L O S A N G E L E S
2 5 ...... Y E A R S ...... A G O ......T O D A Y ! !
................. KEN HIVELY/LAT
See those clouds in the northeast?
These were the trailing edge of a system that stretched all the way
to Nevada and beyond, dumping tons of rain and flooding streets in Las Vegas
that afternoon. I, scheduled to work at Shakey's Pizza that night and unable to
get out of it, made up the story of being unable to drive out of my driveway.
I could have made it, despite my street being a quick moving
torrent of brown from lawn to lawn, but I was desperate. Back then
there was no f*****g TVO! I called it in, stayed home and sat through
the hokey "Settling the Wild West" show, but was amazed by the Jet-Pack Man,
the 88 pianists and their Gershwin, and the parade of athletes.
The sun was setting warm as usual and as the soft shadow of the
western rim of the Coliseum set the tone, I remember the crowd was hushed
but excited as Rafer Johnson climbed the steps up to the bottom of the rings.
The shadow seemed to follow him. No one knew how the torch would be lit.
Women squealed discreetly here and there and everyone was so mesmerized
by the rings blazing that even the director missed the cauldron at the top!
Then the roar!
Having your city on worldwide television for two weeks feels pretty good,
especially if it is a success. This was the most successful Olympic Games
to date and I think it ushered in global recognition for us.
This, the best time in Los Angeles' history!
.Down below, amid all the old cars, you can see O.J. Simpson in happier days, working his way up the incline in Santa Monica
The Opening crowd
Torrance Public Works
The Shadow and the Roar!
The closing, which included a spaceship that was unexpected to say the least
The way we used to build in 1923
unless otherwise specified