Looking for postcards (1 Viewer)

hank solo

Just practicin' steps and keepin' outta the fights
Reaper Crew
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Good question.

I am just guessing based on a most trivial clue - Bukowski kept a BMW Vasek Polak, Hermosa Beach Calif. ashtray on his writing desk in San Pedro. It was included among his personal artefacts in the Bukowski exhibition in London in the nineties.

Perhaps I assume too much, too easily - but it seems likely to me that it was a reminder of his success, of being able to walk into a dealership and pay cash (well, write a good cheque) for a brand new BMW at the age of 58.

Bukowski_Desk_Ashtray.jpg


I offer no excuses for buying a car or living in a house. Although some may take this as a sign that I am losing my soul, most of these same have been saying for years that I am losing, have lost, my soul. If these would pay as much heed to their typewriters as they did to my soul (or lack of) they might (?) get some work done.

Letter to A. D. Winans, December 29, 1979. Living on Luck
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
Perhaps I assume too much, too easily - but it seems likely to me that it was a reminder of his success, of being able to walk into a dealership and pay cash (well, write a good cheque) for a brand new BMW at the age of 58.

I think you're probably right! I don't recall having seen the ashtray before, although I do remember having seen photos from the Elms Lester Buk exhibition, but if I had I would have come to the very same conclusion myself. It would be odd if the ashtray came from another BMW dealership than the one he bought his car in, even though it's a possibility. Anything is possible, but not everything is probable, as they say.
 
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hoochmonkey9

Art should be its own hammer.
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Milliron's Department Store, 1949

A.JPG


C.JPG


EDIT: just noticed that this is the wrong location for the Bukowski Milliron's. this location didn't open until 1949. Bukowski worked at the one on 4th and Broadway, according to the timeline.
 

mjp

Founding member
LA county hospital
Saw a show on one of the local PBS channels here about the county hospital, and wouldn't you know, they showed a picture of one of the wards:

county-hospital.jpg


A ward isn't the ideal place to be, but it was common years ago to have wards in hospitals. I stayed in one when I was a kid. There was no notion of private rooms until much later.

Another interesting thing is the county hospital here in Los Angeles was built in the 30s and at the time it was state of the art. So when Bukowski was there it was 20 years old, yes, but probably not quite the Dickensian place he describes (there were no basement wards, for example, as he says he was in).

There was also no air conditioning in those days, so it had to be pretty awful inside there a lot of the time. They said the hospital held 1650 patients, and that today a large hospital holds about 600.

The 13th floor was a jail ward, where all the prisoners from Los Angeles county were taken.
 

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