A Story to Tell

An interesting story in the LA Times about long-time residents in Los Angeles. I think the newspaper is always interested in people who have lived in LA for a long time. I lived there for 6 years, and that seemed pretty long too. Not as long as these people, who are well known in the neighborhood for their activism and their cactus garden:

A colleague had told me a year or so ago about Tovar and her husband, both of them longtime activists and neighborhood historians. He told me about the amazing cactus garden at their 100-year-old Lincoln Heights home.

I’d always meant to go see Nancy and Rudy Tovar, sit on the front porch and hear their stories.

But I almost waited too long.

The cactus is still there, towering scarecrow stalks of it, and Nancy is feeling a little better after the last round of chemotherapy for ovarian cancer. But Rudy has had to move into a home in Rosemead…

When the World War II veteran moved into Nancy’s house, which turned 100 this year, his first move was to get rid of the lawn. He planted cactus and a brown turkey fig tree and raised chickens that laid blue, green and brown eggs. The lone rooster was so feisty they named him Macho Man.

They loved sitting on the front porch with their antiwar signs, with the cactus flowers in bloom, neighbors strolling by and planes circling over City Hall on the long loop to the beach.

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September 2023

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