LA Fridays with Bob and Tom: St. Elmo Village
LA Fridays with Bob and Tom
Week 133. St. Elmo Village
This week our destination is a little-known arts and crafts community, St. Elmo Village, located in mid-city Los Angeles, one block south of Venice Boulevard and two and a half blocks east of La Brea Avenue. Created in the 60’s this is a place of creativity, a mosaic of humanity, a mecca for sharing, teaching and learning, for children and elders, a shelter forging and creating spirits. St. Elmo Village is an outdoor/indoor gallery featuring art exhibitions on Sunday afternoons. The Village courtyard is alive and colorful as paintings and other workshop efforts are exhibited. Throughout the year, the Village hosts shows of different guest artists and during summer months, the Village presents live jazz performances and African drumming. Tom returned on a Saturday morning with his twelve-year-old grandson, Nate, for him to participate in a drawing session from 11:00 to 12:30. There is adult supervision, the children are not instructed but allowed to draw using their own ingenuity.
We were impressed with the creative atmosphere and friendly assistance provided by the Village inhabitants as we toured their environment. There is no charge, but donations are greatly appreciated. You will want to include St. Elmo Village on your bucket list as you break free from the confines of Covid isolation.
ROBERT BLAUNSTEIN, PhD BIO
Robert (Bob) is a PhD physicist whose career has spanned academia, government and private industry. As a faculty member of the Department of Physics at the University of Tennessee, a Branch Chief at the United States Department of Energy and Vice President of an American International Group Company, his scientific endeavors include radiation physics, environmental research, environmental insurance and nanotechnology.
Originally from the East Coast, Bob was seduced by his sons and their families (and the California weather) to leave Washington, DC after retiring in 2010. While recovering from culture shock, Bob found many outlets to reconcile his eclectic interests. As a member of Senior Scholars for over six years he continues to take courses in a myriad of subjects ranging from film to art history to brain science and finds great intellectual and social rewards in Senior Scholars and the Plato Society.
As a latent artist, he sketches scenes about town once a week with an artist friend from his college days and is attempting to learn to play the electric guitar.
On moving to Los Angeles, he found Tom Jacobson, another recent transplant. They became great friends and decided to explore their new town together leading to over 113 sites in our city. Dubbed “LA Fridays with Bob and Tom” they are happy to share their experiences with others.
Bob lives in Brentwood with Phyllis, his wife of 56 years, an education policy executive. They have two sons and four grandchildren, one of whom plays a guitar a lot better than Bob.
THOMAS JACOBSON BIO
Thomas (Tom) is an attorney who practiced trial and constitutional law in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Born in 1938 in Bamberg Germany, he was one of the youngest passengers on the ill-fated voyage of the Damned, the SS St. Louis, turned away from Cuba in 1939.
Tom represented local civil rights activists and Dick Gregory and twice argued cases successfully in the United States Supreme Court. In 1970 he was the Democratic candidate for Wisconsin Attorney General.
Retiring in 2008, he and wife, Peggy, moved to California to join their two sons and four grandchildren, and enjoy the warm weather.
Tom has kept busy as a member of Senior Scholars and Plato for the last six years keeping his brain stimulated and active. Yoga and swimming have kept his body in shape.