Thursday, May 9, 2013

Today's walk report: 050913

Continuing east...

Yesterday was a detour through the neighborhood just south of the elementary school I terrorized from age 5 to 12. Today I stayed off the regular route once again and found myself in the neighborhood directly east of that. This would be the famous town of Tarzana. Tarzana was built upon a former ranch owned by author Edgar Rice Burroughs. It is named Tarzana after his storybook jungle character hero, Tarzan. Burroughs owned 550 acres of land which equates to 0.859 square miles. That's a pretty nice chunk of what Tarzana is currently zoned out to, 8.79 square miles--just about 10%. Burroughs had bought the property from LA Times founder and publisher General Harrison Gray Otis somewhere between 1915 and 1919. Burroughs subdivided the land and it was set up to be racially segregated (all white) through a restrictive covenant inserted in property deeds. This probably explains why I knew no more than a few Spanish speaking kids growing up into the 70s. Seeing an Afro-American here growing up was extremely rare up until decisions to begin busing into the Los Angeles Unified School District, early 70s.

While I walked straight through this 'hood back in the summer on my way to the Tarzana Nursery which I was curious to check out, I hadn't really explored this area since the early 80s when my lost dog, Chinook had been sited there. He had broken out of the yard here during a thunderstorm. I rushed over from my girlfriend's place as soon as I woke up to the A.M. thunder. I never found Chinook. Well, not exactly true. I believe I saw him years later, with a pup and being walked on a leash by some woman. I had gotten married and my life was very different. While I pulled the car over and started to chase down the street I thought--what am I planning to do here? I stopped. The dog I believed to be "my dog" was still about 15 yards in front of where I stood, he turned his head and looked back at me and I felt the look was like, I'm OK. That's what I wanted to know, that he was OK and got to live out his life.

My mom ran this ad for over a year, until I found out and asked her to "let go." Now, how it was possible this woman had my dog and knew none of this, the signs on her street corner, etc., that's a bit beyond me. By the way, Chinook was at least 140 lb.

Aside from that flashback I really enjoyed my walk...

The Tarzana Nursery already mentioned. Notice the wacky mailbox.
Another odd mailbox.
Somebody's DIY approach to, don't park in front of my house.
A lifelong love for Dungeons and Dragons?
A few houses with chickens roaming...
and not your average "farmhouse" either.
These guys plus several out of frame came running up to me. Apparently used to handouts.
Another unusual mailbox. I actually went to take a picture of the MB 1st and THEN looked up and saw the house.
Nice tree house. I always wanted a tree house when I was a kid. The best I got were some 1x4s nailed in to act as steps on the big silver maple we had here for about 20 years.
Coming back in to the backside of yesterday's walk. This is the Oakdale Ave. tunnel under the 101 freeway. I posted this on Facebook once before. When we were kids we'd always run through this tunnel 'fraid of the bogyman or something.

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