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Sentimental Journey … ‘Tis the Season

RANTZ & RAVES--That special time between Thanksgiving and Christmas and the New Year brings families together from around the country and the world in celebration of our annual holidays. I can remember when I was a youngster and my Mom and Dad would gather me and my brother together with our aunts and uncles and cousins for great feasts and family holiday fun times. (Photo above: Holiday decorations at the May Company on Miracle Mile in 1940’s.) 

There was Uncle Eddie and Aunt Mary and Uncle Joe and Aunt Tina and Aunt Olga and Uncles Bill and Mitchell and so many others that impressed me during those early years of my life in Los Angeles. My cousins Sharon and Joe and Eddie and Annie and Mary and Beth and Kenny and so many others. Sadly many have passed and others have grown old with time. Old like I am feeling this time of the year. 

Those Good Old Days are blazed deep in my memory and come to the surface as our annual year-end celebrations approach. During those years, Los Angeles was a place where you called your adult neighbors Mr. and Mrs. There was no calling them by their first name. It was called respect for the adults in the neighborhood. 

It was a time when Mom would yell from the front porch of the Hollywood apartment at dusk … ‘Dennis and Vincent come home for dinner.’ When the sun went down, it was a time when all moms and dads gathered for dinner with the family. We would all enjoy mom’s cooking. Could Mom cook! 

All sorts of delicious food made fresh. There was no microwave cooking just fresh food cooked by Mom in her special tasty way. Cooking with love for her family. That was long ago and a much better time in Los Angeles and the world. 

There was Black and White TV, no cell phones or Internet. It was a time when people appreciated each other and gathered in friendship on a regular schedule. It was a time with great Love and Happiness. Shopping with the Sear’s catalog and J.C. Penny, May Company, Bullocks, Orbachs and Robinsons and the Broadway on Wilshire Blvd that was called the Miracle Mile. A time when Blue Chip and S&H Green Stamps were given out at gas stations where you would receive service including water, oil and tire pressure checks. Fedmart and Zody’s department stores were discount places to purchase a variety of items.   A great time in the City of the Angels. 

Traffic would flow smoothly and you could travel from the San Fernando Valley to Downtown Los Angeles on the 101 Freeway without traffic gridlock most of the day and evening. What happened to all that goodness and happiness and neighborly respect for each other? 

A time when hubcaps were stolen and not cars. A time without vicious gangs and deranged individuals that would shoot and kill police officers just because they wanted to. 

A time when a national election would take place and the will of the people would be respected and not generate into protests including the blocking of freeways. 

It is a long time past and a memory that many readers can relate to. Readers like the sweet couple I recently met at Costco … one of my favorite stores … that mentioned to me that they enjoyed reading my RantZ and RaveZ column. 

I wish each or you a Safe, Merry and Happy Holiday season.   

While I get very sentimental this time of the year, I can assure you that my RantZ will continue following the holidays. 

I welcome your comments, observations and concerns at Zman8910@aol.com.

(Dennis P. Zine is a 33-year member of the Los Angeles Police Department and former Vice-Chairman of the Elected Los Angeles City Charter Reform Commission, a 12-year member of the Los Angeles City Council and a current LAPD Reserve Officer who serves as a member of the Fugitive Warrant Detail assigned out of Gang and Narcotics Division. Disclosure: Zine was a candidate for City Controller last city election. He writes RantZ & RaveZ for CityWatch. You can contact him at Zman8910@aol.com. Mr. Zine’s views are his own and do not reflect the views of CityWatch.)

-cw