Life in Los Angeles 1908 Style

Republished from "A Tenderfoot In Southern California" a delightful collection of letters by Mina Deana Halsey, written in 1908 and now in public domain.

Don't Take Any Winter Clothes

When I came out to California, Bill, some blamed idiot who knew it all, advised me what to bring.

He said -- (and I'll bet my old pair of suspenders he never saw California) says he,

"Don't take any winter clothes out there with you, its such a hot country you wont need 'em".

Wall, I didnt, and by gum, I like froze to death.

All I had in that blamed trunk of mine was some peek-a-boo underwear and drop sitched stockings.

I wore a summer suit and a straw hat out on the train, to keep cool, and was snow bound on the way to Los Angeles, and frost bitten, by gum, after I got here.  It sure was a cold night when we pulled in, and as the train was four or five hours late, I footed it uptown, to a hotel.

I didn't put up at Mr. Alexandria's or the Van Noose, as I heard on the train they charged you extra to blow your nose, if you stopped there.  So I found a room on Main Street (which is nothing to be proud of) and the landlady hollered after me, as  I went up the stairs, not to blow out the gas.

I didnt.

By gum, I was so stiff with the cold, I kept it burning all night to melt the icicles I knew must be hanging to the end of my nose.  There was only one measley pair of summer blankets on that bed, and the pillows were so small, I came blamed near losing 'em in my ear before morning.

I went to bed with all my clothes on, and the rest of the night I laid there and shook with cold  until I jarred the bed, and some fellar who had a room under mine, pounded on the ceiling, and told me to make less noise up there.

Wall, I couldnt help it -- the slats in the old bed were loose and rattled, anyway.

---MDH


Life in Los Angeles 1908 Style

Republished from "A Tenderfoot In Southern California" a delightful collection of letters by Mina Deana Halsey, written in 1908 and now in public domain.

When It Rains

There are three things in California that are different from the same three things any where else on earth. 

They are sunshine, moonshine, and rain.  I might add the biggest liars for the fourth, but that is another story.

I've seen it rain some in my time, but by gum, when it rains in California, its got all the rest of the country skinned to death.  Where one drop lights on you in a back east rain-storm, a bucketful strikes you in the same spot, out here.

It rains in sheets, in blankets, and in comforters, and then some.  Every drop certainly must be a comforter, for you never saw people so tickled to death over a rain-storm as these Californians are.

Every blamed man, woman and child, acts like they'd struck a gold mine in their own back yard.

And when after one of these glorious rains, the sun comes out--I mean real California sunshine, not a blinking, watery-eyed sun, peeking around the corner of a cloud, and then dodging back for fear some one saw it--(the back home kind)-- no sir-ree, I mean the real thing that just beams on you, and throws a shine over everything until your eyes hurt, and you wonder if it aint made of different stuff than the kind you left back east in Illinois.

It makes the trees come back to life and grow young again, the flowers open up in brighter colors than before, and the hills are carpeted with green velvet, as far as the eye can reach.

And a funny feeling comes creeping over you--they've all got it out here--but for the life of me, I cant describe it to you.  You'll have to come out and feel it for yourself, Bill.

---MDH