Gardena is a small city located approximately 15 miles south of downtown Los Angeles, California. Harry Turtledove spent much of his youth living in Gardena.
Gardena was home to Michelle Gordian, the time traveling science fiction author that captivated Pete Lundquist.
In 1934, Gardena was an agricultural suburb with large Mexican and Japanese populations. The agriculture led a businessman named J.N. Hill to open a feed store there. One of his employees was a young woman named Michelle "Mich" Carstairs, who'd left Ponca City, Oklahoma to escape a criminal who wanted to make her pay her brother's debts.
It had several company-based semipro baseball teams. On August 12, 1934, the House of Daniel played the Strawberry Park Pickers, winning 6-2. The next day, the House played the Redondo Beach Sand Dabs, beating them 11-3.
Chester Martin worked in Gardena as a construction worker and later union organizer.
Gardena was home of Barefoot Sounds, the old music store where Tom Crowell gave up his 1980s job in order to stay with his old girlfriend, Donna, permanently in the 1960s.
In the early 1960s, Gardena was the hometown of the Yeager family, exiled Shiplord Straha, and Straha's bodyguard Gordon.