March 2008 – Long Road To Lincoln Place

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By Ingrid Mueller

We are children of the Universe. This was engrained in my mind as of age 10. Who knows where it came from? My search for that meaning continues almost feverishly.

After a Hamburg(er) Scientific High School for Girls adventure, ‘twas obvious: this ain’t my earthly path. A curiosity for the human condition was deepened by the passing of my father after 7 years of MS paralysis. I was 16, had to become my own daddy.

England’s north and international student community opened many minds to comparative religions, cultures, foods.

Paris’ population very probably included relatives of my mother’s grandmother who married into the East Prussian State in Kaiser Wilhelm’s times. 

My language studies were personal and intense in that City of Lights.

Barcelona was my very first paid job site as a trilingual secretary to the owner of a small Blanes/Costa Brava hotel.

San Francisco completely sucked me in in 1964 (go ahead, smile). Straight off the plane, a job on Market Street and a turn-of-the-century-apartment downtown allowed amazing revelations in my new, consciously selected country of an admired idea of human equality.

But a quickie Las Vegas wedding swept me onto the African continent where my engineer husband helped build corn and flour mills across the South African veldt, as this child of the universe innocently stubbed toes and knowingly insulted Johannesburg apartheid laws right and left in the late Sixties. It was the very best social and human injustice education for four years.

Back in WA State with two daughters and eventually ‘on our own’, the professional and financial opportunity to be transferred to L.A. was happily grabbed in 1976 – after all, downtown’s Bonaventure Hotel couldn’t open without moi, child of the universe!

Alas, our car accident in late 1977 at the corner of Wilshire & 17th in Santa Monica stopped a whole lot more than my corporate job and my daughters’ innocence. A decade later, this ‘empty nester’ discovered a new home off the beaten track, speak: busy Lincoln Boulevard, at the now historic 38 acre Lincoln Place Garden Apartment complex. 

And here I’ve lived and loved and anxiously tippy-toed and complied and organized and protested since 1988. I hope I’ve helped advance all Los Angelenos’ Renters’ Rights in the face of rampant overdevelopment, and rampant overpayment for a CEO (for example, $4.7M for Terry Considine/AIMCO in 2007). All of which undermines every person’s right to housing.

Let’s stay Los Angelenos. After all, Children of the Universe know a little…


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