Echoes of the Past

When I returned to Los Angeles last year, I planned to go by the house of my birth in Echo Park. When I was a wee golden haired babe, long before I was purloined to the Midwest, I lived in a big four-plex on a hill overlooking Echo Park.

My mom is in town and intent on seeing our old house. We drove Echo Park streets, places familiar and yet strange. And then, we found it. It was difficult to see, because of tall Cypress trees and was being restored to itís 1920ís original. Fresh tiled kitchens, sanded hardwood floors, bathrooms with new fixtures, the traditional octagon tiling. Built in bookcases and open air balconies that overlooked the lake. A million dollar view. I kept thinking, why did they leave? The basement workshop filled with power tools and building materials.

Memories and history. The closet where I slept. The bird of paradise plant flourishing that my mother planted over 30 years ago from a clipping from my grandfatherís yard. Old and new photographs under the tree. The lawn where I crawled. My mother under the tree in her flight attendant uniform. Standing under it today, I am older than my mother was at the time. Later finding the restaurant where they ate dinner for less than $10! Itís still open today! Taix at 1911 Sunset Blvd.

Itís a strange homecoming and another reason I love Los Angeles and have returned from whence I came. The stolen child has returned.

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