Monday, July 20, 2009


Brynne Chandler & Michael Reaves

It's a balmy 92 degrees F. out there at the moment, summer, finally, and I have to say I am enjoying the weather. We had a particularly wet and nasty winter, rain, snow, and it generally lasts until June around here, so warm is good.

For some odd reason, I was reminded of a really bad winter we had here about twenty years ago, in February of '89. Big snow and ice, temperatures in the single digits. When the snow started, I had already laid plans to travel to L.A. -- my collaborator and I had been banging our heads on studio doors at the time, trying to get a movie script going.

I thought, how nice will that be, to get away from this. Los Angeles, where you can go to the beach in February and get sunburned.

I caught the train, the Coast Starlight, and listened to the rhythm of the rails on an overnight trip to SoCal. If you have the time, it is a great way to travel. One stretch of track, in southern Oregon, the rails got so cold one of them cracked, and they had to ease us over the spot at walking speed, but other than that, no problems.

You see the back sides of cities on a train, places you can't see in a car, and it's a fascinating view.

Anyway, I got there. Evening or so after I arrived, we were in the living room, chatting, when all of a sudden there were these bright flashes of light down the valley. (They lived in Woodland Hills.)

We went to the balcony and looked out, and the flashes were from cameras -- people outside, taking pictures ... of snow falling. Now, it was only a dusting, but for that part of the world, it was the equivalent of a blizzard.

(One other time I was there, we happened to be looking out the sliding glass door and saw sheets of paper falling. Turned out to be leaflets dropped from a plane for a Louis Farrakhan rally, and that was fairly surreal, but ... back to the snow ...)

I whipped out my camera, and those white splotches on the picture above are genuine California snow flakes!

We got up the next morning and it was chilly, maybe forty degrees, and went for a meeting at our agent's office. People were walking around in overcoats, shivering. Those who had overcoats. I was wearing a short-sleeve shirt and complaining about the heat ...

Never did sell the movie script, though we did get a book out of it.


Dan Moran said...

I was walking down Van Nuys Boulevard, in the San Fernando Valley, when it started snowing. That was '89 also, I believe, probably the same day. That's a sight I won't forget until I die.

steve-vh said...

Been the coolest summer I can remember here. I shouldn't be needing a jacket in July.
On the other hand it's been quite reasonable to not have to run the AC.

Tiel Aisha Ansari said...

February of '89 I was in Minneapolis... no comparison...

Then I moved out to Santa Cruz in the fall of '89, right before the quake. Not one of my better pieces of timing.