Wednesday, August 13, 2008

In Memoriam

Photo: Diane Edwardson, 2004. Attilla on the Red Car Property at Corralitas. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Over the past few years, the Corralitas Red Car Neighborhood lost a number of long-time park supporters and neighborhood stalwarts. Their loved ones continue their support for a park on the Red Car Property.

Inez Smith and her husband built their home atop Corralitas Drive in 1938. Inez and her family were kind enough to share their photos of the neighborhood which are frequently used on this site. We owe an huge debt of gratitude to the Smith family for preserving the neighborhood history. Inez always wrote letters and attended public hearings whenever development battles raged over the Red Car Property.

John Buse was a tireless park advocate and was responsible for the most spectacular holiday light display outside of Griffith Park. His home on Adelbert was directly above the Red Car Property and the Arco Station. People passing by on the 5 Freeway often mistook John's house for the Griffith Park Light Festival. It was visible as far away as the 134 interchange with 2 Freeway.

Jack Corwin was Silver Ridge resident for just a few years. Jack took daily walks with his dog on the Red Car Property. A New York transplant, Jack found the peace and beauty of the Red Car Property a wonderful way to get close to nature in his back yard, as well as meet new and interesting neighbors.

Skip Spruel practiced running sprints on Corralitas as well as the staircase. He was the longtime partner of Barry Copilow on Corralitas and later, Adelbert. Skip was an inspiration to anyone looking to get physically fit by using the neighborhood resources.

Jim Riley was a Corralitas resident since 1985. Jim shared many stories of the changing neighborhood, like how, in the early mornings, trash collectors used to find rattlesnakes curled up under the trashcans (prior to automated trash pick-up). Red tail hawks frequented his deck overlooking the 2 Freeway.

Richard Jamarillo was a Corralitas resident since 1970. A lifelong athlete, Richard was frequently seen in the Rosebud Tunnel practicing his tennis swing and keeping the neighborhood clean. Richard often recruited neighbors to paint over graffiti and sweep up the tunnel. Richard understood the value of neighbors working together to improve the community. A lifelong resident of the area, he always encouraged the park effort.

Ralph White was a Corralitas resident since 1985, adventurer, character and park supporter. When Ralph was in town, he always made it to public meetings for Red Car Property development battles.

Jim Lawrence was a Riverside Place resident since 1926, where his family moved when he was 2 years old. The Red Car Trolleys literally ran through Jim's backyard, inspiring a lifelong love of trains. He even worked for the Burlington Northern Railway. Jim was a longtime park supporter and invaluable for piecing together the neighborhood history. Jim always wrote letters and attended public hearings development battles for the Red Car Property.