California Dreamin’

Last spring we flew out to Los Angeles to see our eldest. He actually lives in Glendale where the Armenians like fast cars and skinny cigarettes. I tell him he has a great place to live because the police are busy cruising by the new car dealerships close by. One of my dad’s clients was Armenian and they came over once a year and grilled shish kabobs. Good stuff.

I didn’t go along on this particular walk in LA, but Dawn and Hans crossed an intersection where the signals go red for all the cars at once where they meet at different angles. The pedestrians have it all to themselves. Dawn said she giggled all the way across.

We met up with my only cousin Christine in Irvine about 60 miles south. I just now dozed off; I guess because of pain pills and lack of sleep. Luckilly with this word processor, I could delete all the brackets, colons, and hyphens I typed accidently. Between my legs jumping around, sleepiness, and pain I’m finding it difficult to write this. I had double knee replacement surgery a month ago and all they say about it is true.

Irvine is an interesting place, that is if you like semi-Spanish style houses rubber-stamped every 50 feet with smatterings of plastic-looking plants scattered artistically between them. In my high school days I lived in Newport Bearch, between Irvine Ranch and the ocean. That was before Irvine was a city.

We used to ride our bikes out to the orange groves and sit under the trees eating oranges. When a farmer came along we thought we were in trouble but he said, “Eat all you want, just let me know if someone shows up with boxes.” Other parts of the ranch were rough so there were cattle. There were shallow sandstone caves that we could duck into if it rained. There was also a rope swing hanging from a huge live oak tree. It was peaceful out there.

In 1930 Irvine Ranch was the site for filming of World War I battle scenes for the movie All Quiet on the Western Front. They dug bomb craters and trenches through the fragile desert grazing land with excavators and bulldozers.

Starting in a high school classroom, the teacher is waving his arms about convincing the whole class to enlist. The boys are followed through the war and they find out the teacher may have been wrong.

For a moving scene, search YouTube for “How does a war start – All Quiet on the Western Front.”

When Obama was bragging about drone warfare limiting American casualties, I could see the largest impediment to eternal war profits was to limit Americans’ exposure. Here we are: American companies reap the profits while Ukrainians lose their youth.


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