Earl Garrett, 79, stopped by Paisano’s Bike Shop in South Los Angeles last week to get a new lock for a red two-wheeler that’s also a veteran soldier of the streets.
The Watts resident told me he hasn’t had a car since 1970 and uses his bike for work, like thousands of others in Los Angeles.
“What do you do?” I asked.
“Wash windows,” Garrett said, telling me he has traveled as far as Santa Monica for work. “I put the squeegee right here. I put the bucket right there.”
And what did Garrett do before he washed windows?
“Washed windows,” Garrett said, waiting for me to laugh.
I roamed South Los Angeles for a few days last week, trying to get a good read on the bike culture, and I ended up learning a lot about the local economy.