There was a large amount of trash that we had to do, though it was still manageable for six people to take care of. The grabber claws really helped too. There were a large amount of bulky items in the alley side, including a wooden cabinet and sofa cushions. Instead of waiting for Monday, I decided to call 3-1-1 on the spot with my cellphone to see if they were there…indeed they were, so I reported it in (Note to anyone doing cleanup activity). I set the items (I also included the carseat we found last month that was never picked up) by a telephone pole next to the bike racks and told them where it was, so they would likely have it picked up by Monday.
I finally got to plant the California Golden Poppy seeds we bought from Theodore Payne Foundation (a.k.a. T-Payne) last month. Being new at this seeding business, I merely followed the instructions other experienced gardeners gave me: Clear the soil, put some in a paper bag with some seeds, shake and scatter. I also flattened the scattered soil/seed mixture with a hoe and watered it. I put the seeds in three of the four front planters of the Library along Santa Monica Blvd; the fourth was fully occupied by the Verbina and the succulent vine.
There were a couple surprises at the Library today: First, I didn’t recognize most of the staff, save for one familiar face – it was Arthur Pond, who was the Senior Librarian here at Cahuenga from 1996 to 2003 before transferring to head the North Hollywood branch. He was here because most of the Cahuenga staff called in sick, so other branch staff were filling in. He now heads the Frances Howard Goldwyn Hollywood branch. While he was Senior Librarian at Cahuenga, Arthur was a big help and supporter of my early community organizing efforts in the ‘90s, and it was great seeing him after such a long time (my last time seeing him was a few years ago at the Silver Lake Trader Joe’s). I told him what we were doing and he was really delighted to see the garden and people cleaning up. I also introduced him to some of our volunteers.
The second surprise was today’s date – December 4. It sounded familiar to me. After consulting a web site on my phone it validated that thought : Today was the Cahuenga Branch Library’s 94th birthday! It opened on a cold, rainy Monday, December 4, 1916. Excited, I told the other volunteers, and Arthur as well. What a great way to celebrate a community icon by beautifying it for its birthday.
Next month’s first-Saturday falls on January 1, New Year’s Day. We obviously won’t be doing our mini-cleanup (the Library will be closed, after all), but we’ll have it on the 2nd Saturday, which is January 8.