A bit of A Forest Dark…

The Perelson place.

Not far from KCET in the steep hills above Los Feliz Boulevard, there was an abandoned house where a bizarre murder-suicide had taken place 25 years earlier. In 1959, middle-aged dentist Harold Perelson killed his 42-year-old wife Lillian with a ball-peen hammer, then drank a glass of acid to finish himself off.

The house was on a great slice of land with an even greater view of the Los Angeles basin and, on clear days, Catalina Island. For one reason or another, no one had lived in the house since the murder and it intrigued Sandy Torkelson no end.

“Go up there and do a piece on this place,” he told Noah. “Work up that haunted house thing, we’ll save it for Halloween. Can Eden dress up like that Elvira woman from Channel 9?”

She could and she did. Eden told Noah she was grateful for an assignment like this, as with the waning days of summer Olympics-related stories were few and she was sure Sandy was marking his calendar to the date when she would no longer be his intern.

In Dallas, that prick Henry von Eiff had utterly failed to convince President Reagan to rid the ticket of George H. W. Bush and put him on it instead, which reduced Eden’s currency with Sandy considerably. Noah thought she was getting better at this TV interview thing, but then again, it wasn’t his opinion that mattered.

Anyway, they’d found that the Perelson yard was like a corner of an abandoned park and hiked up there a couple of times afterward just for fun. Today they’d have a picnic, just the two of them.

Without regular waterings, the grounds had reverted back to their mostly indigenous plants and encroaching chaparral, with the occasional rosemary bush and eucalyptus tree providing agreeable scents and from the latter, shade.

A couple of heavy, cracked stone benches were still there. The Herculean effort it would take to steal them was probably just not worth it to most people. Noah and Eden sat on one, and spread their lunch out on the other.

“Egg salad or … tuna? I guess that’s what this is,” he said….


~ by jimarnoldla on September 21, 2010.

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