Saturday, May 21, 2016

AMERICAN MOTORS RIDES AGAIN




            A GUY NAMED VERN says hello when I sit down at the counter at Corky’s Café and Bakery in Upland, over on Mountain Ave. Vern knows everybody there and wants me to know. Waitresses, the manager, he calls them all by name. He’s bored but he doesn’t know it, pretending he’s all up on who’s the oldest server, going to school with the manager who he says he used to peek at through the fence in junior high. She winces, moves on. Athletic Director at some high school, he takes his grandchildren to school and it’s all so wonderful he gets up every day in a great mood.
            “It’s all in your mind,” Vern says. “You make up your mind every day to be happy, and it’s just that simple.”
            LATER I'M DRIVING over by the Montclair plaza and stop in for a small car show. It’s the American Motors confab, bunch of guys showing off their AMXs, the old Rambler motors turned into American Motors before being bought out by Chrysler, for the Jeep brand, Jay Baker tells me. Jay has four American Motors cars, and other brands too, tucked away in a garage.


            Mark Melvin is in charge. One big event each year, Mark says, and a few other get-togethers where the guys show the automobiles, talk parts and where to get them, who has what, that sort of thing.

            HOBIE KAPTAN is pumping up his AMX to go two hundred miles an hour.
            “Jay Leno will be there to video tape it for his show, Jay’s Garage,” he tells me. Up in Mojave, at an old air strip that’s two miles long, guys with laser radar guns will time him, see if he’s ready to break two hundred at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, where the need for speed really gathers momentum.

            His AMX has a fuel cell that pumps gas into the engine, and a special suspension is needed to stabilize the ride. He’s sixty one years old and he’ll be behind the wheel for all the speed trials.
            “Just polished up the wheels,” he says, beautiful chrome rims riding with BF Goodrich tires.

            Hobie will dump thirty thousand dollars in the AMX to get it where he wants it. New suspension, twin turbo-chargers feeding a six-speed manual transmission pumping out six hundred horses. That’s a lot of ponies.


             

           


            

Monday, January 18, 2016

MY TOWN

               There isn't a lot of interesting architecture around Claremont.
The colleges have some re-visited styles, a bit of new construction, but dorm room design doesn't hold my attention.
                Down at Pomona College, the art and design building lights up with morning sun.



Thursday, September 10, 2015

ALONG THE TRACKS








    Tracks have always fascinated me with their infinite endings and long rails that guide freight to its destination. It's been hot here in Southern California for a few days, 95 F this morning.
    Thin clouds soften the sky giving these track-side shots a Midwest feel.







Sunday, August 30, 2015

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The New Short Fiction Series

Join me at the Federal Bar in North Hollywood for the New Short Fiction Series, featuring my work;

 "Horsepower and Other Stories",
 Aug 9

Tickets are available now!

https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pe/9994799

Saturday, June 27, 2015

MARKET TRENDING


           
It’s ten o’clock and Grand Central Market in Los Angeles is crowded. I’ve been here during the week a couple of times a few years ago before the downtown area drew in hipsters and creative types to fill in the old bank buildings and offices in their newly designed loft apartments. It’s Saturday and business is moving.
            There’s a seat at the counter at Wexler’s Deli and I order a bagel with cream cheese and lox and they do it with capers and thin sliced red onion.
Next to me is a young couple having the smoked fish plate and a photographer and his wife on my other side. He’s shooting black and white, he says, so his flash won’t go off. The server checks on me once and smiles while two cooks slap cheese and slices of fish on bagels before ringing the bell for the pickup.
            The Market is a landmark in Los Angeles but often overlooked for the larger and more tourist-targeted Farmer’s Market on Fairfax next to CBS Studios. 
Fans whirl overhead and neon blurs above counters of steaming beans and rice, The China Café serving old school Chinese-American, stylish servers at Egg Slut where the line snakes all the way around the counter and the tables. Too crowded for me. 


At Bel Campo Meat I watch the butcher put a filet knife to a stack of short ribs and I give her a thumbs-up and say, ‘Nice looking shorties’, and she says, ‘They’re tasty too’. Solid, I’m thinking, this knife-slicing chick doing justice to a pile of beef bones, all of her cuts under glass looking Q-worthy. Sirloins, strip steaks, rib eyes. Juicy. 
            Outside two dudes smoking cigarettes ask how I’m doing, drinking coffee from paper cups they place on top of the news rack and I cross over to Ross Cutlery and roam the counters of Kershaws, Pro Tech, Zero Tolerance, talking to the counter man who has the best knife selection in Los Angeles for production and factory made blades.

Get an edge on.


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

LOW FLYING OBJECTS

Summit Valley, Ca.

North east of Big Bear Lake, Ca.

The Packing House, Pomona, Ca.
Griffith Park Observatory, Los Angeles, Ca.

Los Angeles, Ca.