|Shoe Kare (Mr. Mike) - Los Angeles 1973|
Taken 40 years ago, the same year that I took the Do Not Enter photo in Pasadena: a good year for billboard pix. I used a Nikon F and Panatomic-X film for both photos.
Mr. Mike Shoe Kare was located on a nondescript section of La Cienega Blvd and hasn't been seen for quite a number of years.
From the last paragraphs of the mystery novel Muerte Con Queso:
We had to raise our voices to be heard over the traffic’s loud blur on La Cienega. As he juggled the Cokes my father looked at me out of the corner of his eye. “And, she was a good-looking blonde,” he observed. “But even with Mrs. Albert’s interest in your negatives, it seems to me that it still took you a long time to figure out that you were being used as a decoy—that she and Danny Perez had killed Frank Albert.”
“Uh, right,” I admitted. “That little twist took me considerably longer. High heels have a tendency to fog my brain.”
The passing trucks stirred and mixed the essence of Los Angeles: oil slicks and gasoline fumes, bits and pieces of corrugated cardboard, tattered newspapers and crumpled paper cups. While we waited to cross at the seedy intersection I stared vacantly at the billboards dominating the view. Perched atop the street’s anonymous small shops and offices, far above the fumes and debris, they seemed to represent a strange kind of wished-for California promise, the unattainable ideal that had corrupted Clare Albert and Danny Perez. Suddenly alert, I gazed up at those gigantic images of booze, cars and women, those L.A. visions of paradise. I wished I’d brought my camera.