March 8th, 2012

LA, likely chain of events after stroke of grandmother regarding custody of minor granddaughter

Keywords: Los Angeles, California, African American, Hospital, Child Custody, Poverty

I'm writing a story and have got a bit stuck and am hoping you guys can help. I have searched the archives and found a lot of useful info but not exactly what I need to know.

I have a character who is about 15. She lives with her grandmother who is her only relative, both parents are deceased. She comes back from school one day and finds her grandmother has had a stroke or heart attack, and calls 911. What happens next? Would there be any trouble about an ambulance not coming because they're not insured? Would the ambulance go to a bad neighbourhood? Would the hospital not accept the ambulance because the grandmother isn't insured? What would happen at the hospital - I presume social services would be called, but how quickly would they get there and what would happen in the meantime? How long would granddaughter be waiting by herself at the hospital?

Grandmother is in her early 50s. They're poor. What part of LA are they likely to live in (South Central?), and what sort of house/apartment would it be? What sort of job would Grandma be likely to have? I was thinking something like a teacher, but I don't know if that would be too 'good' a job for their socio economic status. Would she automatically have insurance via her job?

Grandma dies in the hospital after a few days. What would happen to the granddaughter? Would she go to an orphanage or into foster care?

Both Grandma and Granddaughter are African American. Timeline on this is recent - 2000s but before the new health care.

I have googled and found some info but it's more the chain of events happening on a practical level that I need to know about rather than separate facts. Googled search terms:

hospital social services child minor la california

I have looked up areas of LA on Wikipedia and come up with them living in South Central:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_Los_Angeles#South_Central_L.A.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Los_Angeles

Storage space and storage space accessibility in 1977 Winnebago RVs

I'm writing a story in which a character owns a 1977 Elandan II D27D Winnebago motorhome. From what I've managed to gather, this type has a trunk with a lock and two side storage compartments, but while I've managed to find information about these storage compartments in more modern models, I can't seem to find what I'm looking for in regards to this older model. I'm not talking about internal storage, like closets and drawers and things, but external storage (not the luggage rack on top).

Basically, what I want to know is:
  •   Does one need a key to access the side storage compartments?
  •   How large are these storage compartments (trunk included)? Are they large enough to store a body in?
  •   Is there any internal access to these storage compartments? We used to own a camper that, if you moved the mattress on one of the beds, you could get into the side storage compartment from there. Does this type of RV have the same sort of thing, where you can get into the trunk or storage compartments if you move a mattress or floor panel?
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Famous luxury cars of the 1930s / German slang in the 1930s

Genre: Dieselpunk-espionage-military-thriller
Setting: New York
Time: 1938-1941

One of my main characters is a young business magnate/inventor/playboy/billionaire (think Howard Hughes). He loves technology and engineering and he probably owns more than a dozen cars. Now I googled luxury cars 1930s, famous cars, vintage cars, etc and I found some nice ones (Bugatti or Duesenberg), but I feel still pretty insecure.
What do you think which cars would a guy like him own? What were the best, most expensive luxury cars of this era? Which ones would he use to show off, to impress dates or other guys and which ones would be the most comfortable to drive, which one would be the fastest, the newest, the best etc. It should be incredibly expensive luxury cars featuring the newest technology etc.

Another question: I found a lot about American and British slang of the 1930s, but does any of you know where I could find out more about the German slang of the 1930s? German is my native language so I'm going to write the story in German, but I find it pretty hard, if not impossible, to translate things like "Bee's knees" etc. Is there any chance to find contemporary translations? Obviously online dictionaries like LEO provide explanations for the words or modern translations but not adequate correspondents.
I would also content myself with German slang of the 1930s instead, but I didn't find anything useful so far.
Google didn't provide to be helpful, mostly because I didn't know how to translate "slang" - "Umgangssprache" and "Jargon" didn't really work out. Any ideas?