Yesterday, we backtracked a little way to Independence, pop. 574, county seat of Inyo County. It's kinda famous for having had the Manson Family in the county jail in their Death Valley days, and also for mistreatment of the local Paiutes in the 1860s.
We went to go visit the Eastern California Museum. Pretty good little country museum, but we got a surprise on top of it - a traveling exhibit on the Soviet Gulags. Sponsored by Amnesty International and the National Park Service, this small museum out in the middle of effin' nowhere is the only West Coast venue, so most folks who get to see it will just kinda stumble onto it like we did. That's too bad, but most folks don't give a shit about stuff like that.
It's an entirely appropriate choice of venue, because the museum is six miles north of an American Gulag.
I sorta mentioned to the nice lady that ran the joint that they could fold the exhibit up and put it away as soon as this administration is gone or in jail. Her response was a sorta nervous laugh.
Left wing or right wing, commie or Nazi, Stalin, Hitler, or Bush, when you start lockin' people away who don't agree with you, it's bad. We're not at that point yet, but the exhibit was a reminder and a warning, if only to those of us to whom such things matter.
We're in The People's Republic of Santa Monica now, at the Pico Travelodge. It's in the downscale end of an upscale city, so it's expensive, at least to this, er, thrifty, yeah, that's the word, old soul.
Since the joint is pretty much right downtown, parking is a little cramped. The desk clerk warned me that the parking lot for the pet-friendly rooms was so small I couldn't turn the rig around in it and would have to back out onto the street. A very busy street, too, I might add. While the lot was pretty empty, I got the Tacoma turned around OK so I could pull straight out. I went back and told the manager about turning around in his lot, "Nothin' a make-out knob and an E-brake won't handle, buddy!". I think the desk crew thinks I'm a little odd...
Did I mention that we've had to be just a little bit creative with two healthy dogs in a concrete and blacktop environment? So far, so good.
The motel is across the street from the world famous McCabe's Guitar Shop. Me'n Mrs. G have been to many concerts there in years past.
It's breakfast with my old friend Bill this morning, and my reunion tonight. Later.