QUITE A FEW years ago the area around 46th and Vermont was the toughest part of the city of Los Angeles. The reason behind my judgmental statement was the abandoned Ace Venetian Blind factory near 46th and Vermont. Being young and short of funds, I found that the free rent there was the only thing that I could afford. The South Central location was perhaps not the best location in LA, but the financial opportunities in the rather blighted area were first rate for a young man in my circumstances. I could often finance supper by rolling drunks in the alleys behind the bars on Vermont Avenue.
The rolling of drunks provided me a ready source of funds for a while and was also aiding the community by making a dent in the number of people who abused alcohol in the area. However my continuing success with the rolling of drunks eventually led to the area bar owners hiring the Pirates. The Pirates were a group of juvenile delinquents who lived in the general area. The misguided youths had formed into a gang and thought they more or less owned an area that included 46th and Vermont. I had, from time to time, engaged in what might be loosely described as discussion with individual Pirates and I thought that I had convinced them, jointly and severally, that 46th and Vermont wasn't Pirate territory.
However, certain financial incentives furnished by the bar owners, whose customers were allegedly being rolled, led to a situation where the Pirates decided to make a group project of clearing the 46th and Vermont area of the guy known as Whi’ Boy. The Pirates made a really bad decision here.
There are visibly only two ways in or out of the former Ace Venetian Blind factory. Derelicts had, at some point in time, forced two gates in the chain link fence that surrounds the previously abandoned factory. The derelicts thought to use the factory as a place to sleep.
I drove the derelicts out. (Would you want winos sleeping in your house?) I also made damn sure the winos weren’t coming back anytime soon.
One night, the Pirates come and surround the factory. They're not anxious to come inside. Whi’ Boy is believed to be armed and known to be dangerous. The Pirates will just wait outside for Whi’ Boy to stumble into their trap.
I wake from my day’s sleep and prepare for my night. My routine evening survey then discovers the numerous hoodlums surrounding my home. From a quick survey, it appears that the hoodlums are the Pirates.
The two gates to my home are being watched by the hoodlums. A third way out of my home involves sneaking through the dark, grasping some sort of metal framework and vaulting over the eight foot chain link fence. I take that way, landing as quietly as is practical. My landing is, of course, not quietly enough.