Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center, dates back to 1888 when indigent patients from the Los Angeles County Hospital were relocated to what was then known as the Poor Farm.
 Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy were started in late 1920s. The Rancho as it is now known rapidly expanded after it was designated as a respiratory center for poliomyelitis patients in 1951. 
In 1955, Dr. Vernon L. Nickel developed the halo vest, a device which is still in use to immobilize the cervical spine following severe neck injury or certain types of surgery. Drs. Jacquelin Perry and Robert Waters contributed to advances in pathokinesiology, and other advances in rehabilitation of orthopedic and neurologic disorders were made in ensuing years. Rancho Los Amigos Cognitive Functioning Scale, a widely used scale to determine the cognitive level in brain-injured patients, was developed in the 1970s. Rancho's spinal cord injury unit has been designated as a model system by the U.S. federal government since 1979.
Rancho is a 395-bed rehabilitation hospital owned and operated by Los Angeles County. 

Budgetary concerns led to an attempt by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to close the hospital in 2003. The closure was averted by a last-minute court injunction. A settlement from a federal lawsuit filed against the Los Angeles County in 2005 allows the Los Angeles County to look for an entity interested in taking over Rancho. The settlement stipulates that any entity attempting to take over Rancho ensure continuity of care provided to indigent rehabilitation patients


today is PYEWACKETT'S 21st birthday!!
that makes him approx. 106 years old in human years. can you imagine?

in the summer of 1991 i decided that i wanted a pet... not just any pet.. i wanted  a cat. specifically a black cat. i didn't know where to find one so i mentioned to a friend of mine who worked @
 THE EYE OF THE CAT, in long beach. i said to him, " i want a black cat."
"oh! he replied, i know someone in la verne that just had a litter of 13 black cats."

the following day i called the person in la verne and made an appointment.
on august 31st, 1991 i took my then BF- bobby ferris- to check out this litter of 13 black cats.

la verne is far. all the way towards pomona.  seemed like forever. we anxiously knocked on the door. a tall, older gentleman opened the door and greeted us. there in the center of the living room was a scrawny black cat with 13 sucklings nursing her wore out nipples. she looked exhausted.
the black mom cat was skittish, (most black cats are) and scurried away when we entered, leaving her 13 black kittens rolling around on the carpet.

i walked over to the group of black puffs and sat down. i looked at all 13 kittens with intent.
one black kitten looked up and walked towards me. i placed my hand on the carpet and he walked onto my palm.  he was so small, he easily fit on my palm. i slowly picked him up and brought him to eye level. we looked into each others eyes and scried.... for a long time. i lowered my palm to the floor and he very slowly walked back to his black brothers & sisters, turning back now and again to gaze at me.  even when he joined the 12 other black kittens i knew which one he was.

"I WANT THAT ONE" i announced.
pyewackett has been with me since then~ every hour of every day.
happy birthday my pye, pye, pyewackett.... bring me something good.
(pyewackett & james jones~ circa 1998~ photo by me~rick castro)


AUGUST 31ST, 2012~ 9:12AM