I had lunch with my aunt Pat yesterday and we had a wonderful time. Pat is my grandfather's last surviving child and we have grown very close. One of the things we love to do together is go shopping in the city of Orange, which is near Anaheim and Disneyland. And yesterday as a birthday present, Pat gave me this book, which I am thrilled about: The Images of America publication of the history of Orange. I've known about the Images of America books for years now, but for some reason didn't know about this one.
Now I'm fascinated (and in love, I admit) with Orange for several reasons. One is that the old part of the city has maintained its integrity and many of the neighborhoods are full of old Craftsman style homes. Owners really take pride in their homes, down to putting signs outside their houses to celebrate when their houses turn 100 years old. Houses are still pretty expensive, especially in "Old Towne" and I know that owners of these old homes are straightjacketed by city ordinances that forbid any kind of drastic change to the outside of these homes.
Downtown is full of antique stores - in fact, Orange is known for being a mecca for antique lovers. It does get a little crazy on the weekends, especially around the fountain and the roundabout. You really have to watch your step (and your driving) when you get into this part of town on a Saturday.
Anyway, another reason that Orange is special for me is because it's where my grandfather lived for a good portion of the years that he was a pulp writer, and I'm pretty sure that he lived in this house when he wrote Pulp Writer in 1943. It's a wonderful house, one of the biggest on the street. I know it was up for sale a couple of years ago before the real estate market really started to spiral down and it was listed for $1.3 million. Don't know what it sold for, but at that point, probably close to asking price.
If I was going to stay in California for the rest of my years (and there's nothing to keep me here right now save for family and friends...I think California is ruined for the most part) Orange is one of the few places that I would consider living in. Except I found something VERY disturbing today - an inordinate amount of these flags hanging outside of houses. I mean a LOT. There oughta be a law....