Brentwood, like much of California, was once a rural area. Ranchos were given to wealthy landowners, and the land was divided among them. These lands had adobe homes and cattle ranches. Many of the original owners were descendants of Mexican and Spanish settlers who came to California a hundred years before. The ranchos stretched across the state from the ocean to the mountains. Some were originally home to the Tongva Native Americans, who were enslaved to build their missions.
I grew in a small town in California. I lived in a house built by my great grandfather. My family had lived there since before the turn of the century. When I was young, we moved to an apartment in downtown LA. I went to school at UCLA. I graduated college and got a job in New York City. I worked in finance for a few years. I moved back to LA and started working in tech. I met my wife and we moved to San Francisco. We bought a house in the Mission District. I started my own company. I sold my company and became a consultant. I started another company. I sold that company and became a full time writer. I wrote books about technology. I wrote a book about my childhood. I wrote a book that was published by Penguin Random House. I wrote a book for children. I wrote a book of poetry. I wrote a book with my wife. I wrote a book on writing. I wrote a book called “How To Be A Writer” that was published by Simon & Schuster. I wrote a book titled “The Art Of Writing.” I wrote a book called “The Art Of Storytelling.” I wrote a book called, “The Art Of Fiction.” I wrote two books on writing fiction. I wrote a book, “The
The 405 Freeway was built in the 1950s. It was originally called the Ventura Freeway, but it was renamed after its location. The 405 is a major highway that runs north-south through Los Angeles County. It connects the cities of Santa Monica, Westwood, Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Culver City, Venice, Marina del Rey, Long Beach, Orange County, Anaheim, Santa Ana, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ontario, Pomona, Claremont, Pasadena, Glendale, Burbank, and Pasadena.
I grew up in a place like this. My parents were hippies who moved to the suburbs when I was young. We lived in a big old house in the hills above Los Angeles. I remember waking up to the sound of coyotes at night. When I was older, I learned that they were actually looking for food. I also learned that they were very territorial and would attack anything that got in their way. I also learned that there was a lot of crime around here. People were getting killed and their bodies were found in the woods.
Brentwood wasn’t filled with paparazzi or selfie desperation.
Brentwood was once a wealthy suburb, but today it is a middle class neighborhood. There are many affordable homes available in the area, but there are also expensive homes that are worth millions of dollars. The area is very diverse, with many different cultures living together.
The older houses from the 1930s housing boom were built in traditional styles, like Spanish Colonial Revival, Tudor, and Georgian Revival. These homes attracted celebrities like Marilyn Monroe and Gregory Peck. During the 1980s and 1990s, Brentwood became a desirable neighborhood for celebrities. Some of the famous residents included Dustin Hoffman, Joan Didions, and John Gregory Dunne. The area was also a friendly suburb. People knew each other. You saw them at grocery stores, candy stores, and pizza places. If someone asked me where I live, they’d often say “where’s Brentwood?” I’d explain it was in between Westwood and Santa Monicas, north of San Vicento Boulevard, where the coral tree with its red blooms and its craggy, bent branches lined the street.
It was the age of self-reliance, when we learned to fend for ourselves, to navigate the world without guidance, to grow up fast and hard. We were wild children, unsupervised, untrained, and unruly. Our parents were hands-off, leaving us to our own devices. We had no boundaries, no limits, and no rules. We made mistakes, got into trouble, and sometimes even got away with murder. But we always knew we could count on each other. We were family.
In November 1965, actor and gubernatorial candidate Ronald Regan met with his wife, Nancy and son Ron in their Brentwood livingroom. They were going to meet at the top of Caprese Island, but they didn’t know exactly where that was. So, they drove around until they found a place where they could hear the music coming from the car radio. They then decided to drive to the top of Capri because they thought that was where the Reagans lived.
I didn’t realize the Reagan home was built in 1957, when it was called “the house of the future.” It wasn’t the traditional house you’d expect the Reagans to live in. Instead, the spanking new mid-century modern, 5,000 square foot ranch style home, with its sweeping views from city to sea, met the actors’ desire for both a view and an octagonal swimming pool. When it was first built, the house was host to the General Electric Theater, which reached 25 million viewers, becoming one of the most popular programs on television. GE had outfitted the home in every possible way.
Ronald Reagan loved his family and he wanted them to feel comfortable around him. He had electric appliances installed in his house that made life easier for his wife and children. He also loved his coffee and he always had the best cup of coffee available. His favorite appliance was an oven with timer and temperature controls. These features allowed him to cook delicious meals for his family without worrying about overcooking or burning anything.
Nancy Reagan became a symbol of American womanhood after she gave birth to their first child, Ron. She became a role model for women everywhere, inspiring them to pursue careers and become active members of society. Her husband, Ronald Reagan, became president of the United States. He was a conservative politician who believed in small government and low taxes. He also supported the rights of workers and advocated for equal pay for men and women.
Reagan was elected President in 1980. I was a junior in High School and didn’t care about him at all. I had no idea what he would do when he became President. But I knew he was going to change America. He was going to start a war with Russia. He was going to cut taxes. He was going to get rid of the unions. He was going to help the poor. He was going to end the Cold War. He was going to bring down Communism. He was going to save the world.
We’d get out of the car and walk towards the house. We were drunk or stoned, or both. Sometimes coke was involved or Quaaludes the latter did not appeal to me, just gave my legs a wobbly feeling and did not offer the consciousness shift I wanted: an urge to feel different than the confines of conventional, a comforting obliteration, a soothing oblivion. One particular night I walked up the dark, windblown road with a girlfriend. She was in her early twenties, and she had long hair and a pretty face. We arrived at the hilltop opening to a wide expanse of land. We parked the car and got out. We were on top our world. The city light below, the stars above and the cool air, not so cold that we need jackets over our jumpsuits, in some shade of neon, and lips most likely adorned in Revlon Cherries in The Snow. We opened the roof, left the car doors unlocked, and cranked the music of a cassette tape. The B-52’s, “Planet Claire.” Our alienated anthem. The Pretenders, “Precious.” We yelled “Fuck off!” into the night.
Joan did not like the idea of wearing dresses bought for her by other women. She preferred to buy her own clothes. But she liked the idea of buying something for someone else. That was why she had bought the dress for Linda Kasabian. She wanted to help her friend.
A graduate student at the Westlake School for girls was hired to supervise the sleep out. At 3 am, he heard a man screaming. He searched the area and couldn’t find anything. He didn’t document what he heard because he didn’t think it was important.
Westlake school for girls harvard-westlake archives I attended the westlake school for girls from 1976 to 1982. When I read my parents’ paper back of the book helter skelter by the prosecutor vincent bugliosi and curt gentry, I quickly found ireland’s story on page 4, a scene setter, with the ominous proviso “the canyons above hollywood and beverly hills play tricks with sounds. a noise clearly audible a mile a way may be indistinguishable at a couple hundred feet.” The site of the murder was about a mile from campus. From the center campus, if you looked towards the hills to the north you could see the homes line the ridge of benedict canyon near sharon tate and roman polanski’s house.
The Spanish colonial revival campus built in the 1920’s by architects Arthur Kelly and Joseph Estep, the same guys who designed the Playboy mansion, was a single sex education Shangri-La with rolling lawns, flower beds, and a may pole that was paraded out each spring so we could dance all around the phallus while weaving colorful ribbon patterns as we celebrate the pagan rite of spring…we wore uniforms gray skirts, oxford long sleeve shirts, and navy-white saddle shoes with black eraser colored soles. My classmates were the daughters of influential Angelinos like Tom Snyder, the talk show host who famously interviewed Manson in 1981, philanthropists, and real-estate magnates like Helen and Pete Bing, the daughters of Carol Burnett and Peter Fonda and Didion and John Greg Dunne’s daughter, Quintana.
The Los Angles of my high school years were the L.A.s of American Gigolo, where the rich and famous lived in the same buildings as the poor and forgotten. There was a dark undercurrent to the glamour of the city, a roughness. People were getting divorced, and many of us were neglected or abused. We were a generation that didn’t know what to do with ourselves. We did our homework, sometimes three hours a night, and despite the English teacher who let me fail every paper I wrote, we persisted. We scribbled notes in journals, on scraps, in frantic letters to our friends and boyfriends. We were a generation who knew nothing about sex.
I grew up in a small town in rural Pennsylvania. My father was a doctor and my mother worked at the local hospital. I went to a private school that emphasized academics. I had a great education and was blessed with many opportunities. I became a high school English teacher. I was proud of my accomplishments. I was also very lonely. I felt like I didn’t belong anywhere. I was an outsider. I was different. I was a girl. I was white. I was a Christian. I was a Republican. I was a Democrat. I was a liberal. I was a conservative. I was a feminist. I was a man. I was a lesbian. I was a straight woman. I was a bisexual. I was a transgendered woman. I was a transgender man. I was a nonbinary person. I was a queer. I
But such an academic conceit was not always so simple. There was a whisper network. We could tell which adults really wanted to listen to us and help us develop ourselves. And we knew who didn’t, like the teacher who constantly failed me. She was angry at my privilege? She sensed my predilection toward self-destruction? I perceived this as a challenge, to prove that all that I wanted was to be an artist and all she wanted was to destroy that dream.