Sunday, April 29, 2012


WOW: Day 29 of the WEGO Health Activist Writer's Month Challenge. Almost to the finish line! I'm told brevity is a skill worth honing and today I am to tell you a story in just six sentences. Here goes:

India's Oven, on Pico Blvd., was a casualty of the Los Angeles riots.
(Copyright © The Big C and Me)
Exactly 20 years ago today, I watched the Los Angeles riots unfold from my second-story apartment, where I could smell the fires burning all around me — from Fairfax and Pico to Olympic and La Brea. 

Having just completed training as an emergency room volunteer, I grabbed my little blue and white uniform and headed to the hospital — where I found a scene straight out of the movies. 

I spent six hours comforting shell-shocked patients who had been injured by everything from glass to bullets to bricks. Afraid to go home, I left my car in the hospital parking lot and caught a ride to a girlfriend's house with an elderly gentleman (also an ER volunteer) who happened to live near my friend on the other (far safer) side of the hill. 

We sped through the empty streets of Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, past midnight, past the newly imposed curfew, afraid of being pulled over by the cops or, worse, coming across who-knows-what-kind-of-trouble. 

The three of us stayed up late drinking long-forgotten booze at my friend's kitchen table while trying to process the dramatic and historic civil unrest we had witnessed.


  1. Wow, Renn! What a story! I had no idea you were there or that you were an emergency room volunteer. That must have been so scary. Great job of keeping it to six sentences. You told it all! One more day!! xxx

  2. Thanks Jan! I volunteered once a week for 5 years. It was an awesome experience. I will write about it more one day.

  3. Watching this on TV was emotional, I couldn't imagine being so close to it and witnessing all the devastation.

  4. Woah - that was one hell of a six sentence story. What an overwhelming experience.I'm glad you had someone to talk - and drink - with as the morning came.


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