Helen and Marty are not tourists to Los Angeles even though they are currently acting as such.. at least for another week.
You see although I picked the couple up from a location near Ocean in Santa Monica, the couple were not staying there.
"If we were staying there it would cost 5000 a night!"
Helen and Marty walked across the street to greet me at my car parked on the corner. They were headed towards their actual stay for the week- the famous Culver Hotel located in the very busy corner of Culver City.
"We know all about the orgies with the little people that stayed there." they said.
But hey that comes later.
On the trip, which lasted approximately thirty or so minutes (thanks traffic in Los Angeles at 4pm) the couple told me about their journey from Los Angeles to Denver to France and here to visit their son whom is an aspiring filmmaker that works with French translations currently as he pursues his dream.
"We're not tourists. We used to live here a long time ago."
I would learn that both Helen and her husband Marty had both worked as teachers out here in Los Angeles (Helen worked for UCLA but I didn't get to ask Marty where he taught) during some very interesting times.
Helen spoke most of the trip. Marty chimed in a bit here and there but was fairly quiet.
"This is Cloverfield Boulevard." I told them.
"We saw that movie this weekend! It was scary!" Marty replied.
"Oh was it about the DMV right here? I haven't seen it yet. I always figured that's what it was about." I said.
We all laughed.
Marty taught Physics. His wife, however, taught English.
It was a different time and way of life back then.
"There was actually parking!" Marty said.
Helen said that she worked in a school that had a very diverse background. She said that in those days that if you provided books for the kids they pretty much let you teach whatever you felt was the most important or valuable to you.
"What did you choose to teach your students? What books were you reading?"
Helen taught elementary students in those days. She spoke about one particularly someday famous author of mysteries that she taught but "couldn't get a hold of these days" because of his popularity.
"We read "The Raisin in the Sun" which had a character named Walter. I was trying to encourage a student to read and the kids all said that he should read it because of his name also being Walter. It worked and he went on to be a famous writer."
What did he write? Oh only a little book that eventually got turned into a movie called "Devil in a Blue Dress." Yes that's right her student was none other than Walter Mosley. If Mr Mosley or his people are reading this, know that your teacher Miss Helen would love to hear from you and still talks fondly of you.
Time evolves and so do schools. Helen and her husband spent a year in France but then ended up back stateside. Helen said that the schools even in the 60s here in Los Angeles were still nothing compared to Berkeley.
"We had a place there for four months. My husband found it. One day someone jumped 3 floors off the building naked in a tub. There were squatters there. I think we were the only ones paying rent."
Our ride ended shortly after these tales of how things came to pass. We had a good time and it's on to the next ride and adventure. Stay tuned for more stories!