NO TO WATERMARK!! A Facebook Campaign! …………………………………………. We just don’t wanna leave!

Preface: The title “No To Watermark” is the ‘battle cry’ that our Councilman Paul Koretz has proclaimed to try to convince the new owner of the CAN (casa de los ancianos del norte) — to call off the eviction of us 170 ole folks from what we hoped was our final livin’ quarters on this  earth (and I almost wrote down “restin’ place” — and in a way, it would have been appropriate — all of us, the inhabitants of the CAN, were plannin’ to die here– or, in the UCLA hospital which is close-by — and with our quarters left for our 60-ish-old children to clear out!!  And that’s the damn truth — I swear.  We moved in with exactly that expectation — to live here til we died.  And you can take that to the bank!!)   Our councilman kicked off the press conference with an announcement, at our front entrance, with some 10 to 12 TV (with cameras) and radio folks present.  He ended with Qs & As, and was walkin’ away with his staff when this “ole guy”with his walker came toodlin’ by.  And that led to an interview with me, while the councilman is holdin’ our sign “OLE LIVES MATTER”. In the announcement of his “pressure campaign”, Councilman Koretz sent out a notice to all of his email-  (and I’m sure his twitter-) followers.  And at the bottom of that page is a photo of the councilman holdin’ the sign standin’ next to — you guessed it — li’l ole fat me!!  How about that!!  So, here goes the blog ……

I was headin’ out for my monthly “head shave” and manicure and Wow!! — there must have been 10 or 12 cameras waitin’ — and they were TV cameras — and a big guy was tellin’ about his parents that were bein’ evicted from our residence (along with 170 of us senior citizens — very, very, very senior citizens). As it so happened, our brave and caring City Councilman Paul Koretz was starting a PRESSURE CAMPAIGN. I spun around and headed back to my room, gathered up a handful of our “OLE LIVES MATTER” signs, told the wife to hurry down to the entrance, and rushed out in hopes it was still goin’ on!! Well, it was!!  And that’s when things started happenin’!!

Councilman Koretz was speakin’ to the news folks when I returned.  I sat on the edge of the bench, talkin’ (quietly and respectfully) to my dear, dear, dear friend Esther99 [aside: I differentiate folks either by nicknames or by adding a significant feature to their name.  I do not know last names. I guess that– that, in itself, is one of the major reasons we inhabitants of the CAN don’t want to be evicted and break-up the friendships that we all have formed.  Findin’ a new place within a year will probably be possible.  Mind you, I used the term “probably” since there just are not enough places that are equal in quality and not so “damn expensive”!  But back to Esther99 — it’ll soon be Esther100 — a week from Thursday she’ll pass the century mark.  The daughter, Susan, is pickin’ up a very, very, very special present for Esther and she will join us for our early dinner/birthday celebration at the CAN.  Sure would be great if our Councilman Paul Koretz could join us too — without cameras and a flock of his staff.  Esther is probably more “on-the-ball” than 90% of the inhabitants here.  The wife and I sit with both Esther99 and Lillian, who is 98 — both originally from the Boston area where the navy sent me to school at MIT.  We all love the Patriots and especially adore Tom Brady.  Before comin’ here I would never, ever have thought the wife and I would be befriendin’ such folks — so old in years.  But it’s such a pleasure to sit with these two very proper gals and watch them laugh at some silly comment I might make. Before I leave this ‘aside’, I want to explain the “why” I put the “99” after Esther’s name. If I know a person’s first name, I’ll use it in my blog, if there’s more than one with the same name, I’ll add a definin’ charasteric; such as, EstherHebrew (she speaks that language). Remember, we have five Joe’s here; and sometimes, I’ll look up at breakfast and there will be three Joe’s sittin’ together. How can I refer to each of them without some ‘modifier’??  If I don’t know the person’s name, I’ll just give them a nickname; like Smiley (who always smiles) or Yackety (who never shuts up) or Sudoku (who brings a copy of that crazy Japanese numbers’ puzzle to the breakfast table every day — and he is afflicted with “E-T”– essential tremors (some say he has Parkinson’s). That right hand of his, holdin’ a pen, shakes so much it’s hard to believe he can write one number into a square, much less complete a whole 9×9 puzzle. I think his name is Len, but he knows I refer to him by that nickname “Sudoku” — he just smiles and calls me Emiel — very few know me by my name; but he does!!]

And that makes that long  paragraph worthwhile — I have described in it, why it’s a crime to break up this “family” of 170 very, very, very old people.  Yes, it is a family and there are lots of folks that don’t know each other’s names — but there’s a camaraderie here that you will hardly find anywhere — maybe in a school in which you and your classmates have been together for 3 or more years. When a person such as myself arrived at the CAN — I was a “chippier” 89 in August’14. By Ocotober ’16 I hit 92, somewhat fatter, a bit less able to walk without my cane or walker — but it was from newcomer to one of the gang. We have made maybe 19 or 20 close friends together, the wife and I.  But, Harriette — she goes to the entertainment regularly; and it’s amazin’ the number of very, very, very old gals who know her by her first name.  (Especially, Alma — you see Alma’s middle name is Harriet and her maiden name was Simon — and when I first dated the wife while trainin’ to be a Navy flyer in Corpus Christi, TX — her name was Harriette Simon!! How about them green apples!! Two Harriet Simon-s {even if the wife does have that fancy way of spellin’ it!!}) All this ‘ramblin’ only proves the point that this “EVICTION” is criminal — that’s C-R-I-M-I-N-A-L — the sadness in breakin’ up these friendships is ‘soulless’ — and if there was a rooftop, I’d shout it out from there!!  The Watermark folks are “without souls“!!  How in the world does a decent man get in front of a roomful of very, very, very old people and, the first words out of his mouth: “You will have to move out of this residence in 120 days”.  (We know now that we don’t have to vacate our quarters for a year — the law says that over 62, you get some money and you have a year to find a place!) But, he did not say that. He said — “120 days“!!  I actually think he did it on purpose!!  And I don’t think the devil himself would have said it in the way that man spoke on that fateful day, Dec. 1st.  He personified Lucifer, or Satan — the Master of Darkness — it was awful, a cryin’ shame.  Some folks, there that mornin’, will never get over it.  If I didn’t know better — I’d say he’s anti-Semitic; but that can’t be — only wealthy jews will be able to afford the new Watermark at Westwood Village” [aside: I tried to make the color ‘gold’ — ’cause the old, and shabby Vintage Westwood, that we currently live in — will probably become “gold-plated with dancin’ waters at its entrance — when those folks from Arizona finish with it. You can tell by that new name I just mentioned — and, it’s at the new and modern  Westwood Village! The whole area is gonna be “upgraded” accordin’ to their literature!!]

I’ve strayed from this blog’s title, “NO TO WATERMARK— “A Facebook Campaign’ as called forth by Councilman Koretz!!  And along with our campaign slogan — “OLE LIVES MATTER” — we have to get serious and try to make it as uncomfortable for the new owners as possible. I guess our only hope is to have them give up on the whole ‘project’ — because to make the drastic changes they are claimin’ — we would have to move out of our home.  They oughta just let us all die off and maybe in 10 or so years, the numbers here will be so small — they could move the remainder to their Beverly Hills location — at no additional rent, of course!!  But, I get little cutesy when the subject is so serious. Previously,   I did explain how close we inhabitants have become — everyone does not know everyone else as a close friend — but everyone has a large number of very, very, very close buddies.  What in the world will the wife do without her “sippin’ sisters?  Four ladies meet at 4pm every Thursday in the clubhouse for “Happy Hour”– the guys are not invited.  And on Sunday, there’s another group that meets to watch the doin’s at Downton Abbey!!  And almost everyone that can — goes to the nightly movie — and that’s the problem in a nutshell!!  In the past, when a friend would join another at lunch or dinner, the question would be — “What’s the movie tonight?” — but now, at breakfast, lunch or dinner, it’s the same query — “When are ya leavin’??  And that’s a very sad, sad, sad way to end the blog! ‘nuf ……

Author: Emiel aka Emiliano Meisel

THIS BIO IS UPDATED CONTINUOUSLY, DON’T BE CONFUSED: April 2016 – I’m living in this “senior facility” with my wife of 65 years! Officially, it’s known as Vintage Westwood. As for my bio: I’m over 91 years, caucasion, grew up in the Memphis “hood”, graduated USNA at Annapolis, served on Destroyer USS-843, then MIT in Boston area, US Naval aviator, married Harriette, w/3 offspring, one living grandchild, lost one (that’s a tear!), 10 years USN, 30 years an IBMer, 24 years ‘devouring’ Mexico in San Miguel de Allende, and now here in this “geriatric home for the aged” -some inhabitants are ‘really’ old. Now, I’m a “blogger” – and that almost sounds like a dirty word! A friend has suggested that the place where we live should be titled — “Elders’ Chateau” — we like it – so that’s what we want to call it! Some of these folks are really very, very old, though! So, it’s Sept’16, still alive and kickin’ and re-naming our facility for bloggin’ purposes — “Casa de los Ancianos del Norte” or CAN. Hope I don’t confuse ya!!
Update: 11/2/16 — I am now 92 and on Nov 5th, the wife and I will be wed for 66 years!! The new name of the CAN is “The WATERMARK at Westwood Village” — snazzy huh!! Will let you know if it works out -OK?? Stay tuned! Guess what? It ain’t workin’ out so good!! We’re bein’ EVICTED!!!! 1/12/17 Whoa!! Not yet!! We’re an ornery bunch of very, very, very ole folks who are gonna do what we have to do!! (Not leave here!) 1/24/17– Very Important Entry (VIE): Residents of the CAN live in a RESIDENTIAL HOTEL — and that’s ‘g-d’ fact! It’s up to L.A. City Housing Commission.
2/14/17 Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved RH! Waitin’ for City Housing Commission approval. 4/15/17 Watermark still has not furnished drawin’s — it’ll probably end up in a “draw”. We’ll get to stay while they remodel — that should be “interestin'”!! 6/10/17 It’s June and exchangin’ offers — and Bet Tzedek, our pro-bono lawyers, just sent in a counter-proposal — keepin’ our fingers crossed!! On 6/13/17 Received word that the L.A.City Housing Commission decision that “947 Tiverton Ave” is now classified as a RESIDENTIAL HOTEL (Yippee!!) — stay tuned, somethin’s gotta give — but NO EVICTION ever!! July 2017: Will see 10 inhabitants leave — our number down to about forty, and the wife and I are stayin’!! 8/17– Watermark is appealin’ — Bet Tzedek says “no prob”!! Our numbers are depleted — some passin’s and some leavin’s — and we are a bit below 30 — but we are “‘947′-strong!! 10/10/17–Well, it’s happenin’ — they have distributed their THP — and we don’t like it. We’re all appealin’ and Bet Tzedek (God Bless ’em) is with us all the way! 10/23 Stay tuned!! Gonna send my blog in with my “appeal” — hope he or she has a sense of humor!! 10/31 Happy Halloween!! We lost a guy yesterday — he passed over to the other side — he was hangin’ in with the rest of us — just wantin’ a decent place to live — with that loss, and 4 depatures next week — our number will be reduced to 24 — that’s a good even number!! 11/10: Our official “appeal” will be heard on Nov 20th — Bet Tzedek will present and others will follow — my current blog is my “entry” for the appeal. God willin’ & creeks don’t rise — we won’t be “evicted”!! Keep on — keepin’ on! 11/18: Actually a pro-bono law firm (Manatt’s C.J. Laffer, good guy!) will present, and so will the ole guy — stay tuned!!11/20: Our team did damage to their THP — it should be cast aside — vamos a ver!! 12/01/17: On the day exactly one year after we were “evicted” (12/01/16) — we were notified that our appeal to the “W” THP has been upheld! New THP??

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