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LAist Interview: 1947 Project Part II

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Editor's note: This is the second part of the LAist Interview with the editors of the 1947 Project, a blog that posts news stories and photographs of Los Angeles in 1947. This LAist Interview is with a typical resident living in Los Angeles in 1947.

Name: Johnathon Zheltov, 29
Works in the pectin department, California Fruit Growers Exchange

Where are you from and what neighborhood do you live in?

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Johnathon Zheltov: The folks moved here, Molokans, you know, to Vignes Ave. in aught-nine. Then Brooklyn Avenue. Since have moved here to Bunker Hill.

Where is the best place to relax in Los Angeles?

Johnathon Zheltov: Pershing Square. So incredibly lush.

Where is the worst place in Los Angeles? Where is the saddest place in LA?

Johnathon Zheltov: Worst place? None. Saddest? Probably Hollywood, where all those people are losing their homes for the parkway.

Where is the best place in LA for romance?

Johnathon Zheltov: Perino's. Or maybe overlooking the Dominquez oil fields! Hoo-hah!

Photo credit: Mark Edward Harris.

What's your preferred mode of transportation? How often do you ride the light rail?

Johnathon Zheltov: I have an old Studey Dictator but she doesn't run so hot right now. That's fine, I take the Pacific Electric trolleys just about every day. Yellow Cars, mostly, since I don't leave downtown much.

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What's your favorite movie(s) that take place in LA and why?

Johnathon Zheltov: I worked in Culver City for a spell, and had a girlfriend in Palms, and so I like seeing the old Our Gangtwo-reelers. Of course, I also saw that Detour picture. That was something, all right.

Best LA-themed book(s) and why?

Johnathon Zheltov: "Ramona," of course, because I read it as a youngster and it really made me love my town. Of course, I read that new book by that English fellow--"The Loved One"--that tells a whole different tale, doesn't it?


Share your best celebrity sighting experience.

Johnathon Zheltov: Saw one of the Ritz Brothers coming out of the Zulu Lounge, if you can believe that! And I saw Diana Barrymore clock Virginia O'Brien outside the Polar Palace on Van Ness. No idea why. It was 11 in the morning, and let's just say, I don't think the ladies had been to bed yet.

In your opinion, what's the best way to get to the beach and/or the San Fernando Valley?

Johnathon Zheltov: Oh, that's easy, for that take your Red Car. Take the Venice Short Line train from the Hill Street Surface Station, through the Vineyard Junction, straight to the Ocean Park carhouse, if that's what you want.

What's the best place to walk in LA?

Johnathon Zheltov: Broadway or the Miracle Mile, for excitement. For contentment I wander among the orange groves east of here.

It's 9:30 pm on Thursday. Where are you coming from and where are you going?

Johnathon Zheltov: Coming from the Scottish Rite at Hope and 9th (getting my appendent degrees). Going home.

If you could live in LA during any era, when would it be?

Johnathon Zheltov: The Rancho days. A simpler time.

What's your beach of choice?

Johnathon Zheltov: I don't want to just romp around like they do at Playa del Rey. I go anywhere I can fish off the pier.

What is the "center" of LA to you?

Johnathon Zheltov: The Civic Center, of course.

If you were forced to live in a neighboring county, which would you choose? Ventura County is a wussy answer.

Johnathon Zheltov: What does "wussy" mean? I would go up to Kern, though. Do some fishing. Plant some broccoli. Maybe spud a well!

If you could live in any neighborhood or specific house in LA, where/which would you choose?

Johnathon Zheltov: Any of those mansions along Orange Grove -- Millionaire's Row-- would be fine by me. Pickfair, the Burton Green place--too much.

Los Angeles is often stereotyped as a hard place to find personal connections and make friends. Do you agree with that assessment? Do find it challenging to make new friends here?

Johnathon Zheltov: Of course not.

What is the city's greatest secret?

Johnathon Zheltov: Everybody knows the alligator and ostrich farms by Lincoln Park. But the chinchilla farms down near Manchester and Vermont, that's rich.

Drinking, driving. They mix poorly, and yet they're inexorably linked. How do you handle this conflict?

Johnathon Zheltov: People should do their drinking before they drive, not during.

Describe your best LA dining experience.

Johnathon Zheltov: I like the brains at Musso's, and Chasen's for the fancy stuff, but nothing beats a burger at this stand at Virgil and Santa Monica. Best LA dining there is. Al fresco and such.

What do you have to say to East Coast supremacists?

Johnathon Zheltov: No president ever came from California, so I suppose they have a point.

Do you find the threat of earthquakes preferable to the threat of hurricanes and long winters?

Johnathon Zheltov: I was here for the quake in '33 and I figure we're good for at least another... 25 years? Hurricanes and winters you got each year.

Where do you want to be when the Big One hits?

Johnathon Zheltov: The San Fernando Valley. Supposedly it's earthquake-proof.