To Everything, Turn Turn Turn…

Of the various sense memories I can readily recall from my tot years there’s a couple prominent ones, both from establishments on Beverly Boulevard within a couple blocks of each other. One is the steamy smell of corn tortillas that wafts when you lift the top plate off them at El Coyote where I was ogling the puffy-dressed waitresses’ ambundant displays of decolletage and throwing back maraschino-cherry laden Roy Rogerses before I could walk. The other is the sight of the tires that spin endlessly around beneath the Town Tire Co. sign at Beverly at Gardner across from Pan Pacific Park.

From the moment I first saw it (probably in my mom’s old Corvair coming back from El Coyote) I was mesmerized by the wobbling tire that would never lie down and be it day or night I would always look to it whenever we’d chance to pass it by. In fact, I’m pretty sure the end of my childhood can be pegged to the moment I looked for it and suddenly quit seeing its visual trick anymore. Somehow it went from something magical whose effect was similar to what happens in the last moments of a coin spinning on a tabletop, to just two tires attached to each other at an angle being rotated by an unseen motor. And that’s how it’s stayed ever since — or at least it did until July 29 when Town Tire closed after 43 years and the power that supplied the spin to the display was shut off for good. only recently learned of the neighborhood landmark’s closure and because I’m the sentimental sort, I showed up there this past weekend hoping for posterity’s sake to grab some video of the tires rotating, but I was way too late for that. Instead all I got was this picture (at right; click to slightly biggify) of the tires motionless for the first time in my life and I wasn’t too surprised to find myself a bit melanncholy. Sure, I know that one thing you can always count on in L.A. is its changing cityscape… but still, it’s tough not to count on some stuff and expect it’ll always be there, and I couldn’t help but be a little surprised and saddened when it suddenly isn’t anymore.

Goodbye, Town Tire.

8 thoughts on “To Everything, Turn Turn Turn…”

  1. It’s such a gorgeous building- I ogle it all the time. Any word on what’s to become of it?

  2. Robert, I’m not quite sure as I’m ashamed to say I’ve yet to see “Cars.”

    Good question Allison. The sign says “For Lease” so it’s my hope that the structure will be kept intact, but it seems almost certain to be remodeled and divied up into several storefronts.

  3. I think you should go buy it and proudly display the spinning tires for all to see. Plus there was a great moment in a Seinfeld episode with the same spinning tires and Elaine being equally mesmerized.

  4. Horrible news!

    I just drove by there the other day – maybe three days ago but no more than that – and I’m pretty sure I enjoyed what I had no idea would be my last time seeing the tires spin. Are you sure the power was off? I don’t usually hallucinate that well without help.

  5. Yep Ruth, the power was off while I was there Saturday and teh tires were still. If you chance by it again and see ’em back on and spinning, let me know.

  6. Pretty sure it was last Thursday when I drove past, and I’m sure they were spinning because I make it a point to look at them.


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