‘Mr. Snazzyshirt’: PC: Eric Beteille, aka ‘Pedestrian Photographer’; November 22, 2008; East Hollywood.

Like a theme park, JIMBO TIMES has been an adventure, filled with all kinds of colors, characters, and the beautiful moments created by these things in their union.

One such moment can be traced right above. In the picture, to the left of ‘Mr. Snazzyshirt’ lies my mother’s newsstand when it was located right at the intersection of Vermont and Santa Monica.

Today it’s located farther down Santa Monica, right across the street from the Swap Meet. The difference of location might not seem like a major note to make, but business at my mother’s stand took a substantial loss following the move: the newsstand at the corner as it’s shown above was much stronger; it was right in front the 204 and 754 bus stops, where people heavily trafficked the spot, and was selling newspapers and magazines just before the internet and smart-phones irreversibly shrank the publishing business.

Moreover, the stand above was in business just at the outset of the Great Recession, which impacted the predominantly working class folks that were my mother’s customers more than many other group of Angelenos.

Of course, back then my mom couldn’t predict it all as it’d take place, but she knew she had a good location where she was at. Naturally, she wanted to keep the stand there indefinitely, but she had little choice in the matter. Only a few months after this photo was taken, city inspectors requested that she move, citing safety concerns. In turn, preferring to get on with work rather than fighting the regulators, we broke the stand down and rebuilt it down the block. It’s been there steadily ever since, but the rise of smartphones and the fall of publishing is still in progress, and the Great Recession is just residing, if it is in fact residing.

Even so, we’re fighting on. Rain or shine, my mom still opens the stand nearly every day of the week. I don’t know how she does it, but she just does, and it still works for us, somehow, even if it doesn’t work as much as it once did.

Interestingly enough, all the newspapers and magazines I’d nab from the stand over the years would play a pivotal role in shaping my love for the written word. I’d read Kaliman, Condorito, and Memin Pinguin, among other great publications there.

Today, with these memories still firmly intact, I know that if my mother could make words work for our family since this photo, then somehow, I can do it for us as well, in the days and photos that follow.

After all, as noted at the outsetJIMBO TIMES is still for you, Mama.

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