Posted in Around Town, Uncategorized

Urban Nightmare: The Bucket Gets Torched

A while back, I blogged about my bucket–my 1980 Toyota Corolla with the bashed in door and pro-peace bumper stickers, like “An Eye for an Eye Makes the Whole World Blind” and “Who Would Jesus Bomb?”

We bought a new car for The Scout (Mr. WCGB) last December, so The Bucket was no longer needed. I let my friend Adela have it. Last August, Adela was rear-ended. Though it was clearly the other driver’s fault, Adela ended up with bupkis. The Bucket had been a gift to me from my priest…it was only right to pass it on to someone who really needed it. It’s been on my to-do list: Go to DMV and change the title over to Adela’s name.

Adela lives in the Highland Park area of Los Angeles, and she tells me her neighborhood has been getting worse. (Antonio Villaraigosa, are you listening?) Crack dealers, homeless people drinking all day and night in the alley behind her apartment building, drug-addicted prostitutes hanging around…your basic urban nightmare. Adela encouraged her landlord to fix the back gate to the apartment building, which he did. But now that the gate is locked, the druggies can’t get to the dealer who lives in Adela’s building. (Crack? Crystal meth? Both of those and much more?)

Retribution time. First, Adela’s tires got slashed (on The Bucket and the other car that her partner drives). Then last night, they torched The Bucket.The Bucket Interior-Steering Wheel 1

The Bucket-Thru the Front

The Bucket-Back SeatThe Bucket-Back Seat 2

Adela’s neighbor knocked on her door at 1:30 am to tell her about the car, which by that time was fully engulfed in flame. The Fire Department came, but didn’t bother to call the cops, even though it was clear that arson was the likely cause of this fire. So no police report. That’s how it is when you live in a low-income neighborhood in metropolitan Los Angeles. Those who live in Hancock Park get a different level of municipal services than those who live in Highland Park.

Adela called Pick a Part to come get the car. She wanted to get it out of sight as soon as possible–told me that she didn’t want her kids to see it (she has four). Jessie (towing guy) let me take his picture, though he declined my offer to e-mail him a link to this blog. He’s smiling because I was making jokes. “Well Jessie, thanks for picking up this car. Now, when will you be bringing the new one?”

Jessie the Towing Guy

There was so much debris in that little car. I’m sure when Jessie got on the freeway, all kinds of stuff was flying out all over the place.

The Bucket’s Last Ride

A tan boot had been hanging on the electrical wires above the car. The fire turned the boot black.  I hear that shoes/boots on wires is tantamount to a store hanging out a shingle: Drugs Sold Here.

Black Boot Hanging

The intensity of the heat flattened one of the tires.Featuring the tire

We say farewell.Down the Alley

Adela just called me to say that this afternoon, someone bashed the windshield of the other car in. She’s afraid to call the police.

Adela needs a car, and a new place to live. I’m going to ask my church for money to help her out. If you want to help, let me know.