shortly after the announcement of the verdicts in the Rodney King beating trial, the city errupted. this is part of our history and we are all pretty much aware of what happened…riots, looting, fire, civil unrest….
i was at work when this all started. i sold medical supplies to nursing homes and because of medicare billing, i had to spend time in my homes doing chart audits and staff training. so this particular day, that’s what i was doing. the home i was working in that day was about 6 blocks away from Florence & Normandy… the intersection where it all began. Reginald Denney was pulled from his truck and beaten nearly to death.
i received a phone call from my boss telling me to go home…straight home…he told me to lock my doors and to drive without stopping. i had no idea what he was talking about. inside the nursing home, none of us knew what was happening outside in the big, ugly, racist world.
a bit confused, i said okay, gathered my things, and was trying to figure out what was wrong. obviously something must’ve been pretty horrible if my money hungry boss was sending me home. at the time i was driving a powder blue (gross) plymouth sundance (ewww more gross). i got in my car, locked my doors and pulled out of the parking garage……. into complete and utter mayhem! the people i could see were going nuts! i still had no idea what was happening. i turned my radio on and of course, then i knew. the entire city looked like the street i just pulled out on to.
on my drive home, people were climbing on my car… i couldn’t drive too fast because there were people in the streets, screaming, carrying clubs, boards – anything they could create damage and chaos with. long story short, I made it home. unscathed. whew!
the city and surrounding areas were put on a city wide 24 hour lockdown. no one was allowed to leave their homes. for 3 days. i guess we all just had to hope we had enough food and other life necessities to get by. i did. i even had enough toilet paper! another whew!
i lived in burbank at the time in a small complex of about 12 apartments. it was a little gated complex, probably built in the ‘40s or so. i loved that little complex. the people were all pretty nice, it was landscaped nice and lush.
after a few days, a girl needs some clean unmentionables…. so i figured there’d be no harm in going to the laundry room to do a few loads. the laundry was in the parking lot of my GATED complex, just 100 feet or so from my front door. it was evening…getting dark as i walked across the parking lot with my basket of clothes. i got them going and went back to sit on my front stoop. my front door was open, i had some blues playing, and i was just enjoying the night air – all that lovely smoke & shit from the fires….
all of the sudden… (heart attack moment here) the 2 biggest black men i had ever seen in my life came out of no where! scared me 1/2 to death… i think i screamed a really good WTF!!??!!…. they were all ramboed out… war paint on their faces, camo everything… they had those bullet belts criss-crossed across their chests and a couple of really big guns. oh shit!
they got me calmed down and explained that they were panthers….they further told me that i needed to go back in my apartment…didn’t i realize we were on a city-wide lockdown? i told them about my laundry…and Lord knows, you can’t leave laundry unattended or someone might take it…. right?
these two panthers took my quarters from me…sent me back into my house and went to the laundry room. about 45 minutes later, a knock on the door….. the two panthers had my basket of clothes all nicely folded… even my unmentionables….
i wish i could have seen them folding my pretty pink panties and bras… all camo and rambo! LOL