Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Day 14. June 14, 2011-Los Angeles and Agoura Hills, CA

Dearest Readers,

I’m in Los Angeles. This is dear Etta James at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard next to the Armand Hammer Art Museum in the Westwood area. The weather is cool, sunny and dry-perhaps in the 70s at noon.

We drove out of Joshua Tree National Park early and descended into the valley areas leading to LA. I think I finally saw an actual Joshua Tree near Yucca Valley where they grow in abundance. This twisted guy reminds me of Dr. Seuss’ truffula trees.

Further down the windy canyon in Morongo Valley we encountered masses of lazily spinning wind turbines. This group is marching in formation up the hills near Interstate 10 like alien infantry. They're dreamily beautiful, but spooky somehow.

I met artist friend and former Atlantan Angela Wilcox for lunch at Jerry’s Deli near the old theaters in Westwood. She’s a painter, college art instructor, graphic designer and mother of two now big boys all living in Long Beach nearby. Angela has spirit and energy and an artist’s soul. I was renewed and inspired as we talked about our lives, friends, and artwork.

Then on we drove a little further north to Agoura Hills and the canyon-clinging multi-level home of artist and gallery owner, Carol Henry, where Etta and I will spend two nights. Hand to Hand showed at her studio and gallery in the summer of 2008.

Her house is nestled in a cozy, hilly community overlooking Malibu lake. As I wake up today, Wednesday the 15th, the air is cool and the canyon covered in mist. Etta is sniffing the snails on the road and I’m admiring the neighborhood array of desert floral landscape plantings.

Etta is displaying her rescue dog issues here, trying to avoid Carol’s French Bulldog, Gussie, and crying out whenever I go upstairs without her. It’s a Catch-22, but Carol and I are gently accommodating both dogs needs, I think. Her kitties have moved upstairs away from Miss Etta.

We enjoyed a Thai feast with her son Levi, and later drove through the mountains at sundown. I am grateful for the generosity and hospitality of friends like Angela and Carol who have bought me food, given me shelter and nourished my artistic heart.

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