You don’t know him, but please indulge me in a few moments of reflection here for my neighbor, Mr. Cataldi, and allow me a circle of love drawn for and around his wife, children, family, and friends.
Home is so often little more than temporary here in transient Los Angeles, where the earth and its people move with such ceaseless regularity. In such a region of motion and shallow roots, home is more conceptual than concrete. And that’s what makes his story so unique in this city.
Mr. Cataldi was raised in a lovely 104-year-old craftsman bungalow down the block from me (pictured), then owned by his father — perhaps he was even born there. Drawn back to his childhood home as an adult, he purchased it, raised his children in it, and lived in it his entire life, which came to an end yesterday.
For the fixture he was, it’ll be sad when I pass by now and don’t see him sitting comfortable and proud out there on the porch with his wife. But as a native angeleno who’s had no less than 16 addresses in my far shorter existence, I’ll remember him as someone who proved that one can plant deep roots in these shifting soils and have them hold strong.
Rest in peace, Mr. Cataldi.