Illustration by Doug Davis
Crossing the Border
By Lee Goldstein
It was 1950, and I had never been in trouble with the police until this year (except for when I was 9 and threw a clump of mud at a shiny black car which turned out to be a plain-clothes cop car). Yet in the next month or two, I would be fleeing from the California Highway Patrol with two ladies who were on the lam with me.
My dad had just read a Life Magazine story about an amazing university in California that was encouraging wheelchair-user enrollments, one of the first universities in the nation to do so. The article explained that there were curb ramps, classes which could be moved downstairs, and even elevators in some newer buildings on campus. UCLA’s resolve to provide opportunity to wheelchair users, particularly vets who had served in WWII, put it at the forefront of disability awareness. And Southern California had perfect weather for such an undertaking.
I was 18, a partial quadriplegic from a diving accident, and a new high school graduate from the small tow