Thursday, February 25, 2010

Invitation to L.A.: Des Moines 1984

At the start of 1984 I had just graduated from the University of Iowa and was back living in Des Moines. I got a job a Younkers, working at the 9th Street Warehouse. I worked there for a few months, till early spring, and then took the train to Santa Fe, NM where I stayed, worked until the fall of that year. Then I went back to Des Moines, went back to Iowa City for a spell, then back to Des Moines.
So, the winter of '84 i was back where I started. I think I may have been working at Younkers again, full time, but at the Merle Hay Mall store . . . So, I was writing, living at my parents' house and--to the best of my memory--had no plans. I mean, no doubt I was concocting some fantasy or real plan to go somewhere, but I didn't have anything realistic in mind . . . Oh, I think I spent a month or two in Chicago with Cin, but I did not plan to move there . . . It was winter. I was lazy. Then Mike called (Chicago Mike, a friend from college days) and Mike asked if I wanted to go to Los Angeles.
I was never much interested in cities back then. I was not much interested in California--except perhaps the northern part. If I wanted to go to CA, no doubt I would have chosen the Mt. Shasta area or the northern coast; maybe the desert--Death Valley--or if I had to pick a city, San Francisco would have been it. So, did I want to go to L.A.?
Mike was going out there to work. His father was in the construction biz and he was going to get some work out there and put Mike in charge of it. Mike was going to drive his car out. He needed some workers--or at least one worker for the time being--and he called me to offer me this trip and job. Hmm. I had not really worked construction, just a small stint doing concrete work one summer in Des Moines. Hmm.
Of course I said yes.
So, out of the blue, I was going to L.A. Did go to L.A. Stayed in L.A. for almost a year.
(Which was enough.)
But what interests me here, is that there was a time in my life when someone could call me up and ask if I wanted to move across country and work a job I knew little about. I had the time and the gumption, the nothing-better-going-on life to say yes. Seems strange to me now.
And so, after Christmas, I took the bus to Chicago, saw Cin again, met up with Mike and we took off on New Years Day in 1985 for Los Angeles, California.
When will I ever do something like that again?

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