National Geographic : 1962 Oct
Glittering sea of lights, Los Angeles presents one of the world's most spectacular always exciting. As my plane flew in, I saw below me the raging Bel-Air fire, which de stroyed 484 homes in three terrible days and nights in November, 1961 (pages 468-9). As I left in February, 1962, Los Angeles was again declared a disaster area because of flood. In between, the city demonstrated the range of its weather: sharp, dry Santa Ana winds from the desert; snow; and days of bril liant 87° warmth while most of the country shivered under blizzards. Over-all, the weath er, winter and summer, is superb, if a little on 452 the warm side, and the pervading dancing light makes dark glasses almost mandatory. But weather was merely a backdrop to my sortie into the city. During my stay, I watched Red Skelton caper for the television camera, poked my hand into a tame whale's mouth, ate smorgasbord, sukiyaki, chiles rellenos, shish kebab, and chow mein, rode a monorail train, watched movie stars grandly entering Grauman's Chinese Theatre, met a mayor, swam in the heart of Hollywood, and nimbly avoided an invitation to ski on Mount Baldy.