Jenny Burman Jenny Burman
A Los Angeles blog
from Echo Park

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The things they buried, pt. 2

RockHorseshoe, bullet, shot glass(es), thick glass thin glass colored glass, a rusty whistle, squirrel skull. Add to the list of items that churn up in the backyard: a nice little piece of petrified wood, orange and yellow, with white quartz, about the size but not shape of a small chicken egg. Recently, my close neighbors Angela and Rik found a paperback novel-sized piece of petrified wood in Elysian Park. And a previous owner reported that there was fossilized wood in Angela and Rik's backyard, though they have not found any there. It makes me think of a conversation I had at my house in April 2000. We were hosting a going-away party for a friend. One of the guests, whom I met that night, told me he had lived a few doors away from our house as a small child. He said the whole area had looked quite different at the time. It's much greener now, he said. Almost unrecognizable from the place where he grew up. All of the eucalyptus and pepper trees, the acacia, a long list of exotics, weren't so broadly established. Others have described it to me, too. A den mother of the Echo Park gang once told me that there used to be oil derricks where there are now evergreen trees near my house. And the hills were much barer. The urban forest hereabout is new. At least in its present incarnation.

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