We’re going to Los Angeles at the end of the month. It’s a quick trip, really a long weekend. My friend’s son is being Bar Mitzvahed. Steffie’s there. Do we really need a reason?
I love L.A. I’ve been there dozens of times over the years. It’s vibrant and exciting.
I was thinking back this evening to my first trip to Los Angeles. It was August 1968. It was really the first time I’d ventured far from home on my own.
This trip was prior to my getting a drivers license. I flew TWA from JFK to LAX.
An older Hispanic woman sat in the seat next to me. She looked nervous and crossed herself as we began our rollout. I smiled and told her we were fine. I don’t think she understood.
From LAX I hopped a bus into Hollywood.
The route headed out and up a steep and winding road. I could see other buses on the street. Many carried an ad on the back for “Lloyd’s Snooty Furniture.”
I saw my first oil well from that bus. The hills were dotted with stubby pumps bringing oil to the surface.
It was blindingly sunny. The air was dry. It was unlike any summer I’d ever seen.
I don’t remember getting to Hollywood, but I do remember the hotel. We were staying at the Hollywood Roosevelt. It had a big neon sign on the roof. You couldn’t miss it.
Within five minutes of arriving and meeting my friends I was stopped by police on Hollywood Blvd. Jaywalking!
The ticket remains unpaid.