Errol Franklin and Mabel Armbruster, after a long day on the set, would
often hire a car and head up to Belmont Heights, laughing and drinking
champagne the whole way. From their bungalow with its view of the vast
Los Angeles basin, they watched automobiles threading their way about the
roads, and in the distance the eerie gas fires in the oil fields of
Signal Hill. Before night fell they traced the courses of biplanes and
triplanes as they described circles and arcs about the new airfield near
the marina. After sunset, only the moon, the stars, the sounds of
crickets, scent of jasmine and eucalpytus. They went out for dinner to
Jimmy Hooligan's near the reservoir, and for drinks to the Swing N Snarl,
where they heard a couple of good negro musicians on horns. Bats
whispered out of the night, the twin line of palms below which marked the
boulevard. A yellow moon rose out of a sea of camphor. A mockingbird
flung song into the night, as nearby they made love.