Frustration, Joy, Despair; All in One Day
La Mirada~A friend, we'll call him MP, recently told me, "Tony, you have to write a La Mirada book someday."
Well, add another chapter.
An opinion piece, me? I don't do these any more, but I absolutely feel compelled in this instance.
Finally after over two weeks, I am able to write this story. As I said, over two weeks has passed now, and this year's 3rd of July event is now fading into distant memory for most.
Not so fast.
This 3rd of July started unlike any other. The annual event, which is kind of a watered-down, politically-correct version of the popular Regional Park shows of the 70's, is a very well attended event and is a lot of fun for everyone.
Well, this year, me in my infinite wisdom, thought it would be cool to park my full-size van along "motor home row" and enjoy the festivities. After all, I would be there most of the day, so why not? Those of us who have lived in La Mirada for dozens and dozens of years-we know the routine.
Now, personally I've been humiliated before, so I know what it feels like. I'm kind of used to it, but the iron-fist developments that were about to take place, even surprised La Mirada's #1 fan.
To make a short story as short as possible: Got up early to get good spot; some kind of misunderstanding about red curbs; 'no-parking' signs were covered up; recent years procedures were changed. You get the picture. Despite my best intentions and early morning rising-not only did I not get a good spot, I was given a $45 ticket from the city-not the sheriff. I know LM is not getting any street-sweeping parking violation revenue for July, but c'mon, give me a break.
In fact, give us all a break. Oh wait, too late.
Here is how it stacks up. I don't think anyone got up that morning intentionally to violate parking restrictions, so obviously there was some kind of misunderstanding about the parking this year. Some rules were changed, the no parking area was increased, and perhaps curb that wasn't red last year was painted red this year. Ok. Whatever the reason, there was clearly a misunderstanding between the residents and the city. No big deal, just ask everyone to move, right?
Why threaten to tow? Why the heavy handed approach? Why give residents/customers a citation on Independence Day; and ruin their fun? In the patriotic sense of things, couldn't the city just simply ask the residents to move?
And moreover, I'm a member of the city's NEAT committee; I'm part of the La Mirada family. So now I can personally attest, we don't play any favorites in this town. At least that's one less thing to worry about.
Oh, the day got off to a great start all right, but little did I know, the worst had yet to come.