Pacific Drift

Pacific Drift for July 2, 2006

This week on the show, beginnings and endings coming to you through three separate special stories. People say if you want to get to know Los Angeles, drive Sunset Boulevard. But Queena Kim says that Sunset tells us more about what the city used to be than what it is today. Ayala Ben-Yehuda travels a street that refuses to become iconic, and finds stories with one thing in common: a four-letter word Southern Californians seemingly do their best to ignore. Ben Adair traveled the disappearing road into the Mojave Desert, where he discovered faint imprints of life - legends of a feisty 95-year-old "desert rat," operas written by a middle-aged dancer, and singing American Indians.

Sunset Boulevard: People say if you want to get to know Los Angeles, drive Sunset Boulevard. But Queena Kim says that Sunset tells us more about what the city used to be than what it is today.

Musician Little Willie G. remembers the Million Dollar Theater and Chavez Ravine. The director Ed Wood's Vampira, Maila Nurmi, tells us how she found inspiration in Norma Desmond, the aging starlet of Sunset Boulevard. And ten miles west of Hollywood, a forgotten surfer gave birth to Gidget and the Beach Boys.

This piece was produced by Queena Kim and Tanya Jo Miller

Song: "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"
...by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole from his album Facing Future

Vermont Avenue: Ayala Ben-Yehuda travels a street that refuses to become iconic, and finds stories with one thing in common: a four-letter word Southern Californians seemingly do their best to ignore.

If you're hungry for pie and a good story, visit manager Bruce Grant at the House of Pies. Then find salvation behind an auto parts store at the Iglesia Pentecostes Pacto de Fe; lose money where everybody knows your name, the Normandie Casino; and watch birds drop out of the sky at the L.A. Racing Pigeon Club.

Song: "I Come Home"
...by Catherine Feeny from her album Catherine Feeny

Mojave Road: Ben Adair traveled the disappearing road into the Mojave Desert, where he discovered faint imprints of life - legends of a feisty 95-year-old "desert rat," operas written by a middle-aged dancer, and singing American Indians.


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