Echo Park basement reveals memories of a woman named Nita

Apartment manager Joe Sandoval was working in the basement of his Echo Park Avenue building when he ran across a photo album with the words “Nita’s Photos” and “Family of Long Ago and 1992” written in black on the cover. Sandoval said the album was the property of a former tenant – an elderly woman he remembers by the name of Sherry – who lived for years in one of his building’s first-floor studio apartments. The woman at one point worked nearby as a clerk in the former Rexall Drug store at Echo Park Avenue and Sunset Boulevard (now a medical clinic). But Sandoval does not recall much else about the former tenant, who died about a decade ago.

The album reveals some clues of the woman in her younger years – black and white photos of her posed on the bridge or next to the lotus bed at Echo Park Lake – and a color snapshot (dated 1965) of her sitting beside another woman in her apartment, an album of Elvis Presley stands nearby as does a portrait of Jesus. “Dorothy and me my apt.” reads the note behind the photo. There is also a matchbook from the former Pioneer Market, photocopies of what appear to be old family photos from Texas and Oklahoma and notes on bible verse and scripture. Still, it’s not clear who Nita – or is it Sherry? – was. If you have any information about her, Sandoval and The Eastsider would like to hear about it. 

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