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Sharing Memories of the L.A. River

November 28, 1985

I'm not sure I approve of the derogatory manner in which you write about my river. Please be a little more compassionate; try to be somewhat kinder when you reach the portion I claim as mine. True, it only exists in my memories. It was 50 to 60 years ago. I enjoyed swimming (yes, it was deep enough even in summer) in certain places around Vineland (Rio Vista) in the San Fernando Valley.

Once, about 50 years ago, my husband, leading the way, parted the willows on the river bank east of Lankershim Boulevard, near Universal Studios, looking for watercress. He stopped, turned to me and said, "There's a bear in the river!" I thought he was kidding me, but, no, there it was as big as life.

Later we stood on the bridge spanning the river at Universal Studios and watched as houses, bathtubs, refrigerators, animals and all sorts of things floated downstream until we were told to leave before the bridge decided to join everything else.

I find your articles very interesting and relish the nostalgia.

Please hurry on to my part of the river. I will probably shed a couple of buckets for auld lang syne. The river certainly ain't what it used to be, and neither am I.

GLADYS SINGLETARY

Santa Barbara

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