Uncle Ernie's Hollywood Daze



Prolog page 1

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away ... Star Wars

I had just finished getting rid of my second wife. No, I didn't kill her. I had introduced her to an acquaintance of mine who was hot to trot with her. I had just sold our house and moved us into a basement apartment. I then started hanging out with my hoodlum friends. I also let our new car go back to the dealership and bought a 1963 Cadillac convertible to restore. She was out the door in sixty days. What a feeling of relief!

With Beelzebub gone for good I was able to pursue the love of my life, music. When I met Beelzebub, I was running one weekly rock concert and working at another. A total of two nights a week for which I made about $800.00. As she saw that I was having way too much fun, she insisted that I get a job in a factory. Making $200.00 for four times as many hours. Those days were over now.

My best friend had an up and coming rock band that needed a lot of help. They also needed a place to practice. A friend put me in touch with a real estate agent. He had a five-bedroom house on seven acres with six months free rent for simply cleaning it up. Sound too good to be true? It was certainly a nice place, once we dug seventy-five large garbage bags of beer cans out of it. Seven abandoned, stolen cars, from the back yard. Two forty foot truckloads of steel, from the four-car garage. A motor cycle gang, who had a penchant for parties, had leased the house. After a lot of elbow grease, we had the perfect place for our band. On one side of the house was a small factory with a twenty-five foot high wall that ran about 800 feet, nearly half the length of our property. On the other side was a ten-acre field. In front of the house were so many pine trees you couldn't see the street. Behind the house a forest of trees imported from Germany's Black Forest, all in the middle of the city. We could, and did, rock all night without bothering anyone.

We had two major problems; we didn't have a drummer, and nobody had a job. What we did have was an excellent keyboard player, Brad. A fair bassist with a never-ending supply of pot, Craig. A brilliant, ever so slightly schizoid lead guitarist, Tom, and me the manager, soundman, light man, chief cook, bottle washer, jester and baby sitter.

We also had a roadie, Bill, who had a full time job making donuts on the midnight shift at "Dunkin Donuts." Every morning he would leave us two dozen donuts, a half a gallon of milk, a half gallon of orange juice and a dozen eggs on our door step. It took me over ten years to look another donut in the face but that was about all we had to eat for almost six months. This stable food supply allowed us the leisure of working toward our goal of forming the next, "Super Group." So we began by auditioning drummers. We eventually went through 160 auditions, looking for that perfect drummer, and somehow we finally found him.

We had been at this for almost six months, and had yet to work a single gig. We had begun to record our demo tapes on an eight track Akai when we discovered what we really needed was a lead singer. Oh well, back to the auditions. We came up with a name for the band, "Infinity," and a name for the album, "Marianas Trench: 7 Miles Deep."

Christmas was fast approaching and we decided to take a short break for the holiday with some members going home and others staying. I myself headed home Christmas Eve, but returned late the next night.

Craig had a visitor one cold snowy evening; an old girl friend named "Alice." Alice had just returned from LA, to visit relatives for the holidays.

Prolog page 2

She was a petite redhead, who in her spare time, was Buddy Miles current mistress. She partied with us for a couple of days and invited us out to Beverly Hills to meet Buddy and see if he could help us with marketing the album. Just the break we had been looking for.

We knew it would be next to impossible to get a record deal in Detroit. The Detroit music scene had faded away by the mid seventy's. Motown had moved to LA and, with our heavy metal style, we knew that a trip to one coast or the other was in order. Well with this development there was no stopping us now.

Christmas came and went, and the band got back together again. With New Years Eve fast approaching, we planned the "Mother" of all parties. The band was starting to get really tight, so we decided to do a concert during the party. The party itself was a B.Y.O.D. affair, as we barely had the money to spare for snacks.

All our ladies and friends arrived, bearing great quantities of various drugs and liquors. After the concert we proceeded to get wasted. We drank, smoked great quantities of weed and most of us dropped four hits of windowpane acid!

Now let me add that for years we had gotten together every other night to trip. The four of us would buy twenty hits of windowpane acid, and each eat four hits. We then, put the remaining four hits in a bottle of "Boones Farm," and passed it around. Then off we'd go for a long drive, often from Detroit to Chicago and back.

So it was a great surprise, when my best friend Tom, started to freak out. Tom had had a streak of rather bad luck. In the last year or so his father had died, he had found his aunt dead, his cat that he had since his boyhood had died, and his girl friend was driving him nuts. The end result was that we had to take him to the hospital for a little, "Thorazine Cocktail." I won't bore you with the gory details, but in the aftermath the band broke up. However it didn't stop an otherwise killer party, but the handwriting was on the wall. 1976 was going to be a rather strange year.

As the band started to go their separate ways, Brad, Steve and Tom moved back in with their parents, which left Craig, Bill and me living in the house. Craig wanted to take the tape to Hollywood and meet up with Buddy Miles. His only problem was, he didn't have any money or transportation. So he swallowed his pride and talked Tom into going out to LA. Meanwhile the real estate agent decided that nine months of free rent was enough, and suddenly wanted a small fortune in rent for the house. Needless to say the rest of us moved out. Apparently just in time, as a severe ice storm hit a week later and destroyed most of the trees. It took three men with chain saws, eight hours to clear a path to the front door.

Craig and Tom headed for the coast, and I moved in with my "buddy," Danny. Alice called on occasion, and kept me informed about Craig and Toms adventures. She kept asking when I was coming out. At that time I was finishing up the rebuild on the Cadillac, and had a deal to swap it for a 1966 Mercedes Benz 230 SL convertible in mint shape. All I had left to do was get the Cadillac repainted. Can you see a tragedy about to happen?

Our next door neighbor was moving out. As we shared the same double driveway, she asked me to park out in front, so she could get the moving truck up to her house. So I parked on the grass out front. Early next morning, I was awakened by a little old lady driving 65 M.P.H. in a 30 M.P.H. zone.

Prolog page 3

She had slammed her car into my Cadillac, pushing the tail fins into the back seat. Fortunately a police officer had witnessed the accident. Fortunately for the little old lady, as it kept me from killing her on the spot. The policemen shared a story about a similar experience he had, when he lost his 1957 Chevy. He told me what to expect from her insurance company, and how to get around it, without hiring an attorney. This saved me several thousand dollars and hurried up the check.

Craig and Tom had just returned from LA. Craig had some rather bizarre news. Buddy had helped them find interested record companies. In fact Tom had been offered a recording contract, and fifty thousand dollars for an album. However Tom had declined the offer and returned to Detroit. At the time, this made absolutely no sense to me. After all he had just been handed on a silver platter, everything he'd always wanted, everything he worked so hard to achieve, and he'd run away from it. Craig on the other hand couldn't get enough of LA. He planned to return after the 4th of July. I was wondering what I was going to do without a car, when Tom announced that I could buy his four year old Vega GT for a song. I should have known better with Tom, the way he had been acting but I didn't. Craig said he would be flying out on the thirteenth. So, we decided to meet in LA when he arrived. In celebration we thought we'd eat some excellent Amazonian mushrooms, that Danny had. We'd get wasted, go to the fireworks and come back home to plan my trip to LA "The best laid schemes of mice and men, gang aft a-gley."*

We returned from the fireworks tripping our brains out, to find all of my possessions out on the street. Everything except my new color t.v. No one was home except the Wayne County Sheriff, who said we should pack up and leave before we got into any trouble. Can you see the pay back that's coming? Apparently Danny didn't see it either. I won't go into it because I'm not sure the statute of limitations has run out, but I can say that pay back is a "Muther Fucker." He wasn't the only one I got back at that day; in fact, I paid back two others who had ripped me off. All in one neat little package. From now on, "No more mister nice guy!"**

I decided to go "up north" and visit with my parents before leaving for the coast. I also had to store some things. Tom's car seemed to be running all right, but it did need some tires, and I needed some new suitcases. I took the old mans boat out on the lake and stayed out fishing until after dawn. I then went to town and bought the tires and luggage. By the time I returned it was the late afternoon. I had dinner with my family and went to bed, it was about six p.m. When I awoke it was two a.m. I then packed up the car. LA, here I come.

* ** See Quotations

Chapter 1 page 4

On The Road To Los Angeles

"I want to be seen here in my simple, natural, ordinary fashion, without straining or
artifice; for it is myself that I portray... I am, myself, the matter of my book."
~~~ Michel Eyquem de Montaigne ~~~

Anticipation? Trepidation? Fur sure. I hadn't been to LA since 1968, when I decided to get rid of my first wife, "Bitchzilla." Do we see a pattern beginning to form? I put the Chevy into first gear and headed out I-94 towards Chicago. I had seven days to get to the coast in order to meet Craig at L.A.X., so I had planned a leisurely trip. I planned to take I-94 to Chicago, I-80 to Salt Lake City, I-15 to Lost Wages, where I planned to spend a few days before heading in on I-15 to LA.

The trip began uneventful as I crossed Michigan and hit the I-94 - I-80 interchanges, and headed west across Illinois. The only problem so far was that the radio didn't work. Oh well, life's a bitch, ain't it? Over on my right was a hitchhiking Indian who I stopped and picked up. He was heading off to join in a little POW-WOW with the good folks at A.I.M., for some fun and games. I twisted up a couple and the miles just seemed to roll by. We discussed politics, religion, automatic weapons and the best way to ignore the government. All and all a very pleasant chat. I dropped him off in Omaha as he was heading to North Dakota and stopped at my aunt's restaurant for a little breakfast and genteel conversation. Afterwards, I twisted up a couple more and hit the freeway.

I've always liked Nebraska, because it starts off in the east as farm country and ends in the west as the, "West," full of mesas and buttes, a very pretty state. Then comes Wyoming, which is full of nothing except the occasional redneck, oh and cattle. Lots and lots of cattle. Just outside of Cheyenne, I stopped to pick up another hitchhiker, this one a real live cowboy. He was heading home to Salt Lake City. A Mormon cowboy, "magic" underwear and all. This trip was becoming surrealistic in its first day, a bad sign? He didn't want to smoke, but he did want to talk about Mormonism. For six hours he talked about Joseph Smith and kept me entertained, as we approached the mountains and Utah.

I dropped the cowboy prophet off on the far side of Salt Lake City and headed south on I-15. The sun was turning the high desert a rosy pink as I began to think of getting a motel for the night. Provo lay just ahead, with a prolificacy of motels and more important a college campus, B.Y.U. A college campus, where certain persons could be found; by an out of towner such as myself, who might know the location of a certain herb. As luck would have it, such a person was found quite quickly at my first stop, the local 7-11. A little bartering took place, and I returned to the comfort of the local Hilton and it's pool.

July in Utah is incredibly hot. Don't talk to me about humidity, 112 degrees at 9 p.m. is fucking hot. I hadn't given it much thought about the great western desert, and the good old summer time. However, this ignorance and others would soon be brought to my attention. But by 1 a.m. the temperature had dropped to a cool 99 degrees, and I decided to call it a day. I had met three new friends. An Indian, a Cowboy Prophet and an Herb Salesman. All things considered a rather interesting day I thought as I lay in bed, wondering what new adventures tomorrow would unfold?

Friday morning began with a loud grating ringing sound. My wake-up call. I didn't request one. A bad omen! A quick shower, a quicker breakfast of roll and coffee and I'm back on the freeway, which is already in progress. It's only 8 a.m. and the temperature is already over 100 degrees, and I'm only in the high dessert. Duh.

Chapter 1 page 5 On The Road To Los Angeles

Well thank God I've got my big aluminum block Chevy, with only 51,000 miles on the odometer. Did I mention the warranty on this experimental engine ran out 1000 miles ago? What's that funny noise? Gee, it sounds just like an oil pump dissolving. What's this little town that I'm approaching? Why it's... Nephi Utah. And who's that standing by the signpost up ahead? Why it's... Rod Serling! Uh oh!

Nephi Utah, two gas stations, a motel, a restaurant, a church and hallelujah a Chevy dealership. I pull into the dealership, thinking it's Friday morning not quite 9 a.m. I'll be first in line and in an out in no time at all. For someone who has seen it all, and done it all, I'm incredibly naive. After waiting for an hour, the mechanic arrives to say the oil pump was bad but they can replace it, Monday. O.K. fine. So much for partying in Vegas this weekend. Well, let's see what Nephi has for entertainment? That was a quick ten seconds. Well, they do have a rancid motel and a greasy spoon family restaurant. I check in the motel. Cable hasn't arrived in Nephi yet and although they're barely an hour south of Provo, all I see is ghosts. The air conditioner works, sort of. It keeps the air a cool 94 degrees. The restaurant located eight blocks away is an Epicurean nightmare, full of State Policemen. So with a bottle of rum and a bag of pipe dreams, I settle in to await Monday.

The only good thing about the "Bates Motel," is the ice machine works and the Coke machine is full. Eventually, I have to walk on down to the restaurant. I should mention that at the time I had a full beard and hair way below my shoulders. So I assumed, that in a very religious place like Utah, I would be welcomed on my looks alone. Silly me. I wish I had a photo of the looks on the people's faces, as I approached the restaurant. A mother with two little boys quickly grabbed them and pulled them inside. A little old lady quickly locks her doors, with a look of shock on her face. When I enter the restaurant, everyone turns around to stare at what had just walked up out of the desert. They all stare and stare, especially the State Police. Deputy Dan has no friends, and suddenly I knew how he felt.

As I sat down and reached for a menu, I could hear very plainly the, "What the fuck is that?" "Is that a boy or a girl?" Red neck type bullshit. No biggie, so far. The "End of the World Cafe" is a charming little cesspool. "Don't worry about the flies, we won't weigh 'em!" The menu consists mainly of things buried in gravy. You can bury a lot of mistakes in gravy. Despite my situation, I feel in a rather adventurous mood so I order the "Meat Loaf SURPRISE." By the looks of the patrolmen, I had better be ready for some, "High Adventure." My idea of "High Adventure" is going through Turkish customs, on a Greek passport, with an ounce of heroin, hanging out of my top pocket. The State Police are coming my way, and they're smiling!

Magically, they walk by and pay their bills, and with a long hair joke to the waitress, they leave. Now that was close. I hate having any "Imperial Entanglements" in my life. It was just some mindless paranoia, nothing more. Wrong! In the kitchen I hear the chef skinning the cat, for my "Meat Loaf SURPRISE." In only one day on the road, I've managed to strand myself for 72 hours, in fucking "Easy Rider Village." Smooth Ernest, very smooth indeed. The lady brings me my lunch and proceeds to tell me of the little girl next door, who got busted for selling the local PD, 6,000 hits of acid. You know, as a sort of a word to the wise. Knowing full well that I had to eat at this restaurant for the next three days, I wisely refrained from speaking my mind. Instead, I agree with her whole heartedly about the sad decline of modern youth. Since she was the closest thing to a friendly face I was going to see in Nephi, I continued to nod in agreement as she drones on and on.

Chapter 1 page 6 On The Road To Los Angeles

I dig into my fresh baked cat, with all the relish of a man who would soon be listening to a introduction to the book of Mormon, if he didn't finish his meal real soon. As I paid my bill I noticed that the State Police hadn't really left at all. They'd merely moved across the street, and were waiting. I thought that as long as they were waiting for me, at great taxpayer expense, I might as well get it over with. So instead of trying to avoid them, I marched myself over in their general direction. Much to my surprise, they simply pull away. I knew I was pretty scary looking, but I had no idea. So it was back to my motel for some quality boredom time. Along the way I stopped at the garage and found the front of my engine had been removed. The mechanic confirmed my fears about the oil pump. Although, it would only take about an hour to repair the car, it would be Monday morning before they could get to it. The cost would be $240.00 and could they get a deposit on it, now? I paid the tab and walked on back to the motel.

As I approached the "Bates Motel," I noticed the State Police were just leaving. I was beginning to have a deja vu. It was going to be one of those weekends. I entered the office to get a bucket of ice and a couple of Cokes. I asked the girl behind the desk if I had any messages? She shook her head no, as she tried very hard to suppress a smile. I returned to my room, twisted one up and poured myself a stiff rum and Coke. Then settled in to await my fate. I hadn't long to wait. A loud rapping sound appeared on my doorstep. It was the motel owner; we'll call him "Bob." Bob was a skinny red neck with a five-day-old scraggly beard, who proceeded to ask me a thousand questions, none of which were any of his business. I had two options; one was to tell him to go fuck himself, which would end in me spending the weekend sleeping in the desert. Two was to pretend to go along with Bob and answer his questions. Fortunately I was raised among red necks. I invited him in for a couple of drinks and a load of bull shit. After the first drink Bob and I were the best of friends. After a couple more, Bob was starting to answer all my questions. Yes, the State Police were rather interested in me, and no the girl in the office wasn't his wife or girl friend. Bob was pretty wasted by the time he dropped me off at the diner.

Apparently, I was the talk of the town and everybody had an opinion about me. Most of these opinions ended with me dangling from a rope! The "End of the World Cafe" had meals to go, so in order to keep a low profile, I decided to take all my future meals to go. Which was a pretty good idea, as when I'm leaving I noticed two State Police cruisers fast approaching for the last call on the boiled cat. Knowing when to leave is very important in life. The rest of the weekend is pretty much a blur as it was spent with the little girl from the office, "Mary," who had the weekend off and who sat staring wide eyed at my tales of the "underground" until Monday morning rolled around!

Monday morning dawned bright and sunny, or so I was told. I didn't get up until checkout time and when I did Mary was long since gone. I took a shower, packed my bags and headed quickly for the garage. Miracle of miracles the car was ready and waiting. I jumped in and headed for Las Vegas as fast as I could. Good-bye Nephi Utah. The road to Vegas, as it winds through southern Utah and northern Arizona is one of the prettiest in the world. The mountains turn from gray and black to almost every color in the rainbow. Vivid pinks, purples, yellows and blues, a veritable psychedelic palette of day glow colors. Then there is "Monument Valley" in southern Utah and northern Arizona. The vastness of it all is spectacular in its scope and size, while there is a underlying feeling of something very primordial, a rather sobering experience. I'm having a Deja Vu about this place but it's not from this lifetime. Off on my left is a dust devil, a sort of miniature tornado. It's heading my way, so I decide to stop and let it cross the road as I had just finished waxing the car to shiny red brilliance. I decide to take a leak, so I walk down the hill to be out of sight of the highway.

Chapter 1 page 7 On The Road To Los Angeles

As I stand there taking care of business, I notice Peyote cactus spreading away from me in all directions. Some are in flower; others are ripe for the picking. So I do. I pick about half a grocery bag full. I stuff three sweaters in the top of the bag and place it in the trunk. I notice a Arizona State Trooper give me the eye as he passed by heading north. I jump back in the car, shove her into first gear and head on out to Lost Wages as quickly as I can. There's about seven miles to the Nevada border. I cross it in less than five minutes. Now out of the mountains and down to the valley and you're in Las Vegas. Abandon all hope, all ye who enter here.

I hadn't been back to Vegas since 1972.* Things were really beginning to change in Las Vegas. I stopped at my uncle's favorite hotel. My uncle, we'll call him "Bob", was a retired wise guy. And as this was a "family" hotel I got the major discount rate. I check in for a couple days. A couple of uncle Bob's friends renew my herb supply at an incredibly righteous rate. I retire to my digs for some frolicking fun. I meet a cocktail waitress who could use a little herbal therapy and who has a day off. We see a couple shows and I develop Wayne Newton's disease, Wayne Newton makes me sick. We take a trip over to the Grand Canyon, and it really is grand. Later she offers to teach me a new disease she picked up from a sailor, but I decline her offer. However I do pick up a couple of hundred dollars on the slots, and for a change I break even for my stay.

Tuesday dawns bright and early as I stumble down stairs to the parking lot and my car. Damn it's almost 12 o'clock. I better get a move on if I want to hit LA with enough time to go out tonight. So back on I-15 west I go. In no time at all I'm on the California border. In no time at all I'm pulling in to be searched for forbidden fruits. Having driven to LA in 1968, ** I knew all about the vegetable and fruit searches but alas, I had forgotten. Duh. I also had forgotten about the bag of Peyote in the trunk. It came to my immediate attention as I opened the trunk and saw that bag laying on its side with two of three sweaters fallen out. I was one sweater away from wearing a dress and learning to dance for my new cellmate, Bubba. The inspector we'll call him "Bob" droned on and on about the forbidden fruit not allowed in California, and when I assured him I didn't have any, he let me go. I quickly repack the bag, closed the trunk and got the hell out of there.

Suddenly all signs of life had disappeared, I was fast approaching "Death Valley." The scenery took on the appearance of the moon. It was becoming incredibly hot. As I glanced at the gauges I noticed the engine was running hot. This could become very serious, very quickly. Fortunately, up ahead there was a little town with several gas stations and a restaurant. I pull off to let the engine and me cool down. As I had filled the engine up with summer coolant, there was little I could do about the over heating. As I entered the restaurant, I notice a thermometer in the window; it's a 126 degrees. Summer, the desert, Duh. A trucker who's setting next to me at the counter gives me some life saving advice. Open the hood part way and run it like that. I do, it works. LA here I come. Back on the freeway and up and out of Death Valley. The temp. gauge drops a little and it looks like I still might make it before dark. From out of nowhere the mountains spring up and I'm just outside of San Bernadino. From out of a clear blue sky the sun starts to fade away. The air goes from clear to a sickly yellow green and I'm still 100 miles from LA.

Up until now no one has been following president Hitler's, er Nixon's speed limit suggestions. I myself have been averaging about 90-95 mph.

* See "Uncle Ernie's Road Trips."
**See "Uncle Ernie's Hippie Daze."

Chapter 1 page 8 On The Road To Los Angeles

Suddenly, as I approach a pack of cars, I notice a big black and white shepherding this group of traffic at 55 m.p.h. Oh joy. What would have taken me less than two hours is now going to take around three. It's always something, you know? I pull off to get a Coke and twist one up; so as to make this extended trip just a taste more enjoyable. There's a beautiful girl hitch hiking on the exit ramp, but nobody is stopping to give her a ride. Where I come from that usually means she's a hooker. I make a mental note and quickly hit the gas station. When I leave she's still there, curiouser and curiouser. As I pull up to her to give her a ride I notice she has an Adam's apple. Now I understand, a Queen. At the time I really didn't appreciate gays. It wouldn't be until I moved to Hollywood, where I was the only straight unmarried male for twenty square blocks and women were beating a path to my door, that I would come to appreciate them, but I'm getting ahead of my story. I yell "Good luck girl" as I pass by and enter the freeway, which is already; you guessed it, "in progress!"

It takes me all of five minutes to catch up to my old pack, still under the watchful eyes of Deputy Dan. It's a long slow trip into LA, but eventually downtown comes into view. What to do? It's Tuesday night and Craig won't be arriving until Thursday morning. I decide to take the Harbor freeway out toward L.A.X. and find a motel near the airport and wait. I check in at a likely looking place, scarcely two blocks from the airport. I call back to Detroit, and although I can't get a hold of Craig, I do manage to verify he will be arriving Thursday morning. I get his airline and flight number and the E.T.A. What to do with the 36 hours until he arrives. I only know two people in LA and I don't know how to reach them. I take a quick shower while I ponder my fate, and it suddenly comes to me like a blinding flash of light, a "nudie" bar!

I've always felt comfortable in Go-Go bars. Maybe it's the atmosphere? Maybe it's the naked ladies? Or maybe it's the fact that I've spent half of my adult life working in them as a DJ? * I know its one of those three. I find a likely looking one a few blocks from my motel, and spend the rest of the night talking to a girl; we'll call her "Mary" from Canoga Park. I proceed to tell her my life story; she takes my money and smiles. I've seen this syndrome somewhere before? Oh yeah, every night I've ever worked in bars, I thought it looked familiar. Would she like to return with me to my room for a little herbal therapy and some hot sex? She'd love to but her husband "Bob" was picking her up at closing. Surprise, surprise, surprise! Oh well, what was I expecting, Rock and Roll?

Wednesday afternoon is bright and sunny as I awake around one. I stumble over to the complementary coffee machine and brew a couple cups. I decide to take a cruise out the Pacific Coast Highway, to relive a couple of trysts from my youth. **

In 1968 I had gotten extremely lucky with a couple of beach Bimbo's in Santa Monica and Malibu. Things hadn't changed much in eight years as I cruised the P.C.H. Lots of rich people and tourists. I know vaguely where I'm going but I'm not quite sure. There are at least two private beaches around here, somewhere. This may take some time. Although it's been eight years, I eventually find the somewhat hidden entrance to a private, a.k.a. nude beach that I remembered. Time for a little hot fun in the summer time. As I look around I see that at least half the people on the beach are nude or at least topless. I lay down in the hot sand and dig the view.

*See "Uncle Ernie's Go-Go Daze."
**See "Uncle Ernie's Hippie Daze."

Chapter 1 page 9 On The Road To Los Angeles

Nobody seems to mind that I don't live or belong there. So I spend a couple of hours improving my tan and musing about the naked ladies and girls on the beach. When I arrived it was pretty much high tide, and the seventy foot yacht that was two hundred yards off the beach has lingered a bit too long. He has managed to get hung up on a rock. Oh, the problems of the rich, ha ha. I spend the next hour being amused, as he tries to untangle the bow from the coral. He eventually does get off, with a nasty scrapping sound, and the help of another boat. I notice as he heads for harbor that the yacht seems to be a little heavy in the bow, and great plumes of water are being pumped from the stern. All in all, a very pleasant day at the beach.

I decide to take Topanga Canyon back to town, to see what I can see. California is one of the most beautiful places on the earth. I mean, what do you like? The ocean, mountains, giant trees, the desert, river valleys, they have them all and more. The only thing wrong with the state is native Californians. They're all crazy. Maybe it's in the water supply; maybe it's in the smog filled air. Whatever the reason they're all nuts, and the more money they have the crazier they become. The only sane people you'll be likely to meet come from some place else. This might explain the O.J. Simpson juries verdict, but I digress. Down the canyon and back to the Ventura freeway, which is, you guessed it. A quick right onto the San Diego and I'm back to the airport and home. I spend the evening hours relaxing in my room. Although I haven't been pushing it, the trip has worn me down and a little rest probably won't hurt, what with the adventures to come. I leave a nine a.m. wake up call with the desk and turn in rather early, 2 a.m.

I arise take a quick shower, eat my complementary breakfast of roll and coffee, twist up a couple, smoke one and check out. I drive over to L.A.X. and try to find American Airlines. Remember, "The White Zones are for loading and unloading only, if you have to load or unload, do it in the White Zones." I park in the lot. It's only a few thousand yards to the terminal and a few thousand more to the planes. At least on the inside they have moving walkways, something new to me. Eventually I find the right gate and await Craig's arrival. The 747 arrives surprisingly on time, but Craig doesn't seem to be on board. After about four hundred people disembark I see a tall man wearing about a hundred pounds of gold jewelry, knee high leather fringe boots and mirrored sunglasses. Craig has arrived! Craig's rather surprised to see me. Apparently his family hadn't been too accurate in delivering my message. We shake hands and hug and head off to the baggage claim. What's been happening, how you been, blah, blah, blah. We retrieve his luggage, all two thousand pounds of it, snag a red cap and head off to the, "White Zone." I go off to try and find my car, easier said than done but eventually I find it and the dreaded, "White Zone." We somehow manage to pack all of Craig's luggage into the Chevy. As I light up the joint and pass it to Craig I ask, "Where do you want to go?"

"Hollywood," he replies.

Chapter 2 page 10

Hollywood

"It's hard to know where Hollywood ends and the D.T.'s begin." ~~~ W.C. Fields



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