On the morning of January 17, 1994, we were asleep in our condo in Laguna Niguel, California. My daughter, who was only a little over six months old, was asleep in her crib.
I felt the shaking before. I lived in Reseda when the 1971 Sylmar quake hit. I was 9 and that was my first earthquake. After the shaking stopped, I went back to sleep. It wasn’t until I saw the damage on the news and heard that we might have to evacuate if the Van Norman Dam broke that I knew earthquakes were something to fear. I was in Orange County during the 1987 Whittier quake. After the shaking stopped, I finished getting dressed and went to work.
The 1994 quake was different.
Today is day 16 of Fun a Day Reseda and my son’s 16th birthday. So, I’ll talk about a TV show that was out when I was 16, James at 16.
I remember James at 16 for two reasons: 1. Three members of our Reseda High girls’ basketball team appeared in an episode (playing basketball to the Bee Gee’s “You Should Be Dancing,” no less) and 2. The infamous episode with James and the Swedish exchange student. The latter was a source of a scathing editorial in the Regent Review about how laughably unrealistic its portrayal of teen love is.
So why do TV shows and movies get teenagers wrong?
Today proved my point about luck. It was a day when I got all the bad rolls. My hard drive at work crashed. My order was messed up at the restaurant. We were late for an appointment (but the person we were supposed to meet was later.) Murphy was working overtime today.
What do you do when things go wrong?
Apparently, the Mysterious Heart Maker of Reseda took my advice. This showed up on a vacant storefront on Reseda Boulevard:
Is there really such a thing as luck? Ralph Waldo Emerson didn’t think so, “Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect.” Nor did Emily Dickinson, “Luck is not chance-/It’s Toil-/Fortune’s expensive smile/Is earned-”
We’ve all come across situations that feel like luck. You arrive five minutes after the store is supposed to close, but it is still open. You decide to stick a quarter in a slot machine for the fun of it, and it pays off. You miss getting on the train that winds up getting in an accident. Does that mean there is such a thing as luck?