I pumped gas at a car wash on Reseda Boulevard. There was a savings & loan down the street, visible from the pumps (I might mention in passing that even with the built-in price padding, the stuff then went for about 37¢/gallon), with a sign that alternated between displays of the time and the temperature. One afternoon at 1:16 the temperature displayed was 116°.

I tanned more readily in those days, had hair down to the middle of my back, and weighed about 125 pounds. The old INS used to raid the car wash now and then, sending most of my coworkers scampering across the adjacent vacant lot and over a cinderblock wall into an alley. One one occasion I scrambled out of the way of the Crown Vic as it roared onto the premises. This being taken as flight, I was tackled by a couple of goons and was obliged to tell them in my clearest diction, as they prepared to place me in restraints, that I was going to expect reimbursement for my bus fare back from Tijuana. They released me with, I thought, a measure of ill grace.