What is the Pre-Departure Lounge? For now, I will liken it to the lounge at the airport where you are sent to wait for your flight. In the case of this story, I will liken it to the ancient souls waiting in semi darkness all day long in holding pens across the planet. They are sent to these places to await the Lord’s call to begin the trek to St. Peter’s gates for admittance.

It is a dreamlike state where you wait and identify that you are in a state of waiting, for the next level of departure. Where does it take place? You wait in your mind of course. Why are you in this state? You want to make some last minute decisions? Not really, you have done all of that in black and white, but this is a place to wait in semi-comfort and analyze all that you are, have been, and are to become.

You sit and wait. No one comes to tell you anything. No one comes to give you the kindness of a wink, a pat, a kindly touch; nothing comes your way but occasionally a small swift breeze circles around to assure you and your blank stare that you are still waiting. Your stare is not blank, don’t they know? You are still there. You are telling them, but they act as if they do not hear. You have been many things to many people in your lifetime. You have created wonders on God’s green and blue earth. You have suffered humanities elations and ills. You really want someone to look into your fading eyes and say hello. How are you today? That would be enough. That would give you confidence to hope for the next passage. You were on the bestseller list with Reader’s Views for 10 days with your silly little New Age Novel. You re-wrote an enchanted gifted program. You had no idea you were doing it by living it, but they give you the credit. No one knows anything about you in this dank hallway as you sit head dropped nearly to your knees and drool on your thighs. Where are you anyway? Again, remember, my friend Xavier said it is the Pre Departure Lounge. He said it is where you sit and wait. Are you taking a delightful flight over the pond to see friends you have made over the years? Not at all, you wait here for the final departure of your living, breathing, thinking, and physical days on this planet. They are all gone, and if not gone, still considered gone. That is enough whining. You’ll go if you were good or if you were bad. Nothing you can do, but imagine yourself elsewhere.

Will you have an after life, you cannot say. No one who has promised to come back and let you know how it is over there, have come. You wait and are left wondering. You have had dreams of what a heavenly place will be and how it will feel. You hope to meet others, especially hoping to meet those who have preceded you.

You hear laughter. It reminds of you of the raucous family parties with children and grandchildren running, hopping, skipping, and jumping. You imagine you hear them squealing and your mind is seeing smiles forever on their faces. They are lodged deeply in the recesses of your memory mind which is still left for you to ponder, or is it? You try and remember the name of the park where four generations of your stock met, exchanged wishes, told lies, shared visions and aspirations, then tarried long after the sun went to the other side of the earth. When it was all said and done, the memory in bits and pieces remain, but where are they now? They could be on the moon for all you know, but what you do know is that here you sit in the Pre-departure lounge saving seats for them.

Olvera Street and the Hidden Treasure of the Avila Adobe.

This Pueblo was named after the first judge in Los Angeles, Judge Augustine Olvera in 1877. The street leading into the Pueblo was closed to vehicles in 1930 and became our Olvera Street or Calle Olvera. This beautiful little gem has been a place most Angelinos have enjoyed from childhood on up into their senior years.  They were taken to visit when they were children, and therefore, took their children and now their children are taking their children and so on. All of us living in the vicinity of Olvera Street became immersed in the tradition. Many of us make this our number one location to visit when we have out of town guests.  It is a bang and blast of color, drama, culture, food, fiestas, celebrations, performances, artists, history and a special community historically and culturally connected to Los Angeles.


I must tell you, I have visited plus taken family, friends and guests to Olvera Street for many years but on the most recent visit a new treasure opened up to me.  It is called Avila Adobe. It is just steps off the street, but all of the previous times visiting Olvera Street, I have been blinded by the street’s explosion of color, goods, action and food, so I missed its presence.

This time visiting Olvera Street with our out of the country guests found us in the courtyard of the Avila Adobe.  The signage states that this Adobe is the oldest building still standing in Los Angeles. I want to believe it.  In any case, it is a beautiful historical and cultural monument.  Come inside and see some of the rooms where a few restorations have been done in keeping with the original home. It is understood that most of the original furniture came from other countries given to Avila in trade.

You can see from the small collection of photos included here, the inside the Avila Adobe gives off an aura of fresh peacefulness. Even though the day was uncomfortably warm outside in the courtyard, the moment you entered the Adobe, an omniscient presence and an encouraging calm atmosphere appeared to envelop you. A somber softness fell upon the rooms; an old lingering mellow and calm richness gradually takes over your being there. It feels like people are still living here and while viewing some rooms you feel the remnants of people who are still going about their daily lives.  If you find yourself on Olvera Street, don’t leave without stopping and visiting the interior of the historical Avila Adobe Museum.

As you leave the Adobe, you exit onto Olvera Street.