Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Humans of Downey - Brenda

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"I started working for pay when I was 16 years old. My mom and dad broke up when I was young. It was my mom trying to raise us on a waitress's income, so we suffered some. My dad helped when he could. When I got old enough, I decided, 'You know, I'm going to have to help her.' I put schooling on hold and went to work. First though, I had to knock on a lot of doors around the city. I didn't care what they did as long as they would hire a kid with no experience. Whatever it was, I was there. I got plenty of NO's but finally, I got a few yes's. I found a job at McDonald's in Bell, but then I found another one at Der Wienerschnitzel in Huntington Park. So I worked both jobs. I even found another one for a while at the South Gate drive-in making pizzas. Ever since, I've always worked two jobs.

"A few years back I came out of a bad relationship. I told myself, 'I'm not going to date anymore. I'm just going to be single for the rest of my life.' I had been cheated on. It was just a bad situation all around. A little bit later, while I was teaching here at Downey Adult School, and I had a strict rule to never date a student, but here he comes. He spent from January to April in my class, one semester. We had talked a little bit, not much, but there was some things in common and definitely an attraction but more on a mental scale. All through the semester he would come, do his thing, and then go home. He never asked me out and I didn't pursue a deeper relationship. Then during the last week of class, it was going to be the last night he would be in my class, he came up to me and asked, 'Will you go out with me?'

"And we did. It was kind of cool. I'm a Christian and the relationship I was in before was bad. 'God wasn't in it' is the best way I can describe it. So, I prayed, 'God, I'm going to be single the rest of my life. But if you have a different plan, I have to know it's from you. He's going to have to be a Christian.' So, Shawn and I went out, I didn't know him that well, so I told him, 'OK, you have to meet me at a parking lot. You can't come to my house.' He thought that was kind of weird but I said, 'You have no idea what I've been through and until I know you, you're not going to know where I live.' So we went to Dave and Busters', shot pool and hung out. I kept my big purse at my side so he couldn't hold my hand. The cool thing was while we were driving in his car, he said, 'I want you to know right off the bat, I'm a Christian.' Nobody knew but me and God that that was one of my requirements. We've been married for a year and a half now and he always spoils me. I've got some good things planned for him this Valentine's Day."
~ Brenda

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Airplane view

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I recently had the opportunity to ride on a corporate jet. What an adventure. This is the view of the setting sun as we approached Long Beach. It was an incredible sight. Sunsets and sunrises bring such color to the sky.

"The sky is the daily bread of the eyes." 
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, February 8, 2016

Celebrating yogurt

Yogurtland

Today is National Frozen Yogurt Day, and Yogurtland, in Downey Gateway, celebrates by serving free yogurt and toppings from 4pm to 7pm. No one knows for sure how this particular national celebration started, although some give credit to yogurt retailer TCBY back in 1993.

YogurtlandThe line was long but crowd control kept the inside uncrowded and pleasant.

How long would you wait for your free yogurt?

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Teamwork

Huskies at the dog park

I have a fondness for Siberian Huskies. So I was excited to see nearly enough huskies at the David R. Gafin Dog Park (at Rio San Gabriel Park) to make a sled team!

"You're not fat, you're just a little husky!"

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Colors

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I am a sucker for colorful flowers. I actually took this some time ago at Furman Park while on a walk. It always seems like they can't be real....they are so brilliant.

"Mere color, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways." 
~ Oscar Wilde

Friday, February 5, 2016

Makeovers

Embassy Suites atrium

It's been quite some time since I've been inside the Embassy Suites Hotel, and I was surprised to see that the interior atrium has been completely remodeled. Gone are the cascading waterfall, tropical foliage, koi ponds, and turtles. The feeling now is much more open, and the breakfast buffet looked quite enticing.

But oddly, from above, the planter areas reminded me of a couple of amoebas.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Printed graffiti

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I discovered a new electrical box that the city has had painted. It's on the southeast corner of 2nd Street and Downey Avenue. This one is painted in a retro style. The pictures show scenes of earlier days of downtown Downey. Stop by and peruse the pictures on all five sides. Even the lock is painted to fit where it lies.

DSC_0729But the thing that caught my eye and got me upset was the arrogance of someone to put an advertisement on this piece of art. You can see it in the upper right corner of this photo, on the "D" of Downey. I hope they can peel it off without damaging the artwork.

What do you think? Was it good business to put this advertisement on someone else's artwork?

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Humans of Downey - Emery

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"Thirty-two years ago I was the Youth Director of the Hungarian Baptist Church of Alhambra. Two young ladies were coming from Maryland to visit their aunt and I had the privilege to pick them up at the airport. When I saw them I had my eye on the younger , but I married the older. We met in April, became friends, and married in November. We have been married for 31 years.

"When our daughter, Christina, was born, I was the first to hold her but only for a few minutes. The feeling of joy that filled my heart as I looked into this little bundle of joy we had created was overwhelming. Then I gave her to her mother, who got to hold her for a few minutes, then the nurses took her away and I only got to see through the glass for the next few days."
~ Emery