"I love my salon," she said. "But I'm tired. I don't want to paint anymore."
Art Tatum and Charlie Parker played.
There were restaurants like Ivie's Chicken Shack, elegant despite the name, run by the great Ivie Anderson, a singer who performed with Duke Ellington in the 1930s. There was Dolphin's of Hollywood, a record shop so influential in the music industry that disc jockeys broadcast live from the front window.
Today, "South-Central" is synonymous with urban blight. Much of the community is now a transient, threadbare tapestry of people whose common thread is poverty.
"There are a lot of good people in this neighborhood," said Robert Cordova Jr., the principal of nearby Harmony Elementary School. "But they are all afraid."
The school was built four years ago for 600 students; there are 812 kids enrolled today, all but five of them too poor, officially, to afford lunch.
Cordova, an educator for 25 years, spends much of his time in the wake of the shootings lobbying police to deal with issues like mobile prostitution vans and working with the city attorney's office to crack down on unscrupulous landlords who run slum apartments where many of his students live in dangerous and unsanitary conditions.
At the United House of Prayer for All People, 58-year-old pastor Wilbert Swaringer helps prepare scores of meals in the basement each morning - macaroni, ribs, thin steaks.
In sermons or just walking down the street, the minister tells anyone who will listen that the neighborhood needs to retreat to old-fashioned principles and practices - discipline, respect, corporal punishment.
"The analogy that I give people is that it's like a roomful of flies," he said. "I can kill as many flies as I want. But until I correct the hole in the screen, I've got a problem."
He slammed another rack of ribs in a pan for emphasis and sprinkled it with industrial-sized tubs of paprika and garlic salt.
"People are afraid to correct their own children," he said. "You have people who live next door to somebody and don't even know their names. People have no respect anymore."
As he spoke, his wife of 31 years, Brenda, walked in to pitch in with meal preparation. The first thing she did was turn on a television set in the corner that showed four closed-circuit security camera shots of the doors to the church.
"We've started seeing people robbing a church," he said. "When did you ever see that?"
He shook his head.
"We've lost control," he said. "And this community is wounded."