Approaching 40: I love L.A.

When I first moved to L.A., I didn’t realize that I wasn’t going to like it. There was the usual sadness over leaving behind friends (and especially my grandparents). Most of those friend connections were forever severed by that move. But my first school year in L.A., sixth grade, was a breeze for me. I was placed in the highest level reading class in the school, and despite that, we were reading the same book that I read in fifth grade in Rhode Island. When sixth grade was over, I was cheerful thank to an easy year of school. My first summer in L.A. had arrived, the summer of 1984, and it was a particularly special summer.

The Olympics were taking place in town.

It was during the summer olympics that I became aware of the Nike ad that used Randy Newman’s song “I Love L.A.” That song, it seemed, was everywhere. You couldn’t take two steps without hearing it coming out of one speaker or another. And although I grew discontent with L.A. rather quickly (and though it took twenty years, I eventually got back to the east coast), I always like Randy Newman’s song, and even when I hear it today, I think fondly of L.A. because it reminds me of that pleasant summer after a successful year in school, when the Olympics were in town.

I attended one event: a high-diving event. I couldn’t tell you who was competing in the event. The pool in which the olympians dove into was an L-shaped pool, and we were about as far away from the diving area as we could get, sitting in some bleachers under a hot sun. But it was a lot of fun to get to go. And I would never have been to an Olympic event if I hadn’t been in L.A. when the Olympics happened to be there as well.


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