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Los Angeles Times Special Quake Report: One Year Later : Still Shaken / Voices : From the Epicenter to D.C.: Reflections on the Devastation : KAY VEACH

Kay Veach’s coffee shop in the Barrington Building, a hangout popular with celebrities, never reopened after the quake. She was on the verge of selling her business when the earthquake hit.

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I’ve been sort of semi-retired. I thought at my age I should retire. Since then, I’ve talked to a lot of people who want me to open back up. I need to donate my time to somebody because I am going a little buggy. The restaurant business is all I know.

None of the waitresses have been able to find work. I tried for awhile to help them find other jobs. Some of them were with me for years, and they were so loyal. We meet . . . to chit-chat. I call them or they come over. I keep in touch with all of them. Just in case I ever relocate.

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. . . My restaurant was in escrow to close on the 25th and the earthquake hit the 17th. I truthfully don’t think the (Barrington) building fell down. They tore it down. Even my restaurant didn’t have any damage. They just wouldn’t let us back in. I couldn’t get anything out of my restaurant. I was there until the end.

It was just a disaster, I mean losing everything you have. I had to repay the escrow money and they wouldn’t let us back in. The National Guard wouldn’t let us in even though we begged.


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