Los Angeles 1968–1970
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We drove from Portland to Los Angeles in our overloaded Falcon. Mel Judkins sold the car to me for a very low price. Los Angeles welcomed us on April 1 with unexpected weather, a hard, long downpour. But, after that, we didn’t see rain for more than half a year; only beautiful sunshine. Looking for lodging, I granted the children’s wish to be close to the ocean. We expected that they would go back to Prague in about 4 months to start a new school year so therefore we rented an apartment in Santa Monica three blocks from the ocean. They had an excellent time in Santa Monica, a real vacation. This, however, lasted only a few months. Soon, we were receiving news from Prague that the political situation was changing there. After the Warsaw Union tanks occupied Czechoslovakia and crushed the “Prague Spring,” we decided not to return to Czechoslovakia and to stay in the US. The University office for foreign students helped us in formalizing this decision. It was an extremely serious decision with many ramifications. We rented a house in Los Angeles close to the University and our children enrolled in school. We also bought a new car, an eight cylinder Ford Country Squire station wagon, to explore the California country side. In California, we found almost everything. In the winter, we went to June Lake for skiing in the Sierra Mountains. After coming back the next day, we went for outdoor swimming in the University recreation area. We used this area often for our weekend relaxation combining swimming with volleyball. My son, Jon, and I were on a competitive doubles team in volleyball. Both summers, I went with the children and Charles on vacation to hike mountains. One year in California, specifically in Yosemite National Park, and the other in Colorado.