Jenny Burman Jenny Burman
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from Echo Park

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More in praise of famous pets

KittyThe Daily News runs a terrific story today about the world-famous Room 8 the Cat, written by Roger Vargo, who knew the gray tabby when both were students at Elysian Heights Elementary school in the 1950s. Roger graduated from the school and went on to higher education. But Room 8 stayed put at Elysian Heights, until 1968, when he died at the age of 22. To this day the school is imbued with the cat, as you can see in the pictures, sculptures, testimonials written in cement. Not to mention the book about Room 8 and all of the news clips, which have not ended.

As he was researching, Roger came across this rare photo, below, of Elysian Height Elementary School at its present site, before the building burned, to be rebuilt as a single-story structure sans cafeteria. It looks to me as though we are facing north-ish east, across Echo Park Avenue, possibly from Ewing Street, toward Kite Hill. This was decades before Room 8 would saunter onto the scene.


Photo courtesy of the Virginia Finley and Beverly Mason collection

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