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Hearts of L.A. / How the Quake Rocked Our Spirits and Changed Our Lives : COPING WITH CHAOS : 'On reflection, I guess I am mad as hell.'

January 30, 1994|Dr. Alvin Rosenblum | Rosenblum, a West Los Angeles dentist, lost all his equipment and the records of 2,500 patients, some dating to 1964, when the six-story building at Olympic Boulevard and Barrington Avenue, in which his 30-year practice was housed, was severely damaged. The building was demolished five days after the quake. and

The tenants of the building are upset about the fact that every one of us, to a person, feels that there was no reason why we shouldn't have been able to get into the building to rescue our records. Our feeling is that it was rushed through to create access for Olympic Boulevard.

They began with the wrecking ball. They just knocked out windows and they sent somebody up in a cherry picker to look in. He could have reached out and grabbed paper, and he didn't. As they were using the wrecking ball, papers were flying out of the building. And then they watered everything down. There was no attempt to salvage anything.

When they had portions of the building down, they just dropped the wrecking ball on the top of it, just pounding it to nothingness. They were hauling truckloads of stuff out of there to we-don't-know-where so fast.

My office was state-of-the-art equipment, and everything was exactly what it was supposed to be. I had instruments that I modified for my own use that have been used for years. I can't replace those things. I've spent a lot of time on the wrecking site. I've taken photographs, and I think it's extremely unlikely that any of it is retrievable. My understanding right now is that we have zero coverage.

We don't know who had appointments, who's in progress.

I know I can get by this. I just hope my patients understand and find me. On reflection, I guess I am mad as hell.

For me, this experience just reinforces the knowledge of the way things are. We can't control what we can't control. People don't always do the right thing.

But the best part for me is all the wonderful people who've been so caring and supportive--all the offers of help and love. It would be nice if we could all be that supportive when we're not in periods of crisis.

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