By Bob Davis firstname.lastname@example.org
Bobby Boy’s Old Curiosity
Shop—10th Anniversary Edition
What a long strange trip it’s been…
I just realized that it’s been ten years
since I first opened the virtual doors of the imaginary Old
Curiosity Shop. We’ve covered local events and ventured to the
other side of the world. Here are some of the highlights of the
last ten years.
This event just got a brief mention in the
OCS report for June 2010, but it marked a major step in improving
transport in the San Gabriel Valley. Our Editor, Michelle (also
known as Nocturra when she dances with swords) joined me for the
groundbreaking of the LA Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension, which
brought electric railway service back to my old home town of
Monrovia in 2016. The signs are relics from the days when Arcadia,
Monrovia and Glendora were served by the Pacific Electric Railway,
an operation which ended in 1951.
I was going over an index of the OCS subjects
over the years, and observed how wide-ranging the column has
been. For some of the entries, I’ve chosen appropriate songs:
Playlists: Back in the old days, I made what
some folks call “mix-tapes”, recording music from different sources
to gather favorite tunes into one convenient package. In 2001, I
bought a CD recorder, so now I can make compilation CDs from other
CDs, cassette tapes and vinyl records. Several OCS columns have
been devoted to compilation playlists, such as Camino Real Corral
(country & western), Careless Love (female vocalists through nine
decades), 22 for the Road (favorites for traveling), Blues Express
(1, 2, and 3) (my interest in Blues goes back to the 1950s), Rock &
Roll Special (1 and 2). One OCS issue was not about a real
compilation, but an assortment of songs with common themes, like
dogs, prisoners, frogs, and wine.
Show reports: These are sometimes in a
“sidebar” called “Guts and Glory” to which I’ve made a couple of
contributions. I’ve devoted OCS entries to Evie Sands (no surprise
there), Adam Marsland Chaos Band gigs, Terry Okey Second Sunday
shows at Adams Pack Station (where the burros occasionally chime
in), and Elvis Birthday Bashes.
Evie Sands and Teresa Cowles, with their
color-coordinated axes at an Adam Marsland’s Chaos Band show at the
Cinema Bar in Culver City.
Road trips (On the Road Again) (East Bound
and Down, loaded up and truckin’). Our one cross-country trip since
the start of OCS was taking our Lazy Daze motor-home all the way to
Maine and back again. We followed some of the routes of the 2007
trip, and finally visited Niagara Falls, and I spent two days at the
Henry Ford complex in Dearborn, Mich., which I visited again in 2013
(and I could still go back for another look around).
Cruises (Sea Cruise) (Proud Mary—rollin’ on
the river) I had never considered an ocean voyage until Pat started
looking up “repo” cruises, where ships that have been doing the
Alaska routes head south for the winter. These have the advantage
of stopping at San Pedro, thus avoiding a flight home. We’ve done
two of those, plus an Alaska cruise that let me check two more
railroads off my life list. We also did two European river cruises,
one on the Danube and the Rhine and another on the “Rivers of the
Czars” in Russia.
Train rides (Silver Train) Anyone who has
followed the OCS for very long knows that railways of all kinds
fascinate me. One of the earlier OCS issues dealt with railway
track gauge and how it is NOT related to Roman chariots and horses’
hindquarters. The Pacific Electric Railway and the LA Metro Gold
Line are closest to home, but I’ve also covered train rides to San
Francisco, Chicago and Boston, and shorter trips in many places.
A Santa Fe passenger train (by then part of
Amtrak). One of the finest travel experiences in America.
Dog Tired Tour (Magic Bus). Back in July
2012, I posted the first of three sections about my cross-country
journey from El Monte (about ten miles east of LA) to Boston. This
covered the adventure from California to Buffalo NY, with stops in
Salt Lake City, Chicago and Cleveland. Then, as W. C. Fields said
in one of his movies, “Things happened”, and it wasn’t until 2017
(40 years after the tour) that I wrapped the story up with two more
reports. I guess it’s a good sign that enough was going on in my
life (or surfacing in my memory) to delay the conclusion for that
Career choices (Get a Job) One issue of OCS
covers my early days at Southern Calif. Edison, and I’ve also
mentioned my days working for the Santa Fe Railway in LA and San
Bernardino, and my only paying job in the music industry -- as a
teenage part-time sales clerk at the local music store.
Henry Ford (Lord Mr. Ford). I’ve never
worked in any aspect of the automobile industry, but back in the
1930s, my dad working in a wrecking yard in East Pasadena, at a
location that’s gone through at least three changes of use. Some
editions of OCS have been devoted to “life on wheels. "
Sci Fi (Flying Saucer) OCS has now outlived
the original Star Trek series by a factor of three, and we still
have ideas for more entries. By the time you read this, we will
have passed the 40th anniversary of the night my dad, who became a
Trekker in the 1970s, “beamed up. "
Movies (You Oughta Be in Pictures) I don’t
consider myself to be a full-on “cineaste,” but I do have some
favorite movies, and devoted an OCS column to them, adding the story
about how I was handed an Oscar™ many years ago.
Jury duty (I Fought the Law and the Law
Won) Back in 2014, I did a two part OCS on jury duty. One of my
comments was that “voir dire” or jury selection was often a long,
drawn-out process that was usually left out of courtroom dramas on
TV. Trial scenes would already have an assortment of citizens in
the jury box. But a few years ago, “Bull” a new TV show starring
Michael Weatherly as a psychologist who runs a jury-consulting firm,
made voir dire the center of interest.
Blood donation (Dinner with Drac) Although I
haven’t done it lately, for years I was a regular donor at blood
donor centers here in the San Gabriel Valley. One of my OCS columns
was written to assure readers who had never donated that it’s a good
program to get into, and you get free munchies after giving a
pint. Where else can you lie down and relax, while doing something
good for your fellow humans?
Reminiscences of the olden days (at least
going back to the 1940s). No, my birth certificate was not written
on papyrus, but I do remember a lot of “Things That Aren’t There
Anymore” and can point to some locations here in the San Gabriel
Valley that have gone through a number of “land uses.”
On the other side of the fence from the house
where I grew up in Monrovia (photo by Alan Weeks in Sept. 1951)
What’s coming up next? More music play
lists? More railway adventures? “And now for something completely
different” (stolen from Monty Python)? To quote the immortal Fats
Waller, “One never knows, do one?”
Until next month, Live Long and Prosper.