When I was a kid, on warm summer days, the school would tell us we couldn’t play sockball or tag during recess or lunch because of “Smog Alerts.” I didn’t live close enough to the hills or the ocean to see the smog, so I didn’t quite understand what they were talking about.
I was on my way to an Oingo Boingo concert in the early 80s when the car I was in went around a bend in the freeway and all of a sudden we saw a giant orange dome of smog hanging over the valley basin we were headed into. I was 14-years-old and that was the first time I saw dirty air. I saw it later every time I came home to L.A. from my east coast college.
I flew to and from San Francisco today and flashed back to all those smog sightings while looking out the airplane window. At least today you could see the Hollywood sign. Some days, there is no sign that hills surround one side of the city.
© Laura Genao 2007