Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Braised Short Ribs, Potatoes and Onions

Braised Short Ribs, Potatoes and Onion

Today's lunch of meaty beef short ribs cooked long and slow with a Mirepoix, chicken stock, onion and potatoes (forgot the carrots). It was absolutely delicious! 

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Classic Photos: Heading to the Movies

These photos are from either late 1978 or early 1979. We were headed out to the Whittier Theater on Whittier Blvd I don't remember what we saw that day but you could still see two movies. You got your moneys worth back then.

The first photo is with Jeri, and Meranda in front of the house on Newlin Ave. In the second photo Jeri, with DeeDee, Lori and Meranda, crossing Gretna Ave. The Whittier Theater was across the street.
The house on Newlin was razed in 1987 and replaced with apartments. The Whittier Theater was semi destroyed by the 1987 Whittier earthquake. There was a strong attempt to save it but eventually the city won out and the city finished the job started by the earthquake. There is a Walgreen's on that corner now. The parking lot in the second photo was cleared and homes were built. Nothing stays the same.



The Whittier Theater (above and below) before and after the October 1, 1987 Earthquake.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

The Guitar


My father and I, along with his old Martin guitar. I believe this photo was taken circa 1978-1979.

My Son, This Old Guitar and Bittersweet Memories

 I grew up in the Rock and Roll era, listening to the music of the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, the Who, Creedence Clearwater, Ten Years After, Santana and all the other bands that summed up the greatest era of Rock and Roll, and perhaps music itself, than any other era. Along with that I loved those oldies, the Blues,Soul, R & B and Country & Western.

Having said that, there are no other songs from that time or any other artist, than John Denver, that can evoke a deep emotional longing for those days when my father was still alive, my mother was young and healthy and all was well with my sister, brother and me. It was a good time. We were still a family. We were still intact.

When I hear a song like “Country Roads” (My favorite by Denver) or Sunshine on my Shoulders” my mind and memories go back in time I want to reach back in time and hold all those people that were a part of my life back then. Sometimes I mourn what was. Bittersweet memories. I am not ashamed to say that I am sometimes moved to tears. But as the saying goes, “We can't go home again”.

It's hard for me to find anyone to admit they liked John Denver back in the day and I don't know why. I always enjoyed his music. The emotional response came later in my life as the past became a long ago and far away memory.

Denver's song “This Old Guitar”, in particular, while I always enjoyed listening to it, has become somewhat personal as well. Despite the fact that it has completely skipped over me, music is in the DNA of our family. My father and some of my uncles and aunts were musicians and singers, so was my grandfather and his brothers and the generation before them.

On my mother's side my uncle Richard played the guitar and he sang. My aunt Margaret could belt out a tune at a moments notice.

My son Andrew is a musician; a guitarist, a singer and a songwriter, plying his trade in Seattle, Washington. He is carrying on that grand old family tradition. It's in his DNA.

All that brings me to my real point of this story. About twenty-five years ago, due to my own carelessness and no one else, I lost my father's guitar. While, there are worse things in life than losing your father's guitar, it was still a traumatic loss for me. It was something he held dear and loved. Losing his guitar was like losing a piece of my father.

My grief was compounded when a few years later, while in his early teens, my son began to play the guitar. The guitar and the music he loved has become his life's passion. There is not a single day that goes by that I do not wish I could give my son his grandfather's guitar. “This Old Guitar” brings all that to mind.

I find some consolation in knowing that my father Andrew, lost his own father's guitar. I now understand his loss, and I have no doubt he understands mine. The guitar I lost was the guitar he bought to replace the one he lost. And the beat goes on.

Monday, October 03, 2016

Happy Birthday to my Wife Jeri De La O

Happy Birthday to my amazing partner in life, my always beautiful wife Jeri! Thank you for all you do for all of us. Love you to the moon and beyond!!

When a man looks at his wife, regardless of how long they have been married, he should still see the same beautiful girl he married all those years ago. It shouldn't be a forced thought or action, it should just come naturally.
When we we wake up in the morning and I see my wife get out of bed, i think to my self... well, never you mind what I think, I still think it. and she still has it!
Again Happy Birthday to my beautiful wife who makes me look good when I'm standing next to her!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Cactus Salad

Cactus Salad 

 A super healthy and refreshing Mexican Cactus Salad (Ensalada de Nopales) today for lunch. I made it myself. Great stuff! A smaller portion would make a great start to any meal, Mexican or otherwise.

My Hass Avocados

Hass Avocados
Hass Avocados

I finally harvested my first avocados from my Hass Avocado trees this morning. Not exactly a bumper crop but it's a start. The trees are young. I have them in a brown bag in a cupboard ripening!. I'm seeing guacamole in the near future!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Andrew's Visit 2016

It always goes by too fast. My son Andrew was back home for a visit and a vacation, from Wednesday 9/14/2016 to Tuesday 9/21/2016. It was good seeing him again. 

He finally met his brand new nephew Jack (Savannah's son), and had a chance to visit with his grandmother (my mother Anita). As always the best times are around the table, talking, laughing and spending quality time with each other.

We drove him to to the long Beach Airport last night for his flight back to Seattle.. It's always hard to say goodbye and it's never long enough. We miss him already.

Friday, September 02, 2016

The Legend of Tarzan

I finally got around to seeing the Legend of Tarzan today. I should have taken it as an omen, when they accidentally started showing the Jungle Book. It took them a while to square it away. I guess all movie jungle guys look alike.
I couldn't decide if it was a step up over the 1981 movie, “Tarzan of the Apes”, with Bo Derek and Miles O'Keeffe, or a step down. The movie seemed schizophrenic at times. A movie that tries to be all things usually becomes nothing. It was a buddy movie, it was an Indiana Jones movie, it was a Spiderman movie, it was everything but a Tarzan movie. It was more Jungle Jim than Tarzan, and don't even get me started on the Tarzan yell. It was a joke. On the plus side, and there is always plus side, I only paid $3.98 for Jeri and I at the Starplex Theater in La Mirada..
For my money, there is really only one cinematic Tarzan and Jane and that is Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O' Sullivan. No one comes close.

Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O' Sullivan

Classic Photo: Andrew De La O and Company

Maravilla-East Los Angeles-1940's
Sometime in the early 1940's: From the left, my father Andrew De La O, my Godfather Randy Fernandez and my father's friend, whose name I cannot recall right now. This was in Maravilla, an East Los Angeles Barrio. I loved listening to him talk about those years. They were good times for him.