Friday, April 04, 2008

10 Memories of the San Fernando Valley

1. They filmed most of the silent westerns in the hills around Chatsworth at the northwest corner of the San Fernando Valley. I saw Poltergeist II being filmed blocks from my house. Made eye contact with that cute little girl that player the creepy little girl as she worked on homework in an air-conditioned trailer. I fell in love with her right then—as I have with any cute girl whom I made prolonged eye contact with from age seven on.

2. When I Love Lucy was the most popular TV show in the world, Desi and Lucy owned a house in Chatsworth. It was later turned into a school. My brother and I went there for a couple of years to avoid the bussing. My brother met Lucy once. She’d come back to see the place and kept saying how glad she was that they’d kept the pool. They eventually got rid of the pool.

3. The Manson Family lived in Spawn Ranch in the hills nearby. Just a few years ago old Charlie and his zombies would wander right down the street near my house to dig through the trash bins at Hughes Market. We looked but we never found the ranch. During my childhood I heard it was one of eleven different places including in the train tunnel through to Simi Valley in the Santa Susana pass, which never made a lick of fucking sense to me.

4. Chatsworth Christmas Parade, which became the Holiday parade sometime in the 80s. The Budweiser Clydesdales always marched.

5. Eazy-E’s official residence was in Chatsworth when he died. He actually died at Cedars Sinai, protected by Black Muslims for some reason.

6. The dad from Teen Wolf lived down the block. He once bought a bagel from me after I’d convinced the kids in the neighborhood to go into the bagel business.

7. The Munch Box. A yellow boxed building right near the train tracks that serves the only real chili in the world.

8. I saw Hulk Hogan at Thifty’s once. His wife Linda was my mom’s manicurist. When I was an extra in Gremlins II, I met him again. Knows how to treat his fans, the Hulkster.

9. Germain St. School's first Mexican student--Miguel.

10. The time in 6th grade we went to a high school football game. On the way home a dog chased us, and I jumped over a fence for the first time. I was the geek with the two toughest kids in school. Norma and Stevie Miller befriended me when they realized that I enjoyed the same complete lack of supervision they were afforded by having single mothers who were actively dating.


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