Category: Living in the U.S.A.

Street scene

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Image: source not given; may be UCLA digital collection at http://digital2.library.ucla.edu/viewItem.do?ark=21198/zz00000bv3 .

Downtown Los Angeles facing north on South Broadway between West Second Street and West Third Street, 1939.

Sometimes it is nice to see a plain ol’ street scene showing how a particular place used to look. Notice how the then-late-model automobile at the lower right looks so futuristic when compared with the boxy styling of the other cars in the photo.

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A time of pause

19may27threeCars

Excerpt from P. 185, Three Cars In Every Garage, The Story of the Automobile and the Automobile Club in Southern California, Richard R. Mathison, Doubleday & Company, Inc. 1968.

Cabot Yerxa and his pueblo

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Image: undated but may be 1939 based on the appearance of the construction just beginning. From  https://image.slidesharecdn.com/extraordinaryspaces-131107155949-phpapp01/95/extraordinary-spaces-sitespecific-collections-and-their-challenges-7-638.jpg?cb=1402667053 . Photographer not identified.

Cabot Yerxa, the man who found the spring that made Desert Hot Springs famous, built a quirky four-story, 35-room pueblo between 1939 and his death in 1965. Now a museum run by the city of Desert Hot Springs—Yerxa was the town’s first mayor—the Hopi-inspired adobe structure is filled with memorabilia of his time as a homesteader; his encounters with Hollywood celebrities at the nearby Bar-H Ranch; his expedition to the Alaskan gold rush; and many other events.

Excerpt from https://www.fodors.com/world/north-america/usa/california/palm-springs-and-the-desert-resorts/things-to-do/sights/reviews/cabots-pueblo-museum-580357 .

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Image: undated. From https://66.media.tumblr.com/08bdd7872c1bac13cae88526cb980e82/tumblr_inline_my2uh1ahbx1rpb43t.jpg . Photographer not identified.

Learn more about Yerxa at https://www.palmspringslife.com/miracle-in-the-sand/ .

Waiting for a pal to arrive

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Images: front and back of a postcard offered on ebay

The message on the front was revised a little. The writing on the back appears to be “Dear Waldo & Ed, Roads fine, climate fine & dry. Snow on high places. Cabin clean and a cheery fire in the fire place. Every thing will be ready [and] waiting for you. Wish you could be here for a T Bone. Love to you both. Jon.”

 

Teen hitchhikes and bikes from L.A. to New York

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“In 1939, a 17-year old girl living in California decided to embark on a monumental bike trip across the country. The World’s Fair in New York City was her destination. That girl was award winning photojournalist and filmmaker Ruth Orkin (1921-1985).

“Orkin grew up in Hollywood in the 1920s and 1930s, and at the age of 10, received her first camera, a 39¢ Univex. She began by photographing her friends and teachers at school. Obsessed with traveling after three cross country train trips with her family, she took a job as a teenager at a travel agency in 1937. When a pamphlet for American Youth Hostels arrived in the mail one day at work, offering cheap lodging and cooking facilities for travelers journeying by foot or bicycle, the call for adventure was too great to resist.

“At 16, Orkin took her first Youth Hostel trip to San Francisco, and the following year somehow convinced her parents to let her bicycle across the country. Multiple newspapers carried the story of this 17-year old on a cross country tour of U.S. Youth Hostels. While she had actually hitchhiked from LA to Chicago, and then Chicago to New York – equally adventurous and kind of crazy — Orkin later wrote in her book, A Photo Journal, published in 1981, ‘The bicycling was done while I was sightseeing in each city: Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, and Boston. I also biked the smaller distances between the four eastern cities and while hosteling through four New England states. All in all I biked a total of 2000 miles during those four months!’”

Excerpts and photo from https://styleofsport.com/ruth-orkin-bike-trip/# .