Skid row

I remember hearing about LA’s ‘skid row’ as a kid back in the 60s. The picture in my mind was grizzled WW II vets down on their luck, flannel shirts with their sleeves rolled up. Khaki pants and an olive drab ball cap. Grifting for every meal and a pack of ‘smokes’. I thought it kind of odd you’d have a place “designated” for the down and out. But what did I know, I was just a kid.

Flash forward 50 years. 2019. Its worse. Way worse. Downtown. Outside of town. All over town. Its worse. YouTube has some fascinating footage from way back. I first found it with film footage of New York City from around 1910, 1902, 1915. Fascinating! Not stiff photos, actual film. People from over a hundred years ago, smiling, walking, laughing, photo bombing the camera! It is simply wonderful to see a part of these people’s lives who are long since dead.

Then I discovered the footage from Los Angeles. The 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. People driving in and around LA with a home movie camera. You see the people, the stores, the cars, the parks, the homes, the shops, the factories! Ah the factories. Up through the 1960s LA had huge Ford and GM plants. What do you suppose comes with factory jobs?

Good wages. A good tax base for city government. Home building. Well funded schools. Stores to sell goods to those “factory guys”. Cafeterias, auto shops, clothing stores, shoe stores, toy stores and on and on. What else do you see in those “old” films? Happy people, well dressed people, healthy, contented, productive people. Clean streets, tidy neighborhoods. Heaven.

What do you see now? Like in the video above? Tent cities. People using sidewalks for their bathroom. People on the eve of destruction. No jobs. Their lives bottomed out by drug or alcohol abuse. No hope. The pit of despair. But they did ban straws. They did declare themselves “sanctuary cities” so they could hold on to their criminal aliens and not let mean old Trump deport them.

What do you suppose happened to the tax base? The tax base that was the strongest in the world just 50 years ago? How did all this happen in just 1 lifetime? What kind of “leaders”, city, state and federal, could take the greatest nation on earth, and make it look like 3rd world Haiti? Why 1 stone is still standing in DC is beyond me.

“Typhoid scare grips Skid Row.”

Published by Iowa Life

Experiencing life in Iowa.

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