Steve Lopez' column of April 13 in the Los Angeles Times tells of a man who healed his seriously aching back by climbing stairs. And while any old stairs might have helped the pain, what makes this column a gem of local history is that the man--Charles Fleming--lived in an area of LA riddled with early public stairs that predated our automobile culture. Most were built in the 1920s and 1930s. And Fleming has written a book about them. That's it at left.
Included in the book is the staircase where Laurel and Hardy moved a piano in "The Music Box," but that's pretty well-known. Lopez says that Fleming took his on a tour, pointing out bits of history: "the house where Anais Nin died, the house where William Faulkner wrote "To Have and Have Not, the cabin-hotel where Ernest Hemingway once hung his hat, the place where Tom Mix's saloon used to be..." you get the picture. For history buffs, fascinating stuff.
I doubt that any of the stairways are in San Pedro, because Lopez mentions Echo Park and Silverlake, Hollywood, and areas far removed from the port. Oh, well.
Not only a fascinating read, but walks to take your breath away.