The Leaning Cow

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From Chinatown to Floodpath: the Deadliest Man-made Disaster

January 27th, 2016 ·No Comments

I remember watching Chinatown way back when. That when was a long time ago; Jack Nicholson had hair. I’m not certain I followed the plot too well the first time I saw it; then later came The Two Jakes and renewed my interest in the earlier movie and I sort of got everything figured out.

Somewhere in this timeframe, I had become aware of the actual nitty-gritty convoluted story Los Angeles and its water supply. At one point, I came across a book about the St. Francis Dam collapse that killed over 400 people as a giant wall of water raced 50+ miles down a riverbed to the Pacific Ocean. It was one of those fascinating soft cover books that had a lot of pictures and illustrations and diagrams.

The one thing, though, that I remember most vividly about the dam was that when two boys/young men climbed a remnant of it, one fell off when the other threw a dead rattlesnake at him, which led to that remaining section being torn down and my being wary of anyone walking around with a dead rattlesnake, ready to toss it at someone.

But, anyway, today on the Kindle book list, the Floodpath book lured me in. I’m a long way from the rattlesnake part; in fact the Owens Valley Aqueduct has just been completed so I’ve a long, long way to go before I finish.

I also started a book about the smallpox virus and other contagions and while I am fascinated by what I am reading,I find that I have been corrupted by the well-written mystery, crime novel and overall literary fiction. It’s so relaxing to just sit back and let a story flow and not have to worry about hydraulic uplift and bio-hazard suits.

I’ll probably just wander over to the free section and download some sort of pulp. I admit it; it’s like Twinkies – just so tempting.

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