As a young 20+ something, La Jolla was my stomping ground. It was a sleepy little village back then with few of the high end stores that now line the main thoroughfare, Girard Avenue.
I worked at the village's corner drug store, La Jolla Pharmacy. It was literally on the corner of Girard and Prospect Street. I delivered prescription drugs to the store's customers spread over the greater La Jolla area. Deliveries were to any customer in the smallest residence to large stately homes, the mansions on the hills over La Jolla. I came to know the streets of La Jolla including the surrounding hills like the back of my hand as I drove the store's little blue chevy pickup to make deliveries of medicines and sundry items stocked in the store.
My most memorable customer was Jonas Salk. I met him at his front door late on a Sunday afternoon. It was a quick moment, just a handoff of a brown paper bag with medications but it's a memory that will be with me as long as I live.
A second memory is meeting John Wayne as he stopped by for his medication one week night just before closing. He was there at the time for cancer treatment we thought. I was at the front door and he stepped through larger than life. In a deep commanding voice he asked me how I was doing. "How are you doing son," is the memory I have. I honestly don't remember what I said back to him but I'm sure it was something really awkward. What could one say at a moment's notice when you meet a legend like John Wayne in real life? But I'll never forget that moment either.
Last week I walked around the little, grown up village with my Leica MP and some Kodak Portra 160 film. In some ways it hasn't changed much, but in others it's nothing like it used to be either. The stores are now the same you'd find on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Luxury brands up and down the main streets. The lease payments are likely many times more than they were when I worked at the little village pharmacy in the early 70's. Here are some shots from my walk around town.
As always, thanks for stopping by.