Today youngest son decided to take a state AP Calculus test. It was in Simi Valley. So, I took the old Santa Susana Pass home. Then the wild and mysterious Box Canyon as well. The magic is still there too. One thing I can still count on in this fucking strange life. As I reached the high point of Box Canyon, I saw the pig with red eyes and then the 1979 Gary Numan song Cars came on the car radio. A moment of wow. My little green Fiat then tuned into a magical ride down a roller coaster. Turns and downs like never before with the words of Gary Numan singing to us. My little Fiat was a jewel as we road through the nimbus foggy clouds always hanging round this place. What a bitchin’ roller coaster ride it was this morning.
The song is all about those times when wild music seemed to fill the airwaves and my jerky head. 1979 was an incredibly good year for this fresh new music. Also, years later, the song was on my oldest son’s first play-station game. One of the first PS games he mastered is Test Drive. What a great song. Takes me on a car ride of good memories and today I have a new one. Perfection!
Knowing that True Sounds of Liberty or T.S.O.L. are in Europe having fun NOW…makes it all seem worth while. Jack Grisham has come out with a few books as well. These guys went through many changes through the years…some good and some bad. Regardless time shows no mercy. Here is another Limited Edition on Colored Vinylas the kids that they once were. Mr. Posh Boy gave them the push they needed and so this is a little bit of THEIR special PUNK ROCK history.
I have learned one thing. As Woody says, “Showing up is 80 percent of life.” Sometimes it’s easier to hide home in bed. I’ve done both. – Woody Allen
I saw the invites to this event and they stirred me up. I ignored it. Then my brother asked if I was going. It stirred me up again. I love Griffith Park yet I was in a lazy mood. With conflict and debate the kid and I decided to see what was up. We printed the directions to the event and then we were off.. Son is my car-copilot so he had to tell me where to go…ah how to get there.
“You sure we don’t get on the 134 east to get to the 5?” I asked.
“No just go straight on the 101 until you get to Los Feliz exit!”
We ended turning around near the Hollywood Bowl back on to the 101 heading towards the 134.
“Mom you have gone too far we are already past the Bob Hope Airport.”
I knew what was going on but I wanted him to get an idea and learn ‘ the dance of the 134, 5 and 101.’ Once we worked it out he knew where he goofed up and that we were now heading in the right direction and soon turning off towards Crystal Springs Griffith Park.
We found the place where the event was. I saw Ed Colver who was the tallest one there. So we set up our chairs at a distance and enjoyed our subway sandwiches. I was feeling the vibe. Getting an outside view and enjoying the park and my kid. He was eating and looking at the little pedal chopper bikes that some kids were riding. So we took a spin on a couple and had a hell of a time for an hour. I had so much fun. Don’t think we laughed like that in a long time.
I realized, as I walked closer into the crowd of punkers, what was pulling them together was not the sound of loud music. It was a buzz like bees around honey, friendship.
“Ok, I am ready to move in.”
“You don’t have to Mom.”
What use to draw me to these rebels like a moth to a flame was the sound of loud music. I was not picking up any on my antennas and they were up. We moved on in like it was the most natural thing to do. Colored hair, tattoos and life was there. A lot of happy faces and talking all-round made it a good place to be. It was darn good to talk with some of my ol’punk buddies and say hi to friends. I then got a couple looks from son and we were off.
He keeps me balanced. One foot in the music scene and one in a mama / kids world. I like it that way. I am happy we went. It seems like it was a very successful event!!
When times get boring and I have had enough. I take a ride up Box Canyon Rd.
Box Canyon Road starts at the corner of Lake Manor Drive and Valley Circle Blvd. It winds up a hill that overlooks the San Fernando Valley.
It leads into the old Santa Susanna Pass road. It is a wild ride that contains the feelings of how the ‘Valley’ use to be when I was a kid.
The desert meets the rolling hills of rocks, dirt, wild flowers and herbs. This is a place of mystery too. It once was the hang-out of the notorious Charles Mansion family who use to creepy-crawl through-out houses in the ‘Valley’.
Yet, this doesn’t spoil it for me. I drive Box Canyon road on rainy days. My favorite time is on foggy mornings when the clouds meet the hills.
The earth opens up with fragrant softness. Is there a valley down below or the end of the earth; a drop into vast whiteness because when you look up you see the same view.
Any time you go there the Lady-Face rock will greet you. There is a ranch half way up Box Canyon road that I dream of owning.
The view from the house I am familiar with and the barn there is a place for horses.
better than the Beatles… still a beauty of a song…
Did you ever notice when you close your eyes and look up at the sun that you can see a mandala? Red and orange colors flashing out in bursts of color. It reminds me of a Mosque. A vast ceiling in my eyes. This is what I am thankful for.
~ Holly said to Bear.
The sushi restaurant was not open on Turkey Day. My son called earlier, and no one answered the phone so we thought we would drive by and just see,
“Maybe they will be open?”
We planned to do this a couple of weeks ago.
“Na, it is dark. No one is there.”
My son continued to drive on while we decided what else to do.
“Well, I cooked up a turkey breast, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and yummy pan gravy at home. How about just going back home?”
“How about Coco’s or Niko’s restaurant?”
“Ya lets go to Niko’s!”
Niko’s is a coffee shop that we have eaten at many times over the years. We know most of the workers there; it is down and homey to us.
On the way there I was having the holiday blues. It was nice to get out of the house for a drive.
The streets were easy except for one slicer, which is a car that races in and out of the other cars without signaling.
I looked up and over and saw a bus with only one passenger at a bus-stop getting out.
“Hey, look at that guy on the bus all alone.”
“Don’t forget the bus driver!”
“Ya…, I see him too.”
Kentucky Chicken’s was open on Topanga Blvd. with a few people eating there. I also saw a few older people walking the streets. I felt a lonely freedom in my heart.
We drove past Coco’s, and it looked open and packed.
“Should we stop?”
“No let’s go to Niko’s.”
We drove up, parked, and walked up to the restaurant. I saw the host getting menus ready for us.
“Happy Thanksgiving,” we all said. Then we sat at a booth.
Our friend the waiter greeted us. We gave out smiles and said our greetings. We really like this guy because we have known him for years and he makes the best smoothies.
“I’ll have a third eye.”
“What is that?”
“It is mango, carrot and banana…”
We all gave the drink a try, and then the youngest son said,
“That is what I love about Niko’s they make the best smoothies and they put all sorts of things in them that I would never eat. They make it taste so good.”
I smiled at my son as I ordered the chief’s salad. He ordered a Monte Cristo sandwich. He powered down his hot coco already. I knew this meant trouble due to lactose intolerance, but hey it is Thanksgiving. My oldest son got his usual gyro sandwich.
We talked about friends, astronomy, and family. I left as the oldest son began to finish the youngster’s sandwich off.
“Sometimes you just got to let it go.”
“Why? I am hungry and it is Thanksgiving…everyone eats too much on thanksgiving.”
When humans participate in ceremony, they enter a sacred space. Everything outside of that space shrivels in importance. Time takes on a different dimension. Emotions flow more freely. The bodies of participants become filled with the energy of life, and this energy reaches out and blesses the creation around them. All is made new everything becomes sacred.
Betty’s husband worked on the Manhattan Project while they were living in Los Alamos, New Mexico. It was top secret. It was not until years later that her husband confessed to her what he worked on as a nuclear physicist. This changed Betty’s perspective on life, and I feel, always, troubled her psyche. They divorced and life was never the same for her.
1990 Betty MaCusic and I met at a little coffee shop in Rochester New York. She was drawn to my stick figure tattoos on my left arm which looked like Native American Kachinas.
“Are those Kachinas on your arm?”
“No, but they do look like them. They are actually a design I created.”
I was having a cup of coffee and some apple pie. I asked Betty to join me. We talked for a few hours about life. I was new to the east coast, and she had lived there for years. I just turned 30 and she just turned 70. It seemed like a friendship that was predestined to happen. We had many common interests. Two of them them being an interest in Native American spirituality and art.
Betty talked about politics, spirituality, and architecture. As her life unfolded before me, I was amazed to find out how beautiful and emancipated she was, and how tragic her life had become. She was a teacher, mother and grandmother but was now unemployed, divorced, and distant from her grandchildren. She had lived on the street when she did not take her lithium. Yet, during the short time I lived in New York our friendship grew and continued years later even after I moved back to California. Writing letters was still an art form then and we wrote to each other for many years. She would send me index cards with special quotes on them to inspire me.
While living in Rochester my white ford sedan took us on rides along the Erie Canal and into local wine country. My car was purchased on the east coast, so I had snowtrakker radial tires and windshield wipers that sprayed a special solution to stop freeze build up.
One trip that I especially enjoyed with Betty was to the New York wine country of Naples. It was very cold during November and the farmland and vineyards were bare. The hills seemed to roll on forever. Some of the farmland and hills went through forests and over rivers. I remember one hill being very steep with an amazing view that looked over a frozen lake covered with snow, but even with my snowtracker tires we almost went over this hill. I was new to driving in the snow. As I was making a turn, I put on the brakes too fast, and the car did a 360 and then slid to the end of the hill …very slowly. We almost went over a 30-foot cliff.
After surviving this trauma, we drove silently for some time on our way back to the city of Rochester. We stopped off at an apple farm on State Victor Route 444. In the middle of this large apple farm was a friendly barn converted into a store where products of all kinds were available for purchase. Anything and everything pertaining to apples that is, even bee-apple honey. A big barrel was set up on a country table that served the most devious apple cider I ever tasted; perfect to take off the cold chill of the autumn day and near-death experience.
When I lived in New York I stayed with a family when every Thursday morning the trash truck would come to pick up the trash. At about nine in the morning the women in this house got up quickly and ran to the windows. I did not know what was up, but I found out. The trash truck was not a fully automated one with a fancy robotic hand instead it was swarming with about four guys. I would say anywhere from 16 to 25. Hey, it was a rough job no shirts seemed logical. We put some good men out of work by replacing them with robotic animated trash trucks.
Then when I lived in Santa Cruz California, I noticed that chairs were set up around the local car wash. It was a small one and had some great Santa Cruz Roasting Company Coffee inside the little car wash cafe-store. It was early one morning when I decided to sit down in one of the chairs. Then slowly the cars started to arrive and went into the wash. One by one I saw the ladies drive up. Hey you reader,
“I said ladies no men!”
The guys came out with their rags and cleaning solutions ready to dry the ladies’ cars. These guys were surfers working part-time jobs. That particular day I was asked to get up from my chair by a rather happy lady who whispered,
“If you don’t have a car in the wash, you lose your seat.”
She pulled the chair out from under me.
Now the blowers at most car washes or gas stations don’t quite do the same kind of job as the part-time surfer guys. Tan muscles, long blonde hair and the female eyes watching them. Ladies’ hands leaving big tips in the trim of their pants seemed more productive to me. Yes, much more interesting to me then some big fans blowing my car dry. Technology sucks sometimes.