Eighty years ago, a young girl named Barbara arrived in Los Angeles from New York with her family, took one horrified look at the Jewish neighborhood of Boyle Heights and sniffed "not for me!" Brooklyn Avenue was lined with open barrels of pickles and herring, and frowsy women in housedresses and slippers shopped among the stink. To sophisticated pre-teen Barbara, Boyle Heights was "a Jewish Tijuana," and she insisted her parents move West of Alvarado.
That was then and this is now. Little Barbara grew up and married Harry Cooper, raised a family, ran a discount shoe store, and migrated ever further west, to Hollywood, West LA, Culver City, Camarillo. In 2008, after 73 years of marriage, the Coopers have come back to Los Angeles and settled into California's first licensed retirement home, the historic Hollenbeck Palms in Boyle Heights.
Now with the help of their granddaughters Kim and Chinta Cooper, this charming and hilarious pair have launched The OGs blog (OGs stands for Original Gangstas, or Original Grandparents) to celebrate their return to Los Angeles and give the whole world a chance to enjoy the OGs' unique perspectives of life, love and the mysteries of the universe.
Tune in to the OGs blog for such video features as "Ask Grandma Anything" (Barbara's hip and sassy advice column, your questions welcome, though Harry warns if you follow her advice you'll either end up in the poor house or in the White House), "Poppop's Adventure Corner" (Harry's ruminations on exploration, science and his trip up the Amazon), plus jaunts "Around Hollenbeck" (at the retirement home) and "Around the Hood" (out and about in East LA and downtown).
At 96 and 91 respectively, Harry and Barbara Cooper are bright and witty, with a unique perspective on contemporary life and L.A. history. Tune in for your daily dose of the OGs at http://www.the-ogs.com