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Unclassified Info: The news and a Goodwill coincidence

I was at a sales meeting last week, which put me far enough from Glendale to keep me away from the local news. Sure, I could have gone online and checked out the goings-on. But had I done so, I would have missed this morning’s online navigation of top stories, which included, “Indecent Exposure, Purse Snatching and Taylor Swift” — a veritable smorgasbord of comment-worthy news.

This week, it certainly proved to be fruitful to catch up all at once. In case you were out of town like me, here’s what went down:

Local residents reported seeing a man masturbating in front of an apartment building. The guy was standing behind a fence, whistling at a woman, while he touched himself, which clearly makes him quite the multitasker.

Police are also searching for a man who pushed an 84-year-old woman and grabbed her purse as she walked to her apartment.


The thief was described as an adult man, wearing a black T-shirt, gray shorts and red socks. Evidently he needed the money to buy clothes that would accent his incredibly bizarre taste in fashion.

Interestingly, the biggest crime in Glendale last week wasn’t committed by a self-indulgent male, but rather by a diminutive woman disguised as a country music star. It seems I missed out on the opportunity to meet Taylor Swift and get my picture taken with her at the Americana — for the absurd sum of $106.50! Really? You needed the extra 50 cents?

Witnesses reported seeing Swift promoting her new fragrance, Wonderstruck. Victims of the crime received a wristband guaranteeing a meet-and-greet only after being conned into buying the perfume for $106.50. No word on whether Swift plans on releasing a follow-up bath water aptly named Flimflam.

It was nice to see the various ads, political cartoons and comments fondly remembering and honoring Larry Zarian. It’s nice to see that his good deeds got the full attention they deserved.


And finally, outside the eyes of the Glendale News-Press, I was snooping around the Goodwill store on Brand Boulevard looking for Halloween costume materials when I happened upon an incredible work of art painted by little old me.

I was surprised, stunned, and a little melancholy that the abstract painting of a horse and rider, which I toiled over during my oil painting class at Long Beach State, would find itself in the company of discarded kitten posters and clown paintings. The last time I saw the masterpiece it was at my parents’ house in storage, making it fair game for the Goodwill antiquities collection, I suppose.

Should I buy my own work back? Perhaps it would make a nice present for the family member who dropped it off?

“You painted that?” my daughter asked. “Why is it here?”

“Good question,” I thought without answering. There was just too much to explain about how it got there and which family member decided to dump it. My knowing was good enough.

“Nah, I think someone else should enjoy it. I guess if I forgot to take it from my parent’s house, it is better off with someone else.”

I passed the painting several more times during our quest for the perfect costume. Finally, as I approached the canvas to give it one last farewell, I noticed the blue price tag. It was selling for $29.99! A king’s ransom at Goodwill.

Awesome. My painting was the most expensive work of art in the store.


I respectfully leaned it against a folding chair and moved on, utterly happy that my brush strokes would bring some revenue to a charitable cause. In case the new art patron is curious, I did receive an ‘A’ in the class and the teacher told me I showed promise as a painter.

And with that input I became a writer.

GARY HUERTA is a Glendale resident and author. He is currently working on his second novel and the second half of his life. Gary may be reached at