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A Perfectly Nice Chair Sitting on the Freeway

October 04, 1986

The other day I saw a chair on the San Diego Freeway. About the South Bay curve. It was a perfectly nice chair. An upholstered wingback. It was upright too. Not upside down or sideways like you'd expect. Just sitting there like someone had just gotten up to change the channel.

Had it flown off the back of an open truck? Was the rest of the load already at the new house? Was the wife saying "Harvey, where the hell is the tweed wingback? Did you forget to load it? Jesus, now we'll have to go all the way back to Santa Ana to get it."

Makes you wonder where all that stuff comes from, that ends up along the sides of the freeways. Why doesn't someone go along and pick things up, during the slow hours? Like the trash man, when he comes to your house twice a year after you've cleaned your garage.

Once we lost a hubcap on the freeway. I wanted to stop and pick it up; my husband laughed. How did I suppose I was going to get across the road with all that traffic?

But it was instinctive to stop for the $50 piece of chrome. As instinctive to put out your arm to stop a no longer small child from falling, when you have to slam on the brakes. I still do that, and my youngest is 17.

Anyway, you do see an incredible assortment of both junk and valuables next to Los Angeles streets and highways. Maybe they should be built with some sort of slot on the inside so all that stuff can filter down and somehow be salvaged.

We could start a new industry: freeway salvage. Let bids out for the job. If a person lost something valuable, he could identify it and get it back, like at the lost and found. A bit simplistic? Perhaps. I just worry about all that good stuff going to waste.

I wish I had that chair I saw on the San Diego Freeway.


Laguna Beach

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