On a night when their frail health normally would keep many of them at home, about 75 elderly tenants threatened with eviction braved the chilly night air on Tuesday and gathered outside the home of a Westside developer, where they sang songs of fight and protest to the tune of traditional Christmas carols.
Songs such as "Jingle Bells" and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" got new lyrics to tell developer Richard W. Selby that the tenants will fight plans to demolish their Westdale Manor apartments in Mar Vista. Selby plans to build 285 luxury apartment units at the property on Sawtelle Boulevard south of National Boulevard.
As curious bystanders and neighbors watched outside Selby's posh Brentwood home, the protesters walked in a circle and chanted the "Jingle Bells" tune to lyrics that reflected not the Christmas spirit but expedience and greed:
Real estate, real estate
Money's all that counts .
Some folks would sell your grandmother for
Fifty cents an ounce.
"What a wonderful thing it would be if Mr. Selby gave us back our apartments for Christmas," said protester R. C. Treadwell, 84.