Six decades or more along Sepulveda Bl in Van Nuys, life was very different than today.
People conducted all their daily activities, from work to shopping, in automobiles. They were frustrated by traffic, and there were many accidents. This started early in the morning, before sunrise, and continued long after dark, in a slow, honking, and impatient parade of tens of thousands of trucks, cars and buses.
The buildings along Sepulveda were a motley, junky collection of fast food, auto repair, filling stations, car washes, cheap motels, hardware, liquor and supermarket businesses dropped down between billboards and wooden power poles.
There was nowhere that was pleasant, in the sense of a community, with proper landscaping, trees, amenities, or aesthetic zoning regulating signs or advertising.
There was no trace of grace, of history, of the old Spanish missions, the orange and walnut groves, the spectacular trees, flowers, and natural beauty that characterized California. Everything was garish, commercial, toxic, selling everything that polluted and sickened human beings in a circus of raucous, blind, aggressive hucksterism.
Even with many new, lovely ranch homes, built after the war, on the residential blocks nearby, the general appearance of Sepulveda was ratty, unappealing, low class and frightening.
Holdups at liquor stores, kidnappings, harassment of women by men driving past, littering, dumping, intoxicated drivers; in every respect related to civilized life, mid-20thCentury Sepulveda Bl. was so very different than today.
The only thing that remains the same is the presence of openly gay events, something that was even advertised on a sign in 1954.