Sunday, August 31, 2014

For love of coffee

My love of coffee is somewhat legendary within my family.  It is the kickstart of my day.  I know that I am receiving a good bit of love when I wake up and the scent of the coffee brewing fills the air.  When we camp with our daughter and her family, I can be sure that the first cup of coffee that my son-in-law pours will be for me.  
That's love.

When I go to Berkeley and get to stay in the Scholar's Retreat I am happy because of: the cost, the views, and the fact that it is the room above some coffee producing machine.  
It truly is a joy to wake up and smell the coffee.

It is a long drive from Pasadena to Portland.  I've learned this in a visceral, nalga numbing way because I've driven the route many a time to visit our daughter and her family in the other Rose City.  In order to not get exhausted or grumpy I like to spread the driving over two days.

I couldn't tell you the number of miles it takes to get halfway between here and there.   But I know that I am nearing a midway point when I see the first Dutch Bros Coffee kiosk.

Truth be told, where I stop that Day One driving has, on occasion, been decided by access to Dutch Bros for the start of Day Two driving.

Dutch Bros Coffee is always yummy, the prices are great, and their baristas are the best. There's usually a fine bit of conversation that is accompanied by a smile that seems about as genuine as can be.

 There's yet to be a time when it felt like the order I placed was a bother.

Then there's the container.  Brought one home to share with you.

How could one not smile?

Friday, August 29, 2014

August 29, 1970

An event that has had long-lasting repercussions took place in Los Angeles some 44 years ago.  There was a march that had more than 20,000 marchers.  Some estimate the number to be closer to 30,000.  Like other parts of history this event has been forgotten by much of Southern California.

Photographer - Oscar Castillo

The Chicano Moratorium took place on August 29, 1970 in East LA.  The march began at Belvedere Park and ended at Laguna Park, a park where I used to go to play while my mom attended Girl Scout leader trainings.  As I recall there was more space than there were things to play on, but that it made it a great site for the end of a peaceful demonstration.  

The march and rally were the sorts of protests that were taking place across the U.S. as people were highlighting their communities' struggles with discrimination.  The moratorium was a protest to the disproportionate numbers of young Chicanos that were being drafted to fight in the Viet Nam War.  According to a study by Dr. Ralph Guzman, nearly 20% of casualties in Viet Nam (1961-1967) were of Chicanos from the Southwest despite representing 10% of the overall population.

My friends were among those who ran as teargas was shot at the unarmed crowd.  A woman who has doctorate in the field of Gerontology shared the following with me today - "[It was] a day I will never forget...1st time experiencing critical mass, social solidarity and later that afternoon ... tear gas, the thud of a baton on my head, absolute chaos, and the murder of Rubén ... memories of a 13 year-old Chicana".

Looking at the footage of that day, it's clear that the deputies were in command of the situation.  It's clear that what had started as a peaceful protest changed to a forceful response.  The sheriffs went through the crowd using batons and teargas and some of the protestors responded with rocks and sticks.  Hundreds were arrested;  Lynn Ward, Angel Diaz, and Los Angeles Times journalist Rubén Salazar were killed.  

Courtesy - Zinn Education Project

While all deaths are tragic, the loss of Ruben, as most folks remember him, was particularly painful.  Rubén was the first Chicano reporter for the Times.  He had been the voice that shared a viewpoint that up until his writing was not being heard or read by the greater population.

Following his initial coverage of the moratorium Rubén went to the Silver Dollar Bar for a beer.  While in the bar Ruben was killed by a nine inch tear gas projectile that was fired into the bar from the street.

Photographer - Raul Ruiz
Following an inquest the jury found that he had been killed at the hands of another, but the deputy who shot the projectile was never charged with manslaughter or murder.  In 1973 the Salazar family were paid $700,000 by Los Angeles County because the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department did not use "proper and lawful guidelines for the use of deadly force" in the killing of Rubén

In 2008 Rubén Salazar was one of five journalists recognized by the US Postal Service by issuing commemorative stamps with their images on them.  The other four were John Hersey, Martha Gellhorn, George Polk, and Eric Sevareid.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Still moving on

This last weekend we tackled the shelves in the hallway.  We found albums of pictures I knew we had  "somewhere" in the house.  I added them to the piles of old pictures that are taking up the space I thought was clear.  

This being Throwback Thursday here are a couple of fun images.  

My mom and dad were older when they had me, so some parts of our lives were really middle class 1950s and others, not so.  Obviously Christmas was taken seriously.  When you have one child and you've been working as a skilled laborer and one of the partners is a bit of whiz with numbers you can get an elaborate holiday.

Mom had been collecting Christmas things for nearly 20 years.  A lot of her china closet has items she collected at post-WWII prices.  We lived in a 600 square foot home, but doggone if she didn't have a place for her china and her porcelain from Japan and a 6 foot Christmas tree with blown glass ornaments from Germany.


On the other hand...

here I am in my coonskin hat with a bottle of booze.    

Do you wonder why?  I do, too.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Belated National Dog Day

Turns our yesterday was National Dog Day.  Here's the link to find out how you can celebrate/recognize the day at any time of the year -!celebrate/cee5

I've included lots of photos of our current dogs - and cat, but came across these while sorting photos.  Hope you enjoy them.

1969 - in front of the family home in East LA.  
Michael is cool 'cuz he's rolling and Michelle is cool 'cuz she's looking classy - if a bit scraggly.  
I'm cool 'cuz you can see my knees.  

Our dining room.  
Please note window by sweater.  It was very handy for passing food from the kitchen to the dining room.  

This charmer is Agapita.  She was named after dad, who hated the name Agapito.  
He loved her.  She loved us.
It was a win/win situation.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Thanks, Bella

There are a lot of reasons why I celebrate Women's Equality Day.  Most basic reason is that I value equity and equality.  

In 1971, "at the behest of Bella Abzug",  National Women's Equality Day was established. 
Here's a link to the full text -

Powerful stuff.  It's easy for me to embrace this intellectually and philosophically.  

Seeing these images of my grand daughters makes it practical and real.

I want their dreams and their realities to be filled with choices with the fewest limitations possible.

And for them to grow up to be people who are wise and just.

Lalo Alcaraz

Monday, August 25, 2014

Four months in

We met our new puppy four months ago.

We brought her home and named her Lali.

Lali decided it was an okay place to be and 
Larry figured what the heck.

Last week Lali crept under the covers of our bed - all on her own.

It's her home, isn't it?

Friday, August 22, 2014

It's Official

Thomas Balch Elliott Papers, Huntington Library 

Pasadena: Unexpected Roots

October 1, 2014
Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.

Independent scholar Roberta H. Martinez shares an intimate look at Pasadena's earliest days as reflected in the romance, marriage, and work of writers Arturo Bandini and Helen Elliott Bandini; melding the legacies of 
Old California and a changing sensibility to women's identity and roles: connections with the Valley Hunt Club, 
Greene and Greene architecture, Charles Lummis and even a connection with the Manhattan Project.

Ahmanson Room, Brody Botanical Center
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
San Marino, CA  91108

The event is free; seating is limited.  Register online -
or call 800-838-3006