Thursday, September 20, 2018

Humans of Downey - Pete


"My first truck was a 1998 Peterbilt 377. It cost me $15,000. It was a faded burgundy color, but the paint on the roof was so badly faded that I had to use Rust-Oleum high gloss black paint and apply it with a roller. I buffed out the paint myself. The whole truck was such a mess, I just started at the bottom and worked my way up. I cleaned it up as well as I could and was using it to transport cars within a month. If the truck had been in good shape when I bought it, it would have gone for $125,000. I kept it for a year and then sold it to purchase a 2013 Peterbilt 389.

"Eventually I sold that one and then bought this stock Peterbilt, which I have modified to look like it does today. I think it helps me to get more jobs. It's like going in for an interview in a coat and tie instead of shorts and a T-shirt. My truck and the pride I take in its upkeep impress potential clients.

"My dad was a truck driver and he put a lot of pride in his work. Often, he would take me out on runs. We would go from Long Beach to Phoenix, up to Las Vegas, and then back home. He let me clean his truck and work on it to make it look and feel better. I was make to drive a truck."

~ Pete

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Humans of Downey - Kristen

Jamie and Kristen 2

"I'm like everyone else because I have a family that I love and want to take care of and do everything I can for them.

"My uniqueness comes in that I have a 12-year-old son that I met when he was one year old. I instantly fell in love with him. People that I've talked with tell me that it's not always easy to have a good relationship right off the bat. To us, it came naturally. And now, we're just one big happy family. So, even though my blood doesn't flow in his veins, I love him. He is my son."

~ Kristen

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

What does Downey have?

McDonalds 65 years with Chris Nichols

"Paris has the Eiffel Tower. New York has the Empire State Building. What does Downey have? The world's oldest McDonald's!" So says Charles Phoenix (below in the hat), American humorist, historian, and author of Addicted to Americana. Phoenix and Chris Nichols (above), columnist at LA Magazine, were on hand to celebrate the 65th birthday of our unique Speedee and McDonald's in August (while DDP was on vacation).

Closed and nearly gone at one time, the building is restored and operational now, and even has a drive-through lane to help it stay competitive with the newer McDonald's down the street.

Happy belated birthday McDonald's!

McDonalds 65 years

Monday, September 17, 2018

Righteous and the Wicked


Another one of the bands who performed at the International Food and Music Festival in Downey was Righteous and the Wicked—a Red Hot Chili Peppers tribute band.

20180915_190755I just could not get enough of the stuffed animal pants.

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” 
~ Plato

Saturday, September 15, 2018

International Food & Music Festival


Tonight was Downey's International Food & Music Festival. There was food from local restaurants and food trucks, craft beer and wine garden, DJ, live entertainment, on three stages, balloon artists, caricature artists, photo booth, henna artists, face painters, and more.


My favorite group this year was Masanga Marimba. They play music from Zimbabwe and more. They were awesome and fun to listen to.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Now open

New Downey Starbucks

I don't even like coffee. But I'm still excited at the opening of a new Starbucks within walking distance of my home. (I like their hot chocolate.)

According to the Downey Patriot's initial report last year, "the Starbucks will 'bring liveliness to the southwest corner of Florence Avenue and Paramount Boulevard, that does not currently exist in the area.' ...[T]he new café will benefit the entire shopping center...Traffic in the intersection will not be impacted, city officials said."

Well, we'll see about the traffic. Meanwhile, I'm enjoying my hot chocolate!

New Downey Starbucks

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Humans of Downey - Jamie

Jamie and Kristen 1

"I am like everybody else in that I am kindhearted and I think everyone wants to be kindhearted. I want to be kindhearted to everyone that needs my help. If you have a flat tire on the side of the road, need help with your bags, need help crossing the street, someone's car is stuck and they need it pushed out of the way, I will probably get out and help.

"At age 6, my family immigrated here from El Salvador. The reason we left El Salvador was because of the civil war going on there. So, when we came here, I grew up appreciating everything here and what this country offers. I appreciated what you could make of yourself and all the opportunities available. I think I am unique because I truly appreciate everything I have including this country because of what it has done for me and my family."


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Just in time to visit

Kaiser gardens 1

This tranquil setting was disturbed yesterday by an individual that thought he wasn't waited on fast enough at a Kaiser outpatient clinic. You can read about the incident here. This park-like setting is mostly used by the Kaiser staff to relax or walk and by visitors while they're waiting for things to happen inside.

My timing was impeccable yesterday. I entered as the last person they let into the hospital before it was on lockdown. I came to visit a friend that is a patient in the main hospital. When I got to his floor, I had to be escorted through locked doors to get to his room. Once there, we were told not to leave the room until the "all clear" was given.

So Richard and I talked for 30 minutes. His wife and children called to see if he was alright. Then his mom called to make sure he was alright. After an hour of all that talking plus his medication, he fell asleep. So, for the next hour and a half I read, watched the construction out the window, and waited for the "all clear." A little after 2:30, a staff member announced that the Downey Police had given the "all clear" and we could leave. When I and others got down to the main floor, the manager in charge of the main door hadn't been told of the "all clear" and she wasn't letting us out. That lasted about one minute. A large crowd was coming from outside to get back to work and visit patients and they had gotten the "all clear." I went home and had some lunch.

Kaiser gardens 2