Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Leaving Los Angeles

To paraphrase Cheryl Crowe:

I'm leaving Los Angeles
Leaving for good, for good

I'm leaving for good
I've lived most of my life in the suburbs of Los Angeles. I was born in "Rural Compton," or so states my birth certificate. There's nothing rural about it any more. But before the 1950s, my grandparents had a farm there. They raised corn, beans and other crops to sell at the downtown LA market. My grandfather was also a sharecropper and grew hay near where the La Brea tar pits were later excavated for dinosaur bones. Those must have been exciting days. I moved around some (Torrance, Lakewood, Cerritos, Pomona), but never strayed far.

Today it's official, I'm leaving Los Angeles. Wayne and I climbed in the U-Haul truck and started driving north at 8:45 a.m. It was an auspicious day for more reasons than that. We remarked that we would always remember where we were when Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States. We were driving on the Foothill Freeway heading out of town.

When I was little, my parents and I would travel to Modesto, California, to visit my grandparents at least three times a year. In those days, there weren't freeways all the way and we had to leave very early to get out of the city. I always begged for them to wake me up at the "waterfall." That's what I called the spillway (Cascades) for the Los Angeles Aqueduct near Sylmar. Today, the waterfall was running at full force in my honour just to say good-bye.

We drove I-5 all the way to Redding. Wayne took the first leg to Harris Ranch where we got gas and lunch. It's a bit of a tourist trap, but the food is good. While we were there, we got to see our new President walk up Pennsylvania Avenue to cheering crowds. I took the second leg. There's not much scenery along I-5 until you reach Stockton. Then you pass right through downtown Sacramento. Unfortunately, Arnold was too busy with the budget crisis to come out and wave good-bye.

We pulled in to Redding at just about 7:00. We are staying at the Red Lion (easy freeway access and moving van parking). We had a great dinner at the Cattleman's Restaurant three blocks up the street. If you go there, I highly recommend the beef back ribs. YUM!! The walk did us good, both before and after dinner. Now for a good night's rest so we can get back on the road early in the morning. I'll keep you posted. - Margy


  1. Hi Margy,

    You should write a book or a memoir about growing up in Southern California in the early days. It sounds fascinating.

    Have a great trip north and see you up the lake.


  2. Hi Margaret - Actually I may write a book, but maybe not about Southern California. That part of my life wasn't near as interesting as living in Powell River now. As you know, it't the best place on earth. - Margy

  3. What a wonderful way to mark a special place in time. I really enjoy the way you document a trip. I think two professional people left LA and both became "writers" in their own.