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straight out of... Reseda. (language)

There are benefits to being born in a certain time; place. We reap them, until we are reaped. Be thankful, as it could have been so easily different, born into a different place, during this time (or a different time) where things are not easy, not safe…


We drive past the gates, The Well-to-do, Done-wells, Don- very-wells in their hidden palaces, mansions behind those gates, where everything is perfect, there to remind us of what we don’t have, our deficiencies, our lack of success…

Enter the freeway, left (right to Hidden Hills, and the gates…)

The Ventura Highway, 101, that one sung in song, no more hippies thumbing their way, not even prostitutes, thumbing their way…

We drive west (sign says north, but it is west…) out of the city, racing past the suburbs, the sleepy, expensive, bedroom communities, cross the line from L.A. to Ventura County, climb the hill with it’s wild Prickly-pear and Sage, drop the harrowing Conejo Plunge (where engines blow, climbing back up) toward Ventura, beach town, harbor, and guaranteed seating on a weekend night (unlike L.A.). We drop onto the flood plain, into disappearing farm country: strawberries, tented blackberries; artichoke; ocean-influence air making them possible, they will soon be paved over; matter of time and money… It is an uneventful and pleasant drive, predictable; that’s why we take it.

Ventura is a beautiful town.

This is the start of the Central Coast, a 'best part' of California. The maps say it starts a little further north, the 'central' area. I disagree. There is a look, a feel, and this is from a native.

Exit left, to the beach. Exit right, to the town. Find a public parking lot; free, get out of your car and walk, even an invalid, as everything is right there, close…

* * *

Movie: Straight Outta Compton. I had offered that one earlier, a few days earlier, knowing she would not choose it, but I offered as perhaps camp, not to be taken seriously; I’d want to see it.

No, instead we were going to go see that Schumer movie, Trainwreck, comedy, probably predictable, probably funny. Or so I thought. The night of, day of someone else had told her (someone in the business, and therefore to be believed…) that Straight Outta Compton was worth seeing. Okay, I’d said, … let’s do it.

And so we did, dinner and a movie. Some appropriate ghetto-dinner, an Irish ‘pub’, (for the tourists…), two Irish beers, Murphy’s (the name always reminds me of ta joke: did you hear the one about the three guys trying to sneak into the Olympics(?); an Englishman, a Scot, and an Irish-…); same building even, as the theatre. We even had time to go shopping (her idea)( man, I found a silk shirt for only…).

Anyway, trip down memory lane, the movie. No, I wasn’t from Compton, not anywhere near, Reseda, actually. Yes, we had gangs, though not as prevalent; mostly Mexican. Okay, all Mexican. ‘Tookey’ Williams actually went to my Middle-school. Big deal…

The L.A.P.D. were bastards; thugs. There was an unwritten rule prior to Rodney King, (regardless of color). Anyone in car chase that lasted longer than… well, whatever it took to rile them; scare them… to put it bluntly... they were going to beat you into, and past, unconsciousness. You would receive a scull fracture (and a ride to the hospital); be charged with 'resisting arrest'.

The chief was at a dinner party the evening the riots began; asshole actually told everyone not to come in special to work because there was an emergency (the rank and file were calling in, seeing it unfold on the T.V.).. He was probably drunk at the party, too many glasses of wine to understand the full repercussions… enough of that. At least there was no question of firing him, straight away.

The wife, she does not appreciate Ghetto, nor do I, for the most part, having experienced it, at least somewhat, firsthand; she, not all. Enough of that…

There are some things, certain aspects…

The girls, the ghetto-girls, they stand up for themselves. Not like white girls (trailers are few and far between around here). No, if someone threatens them, they’re gonna get right back in their face. They may not actually know how to fight well, but they willfight, and usually, that’s enough. No one’s going to take advantage or intimidate… especially not some punk-ass white girl.

I only relate because there have been a few instances... There were a few instances where something was needed. You see, she (the wife) works commission, and these other girls (one or two over the years) ripped her off. They knew they could pull a fast one so they sweet-talked the owners. My wife ended up the victim.

Looking back, I should’ve taken charge. It’s much clearer to me now. It was the owners’ fault and should’ve been their problem. I think I tried, but she refused me, insisted that I not go in… You know a little talk in the back room (I mean talk) is often all it takes to nip things in the bud. I find that if you’re actually willing to take it further it somehow communicates. I had suggested to her...

Ah well… who can say how things might’ve turned out? She may have ended up shanking them as she does have a temper, greater than mine… perhaps it’s better that she didn’t… eh, go there.

* * *

We both liked the movie, ‘period piece’, I consider it, and I think it captured it well.

There are some aspects that are universal. Artists/performers always seem to learn about business the hard way. They come to realize afterward the difference between gross and net; all about ‘business expenses’ and where the money to pay those actually comes from: the artist pays for everything.

They learn that people are naturally greedy and that they must think like a businessman; an accountant; an attorney. It’s a clichéd story, or should be considered so, but one that only people who are in business, self-employed and the like, seem to understand. Enough of that…

It was a good movie, great, if you love the music.

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