The City Council is being asked to spend $455,000 to make sure crosswalks like this one on Fifth Street are highly visible. (Kevin Herrera


Not directly, of course. No, no. that would necessitate changing my political party affiliation. (Not to mention, all my spiritual beliefs.)

Speaking of which, if God told Scott Walker it was his plan for him to run where does that leave his now-errant servant, withdrawing from the race?

Walker wrote, in his first fundraising letter to the faithful, “I am certain: This is God’s plan for me and I am humbled to be a candidate for President of the United States.” Definitely a good money-raising pitch, but as a God-fearing man, isn’t Walker very, very fearful of disobeying a direct order from the real commander in chief?

Come on Scott, Noah built a dang 200-foot yacht out of wood, without a glue gun or a power saw, and packed it with two of every species (late to the launch and you’re extinct!). And you, Scott, can’t even follow through on a run for president? Sure, it’s not a walk in the park, but it beats wrangling Tasmanian Devil duos and trying to keep the lions eating dog food instead of half the other passengers.

What about Rick Perry? His wife likened him to Moses, told him, “You may not see that burning bush, but there are people seeing that burning bush for you.” But now he’s burned out, bushed, and not running.

When asked if God had pushed him into the race Ben Carson said, “I feel fingers.” (Lord, I love Dr. Ben. Couldn’t have made him up.) Plus the divine invites to, of course, evangelical pastor Mike Huckabee, Ramblin’ Rick Santorum, and even the sometimes-sensible John Kasich. That’s six Republican runners for the White House (up from only three in 2012) who all claim to have been personally called by God.

Is God messin’ with us? Or just with them? I’ve always explained some of life’s strange twists by jokingly asserting, “this proves there’s a god, and that she has a sense of humor.” But if God can juggle prayers from millions of lottery ticket holders, all the contestants of “Project Runway,” or fans of opposing World Series teams, I guess she can tell six different candidates it’s her command that they each land in the Oval Office. And no one has a problem with that conundrum.


What about me and walking, and let’s leave God out of it, shall we? When I say, facetiously, God’s telling me something, what I mean is, life circumstances seem to be pointing in a certain direction, and I would be wise to pay attention. I have to put walking back on my radar.

And not a moment, or a month, too soon. Those of you who may have read a random column or two of mine may know that I’m on a mission to walk every single street in Santa Monica – again. I did it once and am working on the second go around, but was shocked to check my map (you can’t be sure you’ve hit every street unless you mark it all on a map) and discover I hadn’t done a walk that counts since – April!

Now before you go tattling to my cardiologists, I’ve been substituting a lot of hard basketball, usually an hour’s worth or more, one-on-one, so there’s no place to hide or slack off. Several notches up from a long walk. But one of my two hoops buddies moved and now it’s time to go walking again to fill in the gaps.

Last Sunday I was going to walk just a few blocks to meet a friend on Main Street, but wound up cutting it too close and hopped in the car to save a few minutes and be on time, forgetting where I was – Santa Monica! You can’t drive here, silly.

Even on a Sunday morning it should be no problem to find one spot within a block or two of a coffee shop on Main Street, including side streets, right? Right, if I was driving: 1) a commercial vehicle for unloading, or 2) a taxi, or 3) a tour bus, or 4) willing to valet park. Then, within two blocks north of Ocean Park on Main, plenty of choices, next to those signs. But as just a regular Joe, in my own car, trying to stop for a cuppa joe – forget it.


I have to see spaces I used to be able to park in sit empty until the tour bus comes along every once in a while (especially in the off season)? Main Street is a neighborhood, you know, surrounded by homes. People. Residents. But like I said, God, or the powers that be in Santa Monica who determine who gets to park and who doesn’t, dictated I must throw on the walking shoes more often, even when I can’t or don’t want to.

So bright and early the next morning I was off for an hour’s jaunt around the 20th and California area. This walking thing’s kind of interesting, I’m now remembering.

Amazing how some people can turn their small front yard into a landscaped masterpiece, and others into a well-intentioned junkyard. Almost every residential block seems to include the spectrum, from inspiration to design disaster.

Spending time on Wilshire, I passed a showroom window with a spiffy Mercedes sporting a $152,000 price tag on the windshield. Reminded me of some parking tickets I’ve gotten here.

A sports therapy office had the shortest basketball hoop I’ve ever seen, planted in concrete on their front patio. Sure enough, when I reached up, flatfooted, I could rest my wrist on the rim. Note to self: cure for the blues, a place this white man can dunk.

Passing one of our new modern bus stops, I noticed the new trash receptacle had a large rust spot on it. Already? That’s not part of the signature bluish color scheme.

Lawn bowling at Douglas Park! Thousands of them! (Well, dozens.) Is this what I miss by not getting out early on Sundays? Love it! Everybody’s older than me! But wait, that big banner – this is a yearly tournament. I would enter next year… but it’s too far to walk.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics, a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.” – Mark Twain

Charles Andrews has lived in Santa Monica for almost 30 years and wouldn’t live anywhere else in the world. Really. You can reach him at

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