Saturday, August 29, 2015

Beating the heat


Some people beat the heat by simply avoiding it, staying indoors where it's cool or air-conditioned. But if you want to stay active and stay cool, all it takes is a friend to spray you down with a homemade spray bottle.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Learning by example

Soccer practice

Soccer lessons start young. But at this age, concepts like "take the ball around that cone" and "relay race" can be difficult. So when these boys didn't quite catch on initially, the dads stepped in to demonstrate.

Soccer practice

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Humans of Downey - Michael


"My parents had a 1965 Chevy Impala when I was a kid. My mom and dad bought it brand new in 1965 and they had it until 1977. Then they were going to sell it. That was the car I grew up in so I kind of didn't want them to sell it so I was hoping they would give it to me, but of course that didn't happen.

"I ended up paying them $1000 for the car. I worked in Bakersfield when I was 14 and 15 years old picking grapes and cotton. I had family up there and I saved enough money to buy the car. So a 1965 Chevy Impala was my first car. It was a nice car.

"Two years later I sold it to a guy down the street who rolled it on the freeway. I sold it because in the 70s gas prices were going up and up. I bought a VW Beetle to save on gas and ended up owning ten of them. I loved to tinker with them. I'm thinking of buying another one if I can convince my wife to let me keep it in the garage."
~ Michael

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Humans of Downey - Augie


"I'm retiring tomorrow after 27 years here. What I'm planning to do after tomorrow is play more Latin jazz. I play percussion in a Latin jazz band, and the leader of the band moved to Las Vegas. He plans to open a club or work with others that have clubs, and we are going to play there.

"If he opens his own club or gets a contract to play in the other clubs, then I plan to move there myself. I'm thinking of getting a town home of something where I don't have to cut the grass."
~ Augie

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Pardon our dust!

20150820_101713 as Smart Object-1

Rio Hondo Elementary School is becoming less green. The grassy parkway that used to surround the school is now becoming concrete.

20150820_101743 (1) as Smart Object-1It is one more step that our city is taking toward limiting water use. Less green, less water use.

Monday, August 24, 2015

The crew

Promenade Downey construction

Even though more and more buildings are taking shape at the Promenade at Downey site, it hardly seems possible that a "first phase opening" will take place this fall. There are still huge swaths of open dirt fields, such as this one.

This tank caught my eye because of the somewhat confusing logo. I imagine the logo is indicating that the "crew" pulls together to get the job done. But the tank, raised up on stilts as if to avoid the high water, gives the impression of a tanker with its crew, stranded by our current drought.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

You've got mail


This style of mailbox reminds me of visiting my grandparents in rural Missouri. Their mailbox listed their name rather than their house number, since they didn't have a number. The flag indicated whether there was outgoing or incoming mail. The mailman delivered the mail from his truck, since each farm was quite a distance from the next.

Here in Downey, the mail people deliver the mail on foot, and never have serious weather (that is, snow) to deal with. But that flag still indicates, "You've got mail."

Saturday, August 22, 2015


20150721_101403 as Smart Object-1

The frangipani, aka plumeria, are found all over Downey and are native to many lands and cultures. They were plentiful in the South Pacific, where I remember learning about the significance of how you "wore" these flowers. Over the right ear indicated you were single and seeking a relationship. Over the left ear meant you were taken (married). It seemed like such a simple system.

"Flowers... are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world." 
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1844