Edendale: Chapter 8

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The Eighth Chapter of “Edendale,” Chicken Corner, by Phyl M. Noir


Photograph is by Gary Leonard, courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library

By Phyl M. Noir

The members of the dissertation committee at Columbia in New York City sat at a long table. Behind them was a tall window. Opaque light came through the window, and Celia imagined there was no outside but only a larger room encapsulating the smaller.

“I have some concerns,” the white woman professor complained. “One of my concerns is that you failed utterly to show the Marxist perspective in public housing activism during the 1930s.” Read more

Edendale: Chapter 7

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The Seventh Chapter of “Edendale,” Bunker Hill, by Phyl M. Noir


Photograph of house on Bunker Hill – before the City tore down all of the old houses – is courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library.

By Phyl M. Noir

Dupont first built a dynamite factory in Hopewell then switched to the manufacture of guncotton during World War I. In 1923 Tubize Corporation established a plant at the old Dupont site but everyone kept calling the plant Dupont. The same year, the city of Hopewell annexed the neighboring town of City Point. The Honeywell Corporation and Hercules Chemical sited their plants on the James River. Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation built a paper mill. Read more

Edendale: Chapter 6

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Sixth Chapter of “Edendale,” Frog Town by Phyl M. Noir


Architectural rendering of proposed Hyperion Bridge. Courtesy of Los Angeles Public Library. The Electric railway runs alongside it.

By Phyl M. Noir

Bruno Shultz followed Celia at a distance and when she turned to look at him he looked at the ground. She walked by the Frog Town houses, which were surrounded by dirt yards planted with corn and tomatoes except for the house with the carved wood Virgin bulto, and that house had a lawn.

Celia’s father Juan Lowry had returned from the war in Europe with money he won playing poker and bought Won’s on the corner of Riverside Drive and Knox before CalTrans built the Golden State in 1956, which eradicated, obliterated, razed, moved, ripped asunder, and demolished the mostly Latino Eastside near the River. The stretch of little commercial buildings except for Won’s sunk into desuetude. In 1964, CalTrans brought California Route 2 over Riverside Drive, which almost completely isolated Frogtown and surrounded it with incessant noise. Read more

Edendale: Chapter 5

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The Fifth Chapter Of The Novel “Edendale,” THE STORE ON HYPERION, by Phyl M. Noir

Watts Towers, photo courtesy of Los Angeles Public Library

The KKK marches in Los Angeles. Photo courtesy Los Angeles Public Library


Max came to the house in the Avenues. He was gaunt, and he mumbled and smelled like booze. Sam looked up from watching the ball game on television and said, “What’s the matter with you?”

Max walked into the kitchen. He opened the refrigerator and took out a carton of milk and drank all the milk up.

Sam saw him out of the corner of his eye and almost jumped out of his chair and said, “Hey, hey. What’s the matter with you? Get out. Don’t come back.” He never spoke to Max after that. Read more

Edendale: Chapter 4

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The Fourth Chapter Of “Edendale,” THE AVENUES By Phyl M. Noir


Ansel Adams photograph of the Santa Monica pier, courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library

Phyl M. Noir

She was a big reader. Her stepfather Sam used to say “She’s always got her nose in a book.”

When she was older, Cyd would read in George Eliot’s Adam Bede that Arthur Donnithorne passed along a broad avenue of limes and beeches. “It was a still afternoon,” she would read. “The golden light was lingering languidly among the upper boughs.” She would imagine the limes in Adam Bede were citrus trees with green fruit because she had not yet been anywhere but Los Angeles and Santa Monica and didn’t know about the English trees. Read more

Edendale: Chapter 3

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UNION STATION, 1947, Courtesy of Los Angeles Public Library

By Phyl M. Noir


This is the third chapter of “Edendale.”

Justina Anna put on the mouse suit she had worn at her wedding. She tied a black band around one arm of it.

She looked at herself in the mirror and pinned a black felt hat to her black hair with bobby pins and pulled the little net veil over her face. She put on white cotton gloves and lifted her suitcases by their bone handles, and walked down the green check carpeted hotel stairs.

The air was balmy, and the sky looked like light shooting off metal. Butterfly palms with orange fruit grew on each side of the hotel’s front doors. Red azaleas grew in the hotel yard. Mature water oaks cooled the street with their deep shade. Read more

Edendale: Chapter 2

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December 1, 2010 · Posted in Edendale by Phyl M. Noir · Comments Off on Edendale: Chapter 2 

Vero Beach, 1945 –courtesy Los Angeles Public Library

By Phyl M. Noir

Vero Beach, Corralitas & Venice

After the wedding ceremony, Dr. Bissell snapped a photograph of Sid in his dress uniform. Justina wore a suit with cloth-covered buttons and held Sid’s arm. The suit was a light brown, which Mrs. Bissell called “mousse,” and Justina understood her to have said, “mouse.” Mrs. Bissell wore a Prussian blue suit with a straight skirt and fitted jacket, a hat that looked like a soup bowl with turkey feathers coming from its inverted bottom, and the hideous fur boa that ended in terrible little animal heads with glass eyes. The women wore white cotton socks and saddle shoes because the War Defense Board had commandeered first silk and then nylon, so they did not wear dress shoes and stockings. Read more

Edendale: Chapter 1

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November 1, 2010 · Posted in Edendale by Phyl M. Noir · Comments Off on Edendale: Chapter 1 

Photograph of Tom Mix’s “Mixville” courtesy of Mark Wanamaker, Director, Bison Archives, 650 North Bronson, Los Angeles 90004

Boyle Heights, The First Chapter Of The Important New Serial “Edendale”

By Phyl M. Noir

For the remainder of his life, Sam was to remember everything that happened during the war years as having happened at night during winter: the bare limbs of trees alongside roads that left skeletal shadows on snow in the moonlight, and the moon that was always full; the soldiers that marched on brittle feet sometimes 25 miles a day with heavy knapsacks on their backs; the men who died in the bleak darkness. Read more

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