Jan and Cora Gordon: "A Californian Holiday"

Last Sunday, driving slowly along the coast at La Jolla, every available space was filled with a parked car and I remembered an image in "Star-dust in Hollywood" (1930) showing a similar scene.


"A Californian Holiday", in "Star-dust in Hollywood" (1930). The cars are very different, but the main elements of the scene are recognisable to this date along the Californian coast in summer.


La Jolla, Sunday 23rd August 2015. To be fair, there is a lot of snorkelling and paddle board activity happening in the sea below.


The Gordons describe a "pleasure-trip on Independence Day, down to the sea in cars."
"An engineer friend and his wife invited us as an experiment in democracy to drive with them."
"To work up a conviviality proper to Independence Day we joined a procession of cars, bonnet to spare tyre, like a line of precessional caterpillars, that crawled along the sea-front for some fifteen miles at an average speed of five miles an hour. All the way we breathed one another's exhaust gases mixed with ozone. Then, having come to the end of the road, we turned back and crawled home. We estimated that about a tenth of the car-owning population of Los Angeles joined this melancholy and insanitary procession."

The Gordons later tell an anecdote about their friend Ornitz, who was stopped by a policeman for the crime of walking home after dark instead of driving a car. Said the policeman: "Then take my advice. Don't you go running round on your feet after dark like that no more. It mightn't be properly understood by some of us, see?" This reminds me of Texas.


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