Bookseller Jake Zeitlin settled in the Elysian Heights section of Echo Park during the late 1920s and became part of a community of progressive writers and artists who found seclusion and a cheap place to live in the hills. Zeitlin, who lived in Echo Park for about a dozen years and died in 1987, recounted tales of those years to Lionel Rolfe, who included those memories in “Literary L.A,” originally published in 1981. Echo Park Patch is publishing excerpts of that book and Zeitlin’s recollection of the Bohemian community that took root in the neighborhood. Some of his memories show that Echo Park bohemians were interested in other things besides art and culture:
On another drunken, full-mooned night, Zeitlin remembers walking along a ridge and seeing a naked woman coming at him. He called out to her, but she dove off the side of the road into the bushes. He called her again, but she had disappeared. He continued walking toward the house from which the naked woman had apparently come. Zeitlin recalls that one of the revelers at that party was director John Huston.