Back From SD, LA And The Grand Canyon

Proper insulin therapy has turned a slow death into a whole new career for me. Instead of dying in or before 2020, I now expect to live till 2025-2030 allowing me to resume my career in the music business, picking up where I left off 25 years ago.

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Mike McCarthy
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Back From SD, LA And The Grand Canyon

Postby Mike McCarthy » Wed Sep 09, 2015 3:15 pm

I haven't posted to this blog in several days. The reason? Road trip exhaustion. I will explain ...

On our last morning in San Diego, Thursday, I decided that we needed to do a little more photography relating to the collision of Cessna 172 N7711G and 727 N533PS operating as PSA 182. As it happens I didn't shoot a single frame that morning, but we still invested a lot of time and energy in determining that we didn't need to shoot more. Then it was off to San Marino, just south of the Pasadena line, to visit Evalyn's cousin BJ, whose house is completely filled with marvelous budget art, and who took us on a knowledgeable tour of the nearby Huntington museum, where she used to be a docent in the Japanese Gardens. After that we went to North Hollywood to stay with Carolann Mulroney Bennett, a good friend of both of ours from Rhodes Prep.

The next day, Friday, Carolann took us on a tour of the Getty Museum (not the Roman Pavillion, the main museum) where there was an excellent though small exhibition of Ancient Grecian bronze statuary. I was too tired to spend any more time there, a real shame that we will address next year, see below. We then spent the rest of the afternoon and evening at Carolann's place discussing a) my proposed cold blooded to photoart (she's not opposed but also is not interested in seeing my photography), and b) religion. (She had not been aware that my mother was Jewish and that I was bar mitzvahed at the insistence of some of my mother's relatives.)

Saturday we went to LACMA, where Carolann used to be a guide. Then we went back to her apartment only to return to the Miracle Mile to visit the small but excellent Los Angeles Craft And Folk Art Museum, which was featuring an exhibition of shoes by shoe designer Chris Francis, who had set up his workshop on the ground floor level of the museum and was happy to chat. Before seeing the collection I told him that I admired artists who worked in constrained subject matter such as women's shoes, watch faces and sundial faces. That pleased him. After viewing the collection I told him that I was stunned to find that he had completely unconstrained the constrained women's' shoe art form. Now I had his complete attention and he was really happy that I "got" what he was up to. I'd have loved to stay longer to continue our conversation but I was tired and we had Evalyn's and my 52nd wedding anniversary dinner to arrange. We found a little known hole in the wall authentic Chinese restaurant on Melrose, the business named "Happy Taste", and ate there.

On Sunday morning Carolann was ready to return to LACMA but we had to disappoint her by leaving for Colorado a day early. The reason for the hasty departure was that I decided I needed photographs of the Grand Canyon, from the Visitor Center, to help explain one of the crashes in the book I'm writing, the 1956 collision of a TWA Super Consellation and a United DC-7B over the canyon in broad daylight. We stayed the night in a room in Kingman, AZ and struck out for the south rim of the Grand Canyon early the next morning.

Our stay at the canyon was probably the shortest on record of any visitors. I took fewer than a dozen pictures comprising two panoramas of roughly the same scene from two adjacent viewing points. Then we were done. We spent less than five minutes total at the rim sites There was a matter of using bathrooms, and of verifying that the current Visitor Center building is not the one that was in use 35 years ago, nor was it in the same location, and then we were off to head back home by the southern route so that Evalyn would not have to endure the tedious mountain driving between Glenwood Springs and Denver.


Telescoping a number of conversations, we have decided that next year Evalyn and I will accept BJ's offer to put us up. Assuming BJ agrees, and with us buying the groceries, the three of us will set out every day for Carolann's place in North Hollywood as part of a week of museum crawling, most of the action on the Miracle Mile on Wilshire Boulevard though of course one day will be devoted to BJ's house and the Huntington, and another to the Getty. Carolann is delighted with this scheme but Evalyn has yet to contact BJ to get her agreement in principle.

I like LA and SOCAL as much now as I did as a kid even though traffic is terrible (it was never bad when I was a kid) and even though it's a car culture. Heck, where we live now is a car culture. In fact, we are so dependent on cars at home that we have three of them for two people. I will also observe that I think LA has achieved its goal of becoming the US capital of contemporary art. I would move here without any regrets because LA still retains the small town feel it had sixty years ago when I lived with my grandparents in Sherman Oaks (in the San Fernando Valley).

One thing Evalyn and I learned from this trip that will apply to our upcoming Massachussets trip is that we can no longer drive from 2am to 10pm. For planning purposes the best we can do is 6am to 6pm. This means that our trip east will take three days, not two, and so will the return journey, reducing our stay time from a planned six days to four. Even worse, we discovered that in my current physical condition I cannot drive for more than about an hour without becoming overwhelmed by what truckers call white line fever. With luck my new internist will be able to prescribe chemicals that will actually keep me asleep at night, significantly reducing the white line fever problem.

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