The East Bank

For whatever reason, I was having more trouble processing my fatherlessness than I’ve ever had in pretty much all my 46 previous Father’s Days, brought to you by the deadbeat coward sonofabitch I’ve never met named William Lloyd Campbell who’d be 84 this year if he is still among the living. All I know of him is at the time I came into this world he was 37, born in Canada, and worked as a writer/director at J. Walter Thompson, a company which apparently compensated its employees so poorly that he couldn’t afford to pay the $75 a month court-ordered child support. Asshole.

Yeah, I have issues. But I haven’t been this frustrated about it and him this much since I was a teenager and I entertained “A Boy Named Sue” fantasies of hunting him down and cutting off a piece of his ear.

Anyway, as the day progressed and I got increasingly bunched up emotionally, as usual the cure for what ailed me was a bike ride and this afternoon as the lingering June gloom started to finally break up, I biked myslef down to the East Bank of the Los Angeles River where for the first time today I ventured upon it south of Fletcher Avenue — a far more rugged and less developed (or utilized) side of the waterway. Having the three-mile length of it to myself and feeling very Lewis & Clarksian, I discovered much there to further increase my love for our misbegotten river — including an absolutely wonderful section of rushing whitewater that was just entirely enchanting, and exactly what I needed to shake off the negativity.

Yeah, that’s me on the bank below soaking up the sun in fully pronated decompression mode, a still taken from the inevitable (and soon to come) timelapse video made of the trek (click it for the bigger picture).

If you’ve been on this side of the river, I’ll bet you know this spot’s location. But if not and you’re extra nice to me maybe one day I’ll muster my dormant group ride organizational skills and show it to you.

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Will Campbell arrived in town via the maternity ward at Good Sam Hospital way back in OneNineSixFour and has never stopped calling Los Angeles home. Presently he lives in Silver Lake with his wife Susan, their cat Rocky, dogs Terra and Hazel, and a red-eared slider turtle named Mater. Blogging since 2001, Will's web endeavors extend back to 1995 with, a comprehensive theater site that was well received but ever-short on capital (or a business model). The pinnacle of his online success (which speaks volumes) arrived in 1997, when much to his surprise, a hobby site he'd built called VisuaL.A. was named "best website" in Los Angeles magazine's annual "Best of L.A." issue. He enjoys experiencing (and writing about) pretty much anything creative, explorational and/or adventurous, loves his ebike, is a better tennis player than he is horr golfer, and a lover of all creatures great and small -- emphasis on "all."