Traversing the kaleidoscope of memory of early adulthood in the San Francisco bay area, David Ulin describes the places as he remembers them with picturesque account: Andrew Molera State Park, Fort Mason, Marin Headlands, Old Waldorf, and Sutro Tower, with the particulars, and what happened to his experience of time in those places that summer of 1980. Experienced as a series of fleeting memories, joining together with others who lived there for a time. They left, and so did the author, experiencing the power of temporality or “abandon” both in and from this place.
In this article the authors explore the use of “California,” its translations, and associated phrases in the nine languages collected in the Google Books corpora since 1525. The article graphs the use across time, analyzes the data, and considers some of the reasons behind the peaks and troughs of the usage of “California” and related phrases. For those new to computational corpus analysis, this article introduces the techniques and concepts of corpus analysis, explains the strengths and weaknesses of large-scale, longitudinal studies of language, and describes the specific methods applied in this analysis. Across all languages, the frequency of “California” increases steadily until the late 1990s. The article also examine the use of the notable but infrequently used phrase “California dream.” Visualizations of the analyses accompany the article, as well as additional graphs comparing the use of Los Angeles to San Francisco and Northern California to Southern California since 1800.
David L. Ulin's essay finds William Mulholland doubly generous—he gave LA both water and a motto to live by. Ulin begins with the Los Angeles Aqueduct's inauguration photographs taken in November 1913. Here is where Mulholland said the five words that Ulin proposes as LA's manifesto. As Ulin reports, within the last one hundred years many (in)famous Angelenos, like oil baron Edward Doheny, studio head Louis B. Mayer, and gambling kingpin Charlie Crawford, followed Mulholland's prescription. For popular writers Raymond Chandler and James M. Cain, "There it is. Take it" describes their license to fictionalize scandal. But obeying Mulholland's imperative, as Ulin reveals, was not without negative consequences. Mulholland, especially, with the 1928 collapse of the St. Francis Dam, for which he held himself responsible, found out the hard way the cost of trusting his authority. In the end, "There it is. Take it," Mulholland's directive for the future, is a lesson from the past that haunts us today.