"Every time he came home he had a camera in my face," says Irv Sultan, 74, about his artist-photographer son. "I'd say 'For God's sakes, Larry!' "
Now photos of the Sultan family of Calabasas Park are hanging in an exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Larry Sultan's exhibit, called "Pictures From Home," features oversized (30 by 40 inches) portraits of his family and some blown-up stills taken from his father's home movies.
"My father bought a one-way ticket from New York in 1949 and ended up in a dream house in Sherman Oaks," says Larry Sultan, 42, who lives in San Francisco. "It was part of the cultural myth of the '50s about going west. My work is about family history and the American Dream, and how those two intersect."
Sultan lived in the San Fernando Valley for 13 years and attended Taft High in Woodland Hills. He believes his work has been well-received because it reminds people of their own family's experience.
"It's about families migrating based on dreams, and how these dreams came true," he said. "But even when dreams come true, it's important to question their value. People in L. A. got what they wanted, but what did they get?"
Irv Sultan got what he wasn't looking for: his photo on the walls of a major New York art museum.
"We go out on a rattlesnake call every day at this time of year," reports Frank Turner, district supervisor at Los Angeles County Animal Center No. 7 in Agoura. "They're in people's yards or even in the house if the sliding glass doors were left open. We relocate them to the hills higher up."
The Southern Pacific rattlesnake--which is what slithers through the Santa Monica Mountains--makes appearances in Agoura home sites (and in Calabasas, Hidden Hills and Malibu, too) because the area is still being developed. As the snakes are forced out of their natural habitats, they have go to somewhere, Turner says .
Hikers on trails in the Santa Monica Mountains should keep an eye open for rattlesnakes, notes Bradley Childs, executive director and founder of the Wilderness Institute. The Institute has headquarters in Woodland Hills and an outdoor center in Agoura Hills.
"I consider it a treat to see a rattlesnake," Childs says. "It's not a threatening or dangerous experience, but a learning one."
A rattlesnake would rather escape than attack, Childs notes.
"Never crowd or threaten them. They'll react defensively if they feel trapped," he says. "They know we're not food. Most people get bit from trying to move a snake with a stick or by accidentally stepping on them in tall grass."
More advice from Childs: "Stay on the trail. Look where you put your hands if you're doing any rock climbing. Don't sit down on a fallen log until you've checked to see if there's anything underneath it."
And we're not talking about the boogeyman.
Household Toxic Waste
Your home might very well be a veritable toxic dump. On Saturday, Aug. 19, you can dispose of household cleaners, paint products, pesticides, automotive fluids and batteries and outdated medicines by bringing them to Coast Savings and Loan, 18000 Chatsworth St. in Granada Hills.
The program is sponsored by the Los Angeles City Board of Public Works. Just load up the car with your toxic materials and bring them to the bank. You don't even have to get out of your car; you can just drive through.
The Return of the Jetsons
Many of the kids who watched the animated cartoon show "The Jetsons" back in the early 1960s have started families of their own, and now, as their kids turn on the tube, parents find the Jetsons are making a comeback.
Sure, long-time Jetsons fans are naming their dogs Astro, but there's more to it than that. Aficionados are buying the three recently released Jetson videos (one is a compilation of old cartoons; the other two are new 90-minute cartoons) to ostensibly "share" with their kids. A fast-food chain is promoting the videos and including a plastic Jetsons' space vehicle in kids' meal boxes. A line of stuffed Jetson characters will soon be available in stores.
And Hanna-Barbera is busy updating the future with "Jetsons: The Movie!," which should be released by Universal Pictures in time for Christmas.
"We're just tickled," says Jetsons' co-creator Joe Barbera of Hanna-Barbera about the revival. "The Jetsons were an outgrowth of the Flintstones. We created quite a lot of gimmicks in 'The Jetsons' that we thought would happen someday, and believe me, we weren't too far off."
"We'll show new ways of parking cars that I think will be the answer to all our problems," promises Barbera, who lives in Sherman Oaks. "And the hydraulic lifts on the Jetsons' building will elevate them above the smog." (In the old cartoons, they elevated the building to avoid speeding comets.)
Engineers, take notes.
Overheard at . . .
"Mosquitoes sure have an inflated idea of their place in the food chain."
--Customer buying insect repellent at the Thrifty Drug and Discount Store in La Crescenta.