Flaskaland
Sunday, December 26, 2010
 
People always tend to think of Compton now as a crowded urban area, because that's what it has become. When I was a kid there, people knew other people by sight. My sister would point out Charles Mingus walking down the street, and he would be wearing a Chinese hat woven from straw (we called those "coolie" hats back in the
50s). He lived in kind of a funny looking house on stilts. Which was good because the area flooded quite often back then. One of the streets I lived on there ran so heavy with rainwater one year, I watched neighbor boys go down our street in a canoe. I walked into the flood waters, up to my chest into our big backyard, because I thought I heard our cat Maggie crying outside. She was inside as it turned out, and I was scolded for getting so wet.

When the rains came like that, later in a field about 10 blocks away a pool of quicksand would develop.

The street I lived on at that time was quite close to the Los Angeles River, not that that made a difference in the rainy season because the river came down our street. On a corner a few blocks away, a donut shop opened, and I was there for the grand opening when a trapeze artist in a sparkly blue bathing suit swung back and forth in the hole of the immense donut. Actually she came on second. A small black boy had climbed the ladder first, he couldn't resist, and made a few quick short swings back and forth before he was removed from the trapeze. The Big Do-Nut eventually became Randy's Do-Nut, and a Los Angeles landmark of sorts.

The concrete walls of the Los Angeles river were steep, but as a daredevil child I learned to ride my bike at an angle down the wall and go all the way down from the top to the bottom. I just couldn't ride my bicycle back up the wall.
 




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Compiling the best online articles about music so there will be more of both in the future. In periods of drought, the reader will be innundated by my own blogs on the matters.

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