Laurel Canyon Law Library

Lugubrious leather and hardback bound big heavy law books, collections and sets: cases, opinions, decisions, appeals, precedent, jurisdiction, tax, rules of court, forms, procedure, briefs, dictionaries, superseded, encyclopedias, treatises, history, code, session, agreements, administrative, legislative statute, regulatory, indexes, standards, reviews, reports, notes, bound journals, bulging 3 ring binders, looseleaf bins, oral argument, digests, local codes and ordinances, restatements, unpublished cases. Looking around, I thought it probable Cajetan had underbid his first contract job as sole proprietor of the Right On Moving Company. We were to move the private law library of one, Harry D. Luxe, from his home office up in Laurel Canyon down to his law firm office digs on Wilshire Boulevard. And we were to do this lifting and carrying in hands and arms each weighty and valuable tome down a flight of forty winding stone steps to Cajetan’s new van, a 1972 standard cargo Ford Econoline, that, on the way up to the canyon from San Pedro, had smoked, belched, rattled, stalled, incurred a bald tire blowout, and required two gas station stops to refill the overheating radiator with water, all the while Cajetan slip clutch driving stop to stop to conserve what remained of the dangerously thin squealing brake pads. Once we got the van loaded, it would be about a 5 mile drive out of the canyon down to Hollywood Boulevard and over to Fairfax then down to the Miracle Mile. Down there, you can see it from here, Cajetan pointed from the porch of the Laurel Canyon house, which richly afforded a view down the hills into the Los Angeles basin, where the morning fog was now rising like cakelike smog. Not far at all, Cajetan said. Should be able to get this job done in 9 trips, he predicted, predicated on what analysis I had no idea, but I happily picked up a couple of books, one under each arm, and started my first descent of the day down the twisting stairway of stone steps to the waiting van, vaguely wondering if our shocks would survive our first moving gig.

“Laurel Canyon Law Library”
is episode 28 of
Ball Lightning
a Novel in Progress
in Serial Format at The Coming of the Toads.
(Click link for continuous, one page view of all episodes.)

5 Comments

  1. You do have a knack for writing lists 🙂
    Those were heroic times, with crazy jobs. Re: slip gears. I once drove a VW bus from Munich to Amsterdam having to hold the third gear manually in place. A nerve wrecking trip.

    1. Second comment on my lists today, the first from Susan, who sd she might grow inclined to skim them, but they are part of the new rhythm, the boxed narrative, a story of boxes, part of the inventory, writing as a process of addition. I was going to make the van a VW bus, which is what we actually moved the books with, and which later blew a rod on the way home from a Jimi Hendrix concert at the LA Forum, but the Ford Econoline has its own more working class history, painters, plumbers, electricians, carpenters, carpet layers, roofers, garage bands. The VW was simpler though, easier to work on. Ford actually stole some early VW bus ideas for its Econoline. Not sure why yr 3rd kept popping out. Linkage? A list of possibilities. Will work on it.

      1. A story of boxes. I get it, but it’s strange how lists take up speed, reading them is like riding on a roller coaster, which makes the idea of getting off a little dizzying, like sailing through space and having to find the ground again.
        I had many adventures with my VW buses. Nowadays they’re vintage marvels, not affordable. Gears, linkage, it’s a physical satisfaction when they work, which is why I’d never drive an automatic car.

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