I boarded Amtrak’s Sunset Limited after work. All those years I volunteered for the Southern Arizona Transportation Museum, and once riding through Tucson in 1996, and now I was boarding a train to L.A.
I’m staying with a friend, I’ve known for 28 years. She’s now living in South Central Los Angeles, near the intersections of Florence and Western.
The train was on time! My goodness! The Sunset was famous for being late, then again, now that Union Pacific has double tracked, things are a lot better.
The man on the window seat never woke up until right before Union Station, Los Angeles. I talked with a gentleman across the aisle, who was taking the train for the first time. He is from San Diego and was going home from a stay in Fort Worth.
There was a lot of camaraderie and even entertainment. The train stopped at a grade crossing in Eloy, Arizona, just North of Casa Grande for the conductor to throw someone off the train into the waiting arms of a huge Eloy policeman. No idea what he had done.
I slept in patches through the night in the coach seat. The train arrived in Union Station forty five minutes early! The one time I didn’t care about an Amtrak train arriving on time, it fooled me.
I had enough time waiting for my friend Donna in the cool, fog shrouded morning outside the station watching early morning commuters arrive.
As I am a member of Palin’s Travels and Mr. Palin spoke about L.A. in his book Around the World in Eighty Days, I will cover some of the things he spoke about.
The station has been redone since he was here almost thirty years ago. It is back to it’s beautiful Art Deco Style, from when it was built in 1939. I expected to be transported back in time and see a glamorous starlet come out. The palm trees made it look as though the station was a museum in a park or in front of the La Brea Tar Pits, or like something out of Jurassic Park. Great setting for a story.
Donna went to her job at a nearby branch of the L.A. County Library. I called friends, cleaned her house as a favor, unpacked my suitcase, so I could use it to carry things and went out to get her candy for the Trick or Treaters tonight. This is her first Halloween in this location.
Mr. Palin wrote about Florence and Normandie before the Rodney King Riots in 1992. That intersections is five blocks away. Mr. Palin spoke about being in Venice Beach, but reading about the gang violence down here. Well I took a walk for the candy and to the local branch of the L.A. City Library to use their internet connection.
It’s a beautiful day out, plenty of automobile traffic. Most people paid no attention to me, one said hello as one would in a rural area (I found that in Atlanta as well).
Now I am back here, I think I shall take a siesta. Then photograph Donna’s cat, who resembles my little buddy, Yerbie.