Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Great Smoky Mountains

I'm in North Carolina this week, visiting the Great Smoky Mountains. They're called "smoky" because of the natural fog that often hangs over them. The mountains fade into the distance, with each ridge becoming a little more faint.

On this day, we're driving across a section of the Blue Ridge Parkway. There are lookouts every mile or so, and we're checking out pretty much each and every one. Since we're driving along the ridge of this particular ountains, some of the views are to the right and some to the left. The weather adds to the beauty, as the conditions constantly change, from sun to fog and back again, and then some rain, with thunder and lightning thrown in to boot.

"If you drive to, say, Shenandoah National Park, or the Great Smoky Mountains, you'll get some appreciation for the scale and beauty of the outdoors. When you walk into it, then you see it in a completely different way. You discover it in a much slower, more majestic sort of way."
~ Bill Bryson

Saturday, July 22, 2017

The Wiseguys are back!


This past Wednesday night, we were swinging to the sounds of the Wiseguys—an 18-piece big band orchestra. The lead singer did a great job of keeping the show going—he has a Frank Sinatra sound, it felt a little like we had stepped back in time. The whole band was fun to watch—clearly all the band members are having fun up there.

One cool thing was the live feed on Facebook. It would be a great way to catch their show if you couldn't make it to the venue.



"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." 
~ Victor Hugo

Friday, July 21, 2017

Tom's Jr arrives

Tom's Jr Downey

Tom's Jr recently opened in Downey on Florence Ave. I had noticed its progress a few weeks before, but was reminded about them when I got a coupon in the mail that offered several different meals at a great price. So...part of DDP went to scout it out.

Tom's is a small, local chain, with locations in Compton, Los Angeles, Lynwood, and South Gate. They serve a variety of traditional American and Mexican food. Even without the coupon, the prices are reasonable and the serving sizes are large. The food was great—I've returned for more since that first time.

Plus, they have a lot of fun decorations on the walls. Always an important aspect of any dining experience!

Tom's Jr Downey

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Humans of Downey - Julie


"Being Miss Downey provides many opportunities to perform service in our community as we volunteer at different organizations. I think this helps me grow as I get to know people and myself better. By meeting and speaking with people, by speaking in front of people, I grow as a person. I ran for Miss Downey four times. The three previous times I was chosen to be a Princess. I think these experiences have taught me patience, to be a team player, and to grow in my maturity. I've learned to never stop trying.

"Not only has being Miss Downey helped me to grow as a person, but I think that as I meet and get to know more people I will find people that will help me along my path of becoming a veterinarian doctor. I graduated from Cal State University Long Beach with my Bachelors but I need a few more prerequisites before I apply to one of the vet schools. I'm thinking of applying to UC Davis and Cal Poly Pomona. Veterinarian school is very difficult and I know I can't complete my goal on my own. I will need a lot of help from others to succeed. Being Miss Downey helps me get a little closer to that goal."

~ Julie

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Humans of Downey - Edward


"I'm a dancer. I'm a swing dancer and a blues dancer. My last dance I went to was in Pasadena on Saturday. I went to see Flattop Tom and His Jump Cats. I've been following them for many years. Tomorrow night I'm heading to a dance in Burbank at Joe's Great All American Bar and Grill. It's a rockabilly band called Crown City Bombers. Saturday I'm going back into Pasadena to see Debbie Watson out of Austin, Texas. She's a blues girl.

"In 1952, I was in the 5th grade at Our Lady, Queen of Angels, in Los Angeles. Sister Mary, my teacher, noticed that I had rhythm. She asked me if she could teach me how to do the swing. From Sister Mary's adventure I fell in love with her. So much so that I wanted to get married to her. When I asked her to marry me she said she was already married. And I said, to who? She said, to Jesus. And I shook my fist to the heavens and said, 'Aahh.' But I've been dancing ever since.

"I met my first wife on the dance floor, at a wedding. I was 18 years old and fell in love. We were married within 6 months. We produced four great children. The marriage didn't last long but we are still friends."

~ Edward

PS This interview took place at Furman Park during the Wiseguys concert, one of the Concert in the Park series on Wednesday nights. Next week will feature the Downey Symphony. Come out and enjoy the free entertainment at 7:00pm.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Back on the market?


It looks like the Rives Mansion is soon to be back on the market once again. It seems like there has been nothing but struggle and controversy regarding a use for this historic property for years. Downey Beat had a lot to say about it—check out the article.

It is a beautiful old home and I would love to see it used and appreciated once again.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Choose your exercise

Exercise at Furman Park

Even while the Marine band is playing at the other end of the park, people are taking advantage of the many forms of exercise available. There is the strength-building exercise equipment that uses your own body weight, the tennis courts, and the path around the park for joggers and dog-walkers (the dog is out of sight).

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Moon & palm


Not exactly in Downey. Tonight I'm in Beaumont celebrating my daughter's birthday. The moon has been incredible lately and I couldn't resist the way the moon lit up the sky with the palm tree in shadow.

"The moon will guide you through the night with her brightness, but she will always dwell in the darkness, in order to be seen." 
~ Shannon L. Alder