Saturday, September 14, 2013

Saturdays with JZ

A recent walk through the back streets of the Old Town section of Temecula, CA, reminded me of Saturday morning walks with JZ. We would each grab a camera and head to the back streets of the city to photograph subjects often by-passed.
Items with slight flaws or items that seemed out of place warranted a pause in our walks.
Rust and peeling paint were subjects that were highly valued subjects for visual inspection
A peeling mural on the side of the Above and Beyond Beauty salon

The mural appeared to be that of a beautiful woman

But light and shadows often created images that were more eye-catching than their colorful neighbors.

One skill that JZ developed to a high degree was the ability to take one photo, very carefully re-wind the film (remember those pre-digital days) to just the right point, and then take another photo. The double exposure photos, e.g., a church steeple and the reflection of sunlight on water, were captivating.

These inspiring walks with this mid-twentieth century essayist through blocks of unnoticed territory led to lessons in seeing beyond what lay in front of us.

I smiled when I saw this shop’s sign.
It reminded me that JZ’s primary appeal to me was his written works. Among his works is Eddie Buss’ Wrecks, a steamy psychological novella set in an auto junkyard, although Eddie would describe the work as taking place amidst “a heavy metal sculpture collection.”

Although the work won literary acclaim, it is, oddly enough, no longer in print. Interestingly, he maintains that this and other early works were responsible for my becoming a psychologist.

The inscription reads: "Livestock Only" "Baths at Hotel"

Many of the older-looking buildings are fairly new, meant to match the historical style thanks to a group known as the Old Town Review Board. That old wooden water tower (below) along Front Street?

"About 25 years old," said Jimmy Moore, a Temecula Valley Museum docent (Louise Esola - For the
Californian, March 26, 2011).
The Emigrant Trail becomes the established southern route into California. It enters present-day Riverside County near Aguanga and passes through Temecula on the way to Los Angeles. (Local historians often call this route the "Immigrant Trail" or "Southern Immigrant Trail.")
During the mid-1800's, the Butterfield Overland Mail company contracted with the federal government to deliver mail and goods. Temecula was one of the stops along the Butterfield Stage route which followed the Southern Emigrant Trail (

I am not sure of that assertion about the basis for my career choice, but I know that his unpublished essay “The Wife of Bath as a College Sophomore” showed an astute understanding of the role of one’s culture (whether it be the days of King Arthur or those of twentieth century flower children) on personality development.

These writings that I was privileged to study years ago revealed his unique outlook on what makes us human.

Once in awhile on these photo walks we would come across a location that could provide a day's worth of subjects. An example of such a "find" is The Bank Restaurant (below) in Temecula.
The outdoor patio bar of The Bank Mexican Restaurant

The Bank Mexican Restaurant

I don’t mean to imply that these scenes were typical of Temecula or even Old Town Temecula, but are sights that are typical of any city, town, or village. Other mainstays of Old Town Temecula are shown below.
Old Town Temecula Community Theater

The Palomar Inn Hotel, a 10- room historical landmark hotel built in the 1920's

Shops in Old Town

Jerry Zinn was my roommate through my undergraduate years in Iowa City, IA, and, for the most part, the references to him and his creative genius are based in fact.

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