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Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

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Artist’s Notebook: Travel Town


“Travel Town,” by Marion Eisenmann.

Marion Eisenmann and I went to Travel Town in Griffith Park last summer because the old trains are popular with young children and I thought there would be some opportunities for interesting sketch subjects. It didn’t work out exactly as I thought because most of the youngsters were riding the miniature train that goes around the park instead of playing on the locomotives. 

Marion did this while I wandered through the old rolling stock and studied one of the streetcars – did you ever notice that they’re high off the ground and wonder about handicapped access?

Marion says: “A light key suggests the present  peacefulness of the place frequented by children and their caretakers.  The image has no challenging perspective and looks simple and  rudimentary. I felt a little bit like a deer in a nature reserve,  well protected against predators, knowing that the trains don't  move, as I was sitting right next to some tracks on a foldable  drawing chair. There was one exception to the idle gigantic  transportation machines, the miniature train that was filled with  cheering kids, and they  made it easy to hear when it was approaching.

“When I get a chance I will go back there.”

In case you just tuned in, Marion and I are visiting places that say something about life in Los Angeles in a project inspired by Joe Seewerker and Charles Owens’ Nuestro Pueblo. Daily Mirror readers who are interested in copies of Marion’s artwork should contact her directly.

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Comments (1)

Love Marion's art on the old locomotive (it appears to be a 2-6-2). Yes the old streetcars were hard to hike up onto. In my grandfather's day the ladies would have to pull up their long, long skirts to get onto the trolley, exposing their ankles. My grandfather liked that. What the ladies wear today would probably give him cardiac arrest.


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