The Griffith Park fire was a big presence in Echo Park last night. First there was the new, massive cloud of purple smoke, which spread and got thicker rapidly, around 7:30 pm. Neighbors in their front yards on their cell phones. My friend, Anthony, was on the phone with another neighbor, who was across town and had a view of the west side of the fire. Everyone wanted to be assured that the fire wasn't closer than Griffith Park. Pretty soon, there was a single helicopter heading toward the smoke. Then we started smelling the smoke, which got thicker throughout the evening, letting up a bit around midnight (at which point Chicken Corner signed off for the evening). By 9 pm there was constant helicopter traffic over our house: every two or three minutes the water dumpers flew fast and low over our house on the way to the fire; they seemed to return along a river route.
A reader from Echo Park, Laura, emailed me a dramatic group of fire photos that she said she took at 10 pm with her boyfriend, at the intersection of Los Feliz Boulevard and the LA River.
Meanwhile, the fire is still blazing.
Carey McWilliams is the subject of a presentation by his most recent biographer at the Quarterly meeting of The Echo Park Historical Society (of which I am a board member).
Featured Presentation: Peter Richardson, author of "American Prophet: The Life and Work of Carey McWilliams," expands on McWilliams' legacy and contributions. McWilliams, a former Echo Park resident who lived at the top of a hill on Alvarado Street, was a one of the nation's most influential progressive thinkers whose writing and activism supported numerous liberal causes. Read more on McWilliams. The quarterly meeting, which will also include an update on EPHS events and issues of interest to members, is free and open to the public.
Meeting Date & Time: Thursday, May 10 at 7 PM. Location: Barlow Library at Barlow Hospital, 2000 Stadium Way.