November 17, 2011

Clothesline

Kids from the neighborhood occasionally crawled up the hill at night and stole jeans off the clothesline. That happened in the 70s and 80s and even 90s, before this neck of East L.A. gentrified. Now many of the kids in the neighborhood wear nicer jeans than the hippies and anarchists who live here, and a pair hasn’t been stolen off the line in years.  

One washing machine spins the load here and no dryer. There is no shortage of clothespins, so long as side-by-side items share a single pin. Dish towels and general cleaning rags from the soup kitchen are washed and hung before personal laundry, which is how it usually works.

Pictured above is Catherine Morris. She has been to jail more than 40 times over the past 40 years in protest of various injustices, from the latest war to the consistent treatment of homeless folks.

So it’s a kick to know these people who have been doing civil disobedience for a long time, especially when we load up the pick up after working a full day in the soup kitchen and head out to feed everybody at Occupy L.A. Today they got ice cream. 


48 comments:

darlin said...

Ah yes, the steal from the clothesline days. Not that I'd ever done it, I had things taken from my clothesline. This was back when you rented a house it always had a line, not so anymore.

Elisabeth Hirsch said...

I absolutely love this. I can see every detail you write, even more clearly than the fun pictures you post.

Jill said...

The picture of the clotheline is wonderful along with the description of the rules that go along with it.

I imagine they loved the ice cream today.

ayala said...

Nice, thank you for sharing, Ed.

EcoGrrl said...

confused - pictured above is a photo of clotheslines, not of a woman?

either way i dig the zen of clotheslines - been hanging up clothes since i was a kid. but in this downpour in pdx? notsomuch :)

Brian Miller said...

nice...i miss hanging clothes on the clothesline actually...kinda cool hanging out with the rebels eh? hope things went well with occupy...

Ed Pilolla said...

the photo is of the clotheslines and of catherine. she's there, among the laundry. i hope the photo came thru.

Sheri said...

Miss Catherine is one brave and determined soul. Cheers to her!

Pat Hatt said...

40 times? Wow she must have her very own cell by now..haha...never knew people swiped clothes off clotheslines so much, thought it was just a touch.

Amanda Suzanne said...

Occasionally, I think that I don't have very much clothing to hang and maybe I can get by without sharing clothespins on neighboring clothes. Then I get to the bottom of my bucket, I've run out of clothespins and I have to go back and make my articles of clothing share a clothespin. Guess I should make my own clothespin sharing rule and stick to it.

Love it friend. Love that Catherine also. Love the LACW.

I really need to learn more about this occupy business, life in the small town Kansas, kinda miss the big city current events.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Love this, Ed. Love Katherine! Good for her. Good for all the people willing to take a stand. The occupiers filled CNN today. All day. It gave me goosebumps when they showed that woman being dragged down the street in NY by her hair. All this with a thousand poeple. What if it grows to hundreds of thousands? A million? Will Wall Street bankers look out their windows and get damp under the collar?

Marion said...

What a blessing to be helping people who are risking life and limb to stand up for their rights. I applaud you and Ms. Catherine equally. The laundry is as beautiful as you both are. xoxo

Stephanie D said...

You mean they still make clothespins? Just kidding. It says a lot that the dish towels get cleaned first. Thank you for sharing.

Claudia said...

smiles..usually i abandon the dryer and hang my clothes on a line in the summer wind..cause i love how they smell afterwards..and always without pins because i don't wanna have the imprints...and whew...love me some ice cream..great job you're doing ed

Wine and Words said...

I have an entire thumb drive of clothesline pics. They completely absorb me. I don't know why. I've created them, I've taken photos of others I've come across. There is something primal in the images, and a washboard isn't far off. I recently hung one for myself in the backyard. I'm proud of it. I know it's stupid, but I'm proud of my clothespins too.

Being Pramoda... said...

Photo has come thru..!! :) absolutely stunning to know this!!

Little Ms. Fun said...

It's crazy how those clotheslines could be depicted as art. I think it's a beautiful scene.

40 times in jail? That's crazy and dedication! It's people like her that will make a difference, bring reform, and be remembered. Kudos to you for all the good you've been doing. I'm cheering you (and now Catherine) on!

oceangirl said...

Why is everything you showed so romantic Ed?

Madhulika said...

Hmmmm... no experience with this one as in India there is no stealing of clothes from the cloth-line

suvaiba said...

not even in my wildest dreams i ever though that one could so beautifully write down about various house articles
like your stair case,and now your clothesline,
i am IMPRESSED
and what? :O like serious 40 times.
thats great
TC

Slamdunk said...

Well done Ed. I had to look closely to see Ms. Morris--I appreciate those who stand up for beliefs.

Ruhi Shah said...

Hmm Ice cream..

Bless you dear Miss Morris ...you never give up :) and thank you Ed for introducing her to us

Mary said...

I enjoyed reading about people stealing blue jeans, but more than that...about Mrs. Morris. Her life has purpose indeed. Everyone must find purpose for his/her life.

LOLA said...

Someone I Love attends grad school at Berkeley. She took part in a teach-in, but she stays away from the protests. I am terrified some rogue cop will think she's involved simply because she's on the campus walking somewhere. I have no way to keep her safe, and it's a horrible feeling. Shame on the police officers who have been beating people. Civil disobedience should remain civil on the part of the authorities too.

Love,
Lola

Su-sieee! Mac said...

I wonder if the 1% did their own laundry--and hung it out to dry--would they be more inclined to be not super greedy about money and power.

Geraldine said...

My kind of protest! I agree, it's heartwarming to think about people who will risk jail, injury...to stand up for what's right, what they believe in. Wonderful post Ed, thanks for a great start to Sunday. It's cold and snowy here in BC already. Love seeing that LA sunshine too!

www.myreallifereviews.com
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Yvonne Osborne said...

Oh, Ed, I have something for you on my blog. If you want it.

Amish Stories said...

Id like to wish everyone whose blog that i visit a happy Thanksgiving to you and your family's, and thank you for being a reader to mine. Richard from Amish Stories.

Jyoti Mishra said...

awesome read...
Kudos to Mrs Morris

Carol Riggs said...

Ah, I used to love hanging up clothes outside! I miss my umbrella clothesline. It's a relaxing thing to do, and the clothes smell so wonderfully outdoorsy and fresh when you're done (though the towels are quite stiff and UNfluffy!). Have fun with the Occupy LA. :)

My Inner Chick said...

Catherine Morris Rocks... & so do you, ed.

I adore pro-active people.

They Do make a DIFFERENCE.

X

Daydreamertoo said...

This is very down to earth and gets right into the nitty gritty of real life.
Thank goodness for protesters and those who would not be silenced. Someone posted something recently in Facebook that was a quote: "There's a reason why rights aren't voted on, because they are rights, they don't need to be voted on." Well, you can argue that no rights ever became rights without being fought for and won. so, yes, they do and are voted on as such. A right isn't a right until it's fought for.
Great entry from you. I'm doing a pretty 'down' piece for mine dverse tomorrow too. It's pretty much how I see the world right now, a mess.
Thanks for visiting me and the lovely comment.

Eva Gallant said...

I think it's awesome that you feed the Occupy'ers!

Vicki Rocho said...

Yay for ice cream!

We were just talking about protests last night. How you should make sure you believe in the cause enough to risk being arrested.

Debbie said...

a clothesline evokes happy memories from my childhood. we never had a dryer growing up!!

wolfsrosebud said...

...seems like mixed messages... so goes life... glad the day ended on a sweet note... hanging laundry keeps the arms from going flabby... as for society there could be some tightening on many levels

Phoenix said...

Yay! I love that you gave the Occupy LA peeps ice cream. So awesome of you :)

Keep up that civil disobedience, I love it...

That gentleman's lady said...

Did you get your laundry done then?

Ice cream sounds wonderful!

Short Poems said...

Enjoyed the read :)

Marjorie said...

i like your style of writing. thanks for visiting my blog; following yours now :)

forgetmenot said...

Ed, Love the clothesline--I don't ever see that anymore!! Hats off to the people that "actively" try to " right the wrongs" in the world. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends and another year filled with many blessings. Mickie ;)

♫♪♥PhilO♥♪♫ said...

Stealing clothes?? Haha :)

Happy Thanksgiving :)

Betsy said...

Ed ~ had to stop by and say Happy Thanksgiving to you! Hope you remembered to count your blessings today. :) I'm thankful for you! xo

oceangirl said...

Happy Thanksgiving Ed.

Amish Stories said...

I hope that your Thanksgiving went well Ed, and to your readers as well. Richard

Michelle My Bell said...

40 times??? Wow! hahahaaa Great picture, brings back memories of back in the day growing up. THANK YOU for visiting my blog :)

Birdie said...

thank you for sharing ... it always warms my heart to see that people are true to themselves even though the price to pay for it is hard & unfair ...

magdalawit makonnen said...

The rhythm of time at the LACW is so wonderful!! Boy did I experience culture shock when I left after 5 months with the Worker....