My Mother lived on Haskell Ave in Van Nuys for many years and passed away on Oct. 27, 2009. Mom & I did not always have a good relationship because Mama would not allow me or my immediate family to visit. (Although Mama was always very happy to talk to me on the phone.) Every time I had a trip planned to California, Mama would give me a lame excuse as to why I should not see her.
After Mama died, my husband & I went out there to clean out her apartment. Not only was the apartment total squalor, but I was horrified by the neighborhood. Graffiti was everywhere – notably on trucks parked on the street, and all over the bathroom of a Mexican restaurant right down the street from Mama’s place. I saw concertina wire on the roof of a house within a block of Mom’s apartment.
After the first day of cleaning Mama’s place, we stayed in a Comfort Inn on Sepulveda Blvd. not far away. This was not the best night I’ve ever had in a motel. A sign in the parking lot said “No drugs. No drug dealing.” In the lobby, a sign was posted saying “No prostitution or pandering. No visitors allowed in rooms.” The next day, I told a friend of my Mother’s about it, and she said “Sepulveda has always had a lot of prostitutes.” I cashed some travellers checks at a Bank of America on Sepulveda, & it felt like a detention center – armed guards inside & outside the bank and the tellers were surrounded by bulletproof glass.
Had I known how run down Mother’s neighborhood was, I would have begged her to move! Whether or not Mama would have listened to me is anyone’s guess – the woman was very stubborn. I miss Mama a lot, but I’m sure she’s in a better place now. Any place is better than her old area in Van Nuys!over 3 years ago