This blog is about the story of my family here in America. We arrived in the 1630s as Puritans, and became the common folk of the New World.

Verna Phillips Goodell in Los Angeles, California

*Aunt Verna* is actually a pretty distant relation from me. She was the daughter of the brother of my great-grandmother. Did you follow that? Anyway, she is one of the descendants of Thomas Burroughs Phillips, like I am, so she is family. And she is my connection to the Los Angeles of the 1920s, which has always fascinated me. She was born in 1899 and moved to Los Angeles with her husband Hugh Stanley Goodell in 1925, when she was 26. See? Everybody used to be young at one time!

I lived in Los Angeles for a little while in the early 1980s and immediately became fascinated with the history. Most people thought that the freeways were the oldest things in Los Angeles, if they thought about it at all. But I explored the old pueblo, finding history that went back hundreds of years. Did you know that Zorro was set in *Old Los Angeles*, when it was owned by Spain? No, Zorro is not a relative of mine.

Aunt Verna lived in Pasadena. And I would like to think of her as one of the *little old ladies from Pasadena* that Jan and Dean sang about in the 60s. She lived at 3217 Brandon Street, which I just took a look at on Google Street view, and it seems an ordinary neighborhood. Probably pretty inexpensive when they moved there, and probably ridiculously expensive now. Other than these facts, I really don't know anything else about Aunt Verna. I visited the Live Oak Cemetery in Monrovia, California at 200 E. Duarte Rd, where the family tells me she is buried, back in 2005, but I didn't find her. That's OK, I would rather think of her driving around Pasadena, anyway!

The little old lady from Pasadena
Has a pretty little flowerbed of white gardenias.
But parked in a rickety old garage,
Is brand-new, shiny red, super stock Dodge.

And everybody's saying that there's nobody meaner
Than the little old lady from Pasadena
She drives real fast and she drives real hard.
She's the terror of Colorado Boulvard!
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