LARY 634: Any port in a storm
By Ralph Cantos
This remarkable photo taken at Larchmont and Melrose shows Los Angeles Railway car no. 634 being used as a mobile recruiting station on rails. As the saying goes, “desperate times call for desperate measures.”
And so we see here the 634 decked out with boat anchor, life ring and mast marker light to encourage young men to enlist in the US Navy.
With the events of December 7, 1941, all America was, to use a contemporary term, PISSED. Recruiting offices of all branches of the US Military across this great country, were overwhelmed. The LARY hastily provided the 634 for use as a recruiting center. Americans wanted to go “over there” and exact revenge for what had occurred at Pearl Harbor. During all of the World War II years, public transit went all out to serve the needs of a nation at war.
This scene at the end of track on Larchmont was was just one small effort that the LARY provided America in an effort to win the war.
Ralph Cantos Collection
Scrapping one old useless vessel would provide plenty of steel to build new copies of these old streetcars! All financed with no-interest federal loans and helicopter money–yeah! My stimulus package platform!! Remember Pearl Harbor, but also this later call…”What if the Navy had to hold a bakesale to buy a battleship?”.