VICE – Vice – vice … one and the same!! ….. But a word with many meanings!!

Pre-preface: (12/13/17) Originally my blog was published on the eveining of  12/12 and prior to this up-front add-on. The followin’ explains the essence and rationale for the above title: The meanings of v-i-c-e: (1) an immoral or evil habit or practice; (2) a character in an English morality play; (3) a TV program on HBO; (4) a magazine that has expanded into Vice Media; (5) a police squad against drug use, prostitution, illegal gamblin’, etc.; (6) preceding a title indicatin’ 2nd in-charge; (7) a mechanical apparatus used to secure an object, with 2 parallel jaws — {the English spellin’ is used herein; American spellin’ is v-i-s-e. (And, knowingly, I made use of the English spellin’ of the word in this blog — that’s life!! ….. and the reason for this Pre-pre!!)}

Preface: Watchin’ the TV news today and readin’ the Los Angeles Times — I am very much aware of the Mueller investigation of Russia’s involvement in our 2016 Presidential election. The news today, suddenly, is about the 18-day lapse between the notification to the White House Chief Counsel McGahn — that their NSA Director Flynn had lied to the Veep and to the FBI — and his dismissal {sin ~~ punishment (18 days)}  — yes, it took President Trump 18 days to fire Flynn after his Chief White House counsel had been apprised of the facts that Flynn had been Kompromat-ed!! Personally, I hope this is the straw that breaks etc., etc., etc. So, read on ……..

 While readin’ this mornin’s (12/12/17) Los Angeles Times — its CALIFORNIA section — I noticted a “sketch photo” of Robin Abcarian (her byline) for her commentary: President’s accusers want to be heard!! That was on page B1 — and the article was concluded on the back page (B6) of that section. It had a photo of the 3 women who had held a news conference hosted by Brave New Films in New York City the day before. Clips of this was all over TV news yesterday and today. After readin’ the article, I began to realize that — a huge vice was finally beginnin’ to squeeze our so-called president (Trump is president, in my mind, in name only).  And as I recalled, usin’ a vice in “shop class” (which I was forced to take my freshman year at the University of Tennessee) —  with its two sides of iron, or steel, or whatever — squeezin’ something in-between. Yes, it made me think of Trump and the fact that he is bein’ squeezed on one side by the 16 women who had professed his unwanted earlier sexual attention and advances — and who had come forward — prior to his election as POTUS in November ’16.   And on the other side of the vice, he’s bein’ squeezed by Special Counsel Mueller — finally (yes, finally!!) Mueller is closin’ in on the 18-day gap between the White House counsel (McGahn) bein’ informed (Jan 26) by Actin’ Attorney General Sally Yates — that their National Security Advisor Michael Flynn — had lied to the FBI and also to the Vice President — and Flynn’s firing ( Feb 13)— finally (!!) — it took the Trump folks two (2) weeks and four (4) days to fire Flynn for what I would call a treasonous act!!  But our president fired Sally Yates on Jan 30th ( only 4 days after she broke the news to the White House that their big time security guy had created KOMPROMAT!! What a contrast??!! {Please note: In my earlier blog of May 9th ’17, I had enshrined Sally Caroline Quillian Yates into my personal “Hall of Fame!!}

[aside: This was discussed in my earlier blog dated May 9, 2017 — and it has taken the Special Counsel and the press, seven — I repeat, “seven” — whole months to home in on this 18-day discrepancy.  This issue is that the Office of the President of these United States bein’ informed that their highest rankin’ security officer had been Kompromat-ed by the Russians —he lied about it — and they permitted him to hang-around for 18 days — how in this world could this happen in our day and time??  This will always puzzle me — why the entire Congress, the entire Press, the entire Citizenry — did not home in on this extremely obvious gap as soon as Sally Yates brought this to the attention of Congress when she was questioned (May 8th). Don’t blame me — just read the blog that I wrote on May 9th — the day after Sally Yates and James Clapper (former Director of National Intelligence) were interviewed by the Senate Judiciary Committee. For goodness sakes — I was placin’ Sally into my personal Hall of Fame — and, I think Time Magazine should have named her Woman of the Year — as the face defendin’ the “Me, too!!” movement.]

But, gettin’ back to my “vice” story — there’s now a 3rd pressure point along with the Flynn fiasco and the 16-woman outcry — it’s the Roy Moore/Steve Bannon combo that Trump has embraced and it will come to its climax on this very night — yes, POTUS put his neck in a noose and backed that child molestin’, Jew-hatin’ (even if they do have one “Jew” lawyer workin’ on their team), Bible-thumpin’, slavery-lovin’, son of a “who knows what”!! And I pray that he has backed the wrong horse in this race — even though the theatrics and hysterics that Moore would cause in the United States Senate might just be worth its weight in “Bitcoins”!! In fact, it might ultimately work out much better for us Democrats and our blessed country if Roy does become a United States Senator — an “honest-to-God” workin’ U.S. Senator!! The shame that he will cast on the Republican party might just be worth it —  however, the shame he will cast upon our blessed country is somethin’ that every citizen will ultimately be ashamed of. He’s an anomaly we can do without. And the hope from this quarter is that we have a “new Jonesy” in the Senate.

So, in conclusion, there’s at least a 3-pronged VICE — pressin’ on Donald Trump. [aside: Please let me finish without the “Rocket Man”, our talent and know-how bein’ solicited  by the President of France, the pull-out from the Paris Accord, Fox News,  etc., etc.]  So, (1) let’s  begin with the multiple voices from at least 16 cryin’ out that he’s a womanizer, a beauty contest “peepin’-Tom”, a “false” president who should resign. Then, (2) there’s the whole political “house of cards” ready to collapse on him and his family — they all have been Kompromat-ed!! Only problem is that he can delay their demise by “firin’ the accuser” — but as God is my witness — I have faith in our elected officials — who will find a way to honor the investigation and conclusions of the special counsel or his replacement. There will be a replacement (if it is so required)!! And (3) the Roy-Moore-part of this whole sordid affair — will play out in our country’s best interest — when we make sure that Roy stays in, or quickly returns to his good ole “cracker country” — home of the lyin’ ‘n forgetful Jefferson Beauregard’s of our world!!  [aside: There are some wonderful folks — from and livin’ in — Alabama. As a son-of-the-south myself — born and raised in the “blackist area” of Memphis, Tennessee — I am well aware of the “haters” (of Jew’s, “colored’s”, LGBTQ’s, etc., etc.). As one might say — “been there, done that” and I wear it as a badge of honor!! There are wonderful people in every part of our country — and as a left-leanin’, bushy-tailed midshipman at the United States Naval Acacemy — I made friends with classmates from every part of our country — actually, every part of the world — since a classmate/teammate from Peru was our All-Amercian center forward on Navy’s soccer team. And believe me, there are lots more Republicans than Democrats or In-between-ers, who graduate from our service academies. It’s in their blood!! Actually, it was fun bein’ a Jew — outnumbered at least 50-to-1  (that’s right — among slightly less than 1000 or so admitted to the academy in our  Class of 1947 — there were only 10 or less in our Sunday Jewish “church” group — and maybe another 10 who never showed up — but went to Christian services.) And you know what, no one every made me feel “different”!! I was accepted as who I am!!   ‘nuf ……

Post Script: Believe me, I hate the Alabama Crimson Tide!! Before the Naval Academy, I attended the University of Tennessee in Knoxville — and as a true lover of the Tennessee Volunteers (the Vols, for short — our colors — orange and white), I learned to hate the Crimson Tide” of the University of Alabama (in Tuscaloosa). And I only mean “hate” in football terms — just as I “hate” the Black and Gold (plus Grey) — colors for West Point!! That’s surely ‘nuf!! ……

2nd Post Script: I forgot to wish everyone a Happy Hanukkah!!

 

………. Barbra — Barbra — Barbra!!! ………. ——– A Hellluva Birthday Present!! ——–

What do you give your gal for her 89th?? What do you give her when you’ve been a twosome for over 67 years?? Eighty-nine years old — who lives that long — is she now an old woman?? And with the same guy for over 67 years (and, he must be really old {which he is!!}) — and the changes of the scenery — ’twas the NAVY from Texas to California to Maryland to Florida — and back to Texas (no more Navy) — then, a bit longer in Texas — (IBM) from Corpus Christi to Dallas — then to Saratoga, California and on to Los Angeles — now that’s a long stopover!!! Then to Paris, France — and that requires a deep breath — one must always deeply inhale when you are livin’ in Paris on their “dime”!! But then to Westport, CT, for the final chapter in a workin’ man’s life.  Retired from IBM!!  — (Every reader must be a bit dizzy with all those moves — together, the wife and me!!) So, why not just get in the car and drive into Mexico — we had lived in a foreign country and we had loved every minute of it — the language issues, the completely different culture — the sights and the sounds — and the people — yes, the people!! It’s always the people!! And it will always be the people!!

And we drove and drove and — well, you get the picture!! But, you really don’t!! When I retired from my day job at IBM and lived in Westport for another 9 months — we realized that, in retirement, we had to give up a lot — all those trips from our place in Connecticut — into the bowels of Manhattan on a weekly basis — all those great things to do, and places to dine — it was give-it-all-up ‘n  get-the-h…-out-of-there — TIME!! So, we bought a 2nd-hand Ford from Hertz — “pastel de crema” (cream puff), and we visited 30 of the 31 states in Mexico — plus the “district” (the Federal District, which is — also known as — Mexico City!). And when we reached the southernmost state of Chiapas — we decided to drive on into Guatemala — we actually were in search of a place to settle into — to retire fully — like puttin’ your feet up ‘n just watchin’ the world go by — and there were wonderful reports about the city of Antigua in Guatemala. The reports were right — and there was serious consideration of “landin’ ‘n stayin’ there” — but the distance to Los Angeles was a bit much — that’s where we had some kin — but believe me, we loved the 10 or  more days we spent in that wonderful town — and the stopovers we made in Huehue-tenango and Quetzel-tenango — and maybe another “–tenango” or two along the way!! [aside: I think “tenango” is the same as  “burg” in a U.S. city’s endin’! Some “experts” claim it means “place of” — and they are referrin’ to the ancient Mayan language when they mention this.)

We ended up settlin’ in San Miguel de Allende in the state of Guanajuato — almost in the direct geographical center of the country of Mexico. We were some 1800 miles south of Los Angeles, CA, — a good 3-day drive for the ole guy, his navigator wife, and pastel de crema (replaced by panque {“cupcake”} after 180,000 miles).  And in the those 24 years south of the border, the two (I mean 3) of us made over 40 round-trips in nuestro carro. (And thank God for “books on tape” which later became “books on CD’s” — and Lee Child with his Jack Reacher series. I may have mentioned that we listened to Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” on one occasion, when we traveled north with our fav amigo Benno Wenske — it was in a much earlier blog. These years south of the border were wonderful for the two of us.  Our daily livin’ was a lot less costly — and we were able to live the good and independent life — and one has to experience this to realize how many amigos you will cultivate during that period of time — yes, in those days we counted our amigos and the restaurants — rather than the years!! That’s the lifestyle that Harrieta y Emiliano thought would be carried out for them — i.e until we met our maker!!  We had joined the “Twenty-four Club” in San Miguel — and that settled all arrangements — except our son Gary would probably have been surprised when the urn showed up at his front door!!

But, best laid plans … don’t always anticipate an individual’s health situation — both the wife and the ole guy became “sick enough to live“; but not sufficiently drastic enough– to die!!!  And this circumstance meant that daughter Susan would have to come down — ship us back to Los Angeles — and find enough amigos to come and haul away our apartment full of furnishings. Thus, you can now find us two — ensconced in our two room apartment at 947 Tiverton Ave — in the Westwood section of Los Angeles — with son Gary just to our north — and dependable Susan to our south. And yesterday, after over 3 years north of the border, on Wednesday,  November 22nd — Harriette turned 89-years-young. And what does a very, very, very ole guy give his true love after 67 years of wedded bliss — he takes her on a quick trip to Miami — to hear the great, the wonderful — that one-of-a-kind vocalist who — the L.A. Times TV Critic Robert Lloyd describes her as “colossal ” — in the concert special ……….  “The Music … The Mem’ries … The Magic” — Barbra Streisand at her inimitable best!!  Yes, Netflix transported the two of us to Miami, and we were there in the audience — even if it was last December — and for just under 2 whole hours, while we were mesmerized by one of the greatest entertainers of our lifetime. There we were — snacks in hand — lyin’ back with pillows raised for comfort — we had been transported both in distance and in time into an audience in the tens of thousands — there were people as far as the eye could see. And she came out from behind the curtains singin’ one of our favorites — “The Way We Were” ………. and the two of us — along with the entire audience — melted into a pile of mush!!!!!!!

After a bit of repartee’, she announced that, in her career, she had made ten #1 albums — and that she would sing a song she had chosen from each.  It was mesmorizin’ — it was just Barbra!! Later, past the halfway mark,  Jamie Foxx suddenly appeared and they did some duets that had us all riveted (he even imitated Barbra singin’ “The Way We Were”) — and then, with much applause,  Jamie left the stage — leavin’ Barbra to thrill us with a few more of her best known treats.  Harriette and I actually felt like we were there in the crowd — ooh-in’ ‘n aah-in’ — but they would jump up and clap — [aside: Honestly, we didn’t do that “jumpin stuff” for reasons which are obvious if you know us.]  We just pinched ourselves. What could be better — relaxin’, nibblin’, ‘n watchin’ Barbra Streisand — on-stage with a humongous band and some great back-up singers — gee, it’s the wife’s 89th birthday and we were enjoyin’ a million dollars worth of absolutely upscale entertainment — while we were just lyin’ there! What a birthday — and I paid for and sponsored the entire production. I beseech you to do the same and listen to “Papa, Can You Hear Me?” from Yenta“Don’t Rain on My Parade!” from Funny Girl —  a beautiful rendition of “Pure Imagination”!!  And even if I am showin’ my age — she closed with that ole fav Democratic Party’s theme song — Happy Days Are Here Again!! Yep, I can recall singin’ that tune along with all the Democrats after FDR whupped Herbert Hoover in ’32 — that’s what 8-year-old’s did in the thirties!! So, that’s ‘nuf ……….

 

Confessions of a Very, Very Ole Guy!! subtitled: “Red, White and Black”!

Preface: When I started bloggin’ in early ’16, the news was that the comedy sitcom genius Norman Lear was peddlin’ a couple of ideas for new offerin’s. One was a latino version of “One Day at a Time”, which came into bein’ earlier this year. The other was “in the can” (that’s television-speak) about life in a senior citizen livin’ facility — just like ours — titled “Guess Who Died”.  This led my admistrator-daughter to sub-title this blog “comedy about life in the geriatric facility” — and I have referred to that descriptive passage often. Any frequent reader knows it has been far from a comedy since the end of last year with our new ownership with that eviction notice and such. But on occasion, I have blogged about “life in the geriatric facility” attemptin’ — in a comedic fashion. I offer this blog in that vein — even if it’s not all that funny!! You be the judge and read on …….. 

When you are a married guy — livin’ in a senior citizen facility — and the number of women out-number us ole male geezers by a factor of about 5:1 — what’s an ole guy’s relationship supposed to be with these other single (?) females — remember I am a married man — the wife and I are two “peas in a pod“!! As I have reflected many times — back on the days when there were over 120 very ole souls livin’ here at the CAN (Casa de Ancianos del Norte) on Tiverton Ave in the Westwood section of Los Angeles — I realized there was an “underground” kinda club. All the younger husband-less women would typically sit together and chat away — not in one large table but, four here — and four there — and maybe two of them joinin’ a married couple,  etc., etc., etc.  I use the term “husband-less” because these gals have typically outlived at least one fella in marital bliss (There were one or two, or possibly more, who were never married, however!!).  And I use the term “younger” to mean they are in the 85ish age-range — and at the CAN —   85 is still a youngster!!

There’s a much older bunch of females, currently — about 8 or so — with care-givers — most are wheel-chair bound and some are not completely on top of every-day issues.  I have not counted noses; so all these numbers are estimates — but there aren’t too many of us senior citizens left here at the CAN — about 27 or so. And, I just heard that one of the wheel-chair gals will be leavin’ next week, along with three other tenants that have been on another location’s wait-list. [aside: But, there are 3 wonderful, intelligent women here who I have frequently blogged about — they are Sadie Smolev (102), Lillian Koslow (99) and Dorin Mathis (92) — Dorin is the only one who is wheel-chair-bound — but she is not included in the group previously mentioned — Dorin has all her faculties and as previously blogged — a fav lady of mine —  and she’s also a Holocaust survivor!! The older two, Lillian and Sadie, use there walkers and act as young as the rest of us — they’re only 99 and 102, respectively.  So, when you include the wife — these four women are not to be included in any of my descriptive offerin’s herein!]

Our number at the CAN will be down to 23 by Thanksgivin’ — God willin’ ‘n we all stay reasonably healthy!! [aside: Lillian has had a health issue recently, and she won’t permit anyone to share her table until the issue is cleared up; so the wife and I are now — normally dinin’ alone. Her son-in-law and grandson are doctors at Cedars — and we’re countin’ on them to make sure she licks the problem soon.]  But, back to our dwindlin’ population here at the CAN — as mentioned, there will remain — 23 hearty souls. And when that occurs — I will finally be rid of the three females which the ole guy has had — let’s say — issues — maybe even very mild confrontations. I have previously mentioned one or two instances in past blogs.

I guess one might consider the fact that a 93-year-ole fogey such as me — havin’ confrontations with some younger female tenants — sounds a bit stupid and silly — but, I just don’t like the prissy type, nor the clingy type of  woman (two are prissy and one is clingy) — and all three sure don’t like me!! Two of these females must be extremely well-off, if you know what I mean — they must be endowed with considerable worldly goods; but worldly goods just don’t mean too much at our stage of life. Here at the CAN, we’re all treated the same. To net it out, all three appear to be man-hungry — two like the soft and clingy male — not an A-type — and with the third — it just has to be a man. [aside: As I am  bloggin’ — I realize I am confusin’ — just stick with me — I will identify these 3 females as Red, White and Black. (It should be noted — this is not the color of their skin!)  I am also wonderin’ if I will ever publish this blog — or will it be set aside to join a few other partially finished blogs!! I guess that’s another “vamos-a-ver” situation!!  But, as I think about some of my blog readers — they must be sick and tired of the ole guy’s blogs about Watermark, evictions, appeals, etc., etc., etc. — and they probably want some meaty, humanistic  stuff– in other words, gettin’ down-and-dirty (more like Norman Lear)  — well, maybe not too far down and only somewhat dirty!!] So let’s get started with my tales of woe!! I will refer to them in accordance with that color scheme!!

First, there’s Red — the wife and I actually met her in the dinin’ room at lunch one day. So let me get started.  It all began thusly: We were dinin’ alone when a separate female — who was within a few day of leavin’ us for another senior facility — and who had  actually played bridge with the wife only the night before — in a friendly manner, asked to join us at the table. As the three of us began to dine and chat,  Red arrived on the scene and asked our  dinin’ partner if she could join the three of us. To which this lady agreed — and the wife and I made no comment. I was half finished anyway — but the first words out of Red‘s mouth were to discuss a recent death of a female resident (which had occurred  a few days earlier at our residence). Well, after about 3 or 4 minutes of chatter from these two females — involvin’ that dark subject — I injected myself into their tete-a-tete — (re: death) — and said it was not a subject that I cared to listen to while dinin’ — and that it was a bit unseemly to sit with people you don’t know and a start discussin’ someone’s unfortunate demise. After my leavin’ the wife at the table,  Red immediately asked her how long she had been married to that guy — to which Harriette answered that it was a very long and happy time — thence, she immediately left the two women — and her unfinished lunch. [aside: That’s why I married this cute yellow rose of Texas!!]

A few weeks later, the wife and I and a friend attended the regular Thursday Happy Hour. We regularly sit at the far end of our Clubhouse — and actually, adjacent to the floor space possibly to be used by an entertainer– which is a very rare occurrence at Happy Hour. On this particular day, there happened to be an entertainer — and that’s a miss-use of the word — it was a female who attempted to sing and wiggle around in the small space relatively close to our table — to put it mildly — she was terrible! [aside: I do not go to many events in the clubhouse — this was the first entertainer that I had ever witnessed. The wife assured me that the normal entertainment is very good — this was well outside the norm.] So, as one might imagine,  our table completely ignored her and continued our Happy-Hour-conversation. Shortly, we heard a voice at a table in front of the entertainer not too far from us — remember, we were to the side in a corner — and rather than a voice; it was a ‘shush’ — and upon lookin’ up — it was Red with a finger on her lips. Well, you can guess my instantaneous reaction — the ole guy flipped her the bird!! And I was thrilled with her astonished reaction — and our relationship was thankfully doomed forevermore.

I have purposely left out an event which had occurred in between the lunch and the “bird-flip“! I infrequently attend clubhouse speaker/sessions — but when a retired Los Angeles Times columnist was to talk about the upcomin’ election (it was late summer in ’16) — I was in the audience. Durin’ his presentation, he had asked for  show of hands — if you were plannin’ to vote Democratic!! All hands were raised.  (At least I thought all hands had been raised???).  For when he asked for Republicans — one hand happily went up and there was a very broad grin on her face — I’ll let you guess whose it was — and — I just might bet you just forgave an ole guy for “flippin’ the bird” to Red!!

But what she had in common with the other 2 gals on my list — well, I really didn’t make a list — she was after a man. And she caught one before he left for another senior facility. He is our 100-year-old Holocaust survivor who is probably in better shape mentally and physically than most 60-year-old Los Angelenos!! And he was pleased as punch — he did not care who she voted for, she wore a skirt and whispered sweet nothin’s in his ear. They started dinin’ together at every meal — she had found a guy.  And that is what all 3 women — Red, White and Black — have in common!! All three most definitely wanted a man — and would move heaven and earth to get one — and truth be told,  in each case they found one  — here at the CAN!! ‘nuf …….

Post Script: When I started this blog, I hesitantly began to describe what I thought would be some interactive issues that the ole guy has had with three women here at the CAN — but as I became so carried away with one — I decided to forego — rationalizin’ my involvement with the other two.  My dealin’s with Red places me in a better light than it would with the others (in my humble opinion) — so I will refrain from discussin’ my relationship with White and Black!!  These latter two just pissed me off —  but I honestly feel they had some issues with a guy like me — and with a few other things too — if you get my drift!!  And since I am in a glass house — I shouldn’t throw too many stones!!  ‘n surely, that’s ‘nuf …….

 

Two Full Days Without A Meal!! …… (well, maybe not quite … but almost!!)

Preface: Our kitchen at “947 Tiverton Ave” was shut down by the Los Angeles County Health Inspector on the afternoon of November 7th — and remained closed until dinner on the 9th. I herein express my personal opinion of — the what and why and wherefore!! So, if you are interested, read on ………

What happens in a large dining room kitchen — one set up to feed well over a hundred souls for every meal?? What happens if the numbers begin to grow smaller and smaller — and finally there are only a fifth of the original consumers — the very, very, very aged diners who are residents.  Things might become a bit lax — ya think?  You  might think that the ability to keep a kitchen immaculately clean would get easier if you were preparin’ food for — say 25 rather than 125. It’s the same kitchen — the cookin’ time may not change too much — but the prep time and the clean-up followin’ the meal — well, one would think it would be quite a bit less and easier to handle by the same kitchen staff.  Secondly, when preparin’ food for very, very, very  senior citizens — really an ole bunch of mostly Jewish fogies who can be “picky and particular” — especially, when it comes to food –well, one would think that the cooks and bottle washers would be even more attentive and careful, ya know!! — the rush and chatter in the kitchen should be less — and any complainin’ and re-orderin’ from the diners would be so much less also. But I guess, human nature is funny and predictable — as your clientele is reduced in number — and you have a bit more idle time — I would imagine — one just might become a little careless. Anyway, I do believe the latter is possibly a significant factor in what has occurred here at the CAN (Casa de los Ancianos del Norte).

But wait — somethin’ else and very serious has happened here where we live —  and any follower of my blogs realizes that new ownership took over last October — that’s 13+ months ago. And the intent of the new owners — Watermark Residential Communities — is to make our over 50-year-old ex-UCLA dormitory into another one of their “jewels” — in their very large portfolio of senior-citizen, mental-care facilities.  But, in order to perform the necessary repair and construction to transform this 14-story building into a top-rate facility for the aged and the infirm — all the current tenants will have to be removed — not completely displaced — but placed in another housin’ facility!! [aside: The new owners have tried the “displaced idea” with a 120-day eviction notice within a month or so after purchasin’ our residence. Fortunately, it did not work for a lot of us — because we screamed and yelled and protested — that’s right, we extremely old Jews, includin’ 3 Holocaust survivors — carried signs readin’ “Ole Lives Matter”, and marched with walkers and wheel-chairs and “limps” — (the latter  was yours truly — the ole guy — with his cane, who was limpin’)  –while the cameras were rollin’ for the NBC nightly news!!

But, it did scare off well over half of the aged population because their “60ish- to-70ish”-year-ole kids did not need this in their lives — and understandably,  they wanted their aged parents to be happy, contented and relaxed in a “final nestin’ place“!!  And as pointed out earlier, our numbers now are about a couple of dozen elderly and frail Jewish seniors — some in body, some in mind, but never, never, never — in spirit!! And considerin’ this reduction in numbers — one would expect that it would be easier to keep the kitchen spotless and tidy and “germless” but that’s not what happened here at 947 Tiverton Ave in the Westwood section of the city of Los Angeles, California, on the afternoon of Tuesday November 7th, 2017!! The Los Angeles  County  Health Inspector declared the kitchen unsuitable re: cleanliness and health safety. Damn-it!! He closed it down!!

The definin’ lax issues — passed along to me — and I repeat, I have not been able to view the actual report online [aside: Let’s just admit that the ole guy is not completely computer savvy — and he depends on his daughter, who has been trained by her extremely sharp hubby in the arena of TECH!! But, I’m the one who has the degree from MIT in electronics engineering and am a member of Tau Beta Pi — the engineering “honor” society!! Go figure!!]!! Reasons posted: (1) Holdin’ temperatures unsat; and  (2) Contact surfaces not cleaned and sanitized; and lastly — {“hold your noses for this last item, please!!”} (3) Some form of rodent, insect, bird, or animal droppings were present. WOW!!  And there are maybe only 30-ish folks dinin’ in our residence at one time (countin’ the care-givers and visitors).  This same kitchen always received an “A” for years, and years, and years, when it operated under the management of our former owners. In fact, it has been recievin’ an “A” up until our numbers had dwindled down from well over 100-ish to a measly 25-ish!! What could have caused this laxity — this unbelievable situation in a home for the agedsimply lack of management attention and possible laxity among employees whose jobs just might be in jeopardy.

[aside: I am not privy to what Watermark management has advised their employees at “947” with respect to the lengthy time they will close the facility down for total repair and construction — includin’ the kitchen.  At any rate — all employees realize that their jobs and life will change durin’ the construction period– what job security the future holds is, just maybe,  “up for grabs”!! This has to affect attitude and drive in some manner. But, there is an overridin’  reason that I personally feel that the kitchen crew — whom I respect and admire!! Personally, I have befriended all three sous chefs de cuisine — namely, Benjamin, Enrique and Arturo!! I will guarantee you that no other tenant — even when we numbered over 120 aged souls — would know these three fantastic chef’s (cocinero’s) names and how to pronounce them in Spanish — and that is very understandable. I speak Spanish and I am an amateur cook (as frequent blog-readers are aware)!] I have made a personal effort to befriend all the dinin’ establishment owners, chefs/cooks and waiters in all of our travels within the U.S., Europe and Mexico. It was always a “first name basis — re: Emile and Emil and Emiliano!! Quality and service was ever-present in our travels. Therefore, I do not fault the kitchen staff for the kitchen closure.! (period. exclamation point!)]

So, let me backtrack to a time — many, many months before Watermark purchased our senior-citizen facility while we were still livin’ at Vintage Westwood (our previous owner)! There was a Ukrainian chef and a latino dinin room floor manager — Vlad and Jorge!! One day suddenly they were released (or fired) — I am not completely privy to the circumstances but negative rumors were flyin’! Shortly afterwards, an Executive Chef was hired by the our facility manager/director. I believe the two had worked together under earlier circumstances. This new kitchen/dinin’ room boss had lots of experience and I, personally, befriended him — even sharin’ some of my favorite vaunted recipes. Get the picture — I liked and respected him; and he “endured” me!! It was mutual respect when it came to food quality and variety. So, let it be known, that I felt we have a reasonably friendly relationship. So, what I am about to state — does not come from any past conflict — nor negative isssues — that I have personally had with this Executive Chef. But, at the time that Watermark purchased this property from Vintage in October ’16 — their nearby property, Watermark Beverly Hills — was without an executive chef. Maybe they never employed one before — I do not know! Immediately, our wonderful and personable Executive Chef had a dual responsibility.  And in recent months, I have noticed that instead of spendin’ half his time at “947” — we “hangers-on” here only saw our fav chef on very rare and limited occasions. Actually, he may have been in his office here at “947” — but the frequency of runnin’ into him on-site had dropped much, much, much more than half. Result: Absence may make the heart grow fonder — but when your boss spends a great deal less time in overseein’ his responsibilities — well — it may just mean your kitchen grade will drop from an “A” to an “F”.  Ya see, I was always a touchy, feely kind of manger in IBM — and that’s why I got promoted — and on one occasion was honored as an outstandin’ manager in our Western region — and received multiple promotions in a company known for excellent management style. So, at least, I have a background in management — and absentee managers are never successful — but they bear the responsibility of “failure” — that  should go without sayin’!! I guess I have done enough damage for today! ‘nuf ……

Post Script: (Same day, post-lunch) I posted this blog before the wife and I went to lunch.  Then, seated in the dinin’ room, we ordered a couple of Arnold Palmers and two cups of split pea soup.  The Arnold Palmers are served in a tumbler-type with a tiny neck at the bottom. The soup is served in soup cups — the wife actually has hers in a coffee-type cup. Why all the detail, one might ask. Well, the green split peas soup was exceptionally hot and our young waiter brought the 4 items, simultaneously — jugglin’ them in his two hands. I said nothin’ and was a bit squeamish as he put the steamin’ hot soup down in front of the wife while still jugglin’ the 2 drinks and my cup of soup. I waited a short time, before callin’ him over and told him how dangerous it is to handle all four items at the same time — especially when two are extremely hot!! An accidental trip or spill on any of our very old tenants would cause a catastrophe. [aside: When we were here a few short months, one of the male waiters would run sometimes between a hot tea/coffee station and the diner who he was waitin’!! I went over to him upon departin’ the dinin’ hall and told him that he should not run with  the containers of very hot coffee or water for tea. His response was a bit arrogant and negative and from that day to now — this waiter does not serve our table and the entire staff knows it. Runnin’ with or bein’ careless with hot liquids in any restaurant or dinin’ room is dangerous and unacceptable. And no one will dispute that fact. I wonder if the management have ever cautioned our wait-staff accordingly?? nuf’ already ……….

……….. To Whom It May Concern ……… ……….. The Ole Guy’s Statement!! ……..

Preface: I have blogged recently — on two occasions — about our current situation here at the CAN (Casa de los Ancianos del Norte) — re: the Tenant Habitability Plan (THP) — a temporary housin’ proposal, legally required — while major construction is carried out at our home residence — our senior citizen facility at 947 Tiverton Ave in Westwood, CA . This plan for necessary alternative housin’ was offered to us by our senior citizen facility’s owner — Watermark– and approved by the Los Angeles Housing + Community Investment Department inspectors.  Yes, they are plannin’ significant remodelin’ and repair to this 50-year-old residential building dedicated to and for senior citizens.  On the followin’ day, after a meeting with all parties, I blogged:  “Hola Mayor Garcetti!! … Hello Councilman Koretz!!” — and then again —  (after a few days of dedicated  thought)  “Ole Guy’s Retrospective, His Manifesto ……… and Finally, an Expose'”!! Needless to say, we tenants are pissed — the temporary housing offered is NOT senior-citizen-oriented in fact, it would be very dangerous, both physically and mentally, for my very, very, very old, frail — yet strong-willed cohorts — here at the CAN.  So, herewith, I have a few additional comments to make; so read on ……….

A key point to be made up front — here and now — is that the building we live in is a 14-story ex-UCLA dormitory that was converted many, many years ago for senior-citizen-living-accommodations!! These changes were necessary and required for the safety, health, mental stability, etc., etc., etc. for the clientele who would inhabit the newly created livin’ quarters!! How many more words or phrases, need be written, to explain — MY GOD!!the folks livin’ here are very, very, very old and frail people. Maybe I’m not so frail — but I sure am old — turned 93 last month and shared our 67th anniversary with by bride Harriette on Sunday last — she’s a very, very, very young 88 (pssst! she’ll hit 89 in a couple of weeks!! These ole ladies brag about their ages — it’s a different world here. Not sure that the wife has  bought into that philosophy — yet. So, I won’t tell her what I said, if you won’t!!) 

Let’s go on a “walkin’ tour of our quarters here at the CAN. But, first let me explain a necessity in our own livin’ quarters. We mut have a “walk-inshower. There’s no way that we would feel safe if we had a tub/shower combo. Steppin’ over the tub’s side (even with a transfer-bench) would actually be very dangerous — if you don’t know it, “falls” are a main reason that leads to “shortened lives” among ole folks!! Even a walk-in shower for many very aged individuals is still an issue — showerin’ alone is a possible safety issue for the elderly — that is one of the first issues or situations for which many old-timers require a care-giver. Bathin’ oneself requires some maneuvers with which we ole folks have difficulty  — so, at minimum, a walk-in” shower is a must.! (period. exclamation point!) And, before we exit from describin’ our own one-bedroom apartment, I must add that we require daily maid service. On a daily basis here, our beds are made and waste-baskets are emptied — and a general-look/see-check is made!! (Are the two of us still a part of the livin’?? — we have not “passed on”!!)Actually, some of our friends’ passin’ have been discovered initially by a maid’s basic daily room-check. This fact is extremely important and somewhat overlooked.

As we leave our apartment, the hallway floor is carpeted — and there are handrails along one side of all hallways in our building. We changed our apartment twice when first arrivin’ — the first time, to be more financially-conscious — and the second time, to be closer to the elevator. Yes, even in this senior-citizen facility, there can be a long trek from room-to-elevatorCurrently, we are only about 25 paces from the elevators — three of them normally — there’s absolutely no way that I can manage stairs — never more than two or three anymore. [aside: On one occasion since we have lived here, all three elevators were inoperative simultaneously — yes, it happened one morning — the wife and I managed to go down the 3 flights of stairs (each holdin’ on to the rail and to each other)– but, if they were not put back in service — I would have spent the night on a lobby couch.]

Enterin’ the lobby from our elevator, we can check our mail and a list of our daily activities. At this writin’, the wife is at the movie in our clubhouse — it’s “Annie Hall”, and I almost joined her — but I was deeply involved with this blog.  They usually show a winner — an oldie, but goody — movie nightly. Most of the folks never miss a single one — and they have their special seats — one friend arrrivin’ early — will save one or two for late-arrivin’ buddies.  It’s amazin’ how many see the movies and forgo watchin’ TV — even movies on TV — it’s literally a “nightly social event for these residents”!! Remember, we are very, very, very ole folks and we thrive on companionship — only a hermit likes livin’ alone!!

Unfortunately, I have gained about 30 pounds since we arrived at “947 Tiverton Ave”.  That’s a little under 14 kilos — doesn’t that sound a lot better! It does to me — and that’s the way I would have described it while livin’ the good life in Mexico. Most of you know that we lived in San Miguel de Allende for 24 wonderful years — and only returned to the Los Angeles area due to our failin’ health. Since arrivin’ here at the CAN, I have had a heart valve replacement (it’s from a cow), a laminectomy in the upper lumbar region (a 2nd time, in my life); and I even hate to mention it — but I had a “double hernia” operation (one of the penalties of age).  I walk with a cane “in-house” — but this afternoon, when I had a manicure, followed by a haircut (quit laughin’, my fav barber shaves the head every 3 weeks) — well, I use my hospital-purchased walker for stability and support.  Upon return, it took me 30 minutes — seated, and restin’ in front of our facility — to manage to head up to our room after my “outside” foray. [aside: I made a stop-over at Target for a couple of purchases and a hot mocha while seated and restin’ at Starbucks. Waystations are important when I go over a block or two — and darn it, they removed the benches in front of Target — I think the homeless had taken over — but there had always been a place for me to rest a bit. I can only make a trek to a local establishment a couple times a week — and normally, it’s Ralph’s — it’s a short half block until I find a supportin’ cart — and they do have almost everything we need. It’s just not easy to walk any distance at all — for either the wife or me!!]

I mention Ralph’s only to point out that we buy only necessities and maybe some fresh fruit for the room. We do not use our in-room microwave at all. We have three wholesome meals a day in our dinin’ hall — remember we live in an ex-dorm, and the three-meals-a-day furnished here are a “must”!  Even though I became a “chef extraordinaire” in Mexico with my “World Famous Matzo Ball Soup” and that “Cajun Meatloaf” — my back now prohibits further standin’ in front of a stove (even with my fav tequila nearby).  Yes, I was the chief cook and bottle washer in Mexico — the wife retired from cookin’ when we lived in Paris — once, for dessert, they plopped a huge caldron of “chocolate mousse” on the table — she just flat  stood up and said “I quit”!! And she meant it!!  Our fridge in Paris held 3 goodies — white wine,  fresh-cut ham — and large chunks of aged Parmesan cheese. (While in Paris, we had three open-air street-markets within a few blocks in 3 different directions; we’ll never be able to thank IBM enough for sendin’ us there — it was a dream come true for the two of us!!)  [aside: If you have never had chunks of Parmesan for hors d’oeuvres — you have not lived!!  My Italian buddy in Paris (the one that lives in Milan) taught us how to enjoy fresh Parmesan cheese with a dry white or kir — while one is chattin’ before one takes one’s seat to dine. And you can take that to the bank!! Quit it, ole guy — and get back to the business at hand.]  I firmly state that we have to live in a facility — a building — that serves three meals a day — there are no if’s, and’s nor but’s — and with that statement, I’ll end this blog. ‘nuf …..

Post Script: (Special Note to the Appeals Officer) — Harriette and Emiel Meisel declare herewith:  We require —  (1) three 3 meals-a-day, on-site, in any temporary location; (2) bath & toilet facilities for the elderly; (3) daily maid service with a weekly change of linens; (4) carpeting and handrails in all hallways;  (5) shuttle-service to doctors, dentists, shoppin’, etc.; (6) activities for mind and body stimulation which should include nightly on-site movies, frequent interesting speakers and/or  entertainers, and finally — “ole-folks” exercise and balance classes!! In other words, the Tenant Habitability Plan (THP) should provide the same equivalent facilities and offer similar  services that Watermark is currently furnishing on-site to all senior  residents still livin’ here — us very, very, very senior citizens. I would call their plan a joke — but they actually mean it!!  Anything less than what I have proposed herein — can be considered dangerous to the health, security and well-bein’ of our extremely-aged current tenants!! Finally, if they cannot provide such temporary quarters for us — the THP (the law) states that they should provide a per diem (dollar amount) to cover satisfactory and safe livin’ facilities in a comparable location!!  So, ‘nuf already …….

What Were Ya Doin’ 67 Years Ago??

Do you remember what you were up to on November 3rd, 1950. Some of you weren’t even a twinkle in your parents’ eyes!! Our three children might have been twinkles in our eyes — the wife’s and mine!! But I would guess that our children weren’t even thought about 67 years ago, and I was about to be put through a very, very, very difficult situation on that Friday evenin’!! But, let’s start at the beginnin’ of the day — it was mornin’ — and Harriette and I were headin’ to the big city — we had just checked on our new garage apartment at 235 1/2 ‘D’ Ave in Coronado, CA, and were headin’ to San Diego on the ferry!! Yep!! There was no bridge from beautiful Coronado to San Diego then — it was “take the ferry” or drive all the way around the peninsula south and up the coast to San Diego!! So, we waited a bit and the ferry docked and unloaded their passengers from S.D. and the gate was swung open to drive onto the ferry boat. I pulled out my card for the attendant and he exclaimed, “Sir, you need to show me your ferry pass or pay for the ride over — your U.S. Navy I. D. card is not appropriate!!” WOW!! Was I nervous!! I showed him my ferry pass and drove to the opposite end of the ferry!! Nerves!! I guess so — Harriette and I were on our way to purchase our marriage license at City Hall — we were to be married on Sunday November 5th — with a wing-ding reception at the ever-popular El Cortez Hotel in downtown San Diego. [aside: I had to google “downtown hotel in San Diego in 1950” since I had forgotten its name. It was considered one of the best hotels there at the time — and since “Daddy Joe” Simon was footin’ the bill for the weddin’ reception — it had to be tops for his oldest daughter– Miss Harriette Janice Simon — and he was invitin’ the whole group of fearless pilots from the Night Attack Squadron VC-35 — stationed at the U.S. Naval Air Station “North Island” in Coronado.]

Mentionin’ my squadron mates brings me to the “night before the weddin'” activities. Actually, it was the “night before, the night before”!!  Well, Coronado — bein’ just a small distance from the Mexican border — about five of the guys (no gals in the air arm of the U.S. Navy at that time — in fact, none in the fleet at all in 1950) — these buddies decided that I had to have a Mexican indoctrination prior to my weddin’!! And indoctrination barely describes what took place — but I’ll briefly summarize.  The underlyin’ rule that was laid out before me was that I would not be permitted to eat anything. Drink, yes!! But it had to be of the alcohol category — and they chose “tequila”!! We attended a bar with dancin’ girls, etc., and I was thrust forward to dance with the ugliest one of the lot. After an hour or so of “winin’ and dancin'” we went to a live show — probably rated in the “triple “X” category. Again, no food — but lots of tequila. And as I recall, when the clowns on stage asked for volunteers to assist in their act — I was thrust forward and carried onto the stage.  I can only remember tryin’ to dance with someone and fallin’ on my face. The guys hauled me down and outside we went — where I quit my “dead cat” act and ran to the nearest street taco stand and scooped up a couple already-made and downed them — almost swallowin’ them whole!! [aside: Up to that moment in my life, I had never eaten tacos nor any food offered on the streets of Tijuana!! I was starvin’ and they sure must have tasted good. Fortunately, this “bachelor night” occurred on the Friday night before a Sunday weddin’ — there was sufficient time to recoup!!

I have difficulty recallin’ what occurred on the 4th of November — just that I was still in the “land of the livin'”!! On Sunday mornin’ — Nov 5th, 1950, Harriette and Emiel were married in the private office of a San Diego rabbi — with her parents and 12-year-ole sister Raye Ann in attendance, along with my dad Harry. Wouldn’t ya know — on Saturday mornin’ before the weddin’, my sister had called from Memphis, TN, advisin’ my parents that her hubby had a severe heart attack and wanted my mom to hurry home. My mother hopped a plane back — that afternoon — it was the first time she had ever flown in an airplane. She missed her older son’s weddin’ — but duty called her back to Memphis!!  She not only missed my weddin’ but a helluva party followin’!!

Yes, it was “all hands on deck” — Joe Simon, father of the bride, from Corpus Christi, TX — the same Jewish guy that always led the citywide St. Patrick’s Day parade every year. And bein’ in the furniture business with his store on the city’s main drag, he loved the experience doubly, or triply, when he led the parade past the neighborin’ furniture store of Joe Crane — “the Smilin’ Irishman”!! To say the least, Harriette’s dad was quite a character and a bit of a showman. When he was young and single and “in-shape”, he actually boxed for a while — professionally — but he later married a lady from San Antonio, TX, and opened the Nueces Furniture Store on Chaparral Street in Corpus Christi. The four Simons had driven by car from Corpus to San Diego for the oldest daughter’s weddin’ — and durin’ the entire time on the road — he kept askin’ his daughter — “Are you really sure you want to marry this ‘sailor’? You know that all we have to do is turn around and go back to Corpus!!” [aside: I had promised Harriette that I would make sure that my next duty station would be in Hawaii — and we would spend some early married years — livin’ the good life on the islands. Truth be told, this did not happen!! My next duty station would be NATC Patuxent River in Maryland — a place you cannot find on a normal map and the birthplace of our first child in a US Navy dispensary when snow was on the ground — Jan 6th, 1953!!]

Back to Sunday afternoon, Nov. 5th, 1950 — our weddin’ reception at the El Cortez Hotel — it was quite a blowout!! Champagne flowed and the band played — and all the VC-35 squadron US Navy pilots were there in uniform with wives or girlfriends. Joe Simon was in his glory as Master of Ceremony — for the cake cuttin’, the speeches, the whole wonderful party. The wife was in her glory when the whole bunch of uniformed-guys toasted her and then the two of us. We had a great time!! And since we had a private weddin’ beforehand, there was no need to change clothes. We had hidden my Olds convertible — so the guys wouldn’t trash it; but someone got to it and attached a few tin cans and marked a couple of windows with “Just Married”!! We did sneak away and got on the road — the road to where!!??

I had made no reservations and decided we would stop somewhere near San Diego as I drove north on the main highway up the coast. It was still light and not too late when we had escaped the crowd. I was confident we could find a place — not too far away. Well, I was relatively new to the area and had not driven up toward Los Angeles — so I kept lookin’ for a place to stop along the way. Well, maybe I was just plain nervous, but we didn’t turn off until we got all the way to Long Beach — I must have driven over 2 hours and darkness was upon us. We checked in and got to the room and ordered from “room service”!! We were in our first honeymoon suite. We were to leave the next night from the San Diego Airport — headin’ for an Acapulco honeymoon. We were all set and had finally — and nervously — arrived at “a destination”!! We would casually head back to San Diego the next day.

We arrived at the airport in plenty of time and boarded our plane south. After a while, the captain advised that we should make ourselves comfortable — the weather along the coast at Acapulco was overcast and foggy — we needed clear weather to land in the early mornin’ at our Mexican destination. Well, the fog and weather did not let up and after some hours we were told that they would fly us there the next evenin’!! Our flight was cancelled and we had remained in the aircraft the entire night (our 2nd night of marriage) — we exited the plane and I called Bobbie Faulders who had been at the reception — a close friend whose Navy pilot hubby was at sea. She came and picked us up, served us a bit of breakfast, and let us use their bed to catch a few “Zee’s”! We later spent the day with Bobbie who happily took us back to the airport and watched us board our plane. We did take off, finally — but that’s the way it was in November 1950 — if the weather was bad or visibility was limited at a smallish airport in Mexico — they just cancelled. So our 2nd night of marriage had been spent on an airplane that never moved from its startin’ point. In 1950, Acapulco was not fully commercialized — it was a grown-up fishin’ village with some neat smallish hotels and a fun place for our honeymoon — 67 years ago!!!     So, happy weddin’ anniversary to the ole guy and his wife!!  Happy 67th!! ‘nuf ……..

Ole Guy’s Retrospective, His Manifesto ……… and Finally, an Expose’!!

Preface: Unfortunately this blog is a bit longer than usual — but when an ole guy spills his guts …… it ain’t gonna be the quickie/short version!! So, please, read on …….

I have three partial blogs just sittin’ there!! Each is about half-finished — re: my habit of only publishin’ when there’s over 1000 words. I have read lots of other people’s blogs which are 2- to 5-minute reads that are much shorter — but I guess I like to cover more ground — more experiences — a bit more stuff in my blogs!!  The titles might give you some idea where the mind has been durin’ the past week or so. They are, with most recent first,“In Retrospect — two birthday parties!” — “Sen-ile Senate ‘n House of Re-tards!!”; and from over a month ago — “An Impeachable Offense”.  That’s two (too)political titles — and a very personal one. But this Sunday mornin’ — after the relief of “no complete failure” by my beloved Dodgers!! [aside: They (We) won game #4 in the World Series to even the count — it’s now 2 out of 3 with the last two games in L.A.; and in tonight’s game, even though in Houston, we’ll have Kershaw — our well-rested Hall-of-Famer — on the mound. Remember: this blog was started Sunday morning and was delayed — by Game #5. You know the situation as of Monday mornin’ — and I’m too perplexed to discuss baseball at this moment!!]  So, on Sunday, my mind regressed from birthdays, and politics, and our absolutely ill-prepared and ill-mannered POTUS — to our current always hectic situation — here at the CAN (Casa de los Ancianos del Norte) — our current “senior citizen” residence!!

And I highlighted senior citizen in describin’ our home here in the Westwood section of Los Angeles, buttin’ up against the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) — an absolute perfect location for seniors because that is what it is!!  We residents are very, very, very old people!! Yet, on two occasions, Watermark Residential Communities — our building’s new owner, the supposed epitome of Senior Residential Communities [aside: They own and manage some forty (40) senior residences nationwide — yes, I said “four oh” homes-for-the-aged — those incapacitated old people (in mind, or body, or both) — whose families want to give their parents a wholesome and decent place to spend their final years!! All of Watermark’s clients are over 70 — at our place, half are over 90 years of age and none below 80 — with a few lookin’ back at their 100th birthday. I hope the reader gets the picture — we folks livin’ at 947 Tiverton Ave — in a converted (for seniors) ex-UCLA dormitory — are a bunch of ole fogeys, some wheel-chair-bound; some with walkers or canes — a very, very, very few maneuverin’ the hallways and the pathways to our local food and prescription drug establishments without some supportin’ device. You get the picture — almost all have physical frailties and many have the mental kind. Some might even say the “ole guy” fits into both categories — especially the folks who run the place from Watermark’s headquarters in Tuscon, AZ. I have run into their two top execs on a couple of occasions — and both times they were tryin’ to “evict” us (last December and now). Let me explain — even if I repeat the info from some earlier blogs. My main objective — up to this point in this blog — is to make sure that the reader realizes the nature and condition of the tenants at the CAN — many are frail, “extremely old age” (ala constant worriers), incapacitated, handicapped, etc., etc., etc. (Case closed!!)

As is well known at the Los Angeles Council and in the Mayor’s office, as well as the Westwood community, when Watermark purchased our structure at 947 Tiverton Ave in late 2016, on the first day their President/CEO visited our location — to meet with the aged tenants — then and there, he declared that we had to vacate the premises in 120 days. He well understood the California law — that folks over 62 years of age had a whole year to vacate their home/appartments — if major construction was to be performed — so, in fact, initially, 100% of the tenants had until December 1st, 2017 before they had to leave and find a new home. [aside:The departees have the right to return at the same rental rate when the construction is completed. Realistically, however, when you are in your 90’s (as I am), one move would be enough and considerin’ our ages and physical impairments — truthfully, we may not live long enough to return to a totally refurbished The Watermark at Westwood Village” — the ultra-fancy new name for our facility. I did my best to color that title as gold! Later, in this blog you will see why!]

Mind you, their President/CEO claims (to anyone who will listen) that he did not state that we tenants had only “120-days-to-vacate”. He has even been quoted in our own local “Westwood Patch” news organ to that effect (to which I wrote a letter-to-the-editor and specifically requested their PR lady — to withdraw that falsehood). Even at our recent meeting here at the CAN, that same exec corralled me for a sec — and stated that “I did not tell you folks you had to leave in 120 days” — he must keep repeatin’ that phrase over and over again — in the hope that the fact that he said it will go away. [aside: The Chairman of Watermark came a month later, in early ’17, and tried to patch over what the CEO had said, with the latter standin’ next to him, rockin’ back and forth, appearin’, at that time, to be apologetic.] So, when he continued to claim innocence, my simple dramatic response to him at the time was “I will take the 120-day statement to my grave”!  I guess I can get dramatic at times! Needless to say that there were probably 100 elderly tenants in the audience when he said it — and all 100, or so, tenants can’t be wrong — even if they are quite elderly and a bit “whatever“!! Recall — that we “protested with signs in front of our building — many times”, and on occasion, in front of TV cameras — and one time, even in front of the offices of Watermark’s financial backer, located here in Los Angeles — Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors, l.p.  By these actions and with the support of our pro-bono legal advisors at Bet Tzedek, we were able to establish a legal solution that prevented our “eviction“!! Hallelujah!!

Now let me tell you the story — behind the story!! The Watermark execs knew that every tenant was over 62 — and knew full well that the tenants had one whole year — 365 days — in  which to find alternate housing. However, the result of their deceitful tactic to scare the tenants with that “120-day” dramatic statement — mostly,  fulfilled their goal! [aside: In past blogs, I have estimated the number of tenants livin’ here when Watermark purchased our facility in the Oct/Nov 2016 timeframe — as close to 150 — I even stated it as 175 once — wow! was I wrong. I checked with my official source — our kitchen keeps tab of the number of tenants on a daily basis — and I only realized that I could obtain an accurate number recently.] At the end of 2016, at the time of the purchase, the number furnished to me was   121. Sorry, for the over-statement — but the total number is not the issue! The fact is that their “scare tactic” brought our number down to a range of 5o tenants (+ or – whatever!) by spring.  One must understand that the decision to leave, in the majority of cases, is that of the children — yes, the offspring of our former neighbors — they  have to live and lead a life of their own! I am sure that in most cases they want their parents “settled” — and our whole “eviction affair” was extremely unsettlin’ to everyone — in the least. And recently, this 50 or so — had been reduced to about 35 by early September.

As of today’s blog and accordin’ to my sources, we number 29 remainin’ tenants. And whether one might realize it or not — the Watermark folks have just given us another eviction notice — that’s #2!! We’ll lose 4 or 5 tenants in the next week or so who are movin’ to another senior-livin’ facility! So our official (?) number will be 25 souls. So let me explain our 2nd eviction!The current situation is this!! Even though our owners are prohibited from “evictin'” us (again) — their plans have always indicated a major construction effort for our residence. Under California law, they must offer us a Tenant Habitability Plan (the THP) approved by the City of Los Angeles Housing & Community Investment Department. Watermark gave us tenants their “plan” on October 10th — with an ability to appeal within 15 days — which most of us accomplished — I mean that we appealed the plan!! Why did we want to appeal, you might ask!! The two locations that they are providin’ under the plan are not — I repeat NOT — senior-oriented.  They either have stairs to climb or long, somewhat dark halls to traverse to enter and leave your room or facility. Secondly, there are no seniorized bathrooms (every tenant requires a somewhat spacious walk-in shower for safety). Both apartment complexes are designed for a much younger clientele — one is known to rent to grad students from nearby UCLA primarily. The location of the this larger complex is across the street from the CAN — but the second facility is a few blocks away from our normal shoppin’ area. And just a few blocks — with busy thoroughfares to cross — is not safe, nor satisfactory. Both locations offer modern kitchens; but presently we are furnished in-house dinin’ — 3 meals a day (always required and  furnished for senior citizens in such facilities) — in our rooms currently, we get by with a small fridge and microwave — but we need our 3 meals on-site as is provided in all senior facilities!! At both locations provided by the THP, there is a modern gym and fitness center, which would go unused by our group. Simply stated — neither location provides a space satisfactory for the aged tenants here at 947 Tiverton Ave. Yes, we all have appealed to a “hearing officer” — in essence, the Tenant Habitability Plan offered by Watermark is a second “eviction notice — I am not exaggerating — there is not a single resident here that would be able to “manage” — livin’ in either location that has been offered in the Tenant Habitability Plan.

I have not yet mentioned the services/activities furnished at our current location. Each day of the week, we are offered from four to five activities/events includin’ senior daily exercise classes, a weekly visit to a place of interest, bingo/keno/rummikub, either a daily speaker or an entertainment group, and always, an evenin’ movie. This is what our monthly lease/rental fee calls for. These activities are provided by all senior citizen facilities — and I must presume they are offered by every one of the 40 country-wide Watermark “communities”. Let me digress, for one moment, and restate what can be found by “googlin’ ” Watermark at Beverly Hills” — a neighbor senior facility. My findin’s follow:

“The Watermark at Beverly Hills ……………….. Botique Assisted Living Whatever you need or want, day or night, we’ll deliver it right to your door. …”extraordinary care tailored to your preference”.  Just imagine your fine boutique hotel, then add extraordinary cuisine, fun events, interesting classes … your experience is unlimited. … With all the amenities and services … you’ll feel like you are living in your favorite resort. … Replace uncertainty, worries, and fears … outstanding dining, unsurpassed personal care,  a concierge who anticipates your every need and a solution for every concern.”

Wow!! And all we ole folks want is a simple, comfortable place to live with senior citizen necessities, 3 adequate and healthy meals a day, transportation to doctors or shoppin’, and finally, some daily activities (they don’t have to be — all that much fun and/or interestin’) — just enough to take our minds off our frailties  — we want this while Watermark refurbishes our building — and in the words of Henry Ford — it can be “Escort” quality — we don’t need the “Lincoln Continental” version!! ‘nuf ………