DC with them.
It was a sunny, breezy day so we did what any normal group of men would do and set up a barbershop in my mother's garden.
He cut my Dad's hair then he cut mine.

I complemented his tonsorial skills by stating that he seemed to have taken ten years off (my appearance). He ungraciously responded, "Nah, I took Ugly off" . Without hesitation, I moved to smite this brash young ruffian but he is agile and fleet footed.

My Mom likes to pose with her grandkids. Toussaint convinced her to throw up what looks like some kind of peace/gang sign. It could also be the universal sign of the hair stylist.

My day at the beach was interrupted by this display...

It was unexpectedly moving. The Veterans for Peace are effectively bringing the situation home.


But the coastline still otherwise has it's particular charms,



(Elvis segues to Alice)

I've got a few good friends in LA but Alice Tuan (aka Megaphone Alice, aka LaTuana, aka, aka) is the only one I'm sure to catch. She writes her plays and lectures, mouthing off about every dang thang, constantly traveling here and there. We manage to bump into one another anyway. Within 20 minutes of getting together, we'll have created 20 characters, outlined 3 plays, 7 performance pieces and written lyrics for an album of songs. We're a 2-man improvisation machine.

I love photographing Alice. She's the image of the art ideal. Taking in every last scrap. Knocking the bits around in the brain. Invention. Remix. Failed Invention. Invention again. Simply put, Alice cuts a dashing figure...And I just click away. But she will not sit still.

Thank God for Google.


Next day. Me and the truck hit Highway 10 going east.