Posted by: Brad Nixon | November 20, 2009

Steve Cracks, and Ozzie Acts

It’s been a terrible week for the commute to work. For some reason, repairs to something to do with the Metro Green Line require blocking all but one lane of El Segundo Blvd while they dig up the rest of the street (The Green Line runs on an elevated track across El Segundo and up Nash toward LA). That’s not fair. I’m betting that the Green Line riders don’t have to sit and wait while street repairs happen.

But, anyone who commutes eventually learns to live with this tidal swell and ebb of street construction. It comes, it goes, it returns. Yesterday, I was surprised to see Steve Douglas pulled off to the curb and out of his Biscayne, apparently in an argument with one of the workers on the project. I was stuck in traffic, trying to merge over to the right to get into the single lane that continues, so I couldn’t tell exactly what was going on. Then I saw that the car beside me was Ward Cleaver’s Fury. He rolled down his window.

“Was that Steve?” I asked.

“Yes, I’m afraid he’s quite upset at the way the traffic’s been handled. You know how ordered and logical engineers can be, especially Steve. I think he felt he could REASON with the traffic engineer,” Ward said back.

 “Well, I don’t know what good he thinks he’s going to do getting out and talking to them,” I offered, still looking for my chance to get in behind Ward’s car.

Ward had an answer for that. “I’m afraid he’s gotten into the habit of listening to talk radio on these long waits for traffic, and I think he just snapped. Something about ‘birkenstock-wearing Berkely grads’ just set him off!”

Wow, that’ll do it every time. Poor Steve, sucked into the Blathersphere. We’d have to try to rescue him, maybe an intervention. Well, the driver behind Ward let me in, and we crept on up toward the intersection with Aviation. And there, bless his heart, was Ozzie Nelson, standing in the intersection, which was a total mess with all the construction, directing traffic. He had a golf club in his hand — looked like a 7-iron — using it the way he used to wield the baton at the head of the Ozzie Nelson Band. He had that happy-go-lucky got-the-world-on-a-string smile on his face as he encouraged drivers with line like, “That’s right, just let one another take turns … there you go … now it’s YOUR turn …”

Dang, I’ll bet he doesn’t waste any time listening to all the jabber. Some problem to be solved, he gets out of the car and does it. What a guy! Maybe that’s what he does with his day, just driving around finding things to help out on. And those golf clubs are in the ol’ Chrysler for a reason… I wondered if he ever pulls out the driver for really big traffic tangles?

Well, it certainly beats dialing the phone and blathering on about what someone ELSE should do to fix things. Stop complaining. Fix it yourself.


  1. can’t you just go over to el primero street, or does it go the wrong way?


    • Very funny. Read the 1st paragraph under “history” in the Wikipedia listing to get the background of the “el segundo” name.


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