Happy couples flock to Norwalk for Valentine's Day weddings

NORWALK — Heavy rain couldn’t put a damper on Valentine’s Day romance when the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder County Clerk (RR/CC) opened up same-day wedding ceremonies for happy couples eager to tie the knot.

Couples young and old alike piled into the Norwalk RR/CC office to say “I do” last Thursday during what has become an annual event over the last few years.

“People get married here every single day in our offices,” said Brenda Duran, spokesperson for the LA County RR/CC. “Obviously Valentine’s Day is a lot more popular just because it’s the most popular day of the year, so we tend to get a larger flow of people on Valentine’s Day getting married here.”

With no appointment needed and walk-ins gladly accepted, soon-to-be newlyweds needed only pay a $35 fee and provide a government issued ID to get hitched. They could also purchase their marriage license for an additional fee.

Other traditional wedding paraphernalia - such as tuxes, gowns, flowers, and even rings – were up to the couple’s discretion.

“We try to make it as convenient as possible for people… they can expect a really quick and easy process,” said Duran. “Flowers and Rings, that’s your personal taste.”

Donna and Miguel Rodriguez were one of the happy couples to take advantage of the opportunity, saying their vows in front of a small ensemble of loved ones. They have been together for four years.

“Prior to this, we tried getting married six times, both here in California and Las Vegas,” said Donna. “Finally, we came today where we were able to do it here in Norwalk. I still can’t believe it.”

“It’s beautiful,” added Miguel.

When asked what comes next for the happy couple, Donna simply replied, “A lot of surprises.”

Photos by Alex Dominguez

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Short Story: My Norwalk Home

My husband and I came to Bell Gardens, Calif., in 1949. We stayed with my father-in-law; he had a 1-bedroom house with cement floors.

The next week, he went to the Veterans Administration and brought back forms for my husband to sign. His house was to be sold for $6,000.

My husband and I did not want to buy this house. It had a lot of 35 ft. by 150 ft. Someone bought it, tore down the house, and built 1-bedroom granny apartments. Bright idea, I never thought of that.

We rented a trailer for $40 a month in a trailer court. One of the ladies said she bought a house and needed $150 for wall-to-wall carpeting. She had a trailer to sell. We looked at it and it had twin cribs built-in. Her father had built the trailer.

Since I was expecting my baby, we thought it was a good idea. It also had a cranberry sofa. It opened to a double bed, very comfortable.

Then we decided to move to the Navy housing project in San Pedro. We needed a car and found a Studebaker. We told the salesman we wanted to sell our trailer. He came and looked at it. He said his daughter had a baby and was living with him. It would be a good idea to buy it for her. He offered us $200 for the down payment on the car. The trailer was 20 ft. by 6 ft.

We moved to San Pedro for Navy housing. The rent was $38 a month for a 1-bedroom unit. It was furnished but we had to buy a crib for our baby. There was a laundry room with a ringer washer and clothes lines.

I met a school teacher whose husband was in construction. There were new homes going up in Norwalk. We drove to Norwalk to see the homes that were being built by a developer that built custom homes. Our GI loan would cover the down payment.

We took out a 30-year loan and decided on the more expensive house as it had a breakfast nook. It was $9,500 with a double garage. There were three bedrooms with revolving closets. We eventually had four more children, including twins.

The children were grown and married, moving a long distance. My husband passed away in 2008. My children decided that I should move to an assisted living facility in Cerritos.

Reluctantly I sold my house for $375,000 and moved to the Grove. Coincidentally it is located at New Falcon Way and Studebaker Road.

I have such fond memories of my husband and raising five children in a house I loved for 60 years.

Dora Silvers is a student in the memories writing class at Cerritos College.

Coming soon to Cerritos College: Public art

NORWALK – Cerritos College announced Monday that it is establishing a unique new public art collection.

A 2009 acrylic painting by Carolyn Castaño. Cerritos College has acquired work by Castano and 17 other artists to display around campus.

A 2009 acrylic painting by Carolyn Castaño. Cerritos College has acquired work by Castano and 17 other artists to display around campus.

The collection, to be spread through publicly accessible areas of the campus, will feature paintings, drawings, prints, and photographs ranging in size from multiple small works on paper to two massive fourteen-foot shaped-canvas paintings.

Themes presented in the works will reflect the areas of study covered in nearby classrooms. The collection also prominently features works by traditionally underrepresented groups, including notable female artists and artists of color.

In this initial acquisition, the College selected works by 18 contemporary artists: Carolyn Castaño, Amir H. Fallah, Alexandra Grant, Mark Steven Greenfield, Sean Higgins, Kiel Johnson, Virginia Katz, Nery Gabriel Lemus, Melissa Manfull, Álvaro Daniel Márquez, Hung Viet Nguyen, Christina Ondrus, Naida Osline, Julia Paull, Gala Porras-Kim, Lorenzo Hurtado Segovia, Marie Thibeault, and Jessica Wimbley.

A downloadable map with hanging locations will be made available from the College’s website by the end of the spring 2019 semester. The campus will continue to expand this public art collection in the coming years.

A public art collection of this scale is rare for a community college. In 2015, the college established the Committee on Art in Public Spaces to develop a comprehensive and permanent plan to display art around campus, adding to a small number of existing public art pieces already on view, including a painted wood construction titled To Whom It May Concern (2013) by Salvadoran-American artist Daino, and a sound-sculpture, The Sound Pavilion (2011), by John David O’Brien and Steve Roden. Both are currently on display in the College’s new Fine Arts Building.

The college also recently installed a cast-concrete sculpture donated by artist Gustavo Godoy titled Vacant Marker (2012) at the entrance of the Kincaid Field.

While the Cerritos College Art Gallery relies solely on generous donations from artists, the public art collection is financed by the College’s substantial public art endowment fund, which was spearheaded by Cerritos College President/Superintendent Dr. Jose L. Fierro. The Cerritos College Board of Trustees also invested in this new endeavor, supporting and approving the establishment of the endowment fund in 2015. The public art endowment will also soon fund new commissions for multiple large-scale public art projects across campus.

“I am beyond excited that Cerritos College will house all of these wonderful works,” said James McDevitt, curator, Cerritos College Art Gallery, and associate professor, Art History and Visual & Cultural Studies. “The work included in this collection of drawings, paintings, and photographs has direct connections to the material that is taught in the classroom, and will provide our students an additional and exciting opportunity to engage with the educational content in new and different ways.”

“Art and culture is an important element of higher education that can expose our students and community to a larger, diverse worldview. We believe that having a robust public art collection on campus will enrich the student experience and transform the College’s landscape into a cultural hub for the community, ” said Dr. Fierro.

“The public art collection not only adds dimension and beauty to the College, it also gives us a creative way to engage in more community involvement on our campus,” said Cerritos College Board President Carmen Avalos.

Norwalk man convicted of indecent exposure

NORWALK — Jurors deliberated less than an hour before convicting a Norwalk man last week of two counts of indecent exposure.

Dong Hyun Huh, 47, exposed his penis to two female pedestrians in separate incidents in Artesia and Cerritos in September 2017. Both incidents occurred on the same date.

Huh faces a maximum sentence of one year in local custody and lifetime sex offender registration. He is scheduled to be sentenced March 4 at the Bellflower branch of Los Angeles Superior Court.

Library offers help to homeless and near-homeless

NORWALK – Those currently or at-risk of experiencing homelessness are invited to attend an outreach event this Monday at Norwalk Library.

Guests can receive one-on-one assistance for housing, Medi-Cal and CalFresh, flu and hepatitis vaccines, mental health care referrals, legal aid (including expungements), SSI and SSDI, job training and job opportunities, veteran services, free cell phones, haircuts, gently-used clothing, and more.

Pack-a-snack lunches will be provided by Supervisor Janice Hahn’s office and the Friends of the Norwalk Libraries.

The event is Monday, Jan. 28, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Norwalk Library is at 12350 Imperial Hwy.