Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Literary Macarthur Park
A week ago, I did a workshop for Smartgals. It was held in Macarthur Park. I wrote a piece on the area not too long ago, discussing the park and its relationship to the Filipino community. Mucho festivals celebrating Filipino culture was held at the park and General Macarthur made his famous "I shall return" speech regarding his vow to help free the Philippines from the Japanese in World War II.
The famous Donna Summer song "Macarthur Park" with the famous line "Someone left the cake out in the rain" was written by Jimmy Webb about an apparent break-up in the park in the 1960's.
Somewhere in the late 1970's and 1980's Macarthur Park began to turn from a family environment to one most associated with drug deals, murder, and other mayhem. Without getting into details, I feel I contributed to the mayhem in my reckless youth. If I could ever say sorry to a neighborhood, I would. And that's what's happened when I did the writing workshop there. When I lent my creativity to the environment and the people in my workshop, I felt like I was apologizing for my reckless days. The amends will certainly continue, but it felt good that I was adding to the healing of the area somehow.