I was driving East on Slauson heading out to the suburbs on the evening of January 2. I decided to take Telegraph out instead of the 5 South. Just as I was under the 5, in the right lane ready to turn right at the next light - two cop cars with their red and blue lights flashing were blocking the street. The cars said DOWNEY PD, but this is basically the City of Commerce, what the hell were Downey cops doing here?
Downey cops had, back in the day at least, a bad reputaiton. No matter what LAPD scandal was being discussed, someone inevitably brought up Downey cops as being even worse. This is like 1983, eighties talk, I don't go to Downey, the furthest that I get out that way is Costco in Norwalk or family in La Mirada.
But here is two Downey cop cars, lights flashing. I'm immediately in "law abiding" mode. The mini panic of confronting a cop who, rumor has it, gave tickets to kids riding thei bikes home from scool on the sidewalk, is in my head. Just stare straight ahead. Then they slowly start moving down Telegraph. A large truck follows them moving quite slowly. It is towing a large load - the City of Downey's Rose Parade float! Its some kitschy pair of doves flying around a globe. The cops who rumor had it cracked skulls were convoying their city's message for world peace from Pasadena to Downey at five miles per hour.
I reached for my phone - I had to take a picture of this. My phone was nowhere to be found. I had left it charging vby the bed at home. By this point I was following the convoy - two big City of Downey vehicles behind the world peace float chugging at 5 MPH, one giant, flower-covered bird looking right at me. I realized my camera, an actual camera dedicated to photography, NOT some "device" that did forty five things poorly but all in one, my camera was in my jacket pocket. I took it out and shot some pictures realizing that those Downey Cops were concentrating on the safe transport of world peace, not me!
After a mile that seemed to take forever, they turned south on Paramount...
I took Telegraph all the way until it ended at Imperial Highway. I went to a store there because I was early. I bought a few things and in the check out line I saw this:
I hope it's not true about Bill... but this is kinda what that bird looked like as it stared at my from its perch in that convoy, yesterday's fading star.