Sunday, March 13, 2016

Just like 1968

FROG HOSPITAL -- March 13, 2016 -- unsubscribe anytime
By Fred Owens
It was just like 1968, Trump people clashing with cops and demonstrators in Chicago. I was there in 1968. It was intense, violent and chaotic, but we got through it and we are still here. This thing right now with Trump -- we can survive it as well.
I have read many explanations of why Trump is so popular. None of these explanations make any sense. So I can save you some trouble here at Frog Hospital and say, honestly, that I Don't Know.
I Don't Know. It would be refreshing to hear our leadership say I Don't Know.  Imagine Bernie or Hillary saying that. Or saying, "I have to admit I'm stumped."  A leader with that much honesty would inspire me.  Does every problem have a solution? Does every question have an answer? Does every disease have a cure? We can be confident about the future without trying to be 100% certified and certain.

City of Jasmine.  I hired a Los Angeles artist to give me a custom paint job on my black 2004 Nissan Sentra. With some hours of brushwork she made it bold and powerful. So now I'm driving down the freeway and I get more respect. This is California and your car is who you are, and now I get that respect.
The artist lives just to the east side of downtown. This is not East LA, which is major Chicano country and I never go there, but this is the East Side, and if you think neighborhoods don't have identities in LA you are wrong. The artist lives in the Highland Park neighborhood on the East Side and if she is not careful she will get rent-blasted and gentrified right over to Boyle's Landing down by Long Beach.
I made up that last part, about Boyle's Landing, there is no such a place. Lately I am having trouble keeping my imagination in check.
But I do not make up the custom paint job. The artist, a woman of burgeoning renown, painted her own car with portraits of her students. It is a compelling gallery of eager young faces, done in black and white on the side and roof and hood of her Volvo.
I decided I wanted that for my car, not the portraits of course, but flowers. I've been involved in flowers for my working life -- flower farms and rose gardens, commercial and residential. It's hard work, but it's rewarding. I wanted people to know who I am. And in California you do that with your car.
Now my car has flowers all over it -- the blue and red of the passion flower says I am passionate. I am.

The sweet scent of the the jasmine says I am from Damascus in a past life. Damascus -- you should know this, but since you don't, I will tell you -- Damascus is pronounced Dimashk in Arabic and has the nickname of Medina Al-Yasmeen, which means City of Jasmine.
Imagine that -- this war-torn ancient city was once overflowing with flowers and gardens. Someday, when the war is over, I will go for a visit. In the meantime, the jasmine vine and flowers are painted on the hood of my car, because that is who I am.
The artist made it beautiful, and I will share her contact information if you request it.

Cosmo is Dying. I was in Los Angeles for two days. I spent some of that time at Abbot's Habit coffee shop in Venice Beach. This where the old men gather, since before the hipsters and the fashionistas took over on Abbot Kinney Boulevard. You should see them -- the young men wearing sneakers that cost $500, the young women impossibly tall and beautiful... and Google millionaires in hoodies and ragged jeans trying to look like everybody else... and homeless people trying to look like Google millionaires.
But we were there first, us old guys, so we get enough respect. I sat with Eric  and Big Mike, both originally from the Bronx, out here since the fifties. I call Eric the Godfather because he has been here the longest. He's older than the Pope, made a fortune in real estate, wears a $2 hat. Young people come and sit with him for a moment or two, he says a few words and then they leave.
Big Mike lives on the others side of Lincoln where the streets are wider and the lots are bigger. Big Mike has a substantial garden and several abundant peach trees. He brags about it, but it's true -- he gets a lot of fruit.
Evan comes in late every day, from work. He has a remodeling business. He gets his coffee and says hello, then he takes a seat outside.

Cosmo never sits with us. Nobody likes him. I don't like him, and not Eric, and not Big Mike. Evan might put in a good word for Cosmo, but nobody else likes him. 
Cosmo is short and stout and bald. He talks all the time. He blames everybody for everything. People have screwed him over. He got a raw deal. Woman dump on him. He sees life is not pretty.
Then he got pancreatic cancer and you didn't see him at the cafe every day. He was gone. The thing is that he was always at the cafe. We didn't like him, but we were awful used to him being there. So we kind of liked him as long as he didn't try to sit with us. You know what I'm saying.
So Cosmo doesn't come to the cafe now and with the pancreatic cancer he won't last long. That was his life. He was really just as good as the rest of us.

Subscriptions. Subscriptions to Frog Hospital cost $25. You can go to the the Frog Hospital blog and hit the PayPal button.
Or you can send a check for $25 to
Fred Owens
1105 Veronica Springs RD
Santa Barbara CA 93105

Fred Owens
cell: 360-739-0214

My gardening blog is  Fred Owens
My writing blog is Frog Hospital

No comments: