Is it possible that the two titans of retro Southern California - Charles Phoenix and Charles Nichols - have never been on Off-Ramp at the same time? But maybe that brings up a larger question. Is it even possible for them to exist in the same place, at the same time, or would their meeting cause a cosmic singularity, an undarnable rending of the time-space continuum?
The answers are, stupidly, yes; and thankfully, yes.
Over the 11 years of Off-Ramp, "God Bless Americana" author Charles Phoenix and Los Angeles Magazine's Chris Nichols have played a large part in bringing interesting and endangered places to our listeners. From Pomona to Chatsworth to Bellflower to Anaheim, both men have made careers of highlighting and preserving things that in their day were seen as expendable, flavor-of-the-month, mass marketed creations. Like programmatic architecture (buildings that look like what they're selling or making, i.e. the Donut Hole in La Puente, the Idle Hour - a giant wine cask - in NoHo).
Yet, with hindsight, we've been able to see them as archetypal and important touchstones of our region.
For their final appearances on the show, they got in the Mercedes and shared their love of getting lost in Southern California.