My good friend, long time Westchester, California resident, Joe Vezzetti, has been under the weather for a time and I miss receiving his emails. Just the other day, he showed a another old friend of mine an interesting photo, which I have included in this story.
Joe is a veteran of the Navy and Air Force, and served his country well in Korea, and is well known in these parts for being one of the best neighbors in the town, and for his trademark bicycle moustache. He is one of those unsung hero types; always volunteering and working behind the scenes at church and civic events, and no matter hard he worked, he managed to keep that trademark smile of his.
Joe attended Santa Monica City College in 1950, and was a member of the Opheleos Men’s Honor Service Organization. By the end of the year, the USA was involved in the War in Korea, and Joe enlisted was quickly sent overseas. About that same time, his classmate James Dean transferred to U.C.L.A., and began what would be a brilliant but brief acting career.
Just five years later, James Dean died in a car crash, when his Porsche Spyder flipped while attempting to avoid a speeding car on Highway 46 near Paso Robles, CA.
Occasionally people ask me why I choose to write about local history. Well, I just never seem to run out things to write about, and especially about the many fascinating people who live here, and the fascinating lives that they have led.
And I have a feeling that this photo is pretty rare.
Happy New Year, Joe; I hope to see you soon.