A group of residents and guests gathered around the picnic tables at the center of the Monterey Trailer Park in Hermon last Saturday to remember Paul Brown, who had lived for nearly 30 years in the trailer park under a forest of pine, oak and elm trees off Monterey Road. Hermon activist Wendi Riser in an email said Brown, who died last week, was part of a group of residents who were successful in getting the 1920s era trailer park declared a city cultural historic monument and became a member of the city’s mobile home task force. The trailer park, served as reminder of the 1920s auto parks and campgrounds that catered to growing numbers of travelers arriving by auto, according to a 2002 L.A. Times story.
In that story, Brown, a native of Indianapolis who for a time served as the president of the park’s homeowner’s association, explained what made the Monterey Trailer Park special and why residents did not want to leave:
“This is the most unusual, because of the trees, the surroundings, the landscaping. We have the country here in the city. You don’t see that in a lot of trailer parks…. People come to this park, and the next step is Forest Lawn.”
Brown, who once worked at Forest Lawn and owned a bar, died last week as his family and friends were preparing for him to return to his yellow manufactured home under the care of a hospice program,” said childhood friend Richard Cox, who lives in one of the park’s trailers. “He didn’t make it,” said Cox.
Saturday’s memorial service was not a formal affair. “He would not have liked that,” said Cox of his his friend, who would have turned 61 next month. “We just had a lot of food and talked about Donny.”