Chapter 2: LA part 7 – Sailor Church in San Pedro

Sunday 2nd March 2003

I had a very good night and felt very strong this morning. I woke up early around 7.30 and got up. I felt ready for whatever was to come this day. I checked out and had a goal for the day, and that was to visit the Norwegian Sailor Church called St Olav´s kirke in San Padro. I had certain ideas where it was located in comparison to Los Angeles and was quickly on my way. While driving passed a Mc Donalds my eyes rested for an extra moment on the McFish burger, and I just afterward knew I needed to go in there and get some breakfast, so I backed up on the side of the street and parked. After the pancake, bacon and bread breakfast I was on my way again. But I came upon one blocked off road after another and wondered how to get around. At first I thought there was some water leakage going on as there were plastic signs from the Water department of Los Angeles placed at every corner where the road was blocked off, further beyond there was plastic tape stretched around the road. I later noticed on the other side of the plastic tape a man racing in a wheel chair, and came to the conclusion that the huge blocked off area was blocked off for a wheel chair race. I waited around trying to get around the block when at 10 the race was over and the blocked streets were reopened.

I quickly got onto the Santa Monica highway going west and followed the signs leading to San Padro heading south. San Padro is the biggest shipping port in the US and there are lots of cranes here. The area around the church was very quiet right by the coastal highway. I came there late at 11.30 but it did not matter too much as it seemed the pastor had been holding a long speech and he was still not finished, so I sat and listened. I had forgot to bring my camera so I rushed out to get it and as I came back in a man in his 60´s was heading into church as well. He sat down all the way in the back and I sat down next to him.

I took a few pictures of the church and the man next to me Alf Jacobsen or as he is called in the acting business Burt Brandon told me that I could go closer if I wanted to take pictures of the baptism. We began to talk and we talked much more after the worship service as well. It seems he has had a rough life after he decided to come here to LA and become an actor. He had been in theatre productions in Norway and thought it would not be that hard to become an actor in LA, but in the first 16 months of his stay he end up becoming an homeless person living on the street. Always with the goal of becoming an actor in the film industry or in theatre. As he told me, he could not take any other work as it would distract him from his main goal, so he chose to not work with anything else. His money ran out over time so that he became homeless. Alf from what he told me had his goal and nothing was to stop him not even being homeless, and it did not stop him from becoming a successful actor. He did not let any Casting Director treat him unkind without Alf letting the person know about it, and have over the years smacked a few of them for their very poor treatment they gave him. With Alf standing up for himself he found that the others who worked with the Casting Directors respected Alf for what he did. It seemed that some of the roles he also got was because he stood up for himself.

I had an interesting time talking with him about his passed, and it seems that Alf today has a very good life. But as he goes back to Norway he is looked upon many times with jealousy as jealousy is a trait that is very strong in Norway, and treated with little respect by people he know. When a person does well in Norway many times that person will be disliked, as there is a motto not to stand forth and show that you are something. (I do believe the times have changed in the last 5-6 years – PJ)

There is something very familiar with Alf as if he is related to me in some sort just like my mom´s uncle Bjørn Breigute (who was a film maker). I told Alf that he was in a similar way to Bjørn and I said that I was going to ask mom about Alf to hear if she knew of him. Alf told me to ask if perhaps Bjørn knew Solveig Henning.

It is now over 4pm and I am sitting in the car outside of church. To my right I see a tug boat coming in to the harbor, and further out I see probably 10 cranes. Further down the street and up on my left side is the two story white stucco church. On top the American, Norwegian and Swedish flag sway in the wind. Above and to the right of the church doors are additional flags.

Time for me to quit writing and call mom and ask her about Alf.

A while later I drove back again to the same hotel to the Travel Lodge on Sunset Boulevard. It was probably my fifth night there.